A brief but intense encounter with Sonus Faber Guarneri EvolutionWritten by Karl Erik Sylthe
Thursday the Musik-Magazin in Bergen audiotion with the lighter extreme HighEnd stand Guarneri Evolution speakers from Sonus Faber. Audiophile.no was present.
This session was the first in a series, if Martin at Musik-Magazinet get what he wants. A very commendable action for HiFi enthusiasts in Bergen, and hopefully an interesting event also for those who have this as their profession. HiFi interest has ben severely declining over the past decade, and events like this should be a positive contribution to maintain interest, and to recruit new HiFi enthusiasts. Now it must be said that it was mostly were "the usual suspects" with mature men who filled the demo room at Musik-Magazinet, so new recruits will have to wait until next time around.
On the menu this time was very interesting products, with the aforementioned Sonus Faber Guarneri Evolution in the lead role. This is very costly tripod speakers, with its price tag of around 120.000, - NOK. Cabinet having extreme finish is evident with Sonus Faber, at least at this level.
Audun from the distributor Mono kept a straightforward presentation of Sonus Faber in general, and Guarneri Evolution in particular. One of the issues that was discussed was that Sonus Faber`s speakers generally set has received a revised sound character, after the young design team has taken over directing. The distinct warm Sonus Faber sound has been replaced by a more open sound on the new models. This also corresponds with what I have heard of the relatively new Olympic.
And it was quite obvious that this sound philosophy also has been adopted to the construction of the Guarneri Evolution. Both transparency, detail and micro dynamics were very prominent. There was also a distinctly tight bass.
In the first round Guarneri Evolution played on a setup from Rega. It consisted of a turntable RP8 and CD player Isis as sources, combined with the flagship amplifier Osiris, holding 2x160W. This set was playing great, but at the same time we received demonstrated that Guarneri Evolution is very difficult to run. Osiris walked out of steam on the hottest passages.
In the 2nd round the Guarneri Evolutions were played on by a very exciting lsetup from AURALiC, imported by Duet Audio. We start with the freshest of them all, streamer AIRES LS that we wrote about earlier this spring . This is purely a bridge without DAC. It has a concept that is based on- and is a further development of Linn's DS system. But unlike DS streamers from Linn, AIRES has both Spotify and WiMP HiFi integrated.
Furthermore, it was hooked up to an AURALiC Vega, a combined DAC and digital preamp that has received much attention. It can take care of all digital formats and resolutions. As power amplifiers were used mono blocks from AURALiC, Merak providing 400 watts into 4 ohms.
The layout of AURALiC emerge as a better match to the Guarneri Evolution, and it is likely that the mono blocks have a large share of the credit. It is otherwise difficult to draw firm conclusions, not least because it was played different music with the two setups.
Great tribute to Musik-Magazinet and Mono for a wonderful and successful event. I'm already looking forward to the next!
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