Sonus Faber Concerto Bookshelf Speakers

Concerto

User Reviews (56)

Showing 1-10 of 56  
Kevin   AudioPhile [Dec 29, 2017]

The Sonus Faber Concerto Home are truly sonic marvels and one of the best monitors available for the price they sell for on the used market. I have owned both the original and the Home version. The Home version is clearly a better speaker regardless of what others say. It was designed as an improved version of the original and is so in so many ways. No need to biwire which is senseless once you have bee an audiophile long enough to know better. The large woofer on these allows the concerto to reach lower depths than practically every other monitor it's size with ease. Good amplification is a must but once accomplished the reward is simply an honest reproduction of the original source. I owned the newer and famed Cremona Auditor-M speakers and sold them to keep the Concerto Home. The Auditor M is a very fine speaker but it tries to defy it's own design as it can not produce it's low end naturally based on the the size of the driver which is too small to do so. It tries to fool you where the Concerto Home is not only an original Franco Serblin design but a true front ported base reflex design that has a large enough driver to sound natural in it's ability to reproduce lower register sonics without trickery. They just sound relaxed and correct! If you don't require a floor standing speaker and like monitors these are a steal on the used market if you can find a pair. Not for rock& rollers but for Classical and Jazz these are hard to beat. If Sonus Faber made these today exactly the same they would sell new for at least 4K a pair as prices have skyrocketed since the Euro became the currency in Europe. They are getting harder to find and have also increased in value somewhat but for less than a grand you should be able to find a pair of these Audiophile Jewels that stand the test of time and design. Still beautiful to look at and a joy to listen to. NO BRAINER!!!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
LAVI74   AudioPhile [Jul 14, 2009]

These speakers are very good, and as many have already mentionned, ther are very dependant on the electronics used.

I have listened to Sonus Faber Concertos with a wide range of material. My advice is that you shoudl stay away from mid-fi material such as NAD, Rotel or equivalently prices products(stay away from Japanese stuff).

A fantastic match with the Concertos are Naim products(not entry level but the CD5X and pre-power separates). Naim electrnics gives a very detailed, transparent and solid sound. And the bass is fast and gripping. This system set up will show you what the Concertos can deliver. Of course, the Naim gear I use is somewhat expensive (8000 dollars) compared with Sonus Faber Concertos(2000 dollars), but again these speakers are so good, they deserve a solid system behind it.

Combined with the right equipment, these speakers can do almost everything (they are not the best choice for rock music but still very listenable).

Hope this helps.

LA

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
ritesh_laud   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 11, 2004]

Four months ago I upgraded to these from a pair of Polk RT-800s. What ended up happening is that the Concertos revealed the inadequacies of my electronics and forced me to upgrade my components! I could now hear how bright and fatiguing my CD player's output was, so I replaced it with a better one. Upper bass was lacking, so I got a beefier amp and used my receiver as a preamp (this helped noticeably but didn't bring the upper bass to quite the level I desired). Since the new CD player had its own volume control, I tried hooking it up directly to the amp and noticed a significant improvement in clarity. So I did away with the receiver altogether and got a nice preamp with analog bypass. Ok, so first the good points of these speakers. The treble and midrange are outstanding for a two-driver unit; if I listen to my Polks now I almost wonder if someone stuffed cotton into my ears. Very well suited for classical music. With the right equipment the Concertos are not overly bright. They can get to quite loud volume without distorting. They are very attractive and would have a high "wife acceptance factor". In the same vein, they are small and light for main speakers. Ok, you're almost certainly going to need a subwoofer to go with these. The bass is there but not at near the volume as with a larger full-range speaker. With a nice "quick" subwoofer and carefully chosen crossover setting (65 Hz is good) and gain on it, these speakers are nice even for rock music. Now then, do the Concerto mini-monitors with a sub outperform expensive large floor-standing speakers? In my opinion, no. The main reason is that there's a lack of upper bass. Everything between around 80 Hz and 130 Hz needs more oomph. Snare drums sound great but the toms are generally weak. The bass guitar takes a back seat at anything above the subwoofer's crossover setting, making for an often uneven rendition of the bass line. You could cross the sub over higher, but then the bass becomes muddy and directional. In addition, though it's nice to have a small two-driver package, the speakers struggle with complex music. When there are many instruments playing simultaneously, detail can be washed out a bit. In contrast, on my friend's three-way 15-driver (!) speakers, the instruments are clearly separated out and easier to discern. Of course, each speaker of that pair weighs 180 pounds and the silly things are simply gargantuan. Due to the moderately low sensitivity, you'll need a muscular amp to drive the Concertos with authority. Overall, an excellent value on the second hand market, a bit pricey brand new. I'm happy with my purchase, but I will upgrade in a few years to nice floor-standing speakers. The rest of my setup: ACI Titan II subwoofer Aragon Soundstage preamp processor Aragon 4004 Mk II amp AH! Njoe Tjoeb 4000 CD player

