Sonus faber Lumina V Amator Loudspeaker

hfnoutstandingThere's more to this slender, stylish Italian floorstander than striking wood veneers as trickledown hits the target

Think Sonus faber, and the chances are you'll imagine speakers with luxurious finishes and price tags to match. After all, the company used the 2024 CES event to roll out its Suprema speaker system, comprising two main 'towers' and two subwoofers, with a £695,000 price tag. But such lofty ambition also brings the option of 'trickling down' new technologies to less expensive models, including the £2999 Lumina V Amator floorstander we have here.

There's more to the new arrivals – there's also a £1299 Lumina II Amator two-way bookshelf speaker – than the eye-catching real-wood veneers of the main baffle, available in glossy red, walnut and wenge finishes with a striking 45° grain orientation. In common with other Sonus faber Amator models [HFN Apr '21], the new speakers also feature additional tuning to set them apart from the 'standard' offering.

Paying Homage
As part of the upgrades, the midrange driver does much of the heavy lifting: the transition between it and the tweeter has been raised to 2.85kHz, up 250Hz from that of the regular (£2499) Lumina V, while the bass crossover remains at 260Hz. A new 'Hybrid IFF/Paracross Topology' network draws on the development of the company's Homage speakers and uses components from the G5 versions of its Amati [HFN Aug '23] and Guarneri designs.

The main enclosure, wrapped in faux-leather, looks simple and rectilinear but within the enclosure is a version of the company's lute-shaped housing, here to set the tweeter and midrange driver apart from the bass units while also reinforcing the entire sub-cabinet. Another 'hidden' feature is the substantial bass reflex port, venting downwards through the bottom of the enclosure and the stabilising plinth. This is designed to make the Lumina V Amator less sensitive to room boundary positioning but does mean the rather tall spikes supplied are vital to provide the space into which the port works.


Available in Gloss Red, Wenge and Walnut 45o angle wood veneers, the Lumina V Amator's baffle hosts a 29mm DAD tweeter, a 150mm paper-cone midrange driver and two 165mm pulp/syntactic foam sandwich diaphragm woofers venting through the base

Set-Up Simplicity
The drivers here are the same as those found in the standard Lumina models: the tweeter is the company's 29mm DAD (Damped Apex Dome) unit, derived from the Sonetto range [HFN Nov '18] and with its hand-coated silk diaphragm damper carried on the vertical crossbar in front of it. Meanwhile, the 150mm midrange driver blends fibre and paper, also used in the Sonettos, while the twin 165mm bass drivers employ a sandwich paper cone and were designed specifically for the Lumina.

While Sonus faber's floorstander looks imposing in the pictures, the speaker is neither huge nor massively weighty, standing just under 105cm tall and, at 22.5kg, about light enough for one-person set-up, adding convenience to the room-friendliness. Positioning is no trickier, in no small part due to that downward-firing port. I spent some time moving the Lumina V Amators backwards and forwards in the room, finding very little difference wherever I placed them, and concentrated instead on experimenting with toe-in for the most coherent stereo image. Again, I was unable to effect any huge changes in this department, so stuck to my usual positioning with the cabinets aimed just slightly in front of the listening position.

With their rated 89dB sensitivity, 4ohm nominal impedance and a 50W minimum power requirement, these are not especially demanding speakers, and worked well with the various amplifiers I tried, ranging from Audiolab's 9000A [HFN Aug '23] up to my vintage Naim NAC 52/NAP 250 set-up. I should mention that magnetic grilles are provided, but it would be a shame to cover up the understated dark wenge or more exotic gloss red and walnut wood finishes on offer!

sqnote Culture Club
Some speakers require real effort to work out just what they're doing, even with familiar music, only revealing their virtues (and vices) over an extended listening period. The Lumina V Amator, however, steps right up to the plate with a sound that's refined, cultured and supremely easy to enjoy. It impresses with a combination of bass richness, an open and attractive midband and sweet yet explicit treble. Best of all, though, is the way this design puts all these elements together to create a presentation that's all about the music, not the means by which it's being reproduced.

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