Swans or Sonus Faber Concerto?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Jose G, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. Jose G

    Jose G Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2002
    Messages:
    568
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have heard rave review for both- do they compare? Has anyone here heard them both? I've heard the concertos, but not the swans. I liked the concertos, especially the mids to highs- jazz vocals were great. Would you say swans for music and HT but concertos mostly for music? This is the impression I have gotten so far.
     
  2. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    945
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    For that kind of music I would also check out the Ref's or Onix Rockets from av123.com
     
  3. Jose G

    Jose G Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2002
    Messages:
    568
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That's the thing, I listen to a lot of jazz and Latin jazz, but I still love Verdi, Bach, Ozzy, Thievery Corp., R&B, Soul, Gospal, etc.. So I don't want to limit my speakers to ones that do better with a particular type of music. I want an all-around speaker system that can do all music well and HT. I've read that the Rockets and the Swans are pretty close in sound. Is that right? Anybody demo both of these? I have read that the rockets have a slight edge over the Swans. I don’t remember what this edge is, and I know this edge is subjective and dependent on so many other factors- as is the entire listening experience. I, of course, will listen before I buy, but I justed wanted some input. Oops! I think the Concertos are a bit too much cash. I think I was thinking of the Concertinos. Oh, well. Any thoughts on Swans vs rockets for all around music and HT. There was a post at av123 where the rockets give the edge over the HTD level 4s, but av123 doesn't sell level 4s, does it? So what do you think? Right now I'm only using an HK 225 and will upgrade that later if necessary for a more powerful receiver. My undertsanding is that the rocket 550s could use at least 100 watts per ch.
     
  4. Kin Poon

    Kin Poon Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have the Level 4 pushed by a parasound amp. I am 19 now, and for the past 4 years, i been trying to save up for the Sonus Bookshelfs.

    Then my cousin told me about the Level 4..........its not AS smooth as the Sonus (which really is a MAJOR NITPICK) ...however where the sonus leaves off in a quick and responsive dynamic range, the level4 picks up.

    The sonus is only good for smooth vocal/classical music/jazz musicl. But for rock or hard music, it literally sucks, almost dull and lifeless. The level4 is a better all rounder. However...if you dont have a decent amp...dont bother. It will make the L4 sound like SH&&T. Also...sonus kinda colors the sound in a way so its very laid back and warm. The HTD is COMPLETELY neutral. When i changed preamps, i can tell automatically what the diffrevece were between the pre's. Tried with 3 different CD players...also very distinctive. With the sonus...i cant really detect a difference between cd players...unless ofcourse its an APEX vs NAD. IN my words....the Level 4 is very source sensitive and requires good clean power.

    My cousin have the swan 2.1 and said that the L4...a lil different in sound characterisic...but sounds JUST AS GOOD if not better.

    Price performance ratio...the Level4 can not be beat. Sonus cost over 1K...and for it to rival the L4..you need to get the Bigger versin of the bookshelfs...and not their smallest one, which cost around 8-900 dollars.

    One thing...dont get the L3...i bought those before and returned. For 200..it really cant be beat...ESPECALLY FOR MOVIES!!! those ROCK FOR MOVIES. i actually prefer the L3 for movies over the L4.

    For anyone that said that the L3 and L4 are very similiar in sound...its BS. ITS TOTALLY DIFFERENT. When i used the pioneer 1014tx, i cnt tell a difference between the L3 and L4. Sound exactly the same.

    Then i upgraded to SHure/Parasound seperates....and WHOA...the L3 and L4 sounded like DIFFERENT SPEAKERS TOTALLY. The differnce was very obvious...almost too obvious....highs, lows, and mids...L3: harsh highs, decent mids, but not enough presence, and overdone bass. I am nitpicking btw....its only 200, and when you compared it other 200 speakrs, it sounds REALLLL GOOD...kills the Paradigm atoms, and low end B&W, and abs...steps on the same price range JBL, infinity, and polk. I have very picky ears, but for 200..like i havent said it enough its ALOT of speaker...and its 20pds each...VERY HEAVY for a speaker in that price range.

