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  1. #1
    I'll get me coat dinkydave's Avatar
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    Question Sonus Faber Concertino Speakers

    Since getting back from this year's Scalford show I have just not been able to get over how good the Sonus Faber Guarneri Homage speakers sounded in amcluesent's room. Now I know that the rest of amcluesent set-up probably contributed to the excellent sound alot, but I tend to be in the camp of speakers are the most important thing. Now I love my ProAc D1 speakers, and to me the Sonus Faber Guarneri Homage speakers were in the same ball-park sound style wise, they just did it much better . So, I have been checking the usual places to see about trying / buying a pair of these and they are not cheap . Most I would go to is 1500 and the only pair I have seen were at 1790. So, I have pretty much given up on owning a pair of these, but there are alternative Sonus Faber speakers about and I have been looking at one on ebay - a Sonus Faber Concertino Speaker. Reviews are good, but then again all reviews tend to be good .

    So, has any one got any experience of these speakers?

    To be honest, unless anyone comes on and tells me these are totally crap, I am probably going to buy some, compare to my ProAc D1s, probably end up disappointed and send them straight back to e-bay (expect I'll end up losing 50 - 100 quid on the deal).

    Just thought I would ask first .

  2. #2
    Super Wammer bmtell's Avatar
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    Don't know much about them, apart from them being quite pretty. Here's a pair with stands for sale. No connection with seller.

    http://www.hifi-forsale.co.uk/morein...=4394&offset=0

  3. #3
    Super Wammer musicbox's Avatar
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    The Concertinos are pretty good. But better than your Proacs? Not sure....

  4. #4
    I'll get me coat dinkydave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmtell View Post
    Don't know much about them, apart from them being quite pretty. Here's a pair with stands for sale. No connection with seller.

    http://www.hifi-forsale.co.uk/morein...=4394&offset=0
    Cheers for the link

    These are a set which are up for sale on ebay, either that or there is a big coincidence with the location. Don't really need another set of stands and Nottingham is too far to drive.

  5. #5
    I'll get me coat dinkydave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by musicbox View Post
    The Concertinos are pretty good. But better than your Proacs? Not sure....
    Yes, I think I could end up being dissapointed .

    Should say that if anyone can suggest an alternative in my price bracket (would ideally like it to be a Sonus Faber ......) please do so. Must be pretty small mind you.

  6. #6
    Wammer
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    The Concertino is not at the Guarneri Homage's level. The D1 should sound more detailed, refined and have superior imaging than the Concertino, though the latter would perhaps sound more lush, warm and musical due to the lack of high frequency extension and detail.

    I have owned the Sonus Faber Grand Piano Concerto before and listened to the Concertino's bigger brother, the Concerto. They all share a pretty similar family house sound.

  7. #7
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    Before I forget, the Guarneri Homage is touted as the most neutral(and best) bookshelf in the SF line. Check out the Stereophile review, the reviewer preferred the Guarneri Homage over the Extrema for its true-to-the-source delivery.

  8. #8
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    Hi Dave,

    I owned a mark one set of concertinos with matching stands for about 5 years . Criminally I used them for rear channel duties in an all S-F HT setup. If I had realised how good they were I would have bought 2 pairs instead of the Grand Pianos which I used for the front speakers.

    The Concertinos were easier to drive and match and unless the Grand Pianos were hooked to really powerful amps, the difference in real bass output was surprisingly little and certainly not enough to justify the almost 2.5x price difference. Build quality is exemplary and they are super high on WAF. I had the piano black models and they looked gorgeous.

    However the piano finish is harder to touch up if dinged (as I found out when a Grand piano tipped gently against a nearby glass shelf :-()

    The Concertinos don't require lots of power but need a clean sweet amp. I tried more amps with the Grand Piano in particular and Concertino (which is less fussy) than all my other speakers put together. The best amp I heard was Sonus Faber's own Musica and the Sugden A21a. Lots of dealers sell them with Coplands which didn't gel to my ears. The krell KAV 300 integrated was also popular, but I thought the beefier sounding KAV500 was better suited.

    However they are probably a step sideways compared to your Pro-Acs. All other things being equal, the S-Fs will sound a little warmer and woolier, but your amp choice will probably dictate which sounds nicer.

    If you scratch the itch, I would recommend you seek out a pair with the matching stands, they are great and the speaker actually bolts to the top plate, so are very secure. They are built to withstand a nuclear attack and very non resonant. They are also usefully taller than regular stands which helps the speaker to fill the room.

