A few years ago, Sonus faber made the somewhat bold move of switching some of its production out of Italy. This was a great idea and gave the world speaker lines like the successful Principia, Chameleon, and Venere ranges, all built in China. However, what it also showed to Sonus faber was there was a strong call for a loudspeaker system that combined the elegance of the Italian-built designs with the clean lines of the more affordable ranges, in a package that didn’t cost as much as a Ferrari. It needed to look as ‘now’ as the Venere, but with the quality of fit and finish that only the Italian’s can muster. That range is the Sonetto.
This is a bold move on Sonus faber’s part, as it is a line that comes with a lot of crossover (in terms of sitting between Venere and Olympica… two of the brand’s core ranges) and is ultimately expected to transfer more Sonus faber production back to Italy, so the company has not just invested in the R&D in the line itself, but in a new factory for manufacturing Sonetto, and more attainable Sonus faber lines in the future.
The Sonetto V is perhaps the core product in this new line. While reviewers get excited about elegant two-way standmounts, out there in the real-world, people buy tall, slim towers. Whether for the looks, the better bass response, or simply the concept that you typically buy more speaker for the money when you buy a floorstander, the floorstander has outsold the standmount by a significant margin in every marketplace except the super-budget end.
The Sonetto V is the middle out of three floorstanders in the range, with two standmounts, two centre channels, and a wall-mounted rear loudspeaker for home cinema use. There is no subwoofer in the line, in part because that is expected to be handled by stable-mate brand Sumiko. However, with a total of eight models in the line, Sonetto is the most comprehensive range in the Sonus faber line-up.
Sonus faber could have simply revised the Venere’s geography and have done with it, but instead the company took the longer route and started afresh. There are commonalities of design between old and new – when building a loudspeaker of this quality for this price, the same economies apply regardless of place of manufacture – but what really comes over is the elegance of the design. Sonus faber is practically allergic to poor design, but this is an extremely pretty loudspeaker; retaining the elegant curves and finish properties you might find in any expensive Italian design (loudspeaker, car, or even a good pair of shoes), with a modernity that will make it hugely attractive to more than just music lovers. This is the sort of loudspeaker you can use at home, hire an interior designer, and not end up with someone having a blue fit. Even the contrasting top-plate (a recent design Sonus faber design cue) is both retained and gives the speaker an elegance beyond just a big box of drive units.
The design is always uppermost in discussing Sonus faber loudspeakers, but we should never forget that first and foremost, Sonetto isa loudspeaker, and a very good loudspeaker at that. A three-way floorstanding, vented box loudspeaker, Sonetto V features Sonus faber custom drivers throughout. The tweeter is a 29mm high definition DAD design with a DKM dome diaphragm and visco-elastic baffle decoupling. Meanwhile, the midrange is a 150mm cone driver, with an ultra-free compression basket, and a special custom diaphragm, made with a real time air dried non pressed blend of traditional cellulose pulp and other natural fibers. Then the 2x180mm woofers also use the same ultra-free compression basket but feature aluminium cones unique to the Sonetto design. These are all handled by Sonus faber’s own crossover network – an anti-resonant design, with optimised amplitude/phase response for optimal space/time performance. This also features what the company calls ‘Paracross topology’, a means of impedance compensation at low frequencies making the loudspeaker especially amplifier‑friendly.