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Sonus Faber announce revamped Aida at Warsaw Audio Video Show

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The new Sonus Faber Aida was unveiled at the Warsaw Audio Video Show this weekend, marking what is being heralded as the loudspeaker’s official debut for the European market. While outward appearances seem nearly identical to the previous model, it’s the internal changes that are of consequence for readers as Sonus faber has spared no expense in revamping their flagship model. Aida owners be forewarned, from the all-new driver system featuring the H28 XTR-04 tweeter, and M18 XTR-04 midrange to the completely redesigned crossover network, this seems to be a carefully thought out upgrade as opposed to rebadging.

–Rafe Arnott

Press release below:

After six years from the introduction of the first grandiose Aida, Sonus faber pushes the envelope and presents the new Aida, the brand’s flagship speaker poised at the pinnacle of its product range.

Don’t let the familiar face fool you. The new Aida has been completely overhauled utilizing the most advanced electroacoustic developments, even if the outer appearance is relatively unaltered, with all its timeless class and elegance.

The lessons learned in the development of the first 2011 edition Aida have been totally reinterpreted and improved upon in this new speaker, which has brand new electroacoustic engineering. Starting from the system, that is “3 and 2/3 way” with Stealth Ultraflex”, which allows better bass extension while minimizing distortion and eliminating spurious vibration coming from the air passage inside the reflex duct. The typical lyra shape enclosure, as in the previous edition, is complimented by the “Anima Legata” system, the “Tuned Mass Dampers” and a revision of the special “Bow spring” suspension, which contains the “Zero Vibration Transmission” system, all designed to keep both the loudspeaker and the musical environment free from unwanted resonance and vibration.

Perhaps the most radical among the new changes is the selection of all-new driver systems. The tweeter is the “D.A.D. Arrow Point” H28 XTR-04, first used in the Sonus faber Lilium and also in the most recent Homage Tradition Collection. The midrange is also promoted to a M18 XTR-04 enhanced with the avional- gunmetal basket, the most advanced midrange driver in the entire Sonus faber catalogue. This new combination of tweeter and midrange creates the “Voice of Sonus faber”, the iconic configuration of driver technology capable of maintaining the effortless, warm and involving timbre that has become a trademark of the Arcugnano-based company.

Completing the new driver arsenal are the new specifically designed woofers: W22 XTR-12 complete with all-new powerful Neodymium magnet motors and SW32 XTR-08 infra-woofer, probably the craziest subwoofer ever designed in Sonus faber, equipped with Nano Carbon sandwich cone and a long-throw 4’’ voice- coils, powered by a Neodymium magnet motor.

The new Aida is using only Neodymium powered transducers for reaching new pinnacles in terms of speed and dynamic. Inherited from “The Sonus faber” cost-no- object project is the patented “Sound Field Shaper” technology – a unique system of attenuated rear-facing drivers allowing precise control of the dimensionality and perceived size of the sound-stage. This system is upgraded further utilizing the latest tweeter and midrange: “Arrow Point” DAD 29XTR2 and M8XTR, as well as a complete redesign of the crossover network.

At a first glance, there’s no difference when comparing the new Aida to the 2011 edition. Instead, the 6 years separating the two editions are evident in some important stylistic choices: above all, the introduction of the Wenge wood finish, so indiscriminately appreciated by the high end and home decor lovers, treated according to the highest tradition of Sonus faber, with maple wood inlay and our signature hand polishing process.

AIDA-4

SYSTEM

“3 and 2/3” way, Sound field Shaper technology, “Zero Vibration Transmission” technology, para-aperiodic vented box “Stealth Ultraflex System” and staggered low frequency floor standing loudspeaker system.

CABINET

“Lyra shape” design, dual side curvature, special cross grained Okoumè plywood, used in a double thickness constriction layer damped configuration.

Sub–structural ribs are strategically placed for total rejection of spurious vibrations and standing waves control. Two “damp shelves” CNC anodized machined Avional “vibration dampers” (on the top and on the bottom of the cabinet) “stiffen” the column structure reducing consistently structural micro-vibrations coming from the cabinet walls and the transducers.

The “Anima Legata” system is used encompassing the 3 inner chambers of the front firing drive units. A special steel rod, a high speed mechanical interface, concentrates the remaining micro-vibrations conveying them to the dual multiple “Tuned Mass Dampers”, i.e. two differently tuned special custom devices optimized to erase micro vibrations, by oscillating in anti-phase. A revised floating bridge “Bow spring” suspension for vibrational interface has been devised to decouple the enclosure from the floor through the Zero Vibration Transmission technology, a patented suspension system, eliminating any acoustic feedback and any vibration propagation to the listening room.

TWEETER

Sonus faber “Arrow Point” DAD (Damped Apex Dome, synthesis of the classic dome and ring transducer) H28 XTR-04. A Sonus faber designed 28 mm moving coil driver, with Sonus faber’s vibration optimized mechanical interface. The ultra-dynamic linearity is given by the Neodymium motor system. Implemented with a natural wood acoustic labyrinth rear chamber, a mechanical anti- resonator designed for this application.

