It may come as no surprise that we have heard some pretty impressive setups over the years fronted by Sonus Faber. Be it at a formal audio show (AXPONA’s 12th floor always delivered in a big way) or just hanging out listening to casual vinyl at the Chateau Marmont lobby, SF can easily be viewed along with the rest of top audiophile performers. The top guns don’t just sing sexy for their cost category, but well for the entirety of options available for this big, beautiful hobby.
The time has come for an update to one of those top gunners, the Aida. Debuting at the Warsaw Audio Video Show this weekend, the newest upgrade to the family tree boasts a bountiful list of spec revisions carried forward the appropriated marketing buzzwords. Its been six years in the making but most of the external look has been kept – with fairly big changes to the internals. A very nice PR release accompanied the launch, which is included in this post on the next page along with some more well executed lifestyle images. Check out the flip for more of the nitty gritty details, including all the driver updates across this “3 and 2/3 way” speaker.
The Aida is available to purchase starting in December for “82.000€ + VAT = $130,000” according to the representative.
From the PR Release:
“The lessons learned in the development of the first 2011 edition Aida have been totally reinterpreted and improved upon in this new speaker, which has brand new electroacoustic engineering. Starting from the system, that is “3 and 2/3 way” with Stealth Ultraflex”, which allows better bass extension while minimizing distortion and eliminating spurious vibration coming from the air passage inside the reflex duct. The typical lyra shape enclosure, as in the previous edition, is complimented by the “Anima Legata” system, the “Tuned Mass Dampers” and a revision of the special “Bow spring” suspension, which contains the “Zero Vibration Transmission” system, all designed to keep both the loudspeaker and the musical environment free from unwanted resonance and vibration.
Perhaps the most radical among the new changes is the selection of all-new driver systems. The tweeter is the “D.A.D. Arrow Point” H28 XTR-04, first used in the Sonus faber Lilium and also in the most recent Homage Tradition Collection. The midrange is also promoted to a M18 XTR-04 enhanced with the avional- gunmetal basket, the most advanced midrange driver in the entire Sonus faber catalogue. This new combination of tweeter and midrange creates the “Voice of Sonus faber”, the iconic configuration of driver technology capable of maintaining the effortless, warm and involving timbre that has become a trademark of the Arcugnano-based company.
Completing the new driver arsenal are the new specifically designed woofers: W22 XTR-12 complete with all-new powerful Neodymium magnet motors and SW32 XTR-08 infra-woofer, probably the craziest subwoofer ever designed in Sonus faber, equipped with Nano Carbon sandwich cone and a long-throw 4’’ voice- coils, powered by a Neodymium magnet motor.
The new Aida is using only Neodymium powered transducers for reaching new pinnacles in terms of speed and dynamic. Inherited from “The Sonus faber” cost-no- object project is the patented “Sound Field Shaper” technology – a unique system of attenuated rear-facing drivers allowing precise control of the dimensionality and perceived size of the sound-stage. This system is upgraded further utilizing the latest tweeter and midrange: “Arrow Point” DAD 29XTR2 and M8XTR, as well as a complete redesign of the crossover network.
“3 and 2/3” way, Sound field Shaper technology, “Zero Vibration Transmission” technology, para-aperiodic vented box “Stealth Ultraflex System” and staggered low frequency floor standing loudspeaker system.
“Lyra shape” design, dual side curvature, special cross grained Okoumè plywood, used in a double thickness constriction layer damped configuration.
Sub–structural ribs are strategically placed for total rejection of spurious vibrations and standing waves control. Two “damp shelves” CNC anodized machined Avional “vibration dampers” (on the top and on the bottom of the cabinet) “stiffen” the column structure reducing consistently structural micro-vibrations coming from the cabinet walls and the transducers.
The “Anima Legata” system is used encompassing the 3 inner chambers of the front firing drive units. A special steel rod, a high speed mechanical interface, concentrates the remaining micro-vibrations conveying them to the dual multiple “Tuned Mass Dampers”, i.e. two differently tuned special custom devices optimized to erase micro vibrations, by oscillating in anti-phase. A revised floating bridge “Bow spring” suspension for vibrational interface has been devised to decouple the enclosure from the floor through the Zero Vibration Transmission technology, a patented suspension system, eliminating any acoustic feedback and any vibration propagation to the listening room.
