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Guarneri evolution

$22,000 USD pair

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The Evolution of a Classic
Guarneri Homage, created by Sonus faber in 1993, began the series of loudspeaker tributes to the Cremonese school of violin-makers. A historic speaker, that even in that time, represented a new path in the history of Sonus faber. Thanks to its original lute- shape and driver complement, its distinctive and essential sound was expressed through the transparent music it reproduced.

The respect we continue to have for this classic, which remains a constant source of inspiration, is immense. Equally, the enormous amount of experience and knowledge we have gained through the years has begun to suggest to us that further evolution of the Guarneri concept was a possibility. Furthermore, the deeper understanding of new historical findings concerning the life of Giuseppe Guarneri, struck us and freed us from any lingering concerns - if Guarneri Homage and the following Guarneri Memento, reflect the more rigorous and traditional works of “del Gesù”, Guarneri Evolution is meant to recall the tuning of “del Gesù” in his unconditional search for perfect timbre. The desire to allow the sonic personality of this system to mature to even higher levels of quality, without undermining the original spirit, became crucial. That same desire was the first step in the project: to realize the original’s celebrated transparency with the warmth and tangiblility necessary for a seductive and evocative sound meant a departure from the traditional 5” mid-bass driver and instead, implementing a new 7” one. A choice that succeeded by paying particular attention to the membrane composition and making full use of our most recent technologies. The increased energy thus unleashed by this driver change, led us to re-develop the acoustic enclosure and refine its proportions while making use of new and different materials thus enhancing the virtues of the violin shape.

The new project confirms and modernizes another strong Sonus faber idea, of which the first Guarneri speaker was the earliest example – “an acoustic instrument living in its environment becomes part of it, carrying out the functions of both a music source as well as being a beautiful piece of furniture. The design choices, the finishes of the new materials, the increased quality of the craftsmanship and the extreme attention paid to every detail are, just like the sound produced, the enhanced expression of this concept and the most concrete testimony that our everlasting values are not only deeply-rooted in the present, but also strengthened thanks to an Evolution process”.

Guarneri Evolution expresses the renewal of continuity. An evolution made possible thanks to the combination of patented technical solutions that were developed through experience that brought us to the production of our flagship loudspeaker, “The Sonus faber”.

The System Concept
2-way, Lute-shaped, vented compact monitor speaker system on a dedicated stand (delete option available). Highly optimized speaker / floor decoupling thanks to the use of the L.V.T. (Low Vibration Transmission). T.M.D. (Tuned Mass Damper) device is used to further dampen residual resonances through a thermo-kinetic conversion. Stealth reflex para-aperiodic solutions are used for venting the cabinet.

Driver Units
Despite having the most advanced technological instruments, at Sonus faber, there is exists the deep rooted and immovable certainty that the only true judge of design choices is that incredible and unparalleled instrument, the human ear. This is the principal aspect that inspires us, ever since the birth of the company and the first designs of Sonus faber loudspeakers. During the research phase, each component is analyzed and eventually chosen keeping this criteria in mind. Both drive units used in Guarneri Evolution were built according to Sonus faber’s specifications by the most skilled and renowned Scandinavian manufacturers. The driver’s final key steps of manufacture and quality control, is carried out skilled Sonus faber technicians before being sent to the assembly line. The tuning of each set of speakers, selection and pairing, makes each pair unique, just like every violin made by the master violin maker.

The High-Frequency Spectrum

The high-frequency spectrum is handled by an “Evolution” version of a classic Ragnar Lian 1.1” (29 mm) Ultra dynamic linearity tweeter, visco-elastically decoupled from the front baffle. Ragnar Lian is the creator of the two best and most renowned in the history of soft dome 1.1” tweeters (the D28 and the D29). Unmatched in terms of naturalness, the “Evolution” version has been improved in order to optimize the extreme high frequencies by minimizing the anti-phase behavior of the center of the dome. The silk membrane, apart from having the traditional coating, benefits from further modification to the back of the diaphragm through the application of a layer of viscose coating that distributes the “deadening” and progressively increases it towards the apex of the membrane.

The Midrange and Low-Frequency Spectrum

The midrange/woofer is the key element among the transducers of the Guarneri Evolution. The “Evolution” version increases from 5” to 7” increasing the dynamic capabilities for musical crescendos. This driver was chosen first and foremost for its natural sound. The recipe for the diaphragm consists of an amalgamation of non-pressed cellulose pulp that is slowly stabilized through a natural process of air-drying. The idea of adding papyrus to the cellulose pulp (as in “The Sonus faber” drive units) has led us to discovering the beneficial characteristics of other natural fibers: Kapok, the lightest natural fiber in the world, and Kenaf, a fiber very similar to hemp. These fibers are included in the new formula and used this way, we have been able to reduce colorations typical of the classic formula without losing anything in the process. The powerful magnet system, with the 1.7” voice-coil and the triple Kellog/Goeller copper rings, make this unit eddy current free. Like the tweeter, the midrange/woofer is visco-elastically decoupled from the front baffle.

The Crossover

Special attention has been given to the design of the crossover in order to ensure the “musical integrity” of the Guarneri Evolution. The choices of transfer functions along with the extraordinary custom-made drive units define the musical qualities of the speaker system. The Guarneri Evolution crossover uses progressive slope architecture with great attention paid to achieving the very best performance in terms of amplitude and phase response. Para-Cross topology, an innovative method of high-pass tweeter filtering is employed to great success and the 2.8k crossover point offered the best sound quality when evaluated by ear. Listening was the central criteria for selecting the fine component parts from Mundorf Supreme capacitors and Jantzen inductors used in the crossover. Before being installed, each circuit is treated with a viscose-bituminous covering material in order to eliminate any possible vibrations.

