In the evolution of every system there are those moments when the introduction of a new piece has a significant impact on system performance such that you sense that things have gone to a higher level. I have recently experienced one of those moments when I added the Sonus Faber Lumina 2 bookshelf speaker to my desktop system. The search for this speaker was long and exhaustive, but good fortune smiled at me and I arrived at the Lumina 2.
The day they arrived, the unboxing had a bit more excitement to it than other such events. They are beautifully packed, which added to the experience. Once you take them out of their individual cloth bags, you just look deep into them and take everything in. You immediately notice the heft each cabinet has. You soak in the rich look of the leather wrap that adorns the cabinet. Looking further, you notice the seamless integration of the beautiful wood face/sound board. The real surprise, though, is reserved for when you remove the front grills. The level of execution and craftsmanship in how the speakers were set and adorned is astounding for a bookshelf of this type. even the base, which effortlessly blends the beautifully designed front port is such a well thought out solution. The finished speakers are absolute pieces of art, and I looked at them for many minutes before I even connected them. But then I connected them…
The first music played was a song from Ryan Adams’ 2022 acoustic performance from Carnagie Hall. The song was “Everybody Knows”. I was blown away by how absolutely real the music sounded. I closed my eyes and suddenly found myself there in the room, right up front. Not front row, but just a few rows back. You can feel the room dynamics and feel the interaction with and energy of the crowd. This is the first thing that grips you when you listen to these loudspeakers - they possess a natural, organic timbre and presentation that just takes you away. Staging and imaging is sublime. It’s kinda neat when a 2 channel speaker setup can surround you. And these do. But at the same time, they have remarkable speed and detail retrieval. Especially in the case of acoustic instruments. Cymbals, drums and percussion, acoustic strings and so on sound absolutely real. The attack of a cymbal is perfect, with wonderful decay and ring. Bass response from the specially made 6-inch pulp driver is powerful and beautifully controlled. The mids are so well done it’s hard to even describe. Vocals and instruments are placed exactly where you expect them, and you hear every detail.
There is wonderful energy up top and it provides this incredible sense of space and air. This tweeter sounds like nothing I have heard before. As a violin goes higher and higher up the scale, you miss nothing. There is never a place in the entire FR where things get congested or confused, every note, every cord is heard. And yet, the treble energy never becomes sibilant or fatiguing. In fact, it’s freaky how well balanced these speakers are. And the thing I am coming to love the most, and that is how easily they disappear. In Mear seconds after a selection is started, the speakers just vanish, taking the REL subwoofer with them, immersing you in just the music. I think that is a rare thing to achieve for a desktop system. But these do it as a matter of course. Simply fantastic.
In summary, I have to say that the Sonus Faber Lumina 2 is an absolute winner. Stunning to look at, stunning to listen to. Beautifully Italian. The ultimate nearfield listening experience. The piece that took my system to the next level.