Sonus Faber Owners Thread - Page 13 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #361 of 488 Old 02-20-2015, 07:33 PM
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The KEF R900's are really nice looking. I have never heard KEF speakers before,so say they can be bright.
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post #362 of 488 Old 02-20-2015, 08:19 PM
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They're not unnaturally bright. They're definitely able to accurately reproduce instruments that require high pitches. One thing that I've noticed about the r series is that the highs scale in size equal to the midrange and bass. Possibly more than I'd care for due to the fact that I don't have any room treatment.

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post #363 of 488 Old 02-21-2015, 07:32 PM
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Decided to just stick with the veneres. No kef for me. I'll be sure to go to my buddies house to do a full evaluation of them before my final writeup of this journey.
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post #364 of 488 Old 02-22-2015, 04:10 AM
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Decided to just stick with the veneres. No kef for me. I'll be sure to go to my buddies house to do a full evaluation of them before my final writeup of this journey.
You can never go wrong with Sonus Faber speakers! Great choice.
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post #365 of 488 Old 02-23-2015, 11:48 AM
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You can never go wrong with Sonus Faber speakers! Great choice.
Agreed but taste are different so one should always use their ears as to what sound good. Personally I like B&W 80Diamond series, Sonus Faber Olympica and Elipsa SE, KEF LS50 and Blades and Tannoy Definition speakers
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post #366 of 488 Old 02-25-2015, 12:15 PM
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Considering starting a thread that involves a daily log in from me crying about how my speakers aren't here yet lol. YouTubemakes things ssoomuch worse
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post #367 of 488 Old 02-25-2015, 12:15 PM
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post #368 of 488 Old 03-01-2015, 06:38 AM
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Sonus Faber Toy Tower 1) sound quality 2) are leather finishes real?

Does anyone have insight into the Sonus Faber Toy Tower?

1) Sound quality?
I listened to these in dealer listening room conditions and they were decent, how is the sound quality on these things when positioned right close to a wall? I expect to use the loudspeaker:
- primarily for 2.0 or 2.1 channel music listening in a room that is about 12 ft x 12 foot with ceiling just under 7 foot
- it may later become 80% music 20% movie duty, either in 2.1 or 3.1 channel format, a room that is about 15 deep, maybe 25ft wide and ceiling size ranges from 6 foot to about 10

Key context is that in either room, the only possible placement will be with 1 speaker right up in a corner (half a foot from side wall, a foot from back wall) and another one about same distance to back wall. Are these speakers doable in that location?

2) Finishes?
I see that the speakers come in an oak veneer and then lacquered white or black (wood?). Then there are "classic leather" and "barred leather" finishes. But it's hard to tell from the pics if these are are these real natural leather or are they plastic/"pleather"/"leatherette"?
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post #369 of 488 Old 03-01-2015, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Osamede View Post
Does anyone have insight into the Sonus Faber Toy Tower?

1) Sound quality?
I listened to these in dealer listening room conditions and they were decent, how is the sound quality on these things when positioned right close to a wall? I expect to use the loudspeaker:
- primarily for 2.0 or 2.1 channel music listening in a room that is about 12 ft x 12 foot with ceiling just under 7 foot
- it may later become 80% music 20% movie duty, either in 2.1 or 3.1 channel format, a room that is about 15 deep, maybe 25ft wide and ceiling size ranges from 6 foot to about 10

Key context is that in either room, the only possible placement will be with 1 speaker right up in a corner (half a foot from side wall, a foot from back wall) and another one about same distance to back wall. Are these speakers doable in that location?

2) Finishes?
I see that the speakers come in an oak veneer and then lacquered white or black (wood?). Then there are "classic leather" and "barred leather" finishes. But it's hard to tell from the pics if these are are these real natural leather or are they plastic/"pleather"/"leatherette"?
I am a proud owner of the Toy Towers. Have been for over 4 years now (I purchased the original "barred leather' finish, back in the day when that was the only option available). I am on the road now, so I can't elaborate, but in short these are simply fantastic, at or above their price point. They are open, detailed, throw a big, precise soundstage, and offer more than a hint of the classic Sf "warmth" and romanticism, yet are a little more exciting and dynamic. Google Michael Fremer's original review for Home Theater magazine. I actually agree with all his points.

