Sonus Faber's March 27, 2014, unveiling of the Ex3ma loudspeaker was so lavish, so well executed, and so inspiring that I could've sworn I was at the debut of a supercar, not a loudspeaker. Such is the way it is these days at the Italian firm under the leadership of Mauro Grange, CEO for the Fine Sounds Group (which owns Sonus Faber, as well as McIntosh, Audio Research, and Wadia). Grange feels that high-end audio should be presented to the same high standard as the products themselves.
The event took place at the magnificent Villa Cordellina Lombardi, which is in the province of Vicenza, close to the company's factory. Venetian architect Giorgio Massari designed the mansion, which was constructed from 1735 to 1742 on a huge plot of land. The presentation of the Ex3ma took place in the main building, and it began with a live-music performance followed by representatives from Fine Sounds Group and Sonus Faber speaking to the crowd of about 180, composed mainly of distributors, dealers, and international press. They touched upon every aspect of the Ex3ma's design, including the history of it and every part in it.
Interspersed with their speeches were videos produced by Sonus Faber that detailed the Ex3ma's design, and during a brief intermission outside there was a wonderful light show where images relating to the debut were projected on the main building with musical accompaniment. Kudos to Mauro Grange and his staff for setting such a high standard for presentation, something that I hope other companies will be inspired to follow because it could really bring high-end hi-fi into the view of the masses, as well as luxury-product consumers.
I was fortunate enough to get backstage as well as to the side of the stage during the presentations, so below is a unique set of images I shot at the event. Enjoy!
Publisher, The SoundStage! Network
The Villa Cordellina Lombardi's entranceway
Fine Sounds Group photographers shot the entire event
The attendees gather
The beginning of the presentation
Left to right: Livio Cucuzza (Chief Industrial Designer, Fine Sounds Group), Paolo Tezzon (Head of R&D, Sonus Faber), and Fiore Cappelletto (Director of Marketing, Sonus Faber)
Mirko Sanna (Director of Sales, Fine Sounds Group)
Marta Vecellio Reane runs (Marketing Assistant, Sonus Faber), while Livio yawns
Live music to open the show courtesy of Gabriele Mirabassi at the clarinet and Pietro Ballestrero on guitar
Pietro Ballestrero plays
The presenters listen from backstage
Mirko and Livio jam
One of the high points of the duo's performance
The crowd loved the performance
The music performance . . .
. . . concludes
Mirko Sanna opens the presentation portion
Livio Cucuzza discusses industrial design
Paolo highlights the Ex3ma's technical details
Video and photos complement the presentations
Acoustics specialist Umberto Nicolao -- he assisted Paolo with specific aspects of the Ex3ma's design
Paolo and Livio unveil the Ex3ma
Paolo and Livio stand proudly with their creations
The attendees scramble for photos
Paolo, Mirko, and Livio
Mauro Grange (CEO, Fine Sounds Group) stands proudly with the Ex3ma speakers
Mauro and Livio
The debut concludes
The light show outside following the presentations