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Vol. 14, No. 1 Spring/Summer, 2011



NEW PRODUCTS

Sonus faber

Sonus faber has just introduced the latest member of the Homage series, the Amati Futura ($36,000). This is the very first loudspeaker to benefit from trickle-down technology first developed for their $200,000 model, "The Sonus Faber". The goal of the Amati Futura design team was to transfer the knowledge gained from the design and construction of that super loudspeaker into a more compact and affordable format. The Amati Futura is the first fruit of that effort.

The Amati Futura is a lute-shaped 3.5 way, floor-standing loudspeaker. Mechanical and sound vibration are virtually eliminated through the use of "Stealth" reflex construction. This is comprised of a fully optimized decoupling system between loudspeaker and floor and the Sonus faber's Low Vibration Transmission (LVT) system. Also borrowed from "The Sonus Faber," is the para-aperiodic "Stealth Reflex" technology employed internally as a resonator that provides additional reduction of stray residual resonance in the lower frequency ranges. This works by converting kinetic energy into heat.

Sonus faber Amati Futura loudspeakerThe enclosure is a fundamental component of Sonus faber's patented sound design. The progressively-rounded, multi-layered sidewalls are constructed in a self-damped ("constrained layer damping") construction. This acoustic environment has been optimized for each driver through strategically located reinforcement ribs in each of the drive unit's individual acoustic chambers. The adaptation of these methodologies allows each driver to come as close as possible to its theoretical performance ideal. A massive "clamp" consisting of two machined nickel-Avional cones is used to eliminate cabinet vibrations and resonances. (Avional is a high strength aluminum alloy of copper, magnesium, and silicon.) The top and the bottom plates of the device act like an exo-skeleton, ensuring that any resonances within the enclosure's walls are controlled and eradicated. The opposing end pieces are held together by a double wing-like metal brace at the rear of the enclosure. Together they function as a high-speed conductor for the rapid dissipation of resonances into the cone-shaped base casing. A Tuned Mass Damper, which is essentially a shock absorber for moving mass, absorbs specifically tuned frequencies and converts any residual resonances into heat. (Similar construction techniques to reduce resonances have been used in skyscrapers and Formula 1 racing cars.) As mentioned above, the loudspeaker's exceptional performance is also due, in part, to the patented LVT system that mechanically decouples the loudspeaker from the floor. It uses an advanced elastomer-based suspension system reducing unwanted resonances that would, otherwise, be transmitted into the listening room. The "Stealth Reflex Port" is Sonus faber's patented solution for the realization of a para-aperiodic ventilation system for the enclosure. The properties of this system allow for deep, extended bass with the same or less cabinet volume. In addition, it has all the advantages of conventional ports but eliminates the chuffing sound of many ported systems completely.

The wood finishing techniques used on the Amati Futura were derived directly from "The Sonus Faber" which is indebted to the best violinmaker tradition. No less than seven layers of hand-polished lacquer are applied before coating with an eco-friendly sealer. Metal parts of the "exo-skeleton" are made of Avional and owe their elegant appearance to a high-tech chemical treatment of the metals surface.

Despite the use of extremely advanced technologies, materials, and measurement methods Sonus faber believes that, at the end of the day, the only ultimate tool for evaluating the sound is the human ear. During the development phase of each individual component, in addition to the analysis of its technical characteristics, each component is analyzed by ear. All drivers are manufactured exclusively for Sonus faber by prestigious Scandinavian manufacturers to the exacting standards and specifications of the Sonus faber design team.

Special attention to the design of the crossover network of the Amati Futura was required to capture fully the musicality of "The Sonus Faber". The crossover of the Amati Futura uses the progressive slope architecture typical of many Sonus faber loudspeakers. It was chosen especially for its superior amplitude and phase response and for maintaining phase accuracy through the crossover transition frequencies of 80Hz, 220Hz and 3.2kHz. Additionally, only the finest component parts were considered including capacitors from Mundorf Supreme and Jantzen coils.

This is but a sample of the amazingly-advanced design techniques and materials that were employed to create the most advanced member ever of the Homage series.

 

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