It was love at first sight. In June 1992 I was wandering the halls of the Hilton Hotel in Chicago during the summer Consumer Electronics Show. I entered the suite of a company I had never heard of before and experienced simply extraordinary music. The speakers were beautifully crafted but unusually styled. For lack of a better word they were a “bookshelf” speaker though with a 13” x9” woofer mounted on the back. I had just fallen in love with the Sonus Faber Extrema loudspeaker. It seems I was not alone in my amorous
feelings. Stereophile Magazine would later name them Speaker of the Year. I returned home raving about these amazing little speakers with the B139 woofer on the back.
They were captivating. The sense of space they created in that relatively small room expanded beyond the walls. The power and depth of the bass seemed impossible from these cabinets. But most captivating of all was the sheer beauty of the music. I was just transfixed listening to them. The experience defied any of the analytical terms we normally apply in our business. I just loved the music they made.
I always remembered them fondly. But for some reason I never pursued them. I think I feared that owning them would never live up to the passing affair that summer in Chicago. But fate has a way of intervening. Because of changes in the distribution of one of our existing speaker lines we would need to replace them with another premium speaker. Sumiko Audio, the same good folks that bring us REL subwoofers offered to bring us several pairs to audition nearly twenty years after our first encounter.
Would the reality live up to the impossibly high expectations? We started small with the Toy Tower, Sonus Faber’s smallest floor standing speaker. The music was a solo cello played at real volumes as if the instrument was only eight feet away from us. It was an instant reunion. The speakers were magic.
We next auditioned the Liuto. A moderate sized speaker of exquisite finish. The scale of the performance was enormous yet it was equally capable of incredible intimacy. Listening ceased to be critical. Within moments we were just drawn into the music. None of the technical adjectives really do them justice. These speakers are more art than science.
When we ultimately auditioned the Cremona M speakers. There was no doubt that Sonus Faber had found a place at London Audio. The Cremona Ms are crafted from portions of solid maple. They are laminated in such as way that energy is channeled through the cabinet the way a violin body is tuned. But of course the Sonus Faber speakers hail from Cremona Italy. Home of the world’s greatest instrument makers.
Over the years we have been proud to represent some of the world’s finest audio products. To describe Sonus Faber speakers as mere products is a disservice. They are unique creations that enable us to enjoy the art of
music like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. Once you audition them, you’ll fall in love as well.