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Old 12-02-2009, 10:01 PM
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Default SF Guarneri Memento Arrived




Hallelujah. The Sonus Faber Guarneri Memento speakers arrived safe and sound this afternoon. The rain let up just before the UPS truck arrived, so I was able to move them under the house at the entrance of the studio, and get them unpacked without getting anything wet. I have to hand it to Sonus Faber, they really know how to pack speakers, legs and bases. The best I have every seen. The wooden crate for the speakers is a fine piece of work in its own right.

It didn't take long to get everything unpacked, assembled, and ready for music. For starters, I placed the GMs in the exact same locations where the Cremona Auditors had been. It turns out to be the perfect spot for the Momento's, although the toe-in is not quite the same. After listening to various tracks of music, and making fine tuning adjustments to their position, I have settled on a toe-in angle that crosses the axis of the tweeter behind my head about 12 inches. This arrangement produces a phenomenal sound stage that exceeds the Auditors, very broad both inside and outside the actual speaker locations. Just amazing.

Once I achieved a quality location, I began to give some serious attention to the Guarneri Memento's sound. I turned the McIntosh XLS112 subwoofer off, because I wanted to hear what the GM's are capable of at the bottom end of the audio spectrum, and was not disappointed. The GM's are able to couple and load the dimensions of my 11.5' x 15' studio room with ease, and produce a pleasing and semi-deep bottom end without difficulty. Acoustic bass notes were authentic, although the addition of the XLS112 helped add the additional depth and timber, creating total realism. The GM's do go lower on their own than do the Cremona Auditors.

I began with a very good SACD from Doc Powell - 97th and Columbus. It is a Hybrid multichannel and stereo disc from Heads Up. I have a number of Heads Up SACD's, and I can say that this label is producing some excellent recordings. Check them out, if you haven't already.

The first track on Doc Powell's SACD features Doc on electric classical guitar and keyboards, Harvey Mason on drums, and Marcus Miller on electric bass. The GM's came to life like a live performance, with Doc's classical guitar floating rock solid in the middle of the room, Harvey's drums clearly behind Doc, but filling the entire sound stage, and Marcus' electric bass creating a solid rhythmic bottom. Wow, I'm in heaven.

I had previously energized the XLS112 subwoofer, and dialed it into perfect harmony with the lowest output of the Mementos, changing the crossover point from 65 Hz, where it had best suited the Auditors, to 50 Hz, where it seamlessly blends with the start of the low end rolloff on the GM's woofers. With the greater low frequency output of the GM's, I was able to reduce the XLS112's gain control to a lower output, and ultimately found the spot where it reinforces the deepest, lowest frequencies, while essentially remaining invisible. The overall sonic signature of the GM's and the XLS112 is a thing of beauty.

On track 8 of Doc Powell - 97th and Columbus, "Ode to Chet", Doc plays a Chet Atkins style slow tune with the sound of wind drifting through the sounds of guitar, bass, and percussion instruments. I was held spellbound by the purity of all the sounds, and awestruck by the realism of the wind sounds. Fantastic presentation by the Momento's.

I decided to see what the GM's could do with Big Phat Band - XXL. This very tight big band deserves some volume, so I put it to them. Track 11 is a nice big band arrangement of a blues tune, "What Sammy Said". The entire band jumped into the center of my studio, and I was extremely impressed with the GM's ability to reproduce a satisfyingly loud performace without blurring or smearing any of the instruments. You could clearly hear the various different horns, the piano, drums and bass as though it were a live performance. The Memento's ability to be dynamic and clear is astonishing. The 150 watts on each channel from the mono MC275 amplifiers make the GM's get up and sing. I was not longing for additional power in the slightest.

I moved to track 12 on the Big Phat Band - XXL CD, "Let The Good Tmes Roll", featuring Johnny Mathis. This is a rip roaring rendition of this tune, with the big band in full swing. The Guarneri Memento's were strutting their stuff. Johnny's voice was front and center, with the Big Phat Band filling a wide sound stage from left to right. Horns were blasting, bass was thumping, Johnny's voice right on top, nothing was murky, glossed over, or smeared. The studio was rocking, the band was in full swing, and I was grinning from ear to ear.

From my memory of the Cremona Auditor's sound, I feel the GM's offer a tighter, and deeper bass response, a midrange clarity that seems to be more dynamic and open, and a crystal clear top end that has enough air to create perfectly believable cymbals, wind chimes, and the rich aura of subtle sensory stimulus that is all consuming and so thrilling. Overall, the incredible luminous aural radiation delivered by the Sonus Faber Guarneri Memento's is nothing short of extraordinary, bordering on miraculously phenomenal. These speakers are absolute keepers.