In my set-up, powered by a Prima Luna DiaLogue integrated with KT-88's, and with an Oppo 105 as the digital source, they sound incredible with classical, heavy metal, soundtracks, jazz and even in a 5.1 set-up as well. They produce plenty of real bass as well, specially in a small room. For less than $3K, you are getting a beautifully handcrafted product, still made in Italy. The Veneres have their own set of strengths and virtues, but to me, for the same price, there is no comparison: I'd go with the Italian-made Sf over the new Chinese product any day of the week.

There is a reason why these are still in production, even when the Chinese-made Venere line was supposed to replace them.

A photo from a few months ago. Cabling now is all Nordost, and the Oppo 95 was replaced by the 105. The Sf + tubes + Oppo + Nordost combination offers great synergy.

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post #370 of 488 Old 03-01-2015, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Osamede View Post
Key context is that in either room, the only possible placement will be with 1 speaker right up in a corner (half a foot from side wall, a foot from back wall) and another one about same distance to back wall. Are these speakers doable in that location?
If you buy them locally, the dealer should help you set them up and optimize their position. Just moving my Olympica IIIs 2" further from the back wall made a HUGE difference in sound (and my right speaker is in a corner as well).
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post #371 of 488 Old 03-01-2015, 07:22 AM
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Thanks for the feedback and pics - nice setup!

Looking at the picture you posted I see you have them in a more ideal location than I'd be able to do. I get the sense overall its a good speaker, my line of questioning is more directed at figuring out whether I would be wasting my money on them in the room position that I am forced to use. Have you at any point had these speakers pushed right back up against the wall?

Also this "barred leather" finish - it is real leather? And do you happen to have any close up images?
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post #372 of 488 Old 03-01-2015, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osamede View Post
Thanks for the feedback and pics - nice setup!

Looking at the picture you posted I see you have them in a more ideal location than I'd be able to do. I get the sense overall its a good speaker, my line of questioning is more directed at figuring out whether I would be wasting my money on them in the room position that I am forced to use. Have you at any point had these speakers pushed right back up against the wall?

Also this "barred leather" finish - it is real leather? And do you happen to have any close up images?
I'm afraid I do not have any experience with other set-ups and positioning in my room. I CAN testify to all previous comments regarding what a huge difference a fraction of an inch makes during set-up. My pair was actually (and masterfully) set-up by Bill Peugh of Sumiko. I originally had them "almost" in the same spot that you see in the photo. He spent about 2/3 hours setting them up and the final position ended up being an inch or two away here and there (he also adjusted the raking, angle, etc). Very considerable difference afterwards.

Not sure this is "real" leather. What is, nowadays? Even Sf $30K+ models use real "ecologically conscious" leather, whatever that really means. Does it LOOK and FEEL real? Yes. Does it look beautifully handcrafted (unlike the Veneres)? Yes. Is it Olympica/Cremona quality? No.

A few more images, mostly from a few years ago:









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post #373 of 488 Old 03-01-2015, 07:56 AM
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Here is another image that illustrates the "before and after" positioning of the Toy towers in my room. Blue tapes shows where the speaker's spikes and feet used to reside.


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post #374 of 488 Old 03-01-2015, 07:58 AM
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post #375 of 488 Old 03-01-2015, 08:01 AM
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And a few more:





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post #376 of 488 Old 03-01-2015, 09:35 AM
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Hey there,

I never pop into this thread as not an owner etc but I was trying out some additional speakers a few days ago and I listened to the Olympica 1 for about 1.5 hours. I have heard them before and set-up probably not great as most Magnolias but this time it was a much better set-up. To be honest, in the past, I have heard the Cremonas and always thought the sound was a bit flat for my tastes but this last audition I came away quite impressed with the Olympica.

A couple of my CDs that are not the best recordings sounded a bit flat but others sounded fantastic. Boy, acoustic guitar and vocals sounded outstanding and imaging was very very good. I came away quite surprised that this time the sound was much more to my liking. Very nice speakers for sure and great looking to boot.

It was nice to have a bit of change of heart. Better set-up and good recordings can do that I guess. Gear was Mcintosh and Arcam CDP.

