Sonus Faber Venere Speakers and REL T-7 Subwoofer Page 2


There’s nothing complicated about setting up the Venere system. With the 2.5 tower, attach its glass base and twist the pointed feet into the base. With the center, plop the speaker down on a large rubber base that keeps it from rocking back and forth on its curved bottom. To support the 1.5 minispeaker, Sumiko sent me a $398 pair of stands made specifically for it.

The REL T-7, though, is a different deal. REL and Sumiko recommend connecting your front left and right amp channels to the T-7’s speaker-level inputs, instead of or in addition to using the sub’s line-level input with your surround processor’s subwoofer output. This arrangement means that your front left and right main speakers run full-range, and the subwoofer will merely augment their bass rather than handling all bass reproduction. (I did wind up using the subwoofer crossover in my surround processor for the center and surround channels, setting it for 80 Hz.) This setup offers two potential advantages. First, you bypass the filters in the surround processor’s subwoofer crossover. But that’s only an advantage if you believe these filters introduce unacceptable artifacts. (I don’t.) The other possible advantage is that having the bass come from three separate sources (the two main speakers and the sub) will lessen room modes.

I also see two potential disadvantages: You must calibrate the subwoofer’s level and crossover frequency by ear, and feeding deep bass into your main speakers will make them more likely to distort (or even blow).

I drove the 2.5 towers (and, later, the 1.5 minis on their own) using my Krell S-300i integrated amp for records and computer-sourced high-rez music. For Blu-rays and DVDs, I put the Krell in theater bypass mode and used my Denon A/V receiver to power the Venere Center and the 1.5s used as surrounds.