    THe L4....very smooth highs and very diverse, mids have presence and air, and the bass is really tite and never calls attention to itself. Specs dont do the thing justice on their site...cuz its almost the same thing. The L4 is a very musical speakers and is designed for music in mind whereas the L3 was specically designed for movies imho. L4 are in a totally different class level then the L3..as the L4 are comparabe to even the NHT SB3 and Sonus.vienna speakers.

    Also might want to add that the L4 looks alot better then the swan 2.1......IMO

    One thing i keep reminding......USE A REAL AMP!!! reciever amplifers wont do that Level4 justice...unless you have like a 4800 and up...RXv1

    My 1014 was not even able to push the Level3 to its full capability. It causes thin and echoey highs, bloated mids, and reallly boomy bass...yes i have that thing set right, with and without MCACC.

    alright, i ranted enogh...now go make youself happy.

    By all means...if you do have the DOUGH....get the vienna acoustic....they are very very similiar to the L4 in the all round categorey.
     
  5. Jose G

    Jose G Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2002
    Messages:
    568
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for your time, Kin. A lot of good info for me in this post. I appreciate it very much. Right now I don't have a lot of juice to work with- just an HK225. I'm thinking of upgrading the amp also, but for now I want to focus on the speakers and than if necessary up the amp. The speakers I'm looking at now are the swans, rockets, ascends, maybe aperion. I'm leaning towards the rockets. The next thing is to listen, listen, listen. Anyone from NYC have one of these and willing to let me take a listen?
     
  6. Nhan_H

    Nhan_H Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2003
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0


    I'm sure that a beefy amp would defitely help the sound, but is this something that you've tested (4800/RXV1), or is it just a guess, based on your 1014/parasound comparison? Have you tried telling this to the HTD guys who are using an Onkyo receiver in their demo/showroom? Maybe this is something even they don't know???
     
  7. Kin Poon

    Kin Poon Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    "For anyone that said that the L3 and L4 are very similiar in sound...its BS. ITS TOTALLY DIFFERENT. When i used the pioneer 1014tx, i cnt tell a difference between the L3 and L4. Sound exactly the same."

    With the pioneer 1014.....i cant tell the difference really.


    "One thing i keep reminding......USE A REAL AMP!!! reciever amplifers wont do that Level4 justice...unless you have like a 4800 and up...RXv1"

    I used a 777ES reciever (i did not mention that as my main system for the HTD is the Parasound) which contains a push pull paralel amp with a R type transformer...basically the same as their 9000ES counterparts. Mind you, this is NOT the DA7ES!...this reciver is well up to par as the 4800..and the DSP-A1..the back models of the RXV1. My recuever weights in in about 60pds, so its not no light weight. I dont know what HTD uses...but the 1014 was not able to smooth out the sound of even the L3. This is not saying its a bad reciever...but it doesnt provide the juice that big power amps provides for my liking. The 777ES was able to disguitish the sound between the two...and it rids the echoey and harsh highs from both the speakers. The amp is currently pushing Monitor Audio Silver 5i....which does not sound no where as good as the L4.


    "Also might want to add that the L4 looks alot better then the swan 2.1......IMO"

    hahaha....when i look at them, it feels like i just bought avalon speakers, which are one of the most beautiful speakrs ever created. IMO..again, lol
     
  8. Kin Poon

    Kin Poon Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Oh yeah...my cousin has the 2.1......and he used surround amp...forgot what it was...but its in the class level of the 2803. GAWDLY did those things sound awful.

    However, he came back and told me he tried the Swan 2.1 on a Carver 55tx amplifier and was completely astonished by them. He uses NHT VT2.4 and Sherborun......and when he said astonished by them....it means alot. I havent heard it yet...but i am very curious.

    Most online speakers may be priced around low end, and a lil toward to the mid end...but they are in a totally different class level and deserve much better components.

    BTW...nHan...dont you have teh Level 4s?
     