I bet for a combo HT and stereo set-up it would be a terrific combo. The center appears to be first rate and I bet movie soundtracks and blu-ray concerts would shine (my passion-concerts).

Sounded great. Nice speakers fellas. Enjoy your SFs!



Rick
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post #377 of 488 Old 03-03-2015, 04:16 PM
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Well, I just set up a pair of Venere 2.5, Venere Center and a Rel T9 in my TV room. Scooted my decades old Infinity Overture Compositions 1 speakers to the surround position. Even with only a 50watt Marantz NR1602 driving them, color me happy.

Don't likes:

Spiky feet are a PITA, even with the little cups that come with it. I have a wood floor and given the weight and odd, slick shape of the Venere speakers, it is really, really hard to move them around. Some other idea would be better.

Glossy black - fits the decor best, but dang, I know what a dust collector piano black is.


Next step:

I need in ceiling surrounds. Can't live with the Overtures and all the wiring all over the place.
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post #378 of 488 Old 03-03-2015, 05:09 PM
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Well, I just set up a pair of Venere 2.5, Venere Center and a Rel T9 in my TV room. Scooted my decades old Infinity Overture Compositions 1 speakers to the surround position. Even with only a 50watt Marantz NR1602 driving them, color me happy.

Don't likes:

Spiky feet are a PITA, even with the little cups that come with it. I have a wood floor and given the weight and odd, slick shape of the Venere speakers, it is really, really hard to move them around. Some other idea would be better.

Glossy black - fits the decor best, but dang, I know what a dust collector piano black is.


Next step:

I need in ceiling surrounds. Can't live with the Overtures and all the wiring all over the place.

Good luck with them! I have had a pair of Venere 2.5s for about eight months now, and I like them a lot. Got mine for a very good price gently used. They may not be $10,000 Olympicas (as some will happily remind you on this thread ;-)...but bang for the buck is definitely up there, IMO...

Curious about your impression of the Venere center...I have thought about adding that. What's your impression of it so far?

Thanks!


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post #379 of 488 Old 03-03-2015, 11:35 PM
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I haven't got my 3.0s yet but I called the shop yesterday and found out they had a center there set up for demo. I went today with the intent of hearing the center so I could decide if I wanted to take it home, cancel and instead use the center channel money to go toward a parasound a23 or get the 3.0s they had there in Walnut finish. It wasn't that hard of a decision upon first hearing the center. The detail retrieval was superb and grabbed my attention immediately. It' not very big however but doesn't really mean much of anything I suppose aand in fact worked to my advantage as I use a flat screen TV stand with not much room between the top shelf and the TV. I'm using it now to listen to watch world War z. While in the store, I didn't notice myself localizing the center but here at home, i am if I'm looking for it. I think I need it to be lower and pointing angled upwards instead of it being ear level and pointed right at me. I will play with it more tomorrow. So far, i am not regretting my decision. Also, i got to hear the 3.0 today. They sounded really good but I didn't like them through the Levinson amp I heard them through. Too analytical and forward for these speakers. It sounded good technically, but just not a good pairing. I prefered the sound of the other set up with 2.5s and anthem receiver. The main difference from the 2.5 and the 3.0 is something that I find to be a common concern of mine with most bookshelves. 2.5 or 2 way design, I don't like being able to localize any bass coming out of the same driver as the midrange. Always has, and always will be a qwerk of mine. Also, the 3.0 seemed to have a bigger scale in image all together. I'm sure the $12k Levinson amp helped aid in this but it's also hard to set aside the fact that it is a taller speaker. Can't wait for mine to get here. One more thing, I thought these were slightly veiled but they most definitely are not.
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post #380 of 488 Old 03-03-2015, 11:49 PM
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post #381 of 488 Old 03-04-2015, 01:41 AM
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Just got in the Sonus Faber Toy Towers now...

Thanks for the quick feedback on the Toy Towers. Just got them in and have been setting them up in a 2.0 config.

The serial number was surprisingly low (sub-100) which surprised me as this is an entry level i.e. volume model and has been in production for many years now. "Barred Leather" must have been a rather unpopular finish at retail, as it's no longer a current option on the Sonus Faber website...

