Nova Loudspeakers Chandler AZ
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Home Audio, Design & Installation
Sound Fusion Nova
Nova SF-80 loudspeakers
as reviewed by Victor Chavira
Nova - a star that explodes producing a light 100,000 times brighter than the sun
You may have noticed glossy advertisements featuring unusual-looking loudspeakers by Sound Fusion, a new speaker company based near Toronto. Sound Fusion's basic speaker is the two-way stand-mount Luna. The Nova is a Luna atop a bass tower. The Ariel is a powered Luna, and the