Sonus faber Lumina I: The Audiophile Bella Donna

Italians make beautiful things. Maserati, Gaggia, Brioni, Beretta, and Sophia Loren. Loudspeaker producer Sonus faber is the shiny beacon atop the Il Duomo and for great reason they make the most beautiful loudspeakers in the environment. They also make some of the most expensive loudspeakers in the globe which is not so great for the rest of us who can only aspiration of owning a pair of Electa Amator III. In the words of my very good good friend, Leo Taormina, “i tempi stanno cambiando.” Fulfill the Sonus faber Lumina I.


Sonus faber has been producing loudspeakers in Italy for nearly 4 a long time (2023 will be its 40th anniversary), and the luxurious manufacturer started off by the late-Franco Serblin has preserved its popularity for producing the world’s most stunning loudspeakers with terrific skill. Sonus faber’s loudspeakers are aspirational merchandise for many audiophiles for the two their visible appeal and acoustic capabilities. 

We not too long ago frequented with Sonus faber and Maserati in Italy and took the new Grecale SUV for a spin in the Italian countryside and invested the day at the Sonus faber manufacturing facility.

I have extensive held the belief that audio components reflect the tradition of the persons powering them Italians treatment deeply about style and design, magnificence, craftsmanship, and developing solutions that make you come to feel a thing. It doesn’t matter if you are cooking, eating, shooting, driving, or listening to your beloved songs — Italians believe that that there is a story at the rear of all the things and that a merchandise has to evoke something in your soul to have benefit.

Italian higher-close audio equipment is the probably the greatest embodiment of that ethos models like Audio Analogue, Opera, Gold Be aware, Unison Investigation, and Sonus faber not only provide fantastic seem top quality, but the solutions are beautiful to glimpse at and contact.

I grew up on the edge of Toronto’s Italian neighborhood my excellent-terrific aunt’s fish retailer was called “Grupstein’s Pesceria.” My mother and father owned the largest pizza chain in Canada and I put in far more time with Leo and Vince Taormina in their barbershop eating warm veals with further sauce and drinking espresso than I did sitting at my parent’s table listening to Walter Cronkite.

Bitondo’s on Clinton Avenue, Toronto, Ontario (I grew up in kitchen area)

Most of the folks I grew up with have been the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors or Sicilian immigrants. I played soccer in the Italian soccer league in Toronto and realized how to curse in Italian and Portuguese. I tossed out my apple juice and drank Brio Chinotto with my lunch in Hebrew College.

Brio Bottles

My initially excursion to Italy with Doug Schneider (Soundstage Community) and Steve Rochlin (EnjoytheMusic) was to the Major Audio/Movie Display which was held in Milan. We sweated like pigs going for walks around Milan in September and stayed up late during the Jewish Superior Holidays listening to new music and tales with Ken Kessler and the late-Ken Ishiwata of Marantz and Rotel.

It’s good to say I like Italian factors.

1 of the most special design and style facets of early Sonus faber models was the use of leather on the entrance baffle a depth the Lumina I forgo for a leather-based-wrapped enclosure alternatively that appears to be like in particular placing with the Wenge-completed (true wooden veneer) multilayer entrance baffle.

The Lumina collection are obtainable in Walnut, Piano Black, and Wenge – the magnetic grille handles should really be left in the box for the two sonic and aesthetic reasons. There are two sets of binding posts on the rear panel for bi-wiring or bi-amping. 

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The selection employs Sonus faber’s Father (Damped Apex Dome) tweeter – the exact utilized in the company’s far more costly Sonetto collection – that includes a Kurtmueller hand-coated soft-silk 2.9 cm diaphragm.

Sonus faber Lumina I Bookshelf Speaker Pair
Lumina I Loudspeaker (Walnut)

The Lumina I benefit from a brand new 4.72” paper cone midrange/woofer created from cellulose pulp that is blended with other purely natural materials. 

The Lumina I buck the modern craze of “oversized” bookshelf loudspeakers (11”H x 5.8”W x 8.4”D) like the Klipsch RP-600M, Wharfedale EVO 4.2, and Q Acoustics 3030i a thing that might make them more captivating to individuals who really do not want the included price of committed stands and would favor to position them on a credenza or actual bookshelf. 

The entrance reflex port was a good alternative as it allows the Lumina I to be positioned nearer to the wall at the rear of it not that this loudspeaker is capable of overloading much too numerous listening areas with its bass reaction the Lumina I are rated at 65 Hz – 24,000 Hz (84 dB, 4 ohms).

The very low sensitivity ranking could possibly increase a couple of eyebrows it absolutely inspired me to try out the Lumina I with a wide range of amplifiers which includes the Naim Uniti Atom, NAD C 316BEE, Cambridge Audio AXA35, Croft Phono Built-in, and Cambridge Audio Edge A

Rotel A14MKII Integrated Amplifier Front Silver
Rotel A14MKII Integrated Amplifier

Throughout my new review of the Rotel A14MKII Integrated Amplifier, I started to think really hard about a suited long-time period loudspeaker for this great amplifier. It has additional than more than enough electricity and the suitable tonal balance for the Sonus Faber Lumina I.

The A14MKII arrives with each an inside DAC and MM phono stage creating it a no-brainer for a system intended close to a smaller place or home workplace or even a bedroom system.

Pro-ject Debut Pro Turntable Front
Pro-ject Debut Pro Turntable

The brand name new Pro-Ject Debut Professional makes logical perception here. It is a terrific sounding desk down below $1,000 and the pre-installed Sumiko cartridge performs actually properly with the Rotel’s phono preamp.

You can improve the sound of the Debut Professional with the Sumiko Wellfleet cartridge and the additional money are truly worth the financial commitment.

That just leaves us limited one ingredient. A digital audio streamer.

The Lumina I have a warmer tonal balance with a really easy sounding tweeter.

Vocals can truly glow by means of the Sonus faber Lumina I, but you want to uncover the suitable stability with your amp and resources. I would not go with something also laid again on the amplification facet. The woofer benefits from some management if you want to improve its restricted minimal-conclude functionality. 

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Pro-ject Stream Box S2 Ultra
Pro-Ject Stream Box S2 Extremely

I think you’re very secure going with possibly the Pro-Ject Stream Box S2 Ultra or the Cambridge Audio CXN V2.

Cables from QED and AudioQuest.

The Sweet Veal with Excess Sauce and Scorching Peppers

Really don’t have confidence in any person who cannot discover some sort of joy from a proper veal sandwich manufactured by a loving Italian grandmother in a forged-iron pan that survived both of those Mussolini and a partner with a roving eye. One particular of Toronto’s ideal and most inexpensive sandwiches in a city where house prices are properly into the 7 figures and evening meal for two can run around $100 without wine.

It can be a messy meal and it is not advisable to eat more than just one unless you want to end up at Mt. Sinai on College Avenue crying out for “Mama” when every thing starts to go black. And we know how that previous get of greasy onion rings in Montclair turned out for Tony.

Sweet Veal with Hot Sauce Sandwich

Complete: $4,347 – $4,797

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