This is not a review of Sonus Faber Concerto loudspeakers but merely how the original stands uplift their performance:
my main system in the living hall
I have always been a great fan of smallish standmount loudspeakers. And I reckon I shall continue to own loudspeakers with small dimensions in the near foreseeable future with no intention to switchover to bigger ones or floorstanders. Bookshelf-type or those in the budget sector aside, well-designed and quality standmount loudspeakers must be coupled to their original or type of speaker stands they were developed with to sound their best.
A case in point is my Sonus Faber Concerto Home. Many have claimed that Sonus Faber loudspeakers would only sing well when paired with their own speaker stands and sound mediocre with others but did not elaborate further. Hence, I had been a skeptical miser and refused to fork out RM1,800 for their matching stands. I was hoping to buy them used in immaculate condition but this did not materialise. In the meantime, 3 pairs of ex-demo locally-made Empire 24" 6 or 4 pillars metal stands, either empty or filled with industrial sands and lead shots, provided stand services to my Concerto Home. I have missed out a lot sonically without realising what they actually were, until now that is.
I finally bought a pair of height-adjustable walnut finished hardwood with 'marble' (look more of man-made stone to me) base speaker stands yesterday. Switching over to them immediately transformed the entire tonal character and soundscape of my system. In CD playback, even with my vdH First Classic interconnects still in place, the sound now is alive and lively with lots of vitality and midrange warmth. The soundstage opens up and becomes more three-dimensional. Bass attack is full of visceral speed and more natural to my ears. Truly fantastic! In comparison to the sandfilled metal stands, the sound previously was somewhat deadened, lacked liveliness and very much bottom heavy. Switching over to my LP playback (with vdH Thunderline interconnects), every areas which I have just described are even more pronounced. Wow!
Which particular area constributes such a vast difference to the overall sound? I would tend to feel that it is the choice of rigid natural hardwood and non-resonant stone to make the speaker stands as sandfilled metal ones obviously overdamped the sound to extent of it being deadened and lifeless, certainly not the interface nor bolts coupling the speakers to their stands. For owners of older series of Sonus Faber out there, if you have yet to try out your loudspeakers with their hardwood stands, you do not know what you have been missing. These stands would really make your Sonus Fabers sing!