Attached Images
File Type: jpg SF GM 1.jpg (54.9 KB, 202 views)
File Type: jpg SF GM 2.jpg (84.3 KB, 208 views)
File Type: jpg SF GM 3.jpg (52.8 KB, 188 views)
File Type: jpg SF GM 4.jpg (57.2 KB, 200 views)
File Type: jpg SF GM 5.jpg (96.4 KB, 211 views)
File Type: jpg SF GM 6.jpg (96.5 KB, 327 views)
File Type: jpg SF GM 7.jpg (96.4 KB, 224 views)
File Type: jpg SF GM 8.jpg (96.4 KB, 243 views)
File Type: jpg SF GM 9.jpg (91.1 KB, 361 views)
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STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Sonos Connect, PurePower 2000, Stillpoints, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Wireworld, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario
LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC452, MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Micro Seiki DD40, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, Nakamichi BX-300, Sony 60ES DAT, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Sonos Connect, Stillpoints, Wireworld, Kimber, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113
VINTAGE - McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, Sony DTC-59ES DAT, McIntosh 4300V, JBL 4312A

Last edited by jdandy; 07-28-2017 at 09:54 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-02-2009, 10:06 PM
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Dan, congrats on the GM's. It really feels good knowing my beloved GMs will be in the hands of one of our finest AA members. Enjoy them for many years to come.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:08 PM
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Dan....an exemplary review, as per usual. The Guarneri's look sweet indeed! I was wondering....where is your XLS112 located? I don't seem to see it in the pictures.

Your Studio/HT setup is very impressive indeed. I look forward to seeing and hearing all of your gear in person! Congratulations and enjoy your latest acqusition, as I am sure you will.....


Pete
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Overall, the incredible luminous aural radiation delivered by the Sonus Faber Guarneri Momento's is nothing short of extraordinary, and bordering on miraculously phenomenal. These speakers are absolute keepers.
I think that means you were impressed.
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Luxman D-06u SACD.
Roon/Tidal.
Bryston BDP-Pi

PrimaLuna Dialogue HP EL34

Speakers: Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary




Headphones:

ZMF Auteur Blackwood, Audeze LCD-3, Audeze LCD-2C, Sennheiser HD600, HD650, Fostex TH-X00EB, E-MU Teak

Headphone Amplification: SPL Phonitor 2730, Audeze Deckard, PrimaLuna Dialogue HP, Luxman L-590AX Mark II, Woo Audio WA6

Source/DAC. Roon/Tidal.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:14 PM
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Dan,

Congrats. you now have 3 very fine systems, I am very happy for you . I knew you were going to absolutely love the SF GM. I was impressed when I heard them as well. I am sure you will have the GM for a long time. Now aren't you a tad curious about hearing the other SF homage speakers
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Home Theater Mcintosh MC207, MX120, Oppo 95 bluray , Sonus Faber Guarneri Memento with Cremona Center (matching homage finish red) front speakers, Mcintosh rear surround speakers, Sony Projector

"Everything is good, until you compare it to something better Masterlu"

Last edited by 1KW; 12-02-2009 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdandy View Post



Hallelujah, The studio was rocking, the band was in full swing, and I was grinning from ear to ear......

Overall, the incredible luminous aural radiation delivered by the Sonus Faber Guarneri Momento's is nothing short of extraordinary, and bordering on miraculously phenomenal. These speakers are absolute keepers.



You have a way with words.

Great picture
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2 Channel Room Mcintosh MC501 x 2, Mcintosh C2300, McIntosh D1100, Turntable:JA Michelle -Gyro SE with SME309 and Shelter 501 MKII, Sonus Faber Stradivari speakers, PS Audio Power Plant Premier, Aurender N100H

Home Theater Mcintosh MC207, MX120, Oppo 95 bluray , Sonus Faber Guarneri Memento with Cremona Center (matching homage finish red) front speakers, Mcintosh rear surround speakers, Sony Projector

"Everything is good, until you compare it to something better Masterlu"
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:43 PM
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Dan, congrats and keep enjoying them!
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:46 PM
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They look great.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:48 PM
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I wonder if these are the speakers that will KEEP you in the basement...
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:51 PM
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You know Dan, I may have been wrong. Maybe you won't be shopping for the Amati Anniversario's after all.

Happy Listening.
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