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Gryphon Diablo 300

To Hans Wetzel,

I enjoyed reading your glowing review of the Sonus Faber Olympica I speakers. I own the Olympica III model and use the Hegel Music Systems H300 integrated amplifier-DAC, which is a very good match since the Hegel puts out 430Wpc into 4 ohms. Although I’m enjoying my speakers, I find on occasion they become somewhat bright at the top. I read somewhere that the speaker hook-up is important and that if one is using a standard cable setup, connecting to the top two terminals is recommended by Sonus Faber. I can’t seem to verify this but wonder if you know the preferred method: either bottom terminals with jumpers to the top, or top terminals with jumpers running to the bottom? These are excellent speakers, but do require lots of current to get the best from them.

Chris Chamberlin
Canada

That's a terrific system, Chris. As a fellow owner of Hegel's H300, I know that the Norwegian amp is not only very accomplished, but also powerful enough to keep up with the great majority of speakers out there. I have to say that I did not experience any brightness in the treble when I paired the Hegel with the Sonus Faber Olympica Is. I did not find the soft-dome SF tweeter to exhibit much of the sparkle or crystalline quality that one would expect to find with a metal-based tweeter. What I can say, however, is that the Hegel is, in my experience, a pretty forward-sounding amplifier. It has this quite visceral and überclean sound that distinguishes it from most other amps that I have heard. I can definitely see how this could be interpreted as bright on occasion.

As for the wiring methods you mention, SF's manual for the Olympica III seems to suggest, via illustration, that a single run of cables should be attached to the bottom pair of binding posts, not the top, as you suggest. In either event, I can't see what difference it would make so long as the included "bridges" are in place connecting the two pairs of posts -- the signal will still ultimately be routed through both sets. The only other thing I can think of is that you might be using cables that do not have a neutral disposition. The Hegel, I suspect, is the cause for the perceived occasional brightness.

Regardless, enjoy the Olympica IIIs. They are seriously some of the most beautiful speakers I've ever seen in terms of their craftsmanship and design. Combined with their resolving but easygoing sound, and generous bass output, I imagine that you derive some serious enjoyment from your system! You can expect Doug Schneider's review of the Olympica III to be posted in the coming months on SoundStage! Hi-Fi. . . . Hans Wetzel