MIDRANGE

Sonus faber M18 XTR-04. A Sonus faber designed 180 mm Neodymium magnet system ultra-dynamic linearity midrange. CCAW wire is used on a composite former “eddy current free” voice coil. The dynamically linear magnetic field motor incorporates triple Kellog/Goeller rings. A special custom diaphragm is made with a real time air dried non pressed blend of traditional cellulose pulp, Kapok, Kenaf and other natural fibers, developed according to the most natural sound. To further inhibit any residual cone coloration we are using a transparent viscous surface damping coating. The basket is thoroughly optimized to eliminate any resonance, fully CNC machined from solid billets of Avional and Gunmetal. The combination of the two different metals allows eliminating any mutual resonance.

The same way as the tweeter, the midrange is decoupled from the main baffle board and designed synergistically with its optimized “acoustic chamber”. A special coaxial anti- compressor is used, designed to remove cavity resonances and distortions.

WOOFERS

Sonus faber W22XTR-12. A pair of Sonus faber designed 220 mm Neodymium magnet system woofers, lightweight “sandwich” cone structure (high-tech syntactic foam core and two external surface skins of cellulose pulp) woofers. Each of them is integrated in its own acoustically amorphous “stealth reflex” chamber. Designed to blend perfectly with the special midrange and, at the same time, to have absolute definition in their range: the sandwich structure with outer paper pulp skins has the same sonic character of the midrange cone. A powerful long stroke motor system with a 2” controlled “eddy current” voice coil is implemented for high speed, performance and linearity.

INFRA WOOFER

Sonus faber SW32XTR-08. A Sonus faber designed 320 mm Neodymium magnet system infra woofer, sandwich cone structure with high-tech syntactic foam core and two external surface skins in Nano Carbon Fiber for maximum rigidity and light weight. An impressive 4” voice-coil, inside and outside winding design to take advantage of the magnet field strength and to control the Lorentz currents proportionally to the excursion obtaining this way the tightest available lows. To perfectly match the low-end performance to different listening rooms it is possible to adapt the SPL of the infra woofer.

SOUND FIELD SHAPER

The special patented Sound field Shaper technology allows the control of the direct/reverberant radiation ratio of the Aida. The sound field shaping module can be SPL optimized.

SOUND FIELD SHAPER TWEETER

Sonus faber “Arrow Point” DAD 29XTR2. A Sonus faber designed 29 mm moving coil driver. The ultra-dynamic linearity is given by the new Neodymium motor system.

SOUND FIELD SHAPER MIDRANGES

Sonus faber M8XTR. A pair of Sonus faber designed 80 mm ultra-dynamic linearity midrange. CCAW wire is used on a controlled “eddy current free” voice coil. The dynamically linear magnetic field motor has focused field geometry. A special custom diaphragm is made with a blend of traditional cellulose pulp, Kapok, Kenaf and other natural fibers. A special coaxial anti-compressor is used, designed to remove cavity resonance and distortions.

CROSS-OVER

Non-resonant crossover, optimized amplitude/phase response for optimal space/time performance. “Paracross topology” for maximum transparency. The impedance at low frequencies is controlled for a clear and friendly amplifier performance. Double staggered transfer function low frequency/room interface optimized filter. Highest quality is used in terms of the components: last generation Mundorf Supreme Evo, Aluminium Oil and Silver/Gold/Oil capacitors, Mundorf Supreme resistors and Jantzen Cross-coils inductors.

Cross-over frequencies: 55Hz – 150 Hz – 200Hz – 3000.

SPECIFICATIONS

FREQUENCY RESPONSE:

18 Hz – 35.000 Hz, Stealth Ultraflex included.

SENSITIVITY:
92 db SPL (2.83V/1 m).

NOMINAL IMPEDANCE: 4Ω.

POWER HANDLING: 100W – 1KW, without clipping.

DIMENSIONS(HxWxD): 1725mmx482mmx780mm 68’’x 19’’ x 31’’

WEIGHT:
330 Kg / 727 lb per pair – net weight
550 Kg / 1,212 lb per pair – shipping weight.

Sonus faber Aida will be available for sales in Europe and US starting in December, 2017.

More information can be found at http://www.sonusfaber.com/en-us/products/aida.

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About Rafe Arnott (325 Articles)

Editor and Creative Director for Part-Time Audiophile & The Occasional Magazine.

2 Comments on Sonus Faber announce revamped Aida at Warsaw Audio Video Show

  1. Wow. Incredible.

    Mr. Arnott: The “ripe” language used in discussing this loudspeakers cabinet, drivers, etc., was a bit over-the-top. The words used reveals a clear misunderstanding of the electro-acoustic objectives described.

    If this was language issue (i.e. ‘lost-in-translation’ thing -from Italian/English), it’s somewhat understandable. Actually, at this speakers price-point an excellent text translator should have been sought.

    If these were your words, it would be best to curb the enthusiasm for this model/Sonus Faber.

    It appears most of the text here comes from Sonus Faber itself in which case the reader should have been referred to the appropriate link.

    It would have been an excellent article/introduction if you would have taken some time to ‘un-pack’ some of the ‘rich’ wording used throughout this article.

    peter jasz

    • “If these were your words, it would be best to curb the enthusiasm for this model/Sonus Faber.”

      Why? Why ‘best’?

      I’ve heard the last version of the Aida — it was extraordinary. Unfortunately, it is well beyond my budget, but if my home and life allowed for such stately statements, I can honestly say that I would be greatly tempted. Sonus Faber speakers are magnificent pieces of art and showcasing a pair of their statement products would please me no end.

      Maybe someday.

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