It's early days and the speakers are not broken in yet, but am reasonably satisfied with the sound except the lower end of the bass is a bit boomier than what I experienced when I demoed them at the dealer listening room. Of course, my room conditions are rather sub-optimal especially the one corner where I have the right speaker about a foot from side wall and 2 feet from back wall. I'm still working on positioning and haven't put the spikes on yet.

Aesthetically "barred leather" finish is very interesting in the (flesh?). I can see why it doesn't photograph well:it has an unusual stealth sort of optical effect where it is very smooth to the touch but matt black brown and sucks in light like a sponge. The Toy Towers even managed to score a grudging WAF sign-off when unpacked, so that was a huge plus!

Still unclear if this "barred leather" is actually animal hide though. It could be but then again the consistency of touch is almost too smooth. Either way, as Esteban notes, its a nice finish - subjectively I'd say much nicer than the "black leather", which was not as pleasant to the eye and is almost certainly synthetic material.

But never mind the optics, these seem like good value for the sound performance and hopefully that will only get better after break-in and positional tweaking.
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post #382 of 488 Old 03-04-2015, 03:48 AM
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Originally Posted by bthrb4u View Post
I haven't got my 3.0s yet but I called the shop yesterday and found out they had a center there set up for demo. I went today with the intent of hearing the center so I could decide if I wanted to take it home, cancel and instead use the center channel money to go toward a parasound a23 or get the 3.0s they had there in Walnut finish. It wasn't that hard of a decision upon first hearing the center. The detail retrieval was superb and grabbed my attention immediately. It' not very big however but doesn't really mean much of anything I suppose aand in fact worked to my advantage as I use a flat screen TV stand with not much room between the top shelf and the TV. I'm using it now to listen to watch world War z. While in the store, I didn't notice myself localizing the center but here at home, i am if I'm looking for it. I think I need it to be lower and pointing angled upwards instead of it being ear level and pointed right at me. I will play with it more tomorrow. So far, i am not regretting my decision. Also, i got to hear the 3.0 today. They sounded really good but I didn't like them through the Levinson amp I heard them through. Too analytical and forward for these speakers. It sounded good technically, but just not a good pairing. I prefered the sound of the other set up with 2.5s and anthem receiver. The main difference from the 2.5 and the 3.0 is something that I find to be a common concern of mine with most bookshelves. 2.5 or 2 way design, I don't like being able to localize any bass coming out of the same driver as the midrange. Always has, and always will be a qwerk of mine. Also, the 3.0 seemed to have a bigger scale in image all together. I'm sure the $12k Levinson amp helped aid in this but it's also hard to set aside the fact that it is a taller speaker. Can't wait for mine to get here. One more thing, I thought these were slightly veiled but they most definitely are not.

I am surprised that it is taking so long to get your 3.0s. That would drive me a little crazy...

Thanks for the feedback on the center. I think I am going to try to locate one soon. I have been using an Infinity Primus PC 351 center and I have no complaints, but I can't help but think that the Venere center would be a better match for my 2.5s.

Maybe I could find a place that would give me some credit on a trade for the infinity -- more to reduce the size of my speaker graveyard than anything... Does Best Buy do stuff like that now?


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post #383 of 488 Old 03-04-2015, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osamede View Post
Thanks for the quick feedback on the Toy Towers. Just got them in and have been setting them up in a 2.0 config.

The serial number was surprisingly low (sub-100) which surprised me as this is an entry level i.e. volume model and has bern in production for many years now. "Barred Leather" must have been a rather unpopular finish at retail, as it's no longer a current option on the Sonus Faber website...

It's early days and the speakers are not broken in yet, but am reasonably satisfied with the sound except the lower end of the bass is a bit boomier than what I experienced when I demoed them at the dealer listening room. Of course, my room conditions are rather sub-optimal especially the one corner where I have the right speaker about a foot from side wall and 2 feet from back wall. I'm still working on positioning and haven't put the spikes on yet.

Aesthetically "barred leather" finish is very interesting in the (flesh?). I can see why it doesn't photograph well:it has an unusual stealth sort of optical effect where it is very smooth to the touch but matt black brown and sucks in light like a sponge. The Toy Towers even managed to score a grudging WAF sign-off when unpacked, so that was a huge plus!

