Sonus Faber Toy Towers - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 03-11-2012, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello,

I have had a crush on Sonus Faber for a while now and need some help. A while back, I demoed the Sonus Faber Toy monitors when I was looking for a bookshelf speaker. I went with B&W 685s and have never stopped thinking about the Sonus Fabers. I feel that I may have made a mistake. It was clear me that they are better speakers, but I wasn't sure how they'd hold up in home theater or with heavier music, as they have smaller drivers. I was wondering if anyone with experience could share with me how they think the Sonus Faber Toy towers (I no longer need bookshelf speakers) would hold up with faster and heavy music/home theater/video game needs. Primary use is for music such as bluegrass and folk music. Any words of advice? Can anyone convince me to highly consider another more involved audition?

Thanks a ton!
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post #2 of 19 Old 03-11-2012, 05:22 PM
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Hi, listened to the entire, self entitled Mino Cinelu album about a month ago in a pair of Toys and I fell in love with Sonus Faber. If you have ever listened to that album, you will understand when I say that it's intense. The Toys handled the music excellently....sound stage and accuracy were two attributes that I took notice to. Can't go wrong with the SF Toys or the entire SF line. Two cents...
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post #3 of 19 Old 03-11-2012, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the response, friend! I've not heard of Mino Cinelu to be honest with you. It's good to hear you enjoyed your experience. How do you think they would handle home theater usage? It would be used for music %50 and home theater/video games. The majority of the music is comprised of folk and bluegrass, but I would like to know how the speakers would handle dubstep, electronic (like The Prodigy), or heavy rock (like Tool). The size of the speaker and driver makes me a little hesitant to believe they are ideal for the faster paced needs. I'm just hoping to hear the contrary.

Where you listening on the towers or monitors?
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post #4 of 19 Old 03-11-2012, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crzycuyler View Post

Thanks for the response, friend! I've not heard of Mino Cinelu to be honest with you. It's good to hear you enjoyed your experience. How do you think they would handle home theater usage? It would be used for music %50 and home theater/video games. The majority of the music is comprised of folk and bluegrass, but I would like to know how the speakers would handle dubstep, electronic (like The Prodigy), or heavy rock (like Tool). The size of the speaker and driver makes me a little hesitant to believe they are ideal for the faster paced needs. I'm just hoping to hear the contrary.

I'm not sure how it will handle home theater but I'm sure if you have a decent sub you will be fine. As far as the folk and bluegrass, you will be in heaven.....
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post #5 of 19 Old 03-11-2012, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I do appreciate your reply. I am getting very excited just thinking about these speakers. I can get %40 off all the Toy series brand new. Do you know anywhere I can find more personal reviews of this series online? There aren't quite as many reviews as there are for the B&Ws I currently own.

How would you say these handle themselves at low and high volumes? I live in an apartment and have to be careful with volume.
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post #6 of 19 Old 03-11-2012, 09:14 PM
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They have a couple of used pairs on Audiogon too if you're interested.

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post #7 of 19 Old 03-12-2012, 03:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crzycuyler View Post

Well, I do appreciate your reply. I am getting very excited just thinking about these speakers. I can get %40 off all the Toy series brand new. Do you know anywhere I can find more personal reviews of this series online? There aren't quite as many reviews as there are for the B&Ws I currently own.

How would you say these handle themselves at low and high volumes? I live in an apartment and have to be careful with volume.

I listened to them while they were connected to a Meridian amp, cd player and an Audio Research pre amp (high end stuff) and the Toys loved them. The salesman pushed them hard and I loved the sound. Detailed but not over bearing. I had a chance to listen to SF's 10k and 45k speakers. Out of the three, the 10k pair I liked the most because of what you got for the costs. The Toys, which are about 7k less aren't 7k less as far as quality of sound. If you can pick them up for 40% then go for it and get lost in SF world. I'm not a huge B&W fan because the stuff I can afford (CM9 and around that range) seems dry and lifeless. I'm a Focal guy myself but if I ever caught an upgrade bug I'd give SF a serious consideration. Without hesitation, imo, you won't be disappointed.
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post #8 of 19 Old 03-12-2012, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crzycuyler View Post

Well, I do appreciate your reply. I am getting very excited just thinking about these speakers. I can get %40 off all the Toy series brand new. Do you know anywhere I can find more personal reviews of this series online? There aren't quite as many reviews as there are for the B&Ws I currently own.

How would you say these handle themselves at low and high volumes? I live in an apartment and have to be careful with volume.

I would be interested in this as well. I am live in an apartment and am shopping for new speakers for my living room and the Toy Towers are currently on my short list. In all honesty, I only had a very short opportunity to listen to them and need to go back for a longer audiotn with my own CDs. But based on the one brief listen, and the relatively small footprint and high WAF (in all honesty, I realy like the look as well and it fits well with our decor), these are under strong conisderation.

We don't play music very loudly so the ability to sound good at reasonable volumes is important.
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post #9 of 19 Old 03-12-2012, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Can anyone describe what they think my experience would be shifting from B&W 600 series (or even CM series) to the Sonus Faber Toy series? Everything thing about these SF speakers gets me drooling other than size. I fear they are too small and therefor will struggle at higher volumes. What are some comments on there size vs sound? I've seen many reviews of many speakers, but if I remember correctly, someone mentioned the towers as not handling heavy paced music. This worries me a tad for potential video game and home theater use.

