Sonus Faber vs B&W

Printable View

  • 11-29-2006, 10:19 PM
    2 Attachment(s)
    Sonus Faber vs B&W
    Both of these Two models are the cream of the crop, the El' Capitan. But which one is better?:confused: They are both unique designs with quality that is just astounding, and a price tag that rivals BMW's and Mercedes.

    B&W nautilus versus Sonus Faber Stradivari Homage
  • 11-29-2006, 10:36 PM
    I've heard Stradivari with Classe' gears. They were great, but absolutely NOT worth that much money. I would rather have 2 pair of Cremona.

  • 11-30-2006, 07:18 AM
    i think the b&w will get my choice,
    never heard them though.
  • 11-30-2006, 09:17 AM
    Based on reviews and literature B&W strives to make mechanical devices that accurately reproduce sound and Sonus Faber strives to make musical instruments. I've never heard either of these two models, but other models I have heard from both companies make me a Sonus Faber fan. Accuracy might be fun and challenging, but I like listening to music and for my tastes at least, Sonus Faber delivers.
  • 11-30-2006, 01:33 PM
    Well, I am sure that everyone on here with say B&W even without hearing the two speakers or knowing much about either one of them. This seems to be a B&W community of people. I think that either one would be a good choice, but I would have to think that the Sonus Faber is a bit better.
  • 11-30-2006, 02:59 PM
    Carl Reid
    I've never heard Sonus, but I really like B&W... and assuming both sound equally excellent (impossible huh?).... I'd go with the B&W simply because of how striking they look.... The sonus look unique but nowhere near the "what the?" cosmetic quality of the B&W....
  • 11-30-2006, 04:14 PM
    What about Focal Beryllium Utopia Grande? I heard one of the lower level versions of this (either the Nova, Alto or Diva) 10 months ago and was very impressed.

    *grad student with no intentions of spending $80k+ on speakers any time soon*

    As least based on my listening to other B&W speakers, I'm not a huge fan of them but they're not bad by any means. I just always feel that I can find something better from another brand for similar or less money.
  • 11-30-2006, 04:45 PM
    B&W are great sounding speakers. I think people hate them for the price they charge. I do think they should be charging about 25% less for their 800s. I dont understand why they even sell 700s. They sound terrible to my ears. 600s? I think they are much better sounding speakers.
  • 11-30-2006, 04:56 PM
    This is like asking which is better, BMW or Mercedes? Blondes or brunettes? There is no right answer. If your asking which is more accurate, the answer is undoubtedly the Naut. If you've ever heard a Sonus, you know this to be true. But is that a good thing? Accuracy over musicality? Hmmm...

    Personally, I prefer redheads :).
  • 11-30-2006, 05:19 PM
    Im gonna say mercedes are better than BMW's, i prefer brunettes, hada few bad experiences with redheads. and being a Bowers fan myself im gonna say the naut.....
  • 11-30-2006, 05:25 PM
    Hey TopSpeed,

    Would you agree that Stradi has a tonal coloration? And also sound quality seems to be "muffled" slightly. Sound stage may have been too wide for what I've been used to. I believe "muffled" maybe a wrong word to use, but I that's about the only way I can explain it without sounding like shmucks on audio mags.

    I love blondes with redish highlight...
  • 11-30-2006, 05:32 PM

    Originally Posted by icarus
    Im gonna say mercedes are better than BMW's

    As the great Henry Rollins once said:
    "You can have your opinion...

    You're just wrong!" :cool:

    Benz over BMW?!? Clearly you haven't been following the JD Power reliability studies for say...the last 10 years. Better yet, lemme give ya an example:

    My buddy drove an E55 AMG for a little over 2 years. This is $90,000+ car, just so you know. During that time, it was in the shop for no less than 60 days. Not all at once, of course, which actually made it worse. The car was such a lemon, MBUSA actually just bought it back and repaid 90% off his payments (including interest) for the time he owned the car. Pretty cool, eh? My friend mentioned how impressed he was with the company and how they stood behind their cars. So, of course I asked if he was going to get another Benz. His response?