    BTW. All my comments apply to mark 1 concertinos. I am not sure which ones you are looking at but the ones on Hifi for sale are mark Twos. The spider over the tweeter is the easiest giveaway. I personally preferred the Mark Ones to the mark Twos. The mark ones are a little richer, the mark twos are a bit cleaner. The mark ones should also be cheaper.

    I hope this may assist,

    Graham.

  9. #9
    I'll get me coat dinkydave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryder View Post
    The Concertino is not at the Guarneri Homage's level. The D1 should sound more detailed, refined and have superior imaging than the Concertino, though the latter would perhaps sound more lush, warm and musical due to the lack of high frequency extension and detail.
    I've got a set of Townshend Supertweeters which might help out a bit in this respect, but your comments about the imaging do give me cause for concern

  10. #10
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    Proac speakers have always been one of the best in imaging. I've owned the Tablette 50 Signatures and their imaging is excellent and superior to the Sonus Fabers. Though I have to admit my 3 years experience is with the Grand Piano Concerto and not the Concertino. Graham may be in a better position to advise on the SF Concertino vs Proac D1 although I suppose the Grand Pianos sound very similar to the Concertino.

    When I had the Grand Pianos I tried many amps to make them work. They sound too warm, wooly and lacklustre when paired with equally warm and/or smooth sounding amps. They need quite a bit of current to get going as well. I find the Krell KAV-300i to be the best match in injecting some life and dynamics to the Grand Piano.

    Generally the Sonus Faber Concertino will sound warmer and less accurate than the D1, less detail and woolier. Graham's impression mirrored mine as well. A dynamic amp like the Krell can ameliorate things, though you can only go so far..

    I agree it is a sideway move going from the D1 to the Concertino.

    Good luck.

  11. #11
    I'll get me coat dinkydave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by graham67 View Post
    Hi Dave,

    BTW. All my comments apply to mark 1 concertinos. I am not sure which ones you are looking at but the ones on Hifi for sale are mark Twos. The spider over the tweeter is the easiest giveaway. I personally preferred the Mark Ones to the mark Twos. The mark ones are a little richer, the mark twos are a bit cleaner. The mark ones should also be cheaper.

    I hope this may assist,

    Graham.
    The ones I am looking at do not have the grills, so I guess that makes them the mark ones. Get the feeling the one I am looking at are over priced as they are 550 without the stands. Beinging to feel like a re-think is comming on .

    Cheers for all the info

  12. #12
    Super Wammer musicbox's Avatar
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    550 without the stands? .... they were 600 brand new, and if they are mk1 then they are probably over 10 years old. 300 would be more like it.

  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=ryder;1229649
    When I had the Grand Pianos I tried many amps to make them work. They sound too warm, wooly and lacklustre when paired with equally warm and/or smooth sounding amps. They need quite a bit of current to get going as well. I find the Krell KAV-300i to be the best match in injecting some life and dynamics to the Grand Piano.

    Generally the Sonus Faber Concertino will sound warmer and less accurate than the D1, less detail and woolier. Graham's impression mirrored mine as well. A dynamic amp like the Krell can ameliorate things, though you can only go so far..

    .[/QUOTE]

    Yes ryder has got it spot on. I tried so many amps with the Grand Pianos and never really found one to hit the spot, except for S-F own design which on paper had nothing special to commend it or justify the high price (or the questionable aesthetics) for that matter.

    As ryder says, a Krell 300 is probably the no brainer amp. But I was surprised at how well the Sugden (which I bought for very different speakers) powered the bigger brother grand pianos. However as mentioned the Concertinos were much less fussy and realistically 95% as good. I much preferred the Concertinos to the Concertos which always sounded a bit slow to my ears.

    Personally, although the Concertino is a decent speaker (and good value compared to the Concerto and Grand Piano) I would stick with the Pro-acs. I am not familiar with the D1, but I prefer the 1SC and the D2 to these 'entry level' Sonus Faber range.

    It might be more fun spending some of the money you have just saved yourself on getting a solution for the TT "in the loft" :-)

    All the best, Graham.

  14. #14
    I'll get me coat dinkydave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by musicbox View Post
    550 without the stands? .... they were 600 brand new, and if they are mk1 then they are probably over 10 years old. 300 would be more like it.
    Yes, just notice a pair sold on here 6 months ago for 300. Will not be buying the ones off e-bay now.

