Sonus Faber Amati Futura loudspeaker Associated Equipment

Sidebar 2: Associated Equipment

Digital Sources: Ayre Acoustics C-5xeMP & DX-5 universal players; Apple G4 Mac mini running OS10.5.8, iTunes 10, Pure Music 1.83; Shuttle PC with Lynx AES16 soundcard & dual-core AMD Athlon processor running Windows 7, Foobar 2000, Adobe Audition 3.0; dCS Debussy, Logitech Transporter, Bricasti M1, Weiss DAC202 D/A converters; Halide S/PDIF Bridge, Empirical Audio Off-Ramp4 USB-S/PDIF converters.
Preamplifier: Ayre Acoustics K-5xeMP.
Power Amplifiers: Classé CT-M600, MBL Reference 9007 (both monoblocks).
Loudspeakers: BBC LS3/5a, TAD Compact Reference CR1, Vivid B1.
Cables: Digital: DH Labs Silver Sonic. AES/EBU: AudioQuest Coffee, Belkin Gold USB. FireWire: AudioQuest FireWire 400 (prototype). Interconnect (balanced): AudioQuest Wild. Speaker: AudioQuest Wild. AC: PS Audio Lab, manufacturers' own.
Accessories: Target TT-5 equipment racks; Ayre Acoustics Myrtle Blocks; ASC Tube Traps, RPG Abffusor panels; Shunyata Research Dark Field cable elevators; Audio Power Industries 116 Mk.II & PE-1, APC S-15 AC line conditioners (computers, hard drive). AC power comes from two dedicated 20A circuits, each just 6' from breaker box.—John Atkinson

Sonus Faber SPA
US distributor: Sumiko
2431 Fifth Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
(510) 843-4500

LyleHughes's picture

Nice review JA, I definitely agree with you on all points.

As someone who has been auditioning speakers for purchase the past few months, I wanted to share my results. I found the new Legacy AERIS speakers (about half the cost of the Amati Futura) outperformed the Amati Futura during my auditions- especially in several areas you mentioned.

First, the low frequencies- like you, found the Sonus Faber a little fluffy and lacking in low frequency dynamic impact. This was definitely an area where the Legacy excelled- incredibly deep, subterranean low end extension that is very tight and dynamic. I enjoyed the midrange clarity on both the sonus Faber and the Legacy, but I’d give the edge to Aeris- they were both magnificently detailed, though!

Dynamics wise, the Legacy took whatever I threw at it (hello life like transients!). The Sonus Faber couldn’t quite keep up with the Aeris, especially with the dynamic swings found in classical pieces.

Finally, the high frequencies- this is where the Legacy absolutely trounced the Sonus Faber. The newer Legacy AMT system is stunning- highs are airy and extend far beyond the Sonus Faber, while remaining clear. I believe this performance advantage is due to the AMT drivers Legacy uses- they are much more dynamic and clear (void of driver resonance) because it squeezes the air more effectively than the dome on the Sonus Faber which is mellower and less clear.

This is not to say that the Sonus Faber is not a good speaker- it is. However, I found the Legacy AERIS outperforms it in all key areas, and it does so at about half the price!

steve59's picture

Thanks for adding figure 7 in measurements as it does provide some foundation to your listening notes.