Sonus faber Lumina V Amator Loudspeaker Page 2

Playing cellist Sol Gabetta's Mendelssohn album [Sony Classical 19439934002], on which she delivers the composer's complete works for the instrument, with accompaniment by pianist Bertrand Chamayou, the effortless nature of these speakers' delivery is much in evidence. With little finessing of their set-up, they presented the two musicians before the listener in a realistic, focused soundstage, and got on with the job of drawing the attention to the assured playing and the textures of strings and keys.

And it's not just with simple recordings that the Lumina V Amators shine. Listening to the lustrous Houston Chamber Choir recording of Daniel Knaggs' Two Streams [Capella Records CR-429], it's impossible not to be swept away by the intensity of both writing and performance, and the way the perfectly matched voices and accompanying musicians occupy a convincing concert hall acoustic. The latter, incidentally, extends well beyond the speakers in three dimensions, imbued with both weight and wide-open clarity.

Let's Dance
A spot of chilly evening immersion in composer Ólafur Arnalds' 2013 big-label début, For Now I Am Winter [Mercury 4810177], found the speakers as adept with the big sweeping themes as they were with driving the dancing rhythms of the title track. Similarly, the stripped-back 'Words Of Amber' held almost breathless attention at the way each note was struck and decayed against a subtly shimmering accompaniment. It's an act the album repeats with 'Old Skin', where the Lumina V Amator's combination of taut, pulsing bass and mid/treble detail brought out all the strangeness of the music.


Bi-wiring and bi-amping are accommodated via Sonus faber's split crossover while the wide, downward-firing port exhausts through the base of the cabinet and stabilising plinth

These aren't, perhaps, the model to choose if you want PA-stack levels of sound pressure and aggression, as was illustrated by a brief listen to the raw-edged attack of Green Day's Saviors [Reprise 093624866077] – the speakers will do all the recording asks of them, but don't expect the results to be pretty if the production aims for maximum abrasion!

That's not to say you have to pussyfoot around with your choice of music to please them, though. With White Music, XTC's 1978 debut album [Virgin 724385069123] – genuine pop-punk rather than a facsimile from more than four decades later, à la Green Day – the open sound of the Lumina V Amator allows the likes of 'This Is Pop?' and the immortal 'Statue Of Liberty' to slam out into the room with their spiky quirkiness intact. It's huge, hilarious fun and, for those of us of a certain age, a reminder it never sounded this punchy, nor as detailed, back then as it does through these sophisticated Italian loudspeakers.

Sacks Appeal
Revert to the simplicity of flugelhorn player Angelo Verploegen and pianist Jerone van Vliet's Little Dancer set [Just Listen Records JL033] – one of those live, straight-to-DSD recordings which is the label's speciality – and the speakers seem to shrink down to deliver the intimacy of the event. It's just two guys playing live and bouncing off each other in front of the studio microphones, all recorded, mixed and produced by label founder Jared Sacks, and that's exactly what you get delivered into your listening room. It's delightful in its lack of pretension and the way it rejoices in sheer musicianship, and the smooth yet detailed presentation of these floorstanders is ideally suited.

Sure, the premise of the Lumina V Amators – ease of system-matching and positioning, allied to superb craftsmanship – may seem a bit 'lifestyle', but these are quite simply superb speakers made user-friendly. And who'd argue with that?

Hi-Fi News Verdict
These may be some of the most affordable speakers in the Sonus faber catalogue, but there's little sign of any trade-off in the quality of the build or the sound. As a relatively more mass-market prospect than some of the company's exotica, they deserve to do well: they look the part (in three colourways), have some clever engineering touches to add to their appeal, and are beautifully built for the money.

Sonus faber SpA (Fine Sounds Group)
Supplied by: Fine Sounds UK
01592 744 710