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
gmood1   AudioPhile [Aug 25, 2003]
Strength:

Soundstaging,Bass for a monitor,Instruments sound extremely real,Easy listening for hours

Weakness:

Pricey

I was pleased with these beautiful monitors on some Jazz and acoustic music.I don't know how well they will do with rock.I really couldn't find anything bad to say about their performance .Being a 1st order crossover I don't believe they will play really loud without sounding stressed.But at normal listening levels it's all good.I will say I prefered the Concertinos...because of their great dissapearing act! This is a tough price range.Being the case there so many brands that hold their own.So I would recommend looking around maybe even the new Paradigm 20 v3s or Soliloquy 5.0s. Save some money and have a pretty close performing monitor for less than half the price.Only the buyer can decide if it's worth the extra money.

Similar Products Used: Soliloquy,Veinna acoustics,paradigm,martin logan,and some others
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
cato   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 24, 2003]
Strength:

Coherence, vocal presentation, acoustic music, dynamics, mid/high resolution, precision.

Weakness:

Bass rolls off early. Not suitable for HT unless a subwoofer is added. Might need amps with more slam to sing.

Sonus Faber is a stylish-brand and well known around the world for their small yet highly competitive monitors. The combination of real wood and leather, even on the standmounts, are famous. So what about the Concerto Homes? Are they good performers or are they just good-looking? Well, they are both. I bought dem secondhand to fit into my livingroom with a Onix 120 watts integrated, Pioneer PD-S06 CD and MIT cables. The electronics have proved to be neutral with power enough to run e.g Infinity Kappa 70 (floorstander with dual 6,5 inch woofers). I did hope that the promised bass-response from the Concertos down to 40 hz was enough for my livingroom and my tastes. It wasnt. Bass roll-off starts above 40 hz, and you wont get any punch or power belov 50 hz. With neutral equipment theres not enough low bass. Period. I had to fit in a REL sub to make a decent bassresponse, but then again, my wife went nuts over this black and ugly box. What else is there to write about the Concertos? A lot, actually. They have a very good and detailed midrange and treble resolution, with rythm, snap and drive. Soundstage is good and precise. They will play loud enough for grown-ups, but will not party. When pushed the treble becomes somewhat nasal and restrained. These babies will not play all music with passion either. Hard rock and heavier stuff will sound academic and thin. Vocal, both male and female, acoustic instruments, jazz, blues, and such, sound excellent. Do yourself a BIG FAVOUR: Listen to more than just one or two different speakers before you buy - NEVER believe a written testresult (such as this one...) After a period I switched over to NAD T752 home cinema amp. The overall sound from the Concertos did not change. This to imply that they are not sensitive to amp size, but you must try dem on your own amp. Later I sold them to another hifinut. He reported wery good results with Harman/Kardon PA series pre/poweramps. These are known to be beefy with slam. Just a hint. Good luck

Similar Products Used: Infinity Kappa 70, Snell K2, Mission Freedom. Also listend to Snell J2's and recently some B&W (DM 603, CM 4)
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Mario Olmillo   AudioPhile [May 04, 2003]
Strength:

Sweet, Natural, Musical, For Relaxation

Weakness:

Not for Headbangers/Rockers. I heard the Cremonas and the Amatis.

After a hard days work, switch on the Amp, pop-in India.Arie, Four-Play, Higher Octave Music, Yanni......etc. Just Relax. Everything good and wonderful has been said about this speaker. What more can I asked for? Amatis (stargazing......) Still a good buy for 2nd hand. Mine is new (walnut) for 3 years now. Remove the grill fabric for critical listening. Need to replace my BA sub with REL for further improvement to musical nirvana and any CD player better than my old CD-94. I dont know what the future holds but still i'm dreaming for the Amati's. Life is Beautiful, Live One-Day-At-A-Time. My gears: Musical Fidelity A300, Marantz CD-94, Pioneer DVD414, BA VR500 Sub, Thorens TD-280, VandenHul and QED cables.

