Sonus faber’s Liuto range, the replacement for the popular Domus line, stands between the entry level Toy range (not the best name, they aren’t Toys but legitimate loudspeakers in their own right) and the Classic series and the Homage series above that. There are a standmount, a floorstander and a centre channel in the Liuto series, and the standmount and floorstander are available in two finishes. We looked at the wood-finish tower speaker.
Sonus faber is well known and well respected for its finish and the company has been very shrewd about the way these ranges are put together. The Toy series is leather-wrapped, but a smooth, box or barred black leather. The leather finish on the other ranges is embossed, almost like a Morocco grain. The Liuto series adds natural walnut or black piano gloss finish, the Classic brings lacquer to the party and the Homage series shows what happens when you tell musical instrument makers to make a piano lacquer finish. Each range is beautifully finished in its own right, but if you spend more, you get more. Of all the speakers in the current lines, the Liuto wood speakers look most like classic Sonus fabers (except, of course, for the Minima Vintage).
Everything about this speaker bespeaks class and luxury. The speakers coming in their own covers inside the box, the elegantly laid out kit of parts, the overall fit and finish of even the single set of custom-made multi-type speaker terminals… all of this sets the speaker apart from the norm. It’s a loudspeaker that your friends will look appreciatively on and comment on how fine (and expensive) it looks.
The Liuto lines are of ‘restrained elegance’. Liuto is ‘lute’ in Italian and the speaker shares the distinctive lute-shaped panels (ribbed internally for added stiffness and listening pleasure, double entendre entirely intended) of many Sonus faber designs, but its fine proportions and overall fit and finish will make it acceptable in homes where a glossy lacquered cherry or maple finish could look garish. The natural walnut finish is made for modern homes and blends well with furniture that doesn’t feature on the cover of Homes & Gardens. The rear outrigger to hold the back set of spikes is the only line-breaker, but even this doesn’t ruin the overall look.