Sonus faber “Arrow Point” DAD (Damped Apex Dome, synthesis of the classic dome and ring transducer) H28 XTR-04. A Sonus faber designed 28 mm moving coil driver, with Sonus faber’s vibration optimized mechanical interface. The ultra-dynamic linearity is given by the Neodymium motor system. Implemented with a natural wood acoustic labyrinth rear chamber, a mechanical anti- resonator designed for this application.
Sonus faber M18 XTR-04. A Sonus faber designed 180 mm Neodymium magnet system ultra-dynamic linearity midrange. CCAW wire is used on a composite former “eddy current free” voice coil. The dynamically linear magnetic field motor incorporates triple Kellog/Goeller rings. A special custom diaphragm is made with a real time air dried non pressed blend of traditional cellulose pulp, Kapok, Kenaf and other natural fibers, developed according to the most natural sound. To further inhibit any residual cone coloration we are using a transparent viscous surface damping coating. The basket is thoroughly optimized to eliminate any resonance, fully CNC machined from solid billets of Avional and Gunmetal. The combination of the two different metals allows eliminating any mutual resonance.
The same way as the tweeter, the midrange is decoupled from the main baffle board and designed synergistically with its optimized “acoustic chamber”. A special coaxial anti- compressor is used, designed to remove cavity resonances and distortions.
Sonus faber W22XTR-12. A pair of Sonus faber designed 220 mm Neodymium magnet system woofers, lightweight “sandwich” cone structure (high-tech syntactic foam core and two external surface skins of cellulose pulp) woofers. Each of them is integrated in its own acoustically amorphous “stealth reflex” chamber. Designed to blend perfectly with the special midrange and, at the same time, to have absolute definition in their range: the sandwich structure with outer paper pulp skins has the same sonic character of the midrange cone. A powerful long stroke motor system with a 2” controlled “eddy current” voice coil is implemented for high speed, performance and linearity.
Sonus faber SW32XTR-08. A Sonus faber designed 320 mm Neodymium magnet system infra woofer, sandwich cone structure with high-tech syntactic foam core and two external surface skins in Nano Carbon Fiber for maximum rigidity and light weight. An impressive 4” voice-coil, inside and outside
winding design to take advantage of the magnet field strength and to control the Lorentz currents proportionally to the excursion obtaining this way the tightest available lows. To perfectly match the low-end performance to different listening rooms it is possible to adapt the SPL of the infra woofer.
SOUND FIELD SHAPER:
The special patented Sound field Shaper technology allows the control of the direct/reverberant radiation ratio of the Aida. The sound field shaping module can be SPL optimized.
SOUND FIELD SHAPER TWEETER:
Sonus faber “Arrow Point” DAD 29XTR2. A Sonus faber designed 29 mm moving coil driver. The ultra-dynamic linearity is given by the new Neodymium motor system.
SOUND FIELD SHAPER MIDRANGES:
Sonus faber M8XTR. A pair of Sonus faber designed 80 mm ultra-dynamic linearity midrange. CCAW wire is used on a controlled “eddy current free” voice coil. The dynamically linear magnetic field motor has focused field geometry. A special custom diaphragm is made with a blend of traditional cellulose pulp, Kapok, Kenaf and other natural fibers. A special coaxial anti-compressor is used, designed to remove cavity resonance and distortions.
Non-resonant crossover, optimized amplitude/phase response for optimal space/time performance. “Paracross topology” for maximum transparency. The impedance at low frequencies is controlled for a clear and friendly amplifier performance. Double staggered transfer function low frequency/room interface optimized filter. Highest quality is used in terms of the components: last generation Mundorf Supreme Evo, Aluminium Oil and Silver/Gold/Oil capacitors, Mundorf Supreme resistors and Jantzen Cross-coils inductors.
Cross-over frequencies: 55Hz – 150 Hz – 200Hz – 3000.
18 Hz – 35.000 Hz, Stealth Ultraflex included.
92 db SPL (2.83V/1 m).
100W – 1KW, without clipping.
1725mmx482mmx780mm 68’’x 19’’ x 31’’
330 Kg / 727 lb per pair – net weight
550 Kg / 1,212 lb per pair – shipping weight.”