Similar Products Used: Naim Credo, Concertino, REL Strata III
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Riaan Rankin   AudioPhile [Mar 19, 2003]
Strength:

All

Weakness:

None

My second review of these speakers, I can only describe my ownership for the past three years as sheer bliss. Yes, I have looked at upgrading (That constant thing we audiophiles are addicted to), but I am yet to find anything better than these speakers that are not costing 5 times as much. My setup consists of Marantz PM17 used a pre-amp, Mark Levinson 334, and Marantz CD17 KI, monstercabling allround. To compliment the speakers I use a REL Storm III sub, the only sub I have heard that actually copes with the pace of these speakers. This setup, in my opinion, blows away equipment I have recently heard, consisting of Wilson Benesch ACT1 (Old ones before tactic drivers) with a Plinius 2100/SA50 (My previous amp). ACT ones are significantly more expensive than my SF/REL combo, but sounds rather artificial considering the price tag, compared to my setup. This means that I wont be upgrading soon, since upgrading might prove to be a sideways move if it is not very very significant in terms of prize. The first speaker I heard that really put the foot down on my setup were a set of B&W Nautilus 802's. All of the above just testimony of what I think to be one of the best hifi classics out there.

Similar Products Used: Similar priced yes, but nothing simlar in performance !
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
John   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 06, 2003]
Strength:

Exceptional sound, looks and build quality.

Weakness:

None

The Concertos are beautiful speakers at which to listen and to look. Mine are finished in piano black. I listened to several other top-brand speakers and almost settled for a pair of 2.5-way floor standing speakers. I mistakenly listened to only one piece of music when testing the speakers. I then tried some of my other CD's and noticed that with some of the music I felt the floor standers had an annoying ‘boomy’ resonance. This was not evident with the Concertos. I then went through all the speakers again with different music and while there were some pieces where I leaned towards another speaker, the Concertos never caused any annoyance and I never felt inclined to listen to them with a ‘critical ear’, listening for some sort of defect. They always gave a consistent and most pleasant, full and detailed sound. Now that I have run them in for a couple of weeks I get an enormous amount of pleasure listening to my music and experiencing the new instrumental sounds not previously heard. They seem to sound even better than when I first auditioned them (the Concertos auditioned were straight out of the box and were the ones I took home). The quality of the sound matches the exceptional look of the speakers. If there is low frequency sound in the music the speakers deliver it and I do not find that I require the additional ‘boomy’ bass provided by a larger floor standing speaker as I had first thought. I have also tested a subwoofer with the Concertos. If there is no low frequency sound the SW will not deliver it, when there is low frequency sound the Concertos deliver this sound perfectly. I found the SW did not enhance the Concerto’s sound, but rather contaminated it so I will not be adding one of these to my system. Even with the television sound through the speakers, the sound is so clear, detailed and natural. I am extremely pleased with my purchase and as a bonus to their delightful sound, they are also a beautiful piece of hi-fi furniture. Tested and now used with Rotel RC1070 pre-amp, RB1070 power-amp (130W), high quality cable plus Yamaha Pro-Bit CD, Connoisseur BD-1 turntable.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
deenoe   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 08, 2002]
Strength:

Beautifully rich and clear bass, delicate and refined midrange. Transparency (will expose lower quality sources and amplification)

Weakness:

Love to hear them with the bass extended down naturally with the matching Sonus Faber Gravis subwoofer

I took a long time to settle on these - no other speaker has the delicate touch through the midrange that these have - others have a glassy edge to the sound when playing gentle piano, but the Concerto's make Glenn Gould's piano recordings sound exquisite. Playing Mischa Maiski's last recording of Bach's cello suites - the notes sound harmonically rich and clear, you can just about see the strings and body of the instrument vibrate. Tangerine Dream's album Tangram - turn it up loud to fill a room with their interesting soundscapes, every sound well balanced.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Pete Denham   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 09, 2002]
Strength:

Nice pieces of furniture. Smooth and yet detailed. Not space hungry.

Weakness:

How much of the total cost was spent on aesthetics? Piano laquer and leather-don't let pets and kids near them!

I swapped a pair of JM Labs Electra 920's for these. Wish I'd done it a long time ago. They had no bass and sounded glassy, even with my valve amps.These speakers however, used with an MJ Acoustics Pro 50 sub are great. When you first listen you think they are laid back and a bit dull, no, they just sound right, allowing you to listen, unfatigued for hours. No boom and tizz, which frankly soon wears a little thin. Although very impressive for a while at the Hi-Fi shop! I've had a mess about inside and rewired them with good old Kimber 4TC wire. It seems pointless having pretty good quality speaker cable terminating at the speaker then what looks like thick bellwire running to the drive units! I then stuffed in a quantity of quality lambswool sound deadening material out of my expired Thiels. This made them sound tighter and faster to me. No loss of bass as the sub handles that. Oh, and they look quite nice too. Only four stars as they don't compare to Pro-Ac Response 1sc and 2's. Though they are more costly. Will own a pair one day!

Similar Products Used: None.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 56  

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