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This review first appeared in the November 2012 issue of hi-end hifi magazine of Germany. You can also read this review of the Sonus faber Venere 1.5 in its original German version. We publish its English translation in a mutual syndication arrangement with the publishers. As is customary for our own reviews, the writer's signature at review's end shows an e-mail address should you have questions or wish to send feedback. All images contained in this review are the property of fairaudio or Sumiko/Sonus faber - Ed.

Reviewer: Jochen Reinecke
Sources: iPod Video 80GB with Pure i-20 dock; Marantz SA 7001 CD/SACD; Yamaha CD-S 1000; Pro-Ject Xpression III with Ortofon OM 30 Super
Amplification: Funk LAP-2 and Dynavox TPR-2 preamps; Trends Audio TA-10.2 SE, Yarland FV-34C III, Myryad MXA 2150
Loudspeakers: Neat Momentum 4i, Quadral Rondo, Nubert nuBox 101 with AW 441 subwoofer, DIY widebander TL with F120A
Cables: AVI Deep Blue interconnect, Ortofon SPK 500 speaker cables
Review component retail: €1.250/pr

Sonus faber’s new Venere range
encompasses six models altogether. But so new is this launch that only three of the models are available yet – the floorstander 2.5, a center speaker and today’s tester, the monitor 1.5. Soon a wall-mount, the bigger 3.0 tower and the larger 2.0 monitor will trundle in. For me this was a true premiere. In my hifi career I thus far had no encounters with Sonus faber. A friend of mine whose main job description is as son spends most his time with top offerings from Krell and Sonus. He swears by the combo. Hence I was thrilled to finally have one of the latter’s speakers in my own crib.

The 'lyra' cross section of the Venere 1.5 borrows from the Aida flagship. That geometry isn’t merely for show but based on solid physics and acoustics. Elimination of right angles surrounding the baffle avoids edge diffractions. Diminishing cabinet width toward the back minimizes resonances and standing waves. This receding shape plus rakish top are also said to reduce detrimental interactions between speakers and front wall. Inspecting the narrow spine to conclude that the Venere 1.5 is a sealed alignment would really be incorrect. The bass reflex opening is by way of a horizontal slot on the front below the mid/woofer. This eases integration with close wall or corner proximity even though the manual admits that freestanding placement is optimal.

Within the Venere lineup various models are distinguished by size, selection and/or number of drivers. One constant however is the choice of tweeter, a 29mm silk dome crossed in at 2kHz and active up to 25kHz. For the mid/low registers the 1.5 employs a 150mm curv-cone unit with composite membrane. Its claimed 50Hz reach is paid for with lowish system sensitivity of 85dB/W/m at a nominal 6Ω impedance. An optional matching stand is available but wasn’t part of the assignment. I used an Affiniti model from US company Lovan instead.

The €1.250/pr in this segment are fighting words for a speaker of such classy cosmetics. Flippant tongues might feel compelled to invoke potential brand dilution. Such modest pricing is made possible by an Italian/Sino division of labor. R&D, concept and design occur in the boot-shaped Mediterranean country under the direction of Paolo Tezzon and Livio Cucuzza. Manufacture is handled by a Chinese partner whose personnel spent time at Sonus faber’s HQ in Arcugnagno to get properly integrated or perhaps better yet, westernised and familiarized with Euro standards. Additionally a standing presence of Italian woodworkers and technicians at Sonus faber’s Hong Kong branch aims to guarantee that the quality of the original shiny samples gets adhered to over the long haul of endless production. At least with my loaners this clearly came off as intended. Fit’n’finish were flawless, affordability the very last thing on any admirer’s mind. As we say in Berlin, allet schick. All was très chic from the perfectly flowing lines to the biwire terminals with confidence-inspiring nuts to the magnetized grills.