I find that all advice so far has been very helpful. Thanks for the replies! I will have to make a trip to listen to these speakers soon and take my own music to listen to.
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post #10 of 19 Old 04-20-2012, 11:22 AM
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HI crzycuyler,

Sorry I'm a little late to the party here but thought I would chime in anyway because I actually own both of those speakers. Upstairs in the master bedroom I have a pair of B&W 685s with a B&W sub for a stereo setup. Downstairs in my theater system, I have SF Toy towers and an SF Toy center.

I love both sets of speakers. The B&W are warm and rich in the mids and are pleasant to listen to but for me, the Toys are definitely a step above. The clarity and imaging is amazing (in stereo mode). I find the toys great on *all* types of music. Yes, we listen to a lot of jazz and classical, what most people think SF is good at. But for kicks I put on the Black Eyed Peas (Imma be) and cranked it. You know, pretty far from violins and timpani drums.

Holy crap! Admittedly I have a Hsu research ULS-15 sub playing with them but man did they shake the house. And they did so with complete clarity and balance. Not the least hint of strain or discomfort.

Switching off the sub obviously reduced the bass but really not by as much as one might think.

I have them behind a cabinet door (sonically transparent) for the nice theater appearance. Staring at the wall of cabinets while they are playing, it's easy to imagine that they are 8' tall and 4' wide.

I just love them. Definitely try them out with a good rock or pop recording as well as your preferred genre. Be careful of the source though. I've found that I notice bad recordings more with them.

For home theater, we've been using them nearly every night for TV/Movies since Dec. 2011 and we couldn't be more happy. We had a set of DefTech 2004 with a center in there before and my main complaint was that the dialog was muddled. I had to really listen hard to hear a lot of it. With the SF Toys, it was immediately apparent that the clarity in the center was spectacular. The imaging, accuracy, and *punch* of the towers was noticed too.

I should note that I had no intention of buying SF Toys when I started out looking. In fact, while I had heard of SF, I had no idea what speaker lines they offered. For me it was between B&W, Monitor Audio, and Vienna Acoustics. I really liked all three. They had these Toys sitting in the corner disconnected. They hooked them up and I was hooked

I went home and did a lot of internet research on them. I went back and re-auditioned all 4 speakers 2 more times before I decided on them. I kept thinking "they can't be that good, I've got to go back again"...

Anyway, enjoy and let us know what you decide.

Tim

p.s. My setup pictures can be seen here, just search for timlinca on page 93:
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post #11 of 19 Old 04-20-2012, 11:23 AM
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post #12 of 19 Old 05-29-2012, 01:38 PM
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Last weekend I had a chance to listen to the Toys. I fell in love as well. One CD I listened to was Emmylou Harris' Wrecking Ball. The imaging was top notch and they handled themselves extremely well at high volumes. I listened to the same album on some Paradigm Monitor 11s for comparison, and they completely fell apart at high volumes, especially the vocals. I was pretty much sold on the Toys at that point. Plus they have a great understated but very nice appearance.
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post #13 of 19 Old 05-29-2012, 01:48 PM
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The SF Toy series is not very good. It has the musicality and precision of the rest of the SF products, but the Liuto series is much better. The drivers are simply too small for good sound.
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post #14 of 19 Old 05-29-2012, 02:03 PM
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The drivers are too small for good sound? What do you mean by this?

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post #15 of 19 Old 05-29-2012, 04:52 PM
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Have you looked into Harbeth? Ive listened to a few SF speakers and I wasn't terribly moved by them. It could be more personal preference but I find the Harbeth SHL5 to be one of the best middle level cost speakers available. But it's significantly more than the Toy Tower.
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post #16 of 19 Old 05-30-2012, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by echen1024 View Post

The SF Toy series is not very good. It has the musicality and precision of the rest of the SF products, but the Liuto series is much better. The drivers are simply too small for good sound.

I would like more of an explanation of this post.

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post #17 of 19 Old 06-02-2012, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by redfive View Post


I would like more of an explanation of this post.

I have auditioned the Liuto Towers, Toy Towers, and Elipsa at my local SF dealer. I felt there was sonething missing to the sound of the Toy towers, like it didn't have the warmth and musicality of its bigger brothers. When I askedthe guy, he told me it was because of the small-ish and lower grade drivers. But then again, speakers are subjective and what sounds good to me may sound terrible to other people. Just in my opinion I feel it would be better to pay more for the Liuto's. But if the Toy's sound good to you, then go for it, if not, then look to trade up. FYI I decided to buy Magnepan's over the Liuto's. The Cremona series cost too much.
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post #18 of 19 Old 06-02-2012, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by echen1024 View Post

I have auditioned the Liuto Towers, Toy Towers, and Elipsa at my local SF dealer. I felt there was sonething missing to the sound of the Toy towers, like it didn't have the warmth and musicality of its bigger brothers. When I askedthe guy, he told me it was because of the small-ish and lower grade drivers. But then again, speakers are subjective and what sounds good to me may sound terrible to other people. Just in my opinion I feel it would be better to pay more for the Liuto's. But if the Toy's sound good to you, then go for it, if not, then look to trade up. FYI I decided to buy Magnepan's over the Liuto's. The Cremona series cost too much.

I think you can definitely make a case for the Liutos sounding better than the Toys, but to attribute it to the size of the drivers (by your dealer!) makes no sense to me.

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post #19 of 19 Old 06-19-2012, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I didn't realize this thread became active again. I appreciate the replies. I understand the Luito will be better. They are obviously so, but I work part time and am student in college. It is challenging to come up with the money, but luckily I can get the Toy series half-off. I also have a VERY small place which is 10 x 15 feet and the speakers will be placed along the long wall.
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