  9. Nhan_H

    Nhan_H Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2003
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hey, Kin. Sounds like a nice system you have there. Yes, I own a pair of L4 mains (and L2 center). I'm lacking funds to purchase a receiver for the bedroom in which to use the L4s [​IMG] OK...it's just an excuse, since I'll probably be bedridden all day if I get an HT system in there [​IMG]

    Currently, I'm just using the L4 mains as computer speakers (I know, they deserve more than that), but they are doing rather well (lower volumes) on that hillbilly setup (I'm driving them with a computer sub).

    My main HT (living room) has my Rocket speakers, being driven by a Yamaha RX-V2200. The yamaha does pretty well, but I'm still needing more from that area. Which is why I'm going with separates in a couple of months. I have the Emotiva Ultra Lites on pre-order right now. Actually, I have 3 of them on pre-order, since my brother and father need one each [​IMG] I don't know how much of an improvement the ULs will make, but I'll be reserved in my expectations for now.

    Also, my brother owns the L4 tower and center speakers. His are also in mappa burl. They aren't sounding very good (relatively speaking, of course), since they are being driven by a very old and very low-end receiver. He'll definitely be upgrading in sound when the Emotiva ULs arrive.

    I also have a buddy who owns an L4 5.1 set (actually 5.0). He's driving them with one of the earlier Panny Digital Receivers, and he's loving the sound.

    When I demoed the L3s and L4s (towers) in my own home (with the Yammie 2200), I didn't think that the sound differences between the 2 was enough to justify the cost difference. My buddy who owned the 5.0 set felt differently, of course. So it all depends on the person. However, having owned the L4 mains, I can definitely say that they are worth it over the L3 mains (bookshelves).

    I'm willing to guess that most people who purchase lower-to-mid-end speakers may not be willing to invest enough in electronics. Most will be using receivers to drive their speakers, and many won't be willing to spend above the $1000 mark for a receiver.

    I do agree that HTD does make very solid products and they do deserve more recognition.
     
  10. Jose G

    Jose G Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2002
    Messages:
    568
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Nahn,
    How do you like those rockets? Do you have the 550s? I gather you prefer the rockets to the HTD 4s since you have them as the main set up. Is that right?
     
  11. Nhan_H

    Nhan_H Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2003
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi, Jose. Yes, I do own both the Rocket 550s and the L4 bookshelves. That was my post over at AV123 (same post I had over here a while back) covering my in-home demo of the rockets and HTDs. I'm loving the 550s more and more each day. I can definitely be happy withe either the 550s or L4s.

    There's been several folks at the AV123 sites who have demoed the Sonus Faber and felt that they sounded pretty much like the rockets.

    Definitely do try to demo the Rockets, as well as L4s and Swans if you can. I've had a chance to demo a set of swans at another Jose's house (he came over to mine to demo the rockets first, since he felt like he wanted to move in that direction). For HT surround applications, I can't give either one the advantage. But as far as the center goes, I felt (as well as did he) that the RSC200 had an advantage over the swan center (can't remember the model number).

    This wasn't an A/B comparison, as we both had different setups and room types. I have my Yamaha RX-V2200 and a Pioneer 563a, where as Jose had an Onkyo 898 (if I can remember the model correctly, but it was their high-end receiver) and a HT PC. My HT is my living room, but Jose had a kick-ass dedicated HT room. I'm still jealous over his HT room!!!

    The swan mains (6.1s) were definitely much bigger than the Rockets. When we tested the Swans with some music, we noticed that's where their voices differ from the Rockets. They have a more forward sound than the Rockets did, but are very nice speakers indeed. Wouldn't mind owning me a couple of the 6.1s [​IMG]

    Again, don't just take mine or anyone's review as absolute gospel. Please go and listen for yourself and have a good time in the process!
     
  12. chrisCo

    chrisCo Extra

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2004
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Back to the man's original question. If you need a bookshelf and can afford the concertos do it. I've been looking and listening for the past 11 months and I can't find a better front ported bookshelf for music and its ruined it for me because I can't afford them and can't find anything close (for music). Thanks to this forum there is hope for me.

    I'll think you'll find the concertinos don't have the presence of the concertos, they sound like good small speakers.

