Sonetto is hand-built in Italy, and it is marked by both sound and quality.
- Brilliant all-round speaker with almost complete qualities that both scare the neighbors and induce goose skin.
- Requires a lot of space in the room, no real deep bass, skirt parquet guards.
Imagine a dressed gentleman. Immaculate anticotta in Italian cut, with impeccable shoe polish, velvety hair and beard. A real gentleman. One that converses easily with everyone, spreading good mood in the company and having an infectious mood.
But then the jacket is thrown and our husband enters the scene of the company with an electric guitar hanging over the hips, and in one, two, three, four, a fierce bluesy rock starts to blow you over.
It’s a pretty good analogy to Sonus faber’s new Sonetto V. A medium-sized floor-standing three-way speaker, dressed in black lacquer with black fabric, artificial leather and aluminum details.
A speaker that elicits the worn word of wolves in sheep’s clothing, but deserves a more sophisticated description.
Sonus faber: Behind the Name Sonetto
The rugged black speaker comes in white, and a very nice walnut-colored woodfiner, and is the second largest in Sonus fabler’s new Sonetto series. A series of eight speakers of all sizes, replacing the critically acclaimed Venere series in the long run.
Sonetto has made a small jump in price compared to Venere, but a big jump in the right direction on building quality – and not least: Sound quality.
While former Sonus faber speakers, having a charming warm tone and a big sound image (even the small ones), newer editions have moved in a more open and neutral direction. It also applies to the Sonetto series, which is almost an Olympica light for the sound. However, not with equally expensive items or cabinet design.
But as mentioned, they are a solid notch from Venere, which was produced in the East. Sonetto is manufactured and assembled by hand in Italy, and it is perhaps the reason why especially the woodfinished editions look more expensive than they really are.
Sonetto V is the middle edition of the two floor stands in the series. A Sonetto III is the slimmer version, while the much larger VIII is the flagship in the series.
The closest competitors to the femmer are, for example, the B & W 702 S2 as we have also tested, Audiovector SR3 Signature, Piega Premium 701 – and for those who dig explosive dynamics, Klipsch RF-7 III.
Of these four, maybe B & W 702 S2 comes closest, and one should first and foremost go to the Hi-Fi Club to compare.
Three-way with bass reflexion
The speakers follow Sonus faber’s recipe for speakers in the premium and high-end segment. With lightweight cabinets, and a relatively narrow front ending in a single narrower backplate, they look pretty exclusive.
This Sonetto Series edition is a three-way speaker. In this case, it means two 18 cm bass elements, with rigid and lightweight aluminum membranes, a 15 cm middle tone with a blend of cellulosic fibers, and a 29 mm trim with silk diaphragm. All in a 107 cm high cabinet, with base ports in the bottom for a little more flexible space in the room – and a little more range in the bass. But is that enough?
The sensitivity specified is 90 dB, and the nominal impedance is 4 ohms. In practice, they mean that they are pretty easy-driven, and a medium-sized Hegel amplifier is all that is needed to drive the speakers. We also tried more powerful McIntosh amplifiers, which are often our favorite reference amplifiers, and we got an aha experience out of the ordinary.
Brutal dynamics and sublime sophistication
Obviously, a pair of Klipsch RF-7 III gives you more explosive dynamics and plays tougher and higher. In the midst of the flash for those who dig such a thing. A few B & W 702 S2 are not playing as high, but are more nuanced and provide an opener sound image.
The Sonus faber speaker requires a little more space in the room than 702 S2, and the sound is more in that direction, but it has much of the same lively dynamics as the RF-7 III.
Sonetto V is the dress-dressed gentleman who plays blues rock on weekends and spreads good mood wherever he goes.
From the first rhythm of Ryan Adam’s album Easy Tiger, I was hooked. The two bass elements thundered with a powerful powerful bass that fired seriously. Very convincing. At the same time, the speaker had full control over the dynamics. Also when I left with a deafening volume.
At Paul Bleys In The Evenings Out There, I received a flashback for the four times so expensive Sonus Faber Serafino. The bass of Gary Peacock on Portrait Of A Silence sounded almost as sophisticated and airy here that I thought that a pair of Sonus fabs Olympica III should feel seriously threatened by the sound quality one can get below half the price.
I quickly realized that this might be one of the better purchases in the price range, and continued with Walter Trout’s blues guitar and the feeling gained. On what I can call the volume of the concert, I got Marie’s Mood in my stomach and me in the crush. The dynamics make you to Klipsch to find.
On music with several shades, such as Radka Toneff’s Fairytales and Marianne Thorsen and the Trondheim soloist’s 2-lart recordings, the iron sounded silky and Toneff’s vocal divine through the Sonetto speakers.
They can not only rock with the best, the speakers deliver a generous sound image with enormously good transparency, very good focus especially in the middle tones, and actually sounds much more expensive than they are. How it is possible with a speaker built in Europe, one can only wonder.
Aside from the fact that they do not deliver true deep bass, below 30 Hz, Sonus Faber Sonetto V is the most complete floor-standing speaker we have tested in the price range so far. If you have space and advice, this is a couple of speakers you can enjoy for years. No matter if you dig Metallica or Mozart. They handle everything, and it makes them the almost perfect all-round speakers for people who spend a lot of time on music.
- Type: Three-way floor speaker
- Bass: 2 x 18 cm m. aluminiumsmembraner
- Medium zone: 15 cm with cellulose membrane
- Treble: 29 mm silk dome
- Sensitivity: 90 dB / 4 ohm
- Frequency response: 38 Hz – 25 kHz
- Dimensions / Weight: 107.2 x 25.8 x 40.9 cm / 22.6 kg
- Other: Black, white lacquer or wood veneer.
- Web: mono.no
- Price: $5,000, –