    "Oh, Hell no. They're sh!t!"

    :lol: :lol:


    i prefer brunettes, hada few bad experiences with redheads.
    Like it matters these days. Women color their hair so much these days, who knows what their natural color is anymore!
  • 11-30-2006, 05:39 PM
    ya well one of my firends owned a BMW Z4 and was very disatisfied with it, and traded it in for the SLK 320. But for the battle of sedans, Audi is my personal fav... i wouldn't trade my A4 for a BMW or a benz... But I must agree that i was very displeased with the Merc E320. but come on... what does BMW have on the SLR... it may be partly a mclaren, but it still carries the merc badge on it....
  • 11-30-2006, 05:39 PM

    Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    Hey TopSpeed,

    Would you agree that Stradi has a tonal coloration? And also sound quality seems to be "muffled" slightly. Sound stage may have been too wide for what I've been used to. I believe "muffled" maybe a wrong word to use, but I that's about the only way I can explain it without sounding like shmucks on audio mags.

    I love blondes with redish highlight...

    I have not heard the Srad's, but if they sound like every other SF I've heard, then without question there is coloration. Their personality is extremely laid back with lush and romantic playback. Some consider these qualities to be "musical." Some consider it inaccurate.

    Hey, whatever makes your boat float is what I say.
  • 11-30-2006, 05:40 PM
    Even though chicks do dye their hair so frequintly that they are even unsure what their true hair colour is, brunettes are just so gorgeous...
  • 11-30-2006, 05:54 PM
    What does BMW have on Merc?!? :eek:

    Better handling, better brakes, better reliability, and oh yeah...manual transmissions!

    Benz does have better designers, I'll give them that as the CLS is flat gorgeous and the E class is exceptionally proportioned as well. I'm not a fan of the S, CL, C, or any SUV they make, including that R thingy.
    As for the SLR, I haven't seen a schnoz that big since Jimmy Durante. Have you seen that car in person? If not, look in wikipedia under "Front Overhang". Blech.

    I'll take a Z8, thanks.

    In case you haven't guessed, I drive a M3.
  • 11-30-2006, 05:55 PM
    Is it even worth comparing reliability when talking about European cars?
  • 11-30-2006, 06:00 PM
    So which costs more the Nautilus or the redhead?

    All kidding aside at those price points, system matching and room matching are needed to bring out the best in any of those speakers.

    IMHO hearing any of them with a missmatched component, cable or room will exhibit larger differences than between the products properly set up with matched components.

    We should be talking subtle and nuance regarding any tonal colors, for it to be otherwise implies a speaker is wrongly included in that elite mix.
  • 11-30-2006, 06:03 PM
    I would love to talk about how Mercedes went even more south after merger with Chrysler Group, but lets get back to the topic......automatic transmittion? That's as boring as driving on the I-70 between Denver and Kansas City....GAWD!!!!
  • 11-30-2006, 07:35 PM
    I'd take the Audi R8 Coupe over Mercedez or BMW.
  • 11-30-2006, 07:44 PM
    It has been my dream to own one of those '60s Mercedes roadster. I dont know what it is, but they look beautiful to the eyes of jra.
  • 11-30-2006, 08:16 PM
    I actually have seen the SLR in person, it does have a big nose, but i still prefer the look of that to the Z8. As for the M3 if i had the money to buy an M3 when i got my A4, well i would be drivng a M3 right now. Mercedes do suck in the lower price point, but when you get into the top of the line thats when they actually do some nice cars, not sporty but just luxurious. But I would take a Maserati Coupe, or the Aston Martin V8 over the benz or the BMW.

    The 60's were a great year for mercedes, but not the greatest for BMW, the fifites on the other hand, produced great cars from both, the benz sl gullwing, and the 57 BMW 507.

