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Sonus faber is the latest addition to the loudspeaker lines we sell, and we discussed their design philosophy, various models, and sonic attributes extensively in our last issue. For the first time in quite a while, they have added a new model to the Cremona line. It is called the Elipsa and, at $20,800, is positioned at the very top of the Cremona series. It borrows its sonic and design cues from the ultimate, Stradivari homage model.
It all starts with the elliptical cabinet shape pioneered for the Stradivari. Wider than it is deep, this elliptical cabinet construction couples easily with even difficult room acoustics, allowing bass to roll effortlessly into the listening space. Internally, extensive use of sub-structural stiffening spars breaks up resonance nodes that can color and mar the sound.
For Sonus faber, the drivers are crucial to the sonic success of their approach. Therefore, they have continued their tradition of reducing moving mass, stiffening the coned drivers, and asking the tweeter to extend out well into the 40kHz region. What makes this recipe so remarkable is that, as with all Sonus faber models, balance and harmonic richness are retained. The Elipsa is a true baby "Strad", powerful yet refined, dynamic and spacious.
The 10-inch bass driver uses a special magnesium-aluminum alloy cone and has a pole-piece extension of milled aluminum to assist with heat dissipation from the voice coil's gap. The midrange is made of a special, black, wood pulp material valued for its midrange neutrality and is contained in its own vented enclosure. Finally, the high frequency driver is a dual, toroidal waveguide unit. It is an extended bandwidth, ring radiator tweeter built just for Sonus faber.
Of course, the best cabinet and the finest drivers would be meaningless without top notch crossover design to integrate everything into an organic whole. Lower order, non-resonant crossovers are used for their inherent openness and dynamics. The totality of the Elipsa design makes the core virtues of the Stradivarius available at a much lower price, continuing the high end, trickle down effect that brings such superb performance to more and more music lovers.
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