Sonus Faber Liuto vs B&W 804 Diamond - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 05-14-2011, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I am in the market for a new pair of loudspeakers in the $6-8k range. I am having a tough time locating a dealer where I can do a proper side by side of these two. Any experience and comments on these?
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post #2 of 7 Old 05-14-2011, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mscharff View Post

I am in the market for a new pair of loudspeakers in the $6-8k range. I am having a tough time locating a dealer where I can do a proper side by side of these two. Any experience and comments on these?

Well it comes down to a lot of personal preference in this range. Each brand has it's own unique flavor.

Unfortunately you'll have to go with suits your taste best.

You can't really go wrong with either speaker. But if you want to make a home theater out of it, I would lean to the B&W 800D series. There's some stability between product lines. They also hold their value very well.

However you will get more bang for your buck with the S.F. (Not that the 804's are slouches.) But I think the S.F. will handle a bit more, and deliver a bit more of punch.

That's why it comes down to personal preference.

Edit: Corrected my own English for poorly written reply. Sorry. I wrote it late at night when I wasn't the most awake.

Speaker design is rather an art. There is no such thing as the perfect painting. Likewise there is no such thing as a perfect speaker. It's part science and part personal preference.
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post #3 of 7 Old 05-14-2011, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mscharff View Post

I am in the market for a new pair of loudspeakers in the $6-8k range. I am having a tough time locating a dealer where I can do a proper side by side of these two. Any experience and comments on these?

Where are you located? Magnolia A/V carries both (not the run-of-the-mill Magnolia in Best Buy but the Magnolia Design Centers in Best Buy and the standalone Magnolia stores).

I listened to both in the same room a few weeks ago, but they had one set up on one wall and the other on the side wall, so it wasn't a good comparison.

As DG said, both are nice with some strengths and weaknesses so it comes down to personal preference.

From my quick listen in the store, I was impressed with the B&W treble (though I found it slightly bright) and I was impressed with the Liuto's bottom end and mids.

I would love to go back and compare again with them set up side by side instead of how they had them.

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post #4 of 7 Old 05-15-2011, 03:24 AM
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I am buying the Liutos this week, hopefully. For 6k, I think they are a great deal. I have always been a B&W fan but switched after a pair of Toy Towers last year. I think the bottom end of the Liutos are pretty good and that is what sold me. The diamond tweeter is a thing you have to audition to see if it is for you.
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post #5 of 7 Old 05-17-2011, 08:31 AM
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I've spent a lot of time with both. As has already been mentioned, you really need to listen to both to determine which you prefer. Both are extremely good speakers, and you can't go wrong with either.

I find that the B&Ws have a much more analytic sound. They are more revealing, and I find them a tad bright and sterile. Bass will be tighter with the B&Ws.
The great strength of the Liutos is their musicality. They are much more laid back, and have a tremendous ability to reproduce the human voice. They're a bit darker and more sensual. The only problem I have with the Liutos is that I found the bass a bit bloated and not as tight as I would like (note that most people don't have this complaint - I'm a bass and former tuba player, and am picky in this area!)

As you can probably tell from my description, I bought the Liuto monitors. They have everything I like about the Liuto towers without the flabby bottom end. They do have one shortfall though, and that is peak output. They're best suited for smaller rooms and are definitely a horrible choice for someone who wants to blast music at high volumes. The Liuto towers did not have this constraint - probably because some of the low end was removed from the midrange driver and sent to the bass driver.
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post #6 of 7 Old 05-19-2011, 02:57 PM
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I auditioned both speakers extensively (including at the same dealer at Lyric Hifi in NY), before choosing the 804Ds. The Liutos were certainly the smoother speaker, no risk of fatigue whatsoever, with great bottom end. The 804Ds on the other hand won me for their clarity, precision, and tight end. When I played decently recorded music on them the soundstage was more vivid and detailed than on the Liutos, which sounded more reserved in comparison. I was concerned that the 804Ds might fatigue in the long run, but I haven't looked back, they're fantastic. Only caveat: you have to be more careful pairing the 804Ds with equipment than you would the Liutos, because of their transparency i.e avoid bright or lean equipment, silver ICs etc. I have a Mcintosh amp and Rega DAC that work beautifully with the B&Ws. Tough call, hope that helps!
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post #7 of 7 Old 05-22-2012, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by advanced101101 View Post

I am buying the Liutos this week, hopefully. For 6k, I think they are a great deal. I have always been a B&W fan but switched after a pair of Toy Towers last year. I think the bottom end of the Liutos are pretty good and that is what sold me. The diamond tweeter is a thing you have to audition to see if it is for you.

I'm a big fan of the toy towers. I only auditioned them 2x, but thought they were an excellent mini-tower speaker.

I listened to the Liutos as well, and thought the toys stood up very well for themselves.

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