Sonus faber’s reputation is predicated on elegant loudspeakers made in Italy. The brand’s recent Venere models were its first loudspeakers not built in its northern Italian factory. They still look good, represent great value, use clever, state-of-the-art drive units, and sound great, but they don’t have just that same beautiful, almost organic finish so beloved in Sonus faber loudspeakers, and that sets them apart from other speaker brands.
Faced with adding a top model in that successful Venere range, Sonus faber decided to go for a ‘best of both worlds’ option; build a loudspeaker that incorporated the benefits and technologies of the Venere design, but build it by hand in Vicenza. The result is the Venere Signature, more commonly referred to as the Venere S.
Of course, simply assembling a product in the hometown has been done before; a surprising number of ‘made in...’ products are actually ‘final assembly in...’, with the bulk of the actual making and assembly performed offshore. This is different – the Venere S utilises the hundreds of man-years spent making high-grade Sonus faber cabinets, assembling a custom cabinet with Venere parts with care, precision, and the kind of fine-tuning and fine-finish that is impossible to find elsewhere.
Of course, simply making a hot-rodded version of one of the existing Venere loudspeaker models might look good, and would be an interesting academic exercise to see how much more can be extracted from a loudspeaker due to that fine-tuning process, but instead Sonus faber went back to basics and designed a loudspeaker from scratch that exploited the Venere technology, but brought its own brand of skills to the table, too.
The three-way, five driver Venere S effectively starts where the Venere 3.0 floorstander left off, adding an extra bass driver to the mix. This means there are now three 180mm aluminium-cone bass units, a single 150mm ‘Curv’ (a heat-formed polypropylene and textile mix) midrange unit with a phase plug (or a ‘coaxial anti-compressor’ in Sonus faber parliance), and a visco-elastically decoupled 29mm soft-dome tweeter. The mid and bass units feature technology trickled down from the Olympica range, in the use of die-cast ‘free compression’ baskets, but the tweeter is unique to the Venere range, eschewing the ‘Arrow Point’ damped apex dome design common to the more up-scale ranges. Given the Venere S is priced to fit between the Venere and Olympica ranges, having aspects of design common to both lines seems appropriate and fitting.
The crossover is Sonos faber’s own ‘progressive slope’ design, which is suggested to optimise phase response, and features the brand’s ‘paracross topology’ (a nanotech deposit on the PCB lines) and is housed to minimise resonance. The Venere S crosses over at 250Hz and 2.5kHz.