Sonus Faber Sonetto V: Italian production
We had the opportunity to visit Sonus Faber’s workshops in Northern Italy. Artisanal traditions were clearly predominant, and leather was crafted with just as much passion as wood. The Sonetto V is no exception to this rule: it oozes high-caliber craftsmanship, in even the smallest details. For example, our test model’s black lacquer is of obvious high-quality: thick and inky black with moderate highlights.
The leather cap fits the top of the speaker perfectly and is elegantly stitched.
Sonus Faber Sonetto V: the same on the inside
This quality can also be found under and inside the speaker. A quick glance at the large circular port reveals an MDF double cross support — to solidify the speaker’s base — as well as different soundproofing materials on the inner walls. The crossover filter is perfectly placed.
Sonus Faber Sonetto V: design with a purpose
Here, the design is conceived to enhance musicality. If the speaker is shaped like a lute, it’s not just for esthetic reasons. Because the cabinet panels aren’t parallel, the sound circulates in a more harmonious manner, consequently minimizing reflection issues and the sound waves returning to the drivers’ cones. Lastly, the speaker comes with four feet with decoupling spikes (and under spikes) to fix onto the speaker yourself.
Sonus Faber Sonetto V: Voice of Sonus Faber
The midrange driver and the tweeter form what the brand calls the Voice of Sonus Faber. It’s this pair of drivers that characterizes the speaker’s sound as it covers such a wide frequency range. Like a subwoofer, the two 7” (18 cm) woofers exclusively deliver the deepest lows.
Sonus Faber Sonetto V: specs
The Sonus Faber Sonetto V is a 3-way speaker, with two 7” (18cm) woofers, a 6” (15cm) midrange driver and a 29mm tweeter with a flexible dome. The two 7” drivers are bass-reflex loaded with a very large circular port situated under the speaker.
The electronic filter cuts off the midrange drivers at frequencies above 200 Hz, where the closed-enclosure 6” midrange driver then takes over. This driver, which is most likely cut off by a high-pass filter to avoid it receiving unnecessary low frequencies which would result in an unnecessary long excursion, can reach up to 3 kHz, where it’s then relayed by the tweeter. The speaker’s sensitivity is rated at 90 dB (2.83 V) for a nominal impedance of 4 Ohms.
Sonus Faber states that depending on the frequency, the impedance curve has been made as linear as possible so that the associated amplifier can run smoothly.
You’ll still need to choose an amplifier capable of working correctly at 4 Ohms, and ideally a model able to (almost) double its power from 8 to 4 Ohms.
Sonus Faber Sonetto V: test conditions and listening impressions
The Sonus Faber Sonetto V speaker’s dynamic balance is remarkable. None of the frequency ranges seem to take precedence over the others, and each of the drivers clearly have equal dynamic abilities. The speaker offers a generous and dynamic restitution.
The stated frequency response of 38 Hz in the lows is definitely present and faultlessly coordinated throughout the entire sound spectrum.
The high-lows have verve and deliver plenty of impact and rhythm to percussions and double basses, for example. The low-mids feel just right and male voices are confidently restituted. The mids and high-mids have no harshness whatsoever, even at high volume. The highs are silky and carefully placed. As a result, timbres are always believable and the soundstage is wide.
Sonus Faber Sonetto V: compared to…
Monitor Audio Gold 300: the refinement of the highs and the sliver of additional presence makes the Gold 300 more attractive, at moderate volume at least. Beyond that, the Sonetto V offers superior results.
Q Acoustics Concept 500: surprising spatialization, but less impressive acoustic solutions with a 2-way system and smaller drivers. The Q performs well, but doesn’t offer the finesse or the dynamic abilities of the Sonetto V.
Atohm GT2-HD: the Atohm’s sound signature is quite similar with softness and subtlety at its disposal. Atohm uses the same drivers for the mids and lows, but you can hear that Sonus has pushed this approach even further.
B&W 702 S2: the 702 S2’s balance is different, placing more emphasis on the mids thanks to its very organic Continuum driver. The Sonetto V has the upper hand when it comes to overall neutrality and articulation of the lows.
Sonus Faber Sonetto V: conclusion
The Sonus Faber Sonetto V is a serene speaker, which offers delicate treasures to the listener’s ears, but still knows how to be authoritative, especially in the lows. Its superb linearity allows it to be paired with a multitude of different amps, as long as an impedance of 4 Ohms isn’t an obstacle. It deserves excellent cables, that can be chosen from Viard Audio’s range, for example. If you don’t mind having a bit less authority, the little Sonus Faber Sonetto III, which also features The Voice of Sonus Faber driver configuration, is a better option.
What we liked:
- The musicality and timbres.
- The dynamic balance.
- The extension in the lows.
- The superb design and finish.
What we would have liked:
- For them to have been our Christmas present…