    Have they even put a price on the R8...yet?? the new prototype supra should lay some serious rubber...
  • 11-30-2006, 08:38 PM
    I'm waiting for Acura to replace the NSX...

    now while cars are great and all, I'm on a car forum too... can we discuss sexy, expensive speakers?
  • 11-30-2006, 08:41 PM
    I think we've already discussed it. No conclusion. It's like discussing "hey which tastes better?", Mayostard or Musturdonaise?
  • 11-30-2006, 08:54 PM
    I want to hear of more impossibly expensive speakers. I know there are more out there.
  • 11-30-2006, 08:55 PM
    WOW Where do you get you gorceries Jrhy maystard and mustardonaise hahaha... very unique...
  • 11-30-2006, 09:00 PM
    1 Attachment(s)
    Well its not an outragoues speaker, but an amp that should break the bank.

    Halcro DM88

    If you have those outrageous speakers you need an outrageous amp and this should suffice.

    * Operates at up to 2.1 kW at peak
    * 270 Watts continuous into 8 ohms
    * 500 Watts continuous into 4 ohms
    (Continuous – Halcro power ratings are measured at continuous power unlike many competitors who publish measurements tested at peak ratings)
    * Distortion of less than 500 parts per billion at full power (20kHz). Immeasurable at normal listening levels
    * Four input options:
    o Balanced voltage input
    o Unbalanced voltage input
    o Current input
    o Minimal path voltage input
    * New universal power factor corrected power supply which automatically operates from 85V through to 270V RMS. Superior reliability with heavy shielding
    * Discrete codes for On/Standby trigger. This simplifies the remote control of the amplifier by another source component
    * Series and common mode filtering on the mains input
    * Superior industrial grade components used throughout the circuitry to ensure perfect audio reproduction and maximize reliability
    * Drives all loudspeakers, including electrostatics
    * Solid Mahogany feet
    * 7 Year Warranty

    For more info vist
  • 11-30-2006, 09:05 PM
    1 Attachment(s)
    Wilson Audio Alexandria


    Nominal Impedance: 8 ohms
    Woofer: One 15 inch - One 13 inch
    Midrange: Two 7 inch (vented enclosures)
    Tweeter:Ambience: One 3/4 inch Supertweeter
    Tweeter: One Inverted Titanium Dome
    Sensitivity: 95 dB@ 1 watt (2.83V at 1 meter)
    Minimum Amplifier Power: 20 WPC
    Frequency Response: (with port contribution)
    +0, -2dB 18 Hz - 22.5 kHz
    Height: 72 inches
    Width: 17.5 inches
    Depth: 26.75 inches
    System Product Weight: (each) 750 lbs (system) 1500 lbs
    Approx. Shipping Weight: (for complete system) 2,286 lbs

    For more info visit
  • 11-30-2006, 09:10 PM
    How about Wotan MB-1250 Reference. 1250 watts in tetroide, 600watts in triode with 48 glorious 6550 tubes.

    About those stupid condiments, I got that off of Mr. Show. My favorite show of all-time.

  • 11-30-2006, 09:16 PM
    Mr. Show huh?? never heard of it...
  • 11-30-2006, 09:20 PM
    1 Attachment(s)
    Here is a bizzarre looking speaker...the bang and olufsen Beolab 5
  • 11-30-2006, 10:09 PM
    Dusty Chalk
    Oh, no, it's a Cylon!
  • 12-01-2006, 10:32 AM
    the bang & olufsons aren't that impressive, yes, they look special, not to say weird, but seriously, they can't compare to the b&w or the others mentioned here, i saw them (and heard them a little) at the local hi-fi shop,

    but back to the topic, too expensive speakers,
    the von schweikert VR-11, anyone, at a 150000, they are pretty expensive, but i guess they sound good (i hope so)

    and then the Kharma grand exquisite, at a price i once knew, but i forgot it now,
    (don't forget the matching sub)

    and let's not forget Florian's Apogee Grands, i think this beats them all, maybe some of the über exotic speakers sound better (for some people) but, since there were only 25 pairs made of them, and he owns one of those pairs, at a reasonably young age, this should deserve quite some respect. :)

    also, exotics, my dad said that once in his life, he will own the nautilus 803's :ihih:

    Keep them spinning,
  • 12-01-2006, 11:11 AM
    I've heard them both. Since I can't afford either, I never gave it much thought--until now.