    If your requirements don't limit you to a bookshelf then in that price range you have many many very good alternatives available to you but its not fair to compare the concerto bookshelf (or any other bookshelf) to towers.

    If, after tax season, I still have a bookshelf to put them on I plan to go to HTD (fortunately I live nearby) and demo level whatever bookshelfs with the goal of getting as close as I can to the concerto listening experience. I'll be happy to let you know how it goes.
     
  13. Kin Poon

    Kin Poon Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    yeah nHan.........you need to upgrade that computer amplifier...dont turn it up too loud cuz the HTD L4 do like power. The level 4 are VERY NEUTRAL...it can sound both bright and warm. So mate them well according to your taste. The tweeter is VERY revealing also...once you put in a badly recorded CD...you wil know what i mean, or a very well recorded CD.

    The sonus is a lil BIT better for smooth..and i do mean SMOOTH music. However..once you put it some hard rock or very dynamic movies...its gonna start sounding like its not alive, dull and lifeless. My opinion however, some might tend to agree. Sonus also contains a very warm sound.

    i nver heard the rockets before, some say they are better, some say they are not. All a matter of preference. However, i am very very curious.
     
  14. Jose G

    Jose G Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2002
    Messages:
    568
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks guys, this has been great.

    Chris, definitely let me know how it's going for you. The more ears the better, right? [​IMG] It's funny you said, , because that's the story of my life and it stinks because of that! [​IMG]
    Thank goodness for this forum, even though it drives my wife nuts. She always says, "Are you talking to your imaginary friends again?" when she sees me on the computer :b
    I do want floorstanding for my mains and the rockets sound like they're great!

    Nahn, thanks for your input- it confirms what I was thinking about the rockest and swans. I really do need to try and listen to all these if i can, including the L4, but that's not so easy. I may try that site- I can't remember the name- where folks allow others to audition speakers in their homes. I also heard good things about ascend acoustics. Right now it does look like the rockets are on the top of the list, though

    Kin, I do have an hK, which is known to be on the warm side, so maybe those great looking swans would be a great match as well. I do need a warm looking speaker to match my furniture.

    Thanks again, guys.
    josé
     
  15. Rokzi

    Rokzi Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2002
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    California
    Real Name:
    Rodel
    Jose: I think the site that you're looking for is called audioenvy (just add the www and .com)

    I also have an HK (AVR 525 - which I've had for about 2 years now). Though I've been browsing HTF every now and then I'm still somewhat a newbie when it comes to what "warm" or "bright" speakers sound like. I think sounds are "laid back" when it seems to sound from afar than near? Can anyone describe these terms ? Thanks!
     
  16. Nhan_H

    Nhan_H Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2003
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yea, like Rokzi said. It's audioenvy.com

    Also, you might want to visit the AV123 forum to get a quicker response.

    Rokzi, there's been wars fought over those two terms at AVS [​IMG] But you got the idea of what those terms mean.
     
  17. Kin Poon

    Kin Poon Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    ya know...i am a jacka$$

    I bought the Level 3's first and then i didnt really like it and decided to risk the Level 4.

    Chris, i believe thats his name at HTD...refund the total ammount including shipping for my L3. He even send me a prepaid UPS tag. Thats what i call SERVICE!!!

    I hate returning stuff, but i was looking for musical speakers and not HT speakers. The L4 will not be upgraded for a while.

    To really tell you the truth, i probably would have never bought the HTD if it werent for the excellent customer service i got from chris when i got a zillion questions to ask.
     
  18. Rokzi

    Rokzi Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2002
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    California
    Real Name:
    Rodel
    Nhan_H:

    Ouch! [​IMG] 'didn't know. I'll search the threads in AVS then.

    Thanks!
     
  19. Robert_Dufresne

    Robert_Dufresne Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2002
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Jose

    Its a no brainner Sonus Faber all the way. But that is just my opinion. You ow it to yourself to compare before you buy . Cant go wrong with Sonus, great reputation for many years.

    Good hunting[​IMG]
     
  20. Nhan_H

    Nhan_H Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2003
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Why is it a no-brainer?
     

Share This Page