Sonus faber Salutes Andrea Palladio with Olympica Speakers
The Olympica line of loudspeakers were designed from scratch by the Italian company Sonus faber, and the company says the development of the line was fueled by its past experience engineering its other product lines.
No speaker company exemplifies elegance more than the Italian manufacturer Sonus faber. Over the years Sonus faber has earned a following of audiophiles that appreciate the company’s commitment to sound quality and the production of furniture-grade products that actually complement the interior design of most luxury homes.
Available through its American distributor Sumiko, the company is set to debut its latest product line: the Olympica series of loudspeakers. Sonus says the speakers are inspired by the Renaissance-era Italian architect Andrea Palladio and it created this line of products from the ground up by drawing upon its engineering experience in developing its other product lines.
The line will be produced in its Vicenza factory and it will use some of the raw materials it is most noted for—-walnut and leather. Sonus says the line will roll out in two phases with the first phase including three products—-the Olympica I bookshelf speaker, the Olympica II three-way floorstanding loudspekaer and the Olympica III three-way floorstanding loudspeaker.
Externally the speakers employ a shape that draws from the company’s lyre form concepts and Sonus says this design reduces internal resonances and it also accommodates the company’s new bass-reflex system. Aesthetically the speaker utilizes top and bottom walnut plates and clear maple joints. Sonus covers the speakers’ tops and baffles in leather, and the bookshelf model offers an anodized aluminum stand. Sonus says the speakers are also available in a choice of finishes to help them blend into a variety of home settings.
Internally the speakers use new drivers that were developed by the Sonus faber engineering team that include new cast baskets and the use of natural diaphragm materials such as silk-dome tweeters and cellulose midrange drivers and woofers. Controlling these drivers are new crossover designs that were developed through the combination of computer modeling and listening. Elaborating more on the new bass-reflex system that Sonus implements in the new speakers, the Italian company says it is a sophisticated design that incorporates aerodynamic elements from Onken and Jensen, as well as concepts developed in-house which include Sonus’ hyperbolic shape and “duck-tail geometry” designs.
The bookshelf Olympica I is a two-way loudspeaker that features the company’s Arrow Point DAD 29XTR2 29mm tweeter and 150mm MW15XTR midrange driver. Sonus utilizes its progressive-slope crossover network to control the drivers, and Sonus says the 4-ohm speaker provides users with a 87dB efficient speaker that’s capable of producing a 50Hz to 30kHz frequency response. The Olympica II three-way loudspeaker features the Arrow Point DAD 29XTR2 29mm tweeter, as well as the 150mm MW15XTR midrange driver, and it augments these drivers with its W18XTR 9-inch woofer. In this speaker, the “progressive slope” crossover utilizes crossover points of 250Hz and 2.5kHz, and Sonus points out the 4-ohm speaker is 88dB sensitive with a frequency response of 40Hz to 30kHz.
The last of the three initial products that are part of the line’s first phase roll out is the Olympica III three-way floorstanding loudspeaker. Sonus explains this 4-ohm loudspeaker incorporates the same driver array as the Olympica II with the addition of a second 9-inch W18XTR woofer. The speaker’s crossover network also utilizes the same crossover points as the Olympica II speaker, but Sonus specifies the 4-ohm speaker to produce a broader frequency response of 35Hz to 30kHz. In addition, the Olympica III is slightly more efficient than the other Olympica speakers with a 90dB sensitivity rating.
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Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). Bob also serves as the technology editor for CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Integrator. In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons in Haverhill, Mass. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Robert at email@example.com
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