22nd September 2020, Vicenza, Italy: Sonus faber has launched the Il Cremonese ex3me, a tech-rich £48,500 floorstander limited to just 50 pairs, which advances the original thanks to a range of innovative new speaker technologies.
The original Il Cremonese was introduced in 2015 with the intention of completing the company’s Homage Collection and was named after a traditional Italian violin, the Il Cremonese, the most famous among the master Antonio Stradivari’s creations. Instead, due to its performance, the Il Cremonese joined Sonus faber’s flagship Reference collection.
New special edition Il Cremonese ex3me uses new speaker technologies for absolute neutrality
Just 50 pairs of the new Il Cremonese ex3me are to be handmade in the Vicenza factory (£48,500/$62,000 USD)
Crucially, the Il Cremonese developed into a vital internal tool within Sonus faber’s Vicenza factory, becoming a reference for the development of several technologies, due to its innate versatility and neutrality. The move led to the idea of using the Il Cremonese as the foundation for a unique loudspeaker system, one characterised by new technical features with a specific performance target: absolute neutrality.
Enter the new Il Cremonese ex3me, which combines elements from the original project, including the midrange and bass drivers, with further solutions derived from Sonus faber’s 30th-anniversary celebration concept speaker, the ex3ma.
Several new design solutions have been incorporated into the Il Cremonese ex3me, which will have a limited production run of just 50 pairs, embellished by the return of a traditional Sonus faber finish: the classic ‘Red Violin’
Il Cremonese ex3me – In Detail
Inspired by the ex3ma concept, the Il Cremonese ex3me benefits from an advanced Beryllium DLC tweeter. Thanks to its formidable physical characteristics, beryllium has unique characteristics in terms of transparency and micro dynamics. A special DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) treatment enhances the mechanical nature of beryllium for optimum sound quality, while leaving its mass relatively unaltered.
A layer of DLC is deposited on the diaphragm surface using chemical vapour deposition. The process changes the colour to black and gives the beryllium an amorphous nature with diamond-like strength. The treated diaphragm benefits from increased rigidity with a nearly unperceivable resonant frequency (above 35 kHz), making it capable of extremely fast (accurate) sound, plus unrivalled detail and air, free of coloration.
Its powerful neodymium magnet and the Ergal (aluminium alloy) rear decompression chamber is CNC machined from solid billet and guarantees extreme dynamic linearity and maximum resolution.
The dedicated midrange driver remains similar to the original to preserve the iconic ‘Voice of Sonus faber’ presentation. The 180 mm midrange units feature a proprietary cone manufactured according to the classic Sonus faber recipe: an air-dried, non-pressed blend of cellulose pulp, Kapok, Kenaf, and other natural materials. The treatment guarantees a natural sound with increased transparency and greater detail.
The drive unit’s neodymium magnet motor system is completely eddy-current-free thanks to a copper Faraday ring, strategically placed in the gap. A 1.5-inch (38 mm) voice coil made from copper-clad aluminium completes the configuration.
The Il Cremonese ex3me benefits from two 180 mm bass drivers placed in an independent acoustic chamber, acoustically amorphous and fitted with downward-firing ‘Stealth Reflex’ ducts. The drive unit cones feature a sandwich membrane made from two sheets of Sonus faber’s cellulose pulp with a layer of advanced (rigid) syntactic foam in between them; this construction technique provides maximum coherence with the mid/high units and ensures, speed, rigidity and low mass within the driver. The cones are mounted on Sonus faber die-cast aluminium baskets, designed for structural rigidity and maximum ventilation to the moving parts.
The two side-firing ‘infra-woofers’ featured in each loudspeaker are bespoke for the Il Cremonese ex3me. The diaphragms are made from nanocarbon fibre, used not only for its incredible structural rigidity, but taken from the midrange driver in the ex3ma: the project that gave the name (and inspiration) for the Il Cremonese ex3me. The tri-laminated sandwich cone diaphragm features a Nomex honeycomb core and manages the driver’s excursion and resistance to flexing, even at extreme amplitudes.
The crossover network
The Beryllium DLC tweeter and the midrange units are governed by a totally redesigned mid/high crossover network, using non-inductive resistors and air-core inductors, plus high-quality Mundorf Evo Silver Oil and Evo Gold Oil capacitors, known for their supreme performance. The entire crossover network implements Sonus faber’s proprietary Paracross Topology: a special circuit making the crossover less sensitive to radio frequency interference, lowering the noise floor.
The overall aesthetic design of Il Cremonese ex3me does not stray from the original model, except for the tweeter, which diverges from the iconic ‘arch’ of the D.A.D. system, in favour of the protection grille surrounding the Beryllium D.L.C. dome.
The styling maintains the ‘Romboidal Diamond Design’ and the five-sided cabinet breaks the classic rules of a lute or lyre shape. Taking inspiration from the shape of Sonus faber’s Lilium collection, the Il Cremonese ex3me has cleaner lines with a more ‘edgy’ design aesthetic. Maintaining the absence of parallel walls ensures that the acoustic characteristics are not compromised by standing waves or internal reflections.
The solid cabinet is further strengthened by two ‘Dampshelves’, machined from solid aluminium billet, forming the top and bottom of the cabinet. These structural elements increase rigidity and lower the resonance that contributes to the attenuation of spurious noise which can contaminate the purity of the musical message.
Spurious micro-vibration is grounded to the ‘Zero Vibration Transmission’ system which mechanically decouples the entire loudspeaker from the floor using a combination of metal and elastomer isolation components, inside a multi-part coaxial spike assembly, called ‘Silent Spikes’, which results is an audible improvement in transparency and dynamics.
Price and availability
The Il Cremonese ex3me is available globally now; UK October
Price: £48,500 / $62,000 USD
About Sonus faber
Sonus faber’s handcrafted audio products celebrate music in accordance with pure Italian tradition and have the power to transport listeners into a world of timeless Italian tradition, culture and craftsmanship.
Italian violin-making tradition and classic culture are part of Sonus faber’s DNA: its creations are crafted like real musical instruments and offer authentic made-in-Italy excellence.
Based in the picturesque town of Arcugnano, Vicenza, the company famously employs creative technicians; inventors of new design solutions. Skilled craftspeople assemble Sonus faber’s ranges following traditional processes; every detail is carefully considered to evolve into designs that become everlasting works of art.
The heritage of Sonus faber is entrusted to the hands of these artisans who seamlessly combine their know-how with the legacy of values which have been preserved throughout the brand’s history.
Distinguished sound is the result, allowing the listener to immerse in a natural musical experience. Sonus faber preserves the integrity of its roots while evolving its craft through the use of innovative materials, intense design research and electro-acoustic solutions.