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This requires special attention when choosing electronics because some will have more influence on the speakers’ timbre than others. My choice would not be very precise electronics like the Cambridge Audio Azur 840A or Denon PMA-2010AE. My bet would go to machines with a slightly warm sound.

Although some reviewers like the guys from HiFi Choice thought that the Minima Vintage offered a warm sound (…"here it sounds expressive, subtle and unboxy, with a typical Sonus Faber warmth and grace…" Issue 312), I couldn't confirm these findings after my audition in the reference system. Certainly in a completely different system and room one might get a warm sound and then Cambridge and Denon should not be excluded from the list of potential partners.

But there was another quality that in fact might have affected the opinion of the HFC guys. The Minima's sound was sweet in both meanings of "nice" and "smooth/gentle". Transient attacks were slightly softened and rounded, with ‘slightly’ being key. This resulted in an incredibly smooth top end that delivered lots of information but never got aggressive. Credit for that goes to the Esotar tweeter. Here we are finally getting at the key element of this design which could easily be used in loudspeakers for 50.000zł or more. This tweeter is one of the best soft domes I know. I treat these two elements —shape/dome and material/silk—separately because I know fantastic metal tweeters like the SEAS in Harpia's Dobermanns, the Focal in the Wilson Audio Sasha or the Beryllium Focal in JMlabs but also ceramic units like in the Isophon Vescova. On the other hand a dome is just one possible solution. There are also great airmotion transformers as used by Adam and Burmester; ribbons like the Raven in Ancient Audio’s Wings speakers and the Raal in Avcon’s Tivano. None of these drivers are perfect and each has its own unique sound or sonic character. But all of them are fine examples of drivers that are well ahead of the pack.

What’s the point of using such technologically advanced expensive tweeters in a more affordable speaker like the Minima Vintage? This fantastic Dynaudio part should be used much more often but it’s not. Why? I am neither a designer nor sales guy so I only have my amateur opinion. I think that first of all this tweeter is not so easy to get, and secondly that it doesn't work well in just any design. Its resolution is incredible. In this particular implementation it results in a mixture of great sweetness and high precision. Ultimately I would say that the Minima is a bit sweeter than precise but not by much. I couldn't believe just how much more information this monitor delivered than the twice priced Chario Academy Sonnet. The size of the cabinet implies some limitations that don't allow the Esotar to reveal its full potential but considering price and size these babies are absolutely fantastic!

Listening to violins with them was an enlightening experience that reminded me of their Guarnieri Homage sibling. I was truly moved each time I listened to this instrument. Those slight bumps in  the bass and midrange made the sound less linear than the Harbeth but it still seemed well balanced and clearly bigger - the instruments seemed bigger. It wasn’t not a significant difference but when comparing this sound to the far larger Chario it was easy to tell that the Harbeth was more capable of imitating a generally big sound than Sonus Faber. It seemed that the superior impulse response of the sealed Harbeth cabinet combined with the characteristics of their driver to offer a deeper sound. The Italians created a very precise well differentiated soundstage but lacked a bit of this panache which the competitor offers. The Sonus Faber can offer a very intimate close-up sound but the farther back the soundstage extends, the less precise it becomes.