Image: Hugh Threlfall
December 15 2012
If you want to buy a present for a hi-fi lover, a set of upscale cables will hit just the right note for thoughtfulness. But if you’re spoiling yourself to the max, a serious pair of speakers could be the thing.
These are the new Aida model from Sonus Faber of Vicenza. Apparently designed to “reinterpret” a lyre, they certainly combine craftsmanship with technological virtuosity. And as to whether they fly the flag for Italian design, well, they have a baroque grandeur that’s all their own. I would say that in a minimal modern room, they would be striking in a good way; in a more flouncy setting, their lacquered gorgeousness might be a bit over the top.
But with equipment of this calibre, looks are secondary. The sound of these nearly 6ft-tall speakers is breathtaking. And, cleverly, they are also built in such a way that they automatically “tune” themselves for the room they are installed in. This Sound Field Shaper technology improves an already rarefied audio output from seven different drive units, the two rear-facing ones being the sound “shapers”. Another Sonus Faber speciality, Zero Vibration Transmission, isolates the speaker from the floor, ensuring musical reproduction that’s free of odd resonances.