Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment


Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

I have a secret. Well, it’s not so much a secret anymore, now that Sonus Faber has let the cat out of the proverbial bag. But for the past few weeks, I’ve been rocking out to the company’s new Lumina V loudspeakers, which it publicly unveiled today.

A full review is coming on July 1, as well as an interview with Sonus Faber VP of Product Development Livio Cucuzza, in which we dig into the intricacies of this new three-way floorstander. While you wait, though, I thought you might enjoy a bit of an aperitivo in the form of my first impressions upon unboxing the new flagship of the Lumina line.

Lumina V

If you’ve read Sonus Faber’s marketing materials for the new speaker, and you’re wondering how on earth they’ve managed to deliver a three-way tower speaker made in Italy—not merely designed, mind you, but actually built in il bel paese—for $2699 per pair (USD), the packaging is your first clue. Although each speaker is double-boxed and well padded, the container in which it’s delivered exudes a sort of get-the-job-done vibe. You won’t find any velvet bags within or any white gloves, but the cabinet is protected at top and bottom by what I’m guessing are high-density polyethylene foam supports with two inserts between to withstand the brutish assault of your average delivery service.

What you can’t see from the photos is that the backsides of the boxes made them look like they were used as furnishings in a rage room. They were practically held together by faith, a bit of tape, and one remaining staple. But the speakers themselves were none the worse for wear, surviving the onslaught with nary a scratch.

Lumina V

A little notch in the top piece of padding houses a box containing the included accessories—specifically four carpet spikes, four metal spike pads, and four nuts you can use to level the spikes if your floor is uneven or if you need to tilt the speaker back a bit.

It’s worth noting that if you generally view spikes as an optional accessory, you shouldn’t treat the Lumina V’s as such. They’re essential for lifting each speaker off the floor in order to give the gargantuan down-firing bass-reflex port a bit of room to breathe.

Lumina V

As you can see from the next photo, my initial inclination was to screw the spikes straight into the base of the speakers without using the included nuts. But sans nuts, my relatively medium-pile carpet practically swallowed the spikes, resulting in my carpet tickling the bottoms of the speakers. Screwing the nuts about halfway down the threads gave me the right amount of lift.

Lumina V

One thing about the speakers that photos cannot do justice to—especially my own—is the black leather covering of the speaker cabinets. When the light catches the Lumina Vs just right, the grain of the leather pops in subtle ways that, of course, have absolutely zero impact on the sound, but nonetheless create the sort of style and charm you would expect from Sonus Faber, just not necessarily at this price point.

Sonus Faber

The leather contrasts beautifully with the front baffle, which is finished in high-gloss piano black in my review samples, but the speaker is also available in matte wenge or walnut with maple inlays. This view also gives us a good look at the 1.1″ D.A.D. (Damped Apex Dome) silk tweeter—the same tweeter employed in the company’s pricier Sonetto series.

Lumina V

Down from there is the 5.9″ midrange driver—a blend of natural fiber and paper also borrowed from the Sonetto line. And then, of course, there are the dual 6.5″ woofers, both a blend of traditional cellulose pulp and other natural fibers, and both—if I’m not mistaken—unique to the Lumina family.

Lumina V

Around back, each Lumina V speaker sports two sets of gorgeous binding posts, which are—unless my eyes deceive me—nickel plated. (Keep in mind, I’m writing this in the past, and not all of the relevant press materials are available, so I don’t have all of the information that you, living in the present, almost certainly do. But I’d bet at least a dime that the plating is nickel.)

Lumina V

The bridging bars between the HF and LF connections are easy to remove, but since I won’t be biamping the speakers, I left them in place. Which leaves me with little else to do other than hook these beauties up and beat the living hell out of them. Keep an eye out for our full review, coming July 1.

. . . Dennis Burger
dennisb@soundstagenetwork.com