  15. #15
    Wammer amcluesent's Avatar
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    I've got SF Concertinos on 'ironwood' stands too....I use them with a Quad 34/306 combo, actually prefer them to SF Concertos which I found too smooth and lacked sparkle.

    Comparison to the Guarneris? Bit like an Audi A4 to an A6, it's much the same but just on a smaller scale.

    I paid 3500 for the Guarneris with the original stands, although I took the 'ironwoods' to Scalford as the Guarneri stands must be getting on for 50kg each.



    P.S. gad you liked the setup at Scalford
    Last edited by amcluesent; 25-03-2012 at 06:06 AM.
    Sqeezebox Transporter, Myryad MT100, Audio Analogue Paganini REV2.0, Maestro Settanta REV2.0, Sonus Faber Guarneri Homage | Squeezebox Touch, Quad 34/306/FM4/CD66, Sonus Faber Concertino, Squeezebox Booms

  16. #16
    Wammer silencio's Avatar
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    Dave, the SF Concertino look quite similar to the Opera Prima: http://www.avhub.com.au/index.php/Ne...-speakers.html. However, the Prima has a different mid/bass driver. Having heard both, the Prima has a bigger, fuller sound. The finish (I've yet to see good pictures posted) is gorgeous - oak veneer, real leather and 24K gold plated binding posts. If, I am correct the current model was introduced in 2007. For me in the 1.5K nothing matches them, but that is my personal taste. Certainly worth hunting a pair.

  17. #17
    I'll get me coat dinkydave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amcluesent View Post
    I've got SF Concertinos on 'ironwood' stands too....I use them with a Quad 34/306 combo, actually prefer them to SF Concertos which I found too smooth and lacked sparkle.

    Comparison to the Guarneris? Bit like an Audi A4 to an A6, it's much the same but just on a smaller scale.
    I think that 'sparkle' is what I liked about them, not after a smooth sound . Think I might still be looking for a set of Concertinous, unless I get very luck on the Guarneris front .

    Not a lot about shops which stock SF in the UK. Anyone know of one in the south?

  18. #18
    Super Wammer mmar's Avatar
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    I've owned a few sets including

    signums
    Electra amator 2 s
    concerto
    concerto grand piano

    all very nice , best value was the concerto stand mount , value wise these are like tannoys one month a bargain can be had the next I've seen them listed at 80 % of retail , recently seen a pair of amator 2 s listed on a well know auction site for 2750 which is only a few quid from there origanal selling price 10 years ago

    all the above are voiced on the warm side of neutral so no nasties to worry about but still need Carfull matching to get the best out of them the same is true for speaker room interaction they need plenty of time spent finding there best position on the stand mounts I found the high of the tweeter in relation to seating position to be critical hence why these are always made with matching adjustable stands which are a must buy if your thinking of buying a pair

    personal fave from the above the amator 2 s with decent valve amp sounded amazing
    Last edited by mmar; 25-03-2012 at 09:18 AM.
    its all about the music but box swapping is so much fun

  19. #19
    I'll get me coat dinkydave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silencio View Post
    Dave, the SF Concertino look quite similar to the Opera Prima: http://www.avhub.com.au/index.php/Ne...-speakers.html. However, the Prima has a different mid/bass driver. Having heard both, the Prima has a bigger, fuller sound. The finish (I've yet to see good pictures posted) is gorgeous - oak veneer, real leather and 24K gold plated binding posts. If, I am correct the current model was introduced in 2007. For me in the 1.5K nothing matches them, but that is my personal taste. Certainly worth hunting a pair.
    I will bear them in mind, but would want to try first I think as if the Scalford show taught me anything, it was that you should ignore reviews as what one person likes, another person might hate

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by amcluesent View Post
    Comparison to the Guarneris? Bit like an Audi A4 to an A6, it's much the same but just on a smaller scale.
    That is quite surprising as my impression is the Guarneris should be superior with higher levels of accuracy and neutrality than the Concertino which are quite excellent at its price point. In my view the Cremona and lower range models in the Sonus Faber line of speakers are somewhat coloured ie. warm, musical but not the last word in transparency, accuracy and detail. The highs of the Cremona and Grand Piano Concerto are a bit soft and rolled off and as such require a dynamic and upfront amp to come alive. If the higher-end Guarneris are basically a scaled down version of the Concertino, that Concertinos must be something really special and a bargain.

    If the Concertino sounds good with the Quad amps which are also known to be on the warm and lush side of things, perhaps the Concertino is not as warm or muddled as the Grand Piano Concerto and Cremona.

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