    I heard the Stradavari at an audiophile club meeting and the B&Ws in a local shop audio shop. By not having heard them side by side and with the same music, its really not a fair and objective experience. Despite the subjective and disconnected observation, my memory favored the Sonus Fabers.
  • 12-01-2006, 11:28 AM
    That Beo5 is actually pretty interesting. It features a built-in robotic mic and dsp processing to adjust the speakers for various room acoustics. I heard them last year and while I've never been a fan of B&O, I thought these sounded remarkably good. 'Course, for $17 large they had better!

    BTW, good point about discussing reliability with any Euro car. Remember when "German" made actually meant something? Back in the '80's, one of MB's calling cards were that the door locks on the SEL were so strong, they could hold the entire weight of the car. Why is that important? Because in an accident, you don't want the doors flying open and tossing the occupants. Today, "made in Germany" usually means overly complicated cars with more electronic crapulent "luxury" than the shuttle Atlantis. What idiot thought iDrive (BMW), COMAND (Benz), or MMI (Audi) was a good idea?!?

    The R8 is supposed to be $100k with the 4.2L V8 from the RS4. The 5.2L V10 pricing hasn't been released yet. Whatever. At that price point, I'll take an Aston V8 Vantage all day long.
  • 12-01-2006, 11:59 AM

    Originally Posted by icarus
    Wilson Audio Alexandria

    I haven't heard the Alexandria but I did hear the Maxx IIs. I did not particularly like them. I did however like the smaller Watt Puppies and the Duette(?). To me they sounded more involving.
  • 12-01-2006, 12:08 PM
    I can only commnet on WattPussies too, I thought they sounded well balanced without much coloration. But all in all, if I start thinking about my system like that, I would be doomed.
  • 12-01-2006, 01:35 PM
    Dusty Chalk
    Kharma has some nice top-of-the-line speakers. Shahinians look like boxes, but they're supposed to produce some sweet sound. Nearfield Pipedreams are easily the best speakers I've ever heard. I'm sure the Genesis arrays sound pretty darn good, too.
  • 12-03-2006, 01:23 PM
    Kharma speakers
    My audio buddy and I spent a lot of time and money evaluating the Accuton drivers (the C79^2, C88^2 and C92^2 for use as a midrange). Our intent was to build our own three way speaker. Of course they did exactly what they were famous for and that is to resolve every last detail good or bad fed to them. After making some very complex crossovers with traps and filters in an attempt to tame the drivers we got pretty close to a nice sound. It was then that we noticed that all three models of drivers had a very small dynamic range. A visit to the Stereophile HIFi show and a Grand Kharma demonstration confirmed that those speakers also suffered form constrained dynamics. At that price point this shouldn't be. Of course this is just my opinion. All speakers involve tradeoffs, the Kharmas demand a bit too much for the price I feel.

    At the show we decided the Joseph Audio "Pearl" speakers were among the best. I liked the Wilson Maxx, but eventually agreed that the bass is overblown. Another significant disappointment was the Vandersteen 5. We had great expectations, but found them uninteresting, even dull.

    As I said in an earlier post, at this price point the best speakers are very dependent on room accoustics and accompyaning electronics, hopefully I won't be flamed by any owners out there of these speakers that I personally found less than exemplary. They may work fine in your environment.

    p.s. We are about 99% finished with our speaker design and have started collecting parts for the second set earmarked for me.
  • 12-09-2006, 08:44 PM
    What a hopelessly useless forum!

    Someone asks a question about the relative merits of two specified speakers. Five respondents confess to not having heard one or the other or both, but give their worthless opinions anyway. One gives a decision based on his/her assessment of their visual appearance. The remainder respond with drivel about cars.

    I haven't heard either of these speakers since it is extremely unlikely that I'd consider buying B&W or Sonus Faber. But I would advise the original poster to listen for themselves using a selection of the music that they like best and make up their own mind.