Thanks to a very helpful local dealer I’m running a series of speaker demos at the moment as I look to take a step up from my current Spendor A7s.
Having already had some demos at dealers in the past I’ve ruled out a few options so having filtered down to serious contenders I’ve had the chance to try the following at home:
Spendor Classic 200
B&W 602 D4
Sonus Faber Serafino G2
They’ve all had their positives and negatives, but so far (just plugged in the Serafinos today) the Serafinos seem to have a significant edge. It might be just down to the dynamics/relationship with the room but they are already sounding rather special.
I’m surprised. Previously I listened to another pair of Sonus Fabers and was very unimpressed (flat, lifeless sound and no soundstage) but these are a different story.
I’m wondering if anyone else has these and/or has demoed them? I’m the first user of the demo units so would also appreciate any tips in terms of setup and how long they need to be run in.
Hi Whisky Guy I have the older B&W 802 d3 which were a five year old ex demo purchase and surprisingly they improved a lot after I was playing them every day for a few hours. Some demo speakers get little play time. Reading the review by Rafa Todes comparing his 802 d3 with the 802 d4 he said he had to run in his previous three 802’s for many months and he extended the review time of the d4. Todes is the second violinist of the Allegrhi String Quartet and so he knows more than most what instruments should sound like. He felt that the d4 was a considerable improvement over the d3 in musicality and bass definition. I believe there are some owners of the 801 d4 and 802 d4 on this forum and so can perhaps help you more than me!
Thanks for the input RWC. The B&Ws were well run in before I got to demo them and I had them installed for a number of weeks, but just didn’t get on with them.
I know plenty of people rate them very highly, but for my ears in my room they just seemed to lack something in the mid-range. Maybe just too clean/clinical? Others tested seemed more natural and real, but could be just taste! I would say that despite trying lots of positions I could never get happy with the bass either. Either too strong or not enough! Possibly too large a speaker for the room?
The Spendors were very good, but again huge in the room and didn’t have the ability to disappear like I’d want. Often specific instruments would be imaged clustered at the position of each speaker. A known draw back to this design and using a big speaker in a smallish room.
So far so good with the Serafinos though… but it is only day 1!
I have the Guarneri Traditions and they are an absolute delight with my set up (272/555PSDR/300DR). In particular classical and opera sound fabulous. I can only imagine what the Serafinos are capable of!
Haven’t heard the G2 Serafino but the previous model G1 sounded sublime. I did a back to back comparison with the sabrina X and the sabrina sounded too edgy to my ears.
I’ve had them for a little while now, but have been away on holiday and with work so only coming back to them again now.
I’m really enjoying them, but they are really showing up the digital source (NDX2) against my highly spec’d LP12. Not in a terrible way, just that it sounds very “FM radio” and compressed compared to the LP12 which is frankly working delightfully with them.
I’m also finding in their current position they are very forward with the bass. There is a lot of bass, but compared to the big Spendors and B&Ws they aren’t able to get down really low. I think from memory they go to 30hz vs 23hz on the Spendors so that’s to be expected. Will try and get some time to play with different room positions this weekend to see if I can tame the bass somewhat
I was contemplating something the other day - not to suggest that you are ignorant to the matter - when it comes to low frequency response.
We often focus on the lowest Hz that a speaker will reach but the reality is about more than that. Two speakers can reach the same lowest point (3db roll-off) but how much base we have above that can often contribute big time to how “big” the speakers sound.
What got me thinking is how the serafinos vs Olympica Nova 3s have just 4 or 5 Hz difference in their lowest frequency response but the sound seemed significantly larger and warmer with the serafinos.
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