Cuttin-Edge, On-the-Spot Reporting

Have You Seen?


Italian speaker manufacturer Sonus Faber has been on a tear developing impressive speakers lately, but this will not surprise you if you visit the SoundStage! Network sites regularly. I say this because publisher Doug Schneider and our video team recently paid the Sonus Faber folks two visits, first at their headquarters in Italy, and then at the House of Sound in New York. You can read about his encounter with the new Suprema loudspeaker over on SoundStage! Hi-Fi.

When I headed over to the room shared by Sonus Faber and McIntosh Laboratory, I didn’t expect to see any Supremas. What I saw was perhaps even cooler—the new Sonetto G2 line of loudspeakers, all of which take technical and industrial-design inspiration from the Suprema, but are much more digestibly sized and much more affordable. Speaking of which, Sonus Faber has provided prices in US dollars.

Matt with Sonetto G2 VIIIThe author with a Sonetto G2 VIII

The Sonetto G2 line comprises the Sonetto I and Sonetto II standmount loudspeakers ($1999 and $2749/pair, respectively), along with the Sonetto III ($4499/pair), Sonetto V ($6499/pair), and Sonetto VIII ($7999/pair) floorstanders. It also includes the Sonetto Center center-channel speaker ($2499 each) and Sonetto On-Wall ($1249 each).

What’s so exciting about the new Sonetto G2 speakers is just how much of their technology and aesthetic influence come directly from the heroic Supremas. Perhaps the most obvious elements are the lute-shaped leather overlays on the front baffle surrounding the tweeter and midrange-woofer on the standmount and on-wall models, and the midrange driver and tweeter on the center-channel and floorstanding models. And just like the midrange cone on the Superma, the cones of midrange drivers and midrange-woofers on the new Sonetto speakers are cut into a flower shape. In fact, the Sonetto V, Sonetto VIII, and Sonetto Center all use the very same white-coned Camelia midrange technology used in the Suprema, complete with the aluminum phase plug. Sonus Faber says this midrange cone shape pushes breakup modes higher in frequency and lower in level, so the midrange driver is easier to implement and has lower distortion.

Sonetto G2 TrioSonetto G2 I, II, and III

Other innovations for the Sonetto G2 line include the use of phase-coherent crossover designs, which avoid electrical phase-angle errors between drivers. This leads to better integration between drivers and better dispersion. For the listener, that translates to smoother sound overall, a wider soundstage, and more precise imaging within that soundstage. They also integrate concrete bases for better stability and better resistance to vibrations. All of the Sonetto G2 speakers are bass-reflex designs, except the on-wall model, which is a sealed design. SoundStage! has two InSight videos on the new speakers: an introduction to the new line and an in-depth discussion of the underlying technology. Both videos come from our recent visit to the company’s factory in Italy.

I didn’t have any opportunity to hear any Sonus Faber Sonetto G2s at High End, but you know what that means: we’re going to see if the Italians will send us a pair for a thorough review. Almost goes without saying.

McIntosh C2800McIntosh C2800

Sonus Faber shares its exhibition room with McIntosh, which gave us an opportunity to check out the new Mac offerings. They were fewer in number and perhaps a bit less eye-catching than the Sonus Fabers—if you can say that a pair of glass-faced, dual-VU-metered pieces of stereo gear aren’t eye-catching. The new products are the McIntosh C2800 tube preamp ($9000) and the C55 solid-state preamp (also $9000). They were introduced in March, but High End 2024 has been the first chance many people (including me) had to check them out in the flesh. I was impressed by the obvious commitment to McIntosh’s legendary build quality—the best there is.

McIntosh C55McIntosh C55

Yeah, I think we’ll have to ask to get one or both of these for review too.

Matt Bonaccio
Contributor, SoundStage!