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.
This series was heavily inspired by careful study of the brand’s flagship model, the Aida. The Olympica III the is flagship model in the range. It comes in the form of a magnificently imposing tower speaker. It shares Sonus Faber’s signature asymmetrical lyre-shaped design. Like the Olympica I and Olympica II speakers, it is available in two finishes: walnut and graphite. Both finishes are gorgeous, luxurious even, compared to the competition. The front and back edge are covered in a beautiful tanned leather. The top is also covered in hand-stitched leather that bears the company logo and is bordered by a ring of brushed aluminium.
The drivers are specifically designed for this range, although they do also use several of the technologies originally developed for the Aida and Amati. 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, bestowing it with flawless linearity, excellent dynamic range and significant power handling capacity. The membrane is attached to a phasing component, which reduces directivity and creates a more linear frequency response in the higher frequencies.
The MW15XTR midrange has an 150mm membrane that has been crafted from a blend of cellulose fibre and natural hemp and kapok resins. This unique blend contributes to neutral and highly linear reproduction.
The bass is in the safe hands of two 18cm W18XTR woofers. These woofers have cellulose membranes reinforced by a sandwich made up of synthetic foam. This structure creates super lightweight and rigid moving parts.
Like the Olympica II, it has a filter with a progressive slope design. It has been optimised to ensure that the speakers and four drivers are in phase as much as possible. Only the very best components have been used, including an air core coil, Mundorf capacitors and silver/copper wiring. Instead of a conventional tubular port, the bass reflex uses a system known as ‘Stealth UltraFlex’. This is an internal system of vertical perforated metal sheets running from the top of the speaker down to the base. The air travels through a wool filter and a perforated stainless steel grill. This system is symmetrical in both speakers, letting the user position the ports towards the inside or outside. The placement of the speakers will affect the response in the bass as well as change the sense of space. The terminal is a Sonus Faber original design, boasting exceptional production and finish quality. It looks similar to rhodium and accepts banana and fork plugs. It also allows for bi-wiring and bi-amplification.
Like many high-end speakers, they are very sensitive to thermal shock and require a significant break-in period. So they should settle into the temperature of your listening room for a minimum of 48 hours and a have break-in period of around 50 hours. When we listened to them, we were immediately struck by the huge difference in quality between the Olympica III speakers and their little sisters, the Olympica II speakers - and we were already big fans of those!
The opening bars eased us beautifully into the music. The sound stage is excellent, with a holographic sound to rival even the most high end Hi-Fi speakers on the market. The drivers disappear before your very ears, with some parts of the music (in live recordings and orchestral music in particular) completely transcending the confines of the left and right speakers. And the same is true of the depth and placement of the different layers within the sound stage.
The sound stage is impressively wide and deep. But it spreads across the two layers with impressive realism but without any exaggerated energy, remaining precise and perfectly placed. The sound quality is authoritative, but also knows how to deliver finesse when it needs to. It plays your favourite music with clear and convincing realism. You’ll quickly forget all about the speakers and their position in your living room, as the walls seem to crumble away and you are transported directly to the concert hall. The definition and transparency are remarkable. The treble is forceful and flies high without bringing out any harshness or hissing. The midrange is similarly impressive, blending in perfectly and naturally with the other registers. It seems to give vocals and strings more substance and density than rival speakers. And it works well with a wide range of Hi-Fi equipment. We achieved impressive results with transistor and Class D equipment (Audio Research, Naim Audio, Mark Levinson, Devialet, etc.).
The Olympica III speakers are a fine showcase of the Italian company’s expertise combined with the best acoustic technology in the world!
They have to be the best Sonus Faber release since the renowned Stradivari model, and the best speakers under €15,000!
A maPlatine.com top pick! Remarkable! Franck
Principle: 3-way bass/reflex
Tweeter: 1 x DAD 29XTR2 29 mm neodymium magnet
Midrange: 1 x MW15 XTR 150 mm
Woofer: 2 x W18 XTR 180 mm
Frequency response: 40-30 000 Hz
Sensitivity: 90 dB SPL
Impedance: 4 ohms
Recommended power: 50W - 250 W
Dimensions: 1114x403x508 mm
Weight: 44 kg each