Sonus Faber Unveils Olympica Nova With Audio Research – RMAF 2019

Sonus Faber Olympica Nova speaker line at RMAF 2019. Shown with Audio Research amplifiers.

Call me silly, but I think it’s a bad idea to go to an audio show hungry. It’s day one of the show, or possibly day minus-one, as this is Thursday the “press day” where members of the press are given advanced access to smell, touch, and hear all of the great new products on display.

Mind you, not every manufacturer exhibitor participated in the press day, as that would require a Wednesday setup, and adjusting of all schedules and bookings prior to. Sonus Faber however was ready to rock on Thursday, and just in time for my friends and I to wander in before lunch.

Now as I said before, hunger had me by the bones. This was due to the fact that our late night arrival on Wednesday precluded our ability to wake up in time for breakfast. Thus lunch would be the first meal of the day.

As I walk into the Sonus Faber room, I’m awestruck at the grandiosity of the display. Wall to wall, finely built Italian loudspeakers. Tight tolerance builds and finishes that dazzle the senses. In fact, I’m so hungry that I want to eat a few of the towers and bookshelves I come across.

The new Sonus Faber Olympica Nova series of speakers in my mind sets a new bar for what can be done technically and especially aesthetically in this price range. Bookshelf models, multiple floor-standers, center channels, a few on-wall speakers make up the new Olympica Nova line. Prices range from $6,500 pr USD on up to $16,500 pr USD.

The Olympica Nova line is the second generation of the Olympica line that was originally launched and lauded back in 2013. Now improved in its form and substance, the new Nova iteration carries with it some of the best attributes of the original line, advances them and adds a few new features. Firstly the Nova retains the typical asymmetrical Lute shape of first generation Olympica, though updated for better performance.

Embodying all things natural and exotic, the new Nova line turns up the dial on aesthetics. But also internally where the engineering magic takes place. The new front baffle has less flat surfaces inside and out, and is entirely made of wood. The rear/sides of the teardrop shape cabinet are made from eight layers of laminated wood sheathing, and advanced internal bracing which Sonus Faber representatives referred to as “Structural Ribs.”

I’m dying on the inside at this point of the story, mainly because all I can think about from thereafter is a juicy plate of ribs. The seven layers of delicious lacquer applied over the flawless Wenge finish of the dark and saucy looking rib-laden loudspeakers have my mouth watering. Yes, I need professional help.

Sonus Fabers trademark Paracross Topology crossover networks, use only exclusive custom clarity caps. Tweeters feature center-damped apexes — this technology is also trademarked as D.A.D. (Damped Apex Dome). The mid-range is a blended structure of paper pulp and natural fibers to increase random densities and a rougher surface. This somehow equates to better sound but I am not sure how. Leave it to the chefs… ahem — I mean engineers. The mid-range centers don a Sonus Faber branded phase plug which looks like it belongs on the hood of a luxury car. Fine protein leather covers the metal high-frequency substructure. Giving again, that luxury car interior a run for its money.

Soundwise, listening to the Olympica Nova V towers the music becomes everything you’d want it to be. The looks of the speakers match the proverbial sonic drapes. Everything is in balance, and sparkles at just the right time. Bass is powerful and comes in exactly when it’s supposed to and never lingers on its way out. The boys ask if I’m ready to finally go get lunch. I tell them to give me a minute.

by Eric Franklin Shook