The Acoustic Enclosure

The cabinet is the highest expression of the Sonus faber lute-shaped design. The gentle, progressive curve made up of multi-layer cross-grained okumè wood is applied using the utmost care. This application technique of constrained layer damping optimizes the acoustic environment of the mid-bass transducer to a degree of theoretical perfection. Additionally, sub-structural ribs are strategically placed within the cabinet to add additional strength and the S.M.D. (Surface Mass Damper) system further minimizes any “coloration” emanating from the loudspeaker enclosure. The Exo-Skeleton clamp is implemented by the two CNC machined Avional nickel-plated end-caps (on top and on the bottom of the cabinet). Their role is to control and constrain residual resonances of the enclosure walls. Two Avional rear wings, functioning as the high-speed mechanical interface that channels spurious vibrations to the base of the cabinet, link these two end-caps into a unified structure. A Tuned Mass Damper, “tuned” to multiple frequencies (like those used on skyscrapers and F1 cars), converts the residual vibrations into heat (thermo-kinetics) by absorbing the out-of-phase vibrations.
The Stealth Reflex is Sonus faber’s patented solution to implement a para-aperiodic vented system. Besides allowing a reduction to the dimensions of the loudspeakers enclosure, better low-frequency response and lower distortion is realized. It has also the additional advantage of eliminating the “chuffing” port noise typical of bass-reflex systems.

Guarneri Evolution Floor Stand

More than just a simple pedestal, the Evolution Stand is a symbiotic element of Guarneri Evolution. The stand is literally an instrument that reflects the fundamental elements of Sonus faber’s concepts such as L.V.T. (Low Vibration Transmission). L.V.T., otherwise known as a system of mechanical decoupling from the floor is obtained through a specifically optimized elastomer suspension. It substantially reduces the transmission of spurious vibrations into the listening environment and inhibits the production of sound damaging phenomenon such as acoustic feedback. The “Anima Legata”, another anti-resonant technology derived from other Sonus faber models, is made up of two surfaces, fitted orthogonally into a concentric compressed traction bar within the stand. The volume and variable thickness of the bar eliminates any resonance within the cavity of the stand thanks to thermo-kinetic dissipation.

Finishes

The finish of the hardwood parts used in the Guarneri Evolution are as true to the highest level of artisan violin-makers, beginning with the meticulous application of the seven layers of hand polished lacquer carefully applied by Sonus faber craftsmen.
On the other hand, the Avional metal parts of the Exo-skeleton, feature an exclusive high-tech nickel coating chemical process. This surface finish is over 30 microns thick, extremely tough and homogeneous, with a remarkable resistance to corrosion. It is applied in a multi-phase process first with a mirror polishing/coating step, carefully monitored by skilled workers. Following the first coating application, is two successive rounds of hand polishing, each one spaced out with additional chemical coating applications each having different timing requirements. The resulting finished parts are groomed to such a high standard that they truly represent the best in class.
Guarneri Evolution is yet another phenomenal example of our belief, ‘Proudly hand crafted in Italy’.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

System
2-way, low spurious vibration optimized suspension, stealth reflex para-aperiodic loading, compact monitor on a dedicated stand loudspeaker system.

Cabinet
Lute shape design, multi-layer, constrained-mode damping, enclosure formed using hand- selected wood layers quality graded and oriented for carefully optimized resonances control. Sub-structural ribs are strategically placed for absolute rejection of spurious vibrations. “New Era” Avional exo-skeleton clamp structure with a Tuned Mass Damper inhibiting the residual resonances of the wooden structure.

Tweeter
1.1” (29 mm) ultra dynamic linearity classic Ragnar Lian moving coil driver, Sonus faber vibration optimized mechanical interface.

Midrange / Woofers
7” (179 mm), ultra-dynamic linearity driver. CCAW / Kapton “eddy current free” voice coil. Dynamically linear magnetic field motor incorporating triple Kellog / Goeller rings. Real time air-dried and non-pressed cellulose fiber cone. Designed synergistically with its optimized “acoustic chamber”. A special coaxial anti-compressor are used, designed to remove cavity resonance and distortions.

Crossover
Non-resonant “progressive slope” design, optimized amplitude/phase response for optimal space/time performance. “Para-cross topology” on the tweeter hi-pass. The response at low frequencies is controlled for a clear amplifier friendly performance. Highest quality is used in terms of the components: Mundorf “Supreme” capacitors, Jantzen inductors. Crossover: 2,800Hz.

Frequency Response:

40 Hz – 30.000 Hz, Stealth reflex included

Sensitivity:
86 db SPL (2.83V/1 m)

Nominal Impedance:
4 ohms

Power Handling:
25W – 200W, without clipping

Speaker Dimensions (HWD):
16.25 x 9.25 x 16.2 in.
410 x 235 x 412 mm

Dedicated Stand Dimensions:
31.3 x 12.6 x 16.7 in.
795 x 320 x 423 mm

Speaker Weight:

81.6 lbs., 37 Kg per pair net weight
96 lbs., 43.5 Kg per pair shipping weight

Dedicated Stand Weight: 
159 lbs., 72 Kg per pair, net weight
190 lbs., 86 Kg per pair, shipping weight.

Finishes:
Red, Walnut, Graphite