Still unclear if this "barred leather" is actually animal hide though. It could be but then again the consistency of touch is almost too smooth. Either way, as Esteban notes, its a nice finish - subjectively I'd say much nicer than the "black leather", which was not as pleasant to the eye and is almost certainly synthetic material.

But never mind the optics, these seem like good value for the sound performance and hopefully that will only get better after break-in and positional tweaking.
Congrats on your purchase! They do take a while to "break in", and proper set-up is key (I remember bass was a little boomy out of the box as well in my case), but I'm sure you'll enjoy them a lot one way or another. Keep us posted!
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post #384 of 488 Old 03-04-2015, 10:19 AM
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Esteban,I think your going a little over board on the Chinese made venere's. Its different today then it used to be. Sonus Faber personally went over to China,trained people in,have everything done to specs. I listened to the Toys when they were out. I loved the sound,the problem,I couldn't get past the leather look. They might be crafted well,but they certainly aren't for everyone. If I could have gotten the sound of the toy with the look of the venere,I would have bought a pair. No such luck. Instead I went with Martin Logan Electromotion ESL's. But,I'm always on the look out for something new,just like most people..
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post #385 of 488 Old 03-04-2015, 10:27 AM
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Osamede,did you order them right from Sonus Faber,or where did you get them?
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post #386 of 488 Old 03-04-2015, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
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Esteban,I think your going a little over board on the Chinese made venere's. Its different today then it used to be. Sonus Faber personally went over to China,trained people in,have everything done to specs. I listened to the Toys when they were out. I loved the sound,the problem,I couldn't get past the leather look. They might be crafted well,but they certainly aren't for everyone. If I could have gotten the sound of the toy with the look of the venere,I would have bought a pair. No such luck. Instead I went with Martin Logan Electromotion ESL's. But,I'm always on the look out for something new,just like most people..
Not at all. The intention was not to stir the "Chinese-made vs. the World" debate. In fact, I am a happy owner of a Prima Luna amp (LOVE it) and 4 Oppo players, which I also adore, all Chinese-made. I do not mind Chinese products at all. It's just that to my eyes and touch, the Veneres do not "feel" like the Sonus faber products I came to admire and respect. Now, don't get me wrong, if they sold for half their price then, yes, I could see why they would make a lot of sense. Not a fan of the crystal base, the absence of wood an leather (a Sf trademark, as we all know), etc. Plus, Sf is the type of brand that you would never imagine would have chosen that route. After Serblin's departure the brand has simply not been the same, even though I do understand the business and corporate reasons behind all of it.

Different strokes for different folks, that's all!
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post #387 of 488 Old 03-04-2015, 10:49 AM
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Well stated.. The market has changed a little bit. I can't afford high end Sonus Fabers,even tho I think the Cremona's are beautiful. There is a 2k-4k segment that they couldn't ignore any longer. The toys I think were more of a niche speaker. Its all about gloss these days,which I do love the look of. The Venere 2.5 in Gloss white...Scrumptious!
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post #388 of 488 Old 03-04-2015, 10:55 AM
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Osamede,did you order them right from Sonus Faber,or where did you get them?
No, I got them from a local hifi boutique. I'm not aware that Sonus Faber does any direct sales. If you were asking re: my point about serial number - my assumption was that this particular finish was done in the early production runs, on then discontinued because it wasnt selling well, and replaced by the four finishes that are now current. Either that or this model has sold extremely few over the course of more than half decade, which I doubt is the case...

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post #389 of 488 Old 03-04-2015, 11:03 AM
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I think they make the toy in flat black now or am I wrong? I think they would have sold more if they did it in gloss black. The small stature might have hurt it also. The sound was awesome tho.
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post #390 of 488 Old 03-04-2015, 11:06 AM
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I think they make the toy in flat black now or am I wrong? I think they would have sold more if they did it in gloss black. The small stature might have hurt it also. The sound was awesome tho.
I believe they have many different finish options for the Toy. I have seen gloss black, gloss white, gloss with wood "sides", leather (classic), leather (barred), and even a special limited "Ferrari Red" option a few years ago. I do not agree with these speakers being a "niche" product. They are still in production and there are many options available for all tastes. The Towers cost +/- $3K, just like the Veneres (actually, a little cheaper than the 3.0's).
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