Wowee – Sonus Faber has burst out of the 2024 starting blocks with what could be one of the most ambitious loudspeaker systems we’ll see all year.
Kicking off its 40th birthday celebrations with suitable Kate Moss extravagance (she partied Glasto-style for four days with 150 guests!), the Italian brand has launched a Suprema system consisting of two main speakers, two subwoofers and an electronic crossover, priced at £695,000 / $750,000.
Got back on your chair? Let's dive into the details...
The company says Suprema is undoubtedly its “most ambitious project to date” – which is saying something considering its catalogue isn’t short of five-figure creations (just take a look at the Il Cremonese EX3ME...) But despite its lofty aspirations, the system is still very obviously ‘Sonus Faber’. The Suprema’s tower speakers sport that familiar lute shape which, like other of the company’s high-end models, are nods to the first Guarneri violins of the Cremona region near which the brand is based. Multi-layer wood is used for the side panels to create the illusion of 'wings' via a special 3D bending shape, and a leather front panel has been created in collaboration with renowned luxury furniture brand Poltrona Frau.
The subwoofers, meanwhile, follow an elliptical shape in honour of the also-heritage Stradivari violin (also shared by the Sonus Faber Stradivari speakers), allowing them to accommodate large transducers. Last but not least, the electronic crossover is housed in a rectangular chassis that, like the system, comes in your choice of red, graphite or walnut finishes.
The speakers themselves are 4/5-way designs featuring eight front-firing speakers in addition to two backfiring drivers, of which plenty of newness can be found. For one, Sonus Faber has created an all-new Camila midrange with a pulp diaphragm, which has a non-circular membrane and isn’t masked by suspensions to ensure maximum resolution and reduce resonances. Behind it is a new dual-drive magnet, with an organic basket, previously used for the Stradivari woofers, for controlling airflow.
The midrange drivers are paired with a new mid-tweeter and super tweeter with treated silk dome, together arranged in a “unique dedicated internal volume” that has been designed for each driver's optimal performance. The chamber and its inner walls maintain an organic shape and are made entirely of recycled cork, too, making Sonus Faber the first to use a natural and sustainable material to create acoustic volume.
The subwoofer system, separate so that it can perform optimally regardless of the position of the speakers, uses two 38cm transducers carbon fiber membranes and a neodymium magnet motor system for undistorted pressures up to 16hz. And the speakers are decoupled from the ground using a mechanism produced in partnership with isolation specialists IsoAcoustics, too.
As for the external electronic crossover, it is a dual mono and fully balanced design with all phase cutting and control circuits purely analogue, and ultimately handles the integration between the speakers and subwoofers. Sonus Faber says the Suprema’s configuration system “aims to extend beyond the conventional limits of the frequency band coverage”, and that the crossover filters that are partially visible on the sides of the main column, use the best electroacoustic configurations experienced by the R&D team in the last decade.
OK so we’ve already given away the sky-high price, but the good news is that you can spend £/$70,000 less to get the Suprema… if you opt for just one subwoofer.
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