The Olympica range by Sonus Faber is a homage to renowned Italian architect Andrea Palladio (1508-1580), who built the Teatro Olimpico during the Renaissance.
The Olympica I bookshelf speakers are excellent representatives of the range in Monitor speaker form. Sonus Faber partly earned its stripes with its impressive 2-way speakers and stands. Like the Minima Amator, Amati, Accordo, Liuto, the more recent Sonus Faber Venere 2.0 speakers and the superb Extrema before it, the Olympica is the latest in this long line of esteemed speakers. This series was heavily inspired by careful study of the brand’s flagship model, the Aida.
Sonus Faber Olympica I: manufacture
The Olympica I has taken on its asymmetrical ‘lyre shape’ design.
Sonus Faber is making it available in walnut and graphite. Both finishes are splendid, without any flaws to report. They both also come with a glossy varnish and a leather face and rear.
The top of the speaker is also covered in hand-stitched leather bordered by a ring of aluminium.
Sonus Faber Olympica I: drivers
The drivers were designed and manufactured by Sonus Faber itself.
The treble is in the safe hands of a tweeter with an artificial silk dome, the 29mm DAD 29XTR2 (Dampex Apex Dome). This driver has a powerful neodymium magnet which ensures perfect linearity and excellent dynamic range. The membrane is attached to a phasing component, which reduces directivity and creates a more linear frequency response.
The MW15XTR mid-woofer has an 150mm membrane and has been crafted from a blend of cellulose fibre and natural hemp and kapok resins. This blend helps to make the speaker as neutral and linear as possible.
The filter has a brand new ‘progressive slope’ design, which ensures that the speakers are in phase as much as possible. The cut-off frequency is 2,500 Hz. All of the components are first class: air core coil, Mundorf capacitors, copper and silver wiring, to name a few.
The woofer uses a bass reflex system, but uses a ‘Stealth UltraFlex’ system instead of a conventional port. This is an internal system of vertical perforated metal sheets running from the top of the Hi-Fi speaker down to the base.
The air travels through a perforated stainless steel grill. This system is symmetrical in both speakers, letting the user position the ports towards the inside or outside.
Sonus Faber Olympica I: terminals
The terminal is a Sonus Faber original design, boasting exceptional production and finish quality. It accepts banana and fork plugs and can also be used for bi-wiring. We highly recommend using fork plugs, as they offer a large contact surface area and excellent clamping force.
Sonus Faber Olympica I: installation
To really get the most out of the Olympica I, we also highly recommend using them with a high quality stand. Sonus Faber has produced a stand specifically for the Olympica I speakers, which is custom built to perfectly complement these bookshelf speakers both acoustically and aesthetically.
Sonus Faber Olympica I: listening and review
When we listened to the Olympica I speakers (after a break-in period of around 50 hours), we were immediately struck by their neutrality and linearity.
The midrange is present and highly detailed. The timbre is full of precision. Sonus Faber can always be relied on for substance, and the Olympica is no different, always prioritising realism over excessive definition.
The goal of the designers was to create a speaker that can be listened to for hours without any hint of listener fatigue. The sound it produces is super clean and distortion-free, even at high volumes.
The Olympica I speakers deliver exceptional stereo imaging and impressively deep bass for a speaker of this size. They have all the amazing qualities of their predecessors, but with significantly improved transparency and definition.
The Sonus Faber Olympica I bookshelf speakers are audiophile speakers that are just as nice to look at as they are to listen to! A superb product! Franck
Principle: 2-way bass/reflex
Tweeter: 1 x DAD 29XTR2 29 mm neodymium magnet
Midrange/bass: 1 x MW15 XTR 150 mm
Frequency response: 50-30 000 Hz
Sensitivity: 87 dB SPL
Impedance: 4 ohms
Recommended power: 40W - 150 W
Dimensions: 354x222x368 mm
Weight: 9.5 kg each