The Guarneri homage was both Sonus faber's first tribute to the art of Cremonese violin makers and the birth of an new approach to loudspeaker design. Guarneri homage was far more than simply speaker drivers in a cabinet. It was a genuine musical instrument in its own right. One that, when carefully integrated into system and room, was capable of connecting listener to music in a most profound way. Everything is expressed naturally and simply with balance, order and measure. It possesses an eminently musical temperament that is immediately evident upon your first and each subsequent listening experience.
The Revelation Revisited
Many years have passed since the genesis of Guarmeri homage, and much has been learned during the creation of the subsequent models Cremona, Amati anniversario and most significantly Stradavari homage. Embodying all its predecessor's qualities, Sonus faber has begun afresh where Guarneri homage concluded.
Guarneri memento integrates many lessons learned from the study of violin design. The lute shape, choices of wood and time-honored construction techniques creates an internal acoustic chamber of non-parallel sidewalls much like the body of a violin that is all but immune to unwanted standing waves that can cause a colored sound. The cabinet, for example, is formed with no fewer than 21 individual pieces of selected solid maple employed for constrained-mode damping to cancel undesirable resonance. Each speaker is hand-assembled using organic glue and heat pressing techniques identical to those used centuries ago in the manufacture of violins. The maple wood used is naturally dried for two years and then stabilized in kilns. The interior sidewalls are selectively damped using sheet copper and lead tuning elements to provide uniformity from unit to unit. Finally, each cabinet is finished using natural dyes throughout.
Both drive units employed are the highest expression of transducer design. The mid-bass unit is a sophisticated design with particular attention paid to the voice coil and the surrounding air gap to provide maximum freedom from dynamic compression. The drive unit features a CCAW / Kapton “eddy current free” voice coil and a dynamically linear magnetic field motor incorporating Kellog and Faraday rings. All moving elements of the driver are ventilated for “resonance free” response. This unique technology allows the Guarneri menento to produce bass and dynamics that belie the small size of the loudspeaker enclosure. The high frequency driver features an ultra linear ring radiator that is positioned within a dual toroidal wave-guide. The result is a lower resonant point allowing for greater high-frequency extension and dynamics. Timbre is sweet and accurate and never sounds metallic. Each drive unit is “broken in” by running signal through them for several hours before being fitted into the cabinet. In this way the user is assured of optimal performance shortly after installation.
A “minimalist design” 6dB/octave crossover is used mainly for the natural sound such a design affords. All component parts used are of the highest quality and were chosen through extensive listening tests based on subjective musicality. Often, seemingly minor changes greatly affected the final sound! Such attention to detail is readily apparent upon first hearing. Additionally, advances in metallurgy have led Sonus faber to adopt a structured Silver-Palladium alloy on all connector conductors to provide a totally coherent signal path, a claim proved out based from extensive A/B listening.
Just as in violin making, the finish has a profound effect on the final sound! The surface of the wood cabinet is first prepared by sealing it with albumin to prevent penetration of the multilayered varnish. A unique blend of natural organic substances including Venetian larch turpentine, linseed oil, propolis, wine alcohol, gamboges, copal gum and oliban is applied using an elaborate and time-consuming procedure. No fewer than ten coats of varnish are applied with hand sanding accompanying each finishing coat. Final polishing to a mirror-like finish is done by hand using felt and oil. Guarneri memento is available in both a piano gloss “Red Violin” or gloss “Graphite” finish.
|System Type:||2-way, stand mounted, Lute shaped cabinet|
|Cabinet:||21 staves of hand selected solid maple sandwiched for resonance control |
|Mid-Woofer:||6 in. (150mm) ultra dynamic high linearity driver|
|Tweeter:||1 in. (25mm) high linearity ring radiator with dual toroidal wave guide|
|Crossover:||2.5khz, 6 db/octave, highest grade components|
|Frequency Response: ||39Hz - 30kHz|
|Impedance: ||4 ohms, nominal|
|Sensitivity:||88dB SPL, 2.83V/1m|
|Power Handling:||30-200W, without clipping|
|Finish:||Red Violin Piano Gloss or Graphite|
|Speakers:||8.25 x 15.25 x 15 inches (WDH)|
210 x 390 x 380 mm (WDH)
|Speaker Columns: ||12 x 15.75 x 48.5 inches (WDH)|
305 x 390 x 1230 mm (WDH)
|Speakers:||187.5 lbs / pr|
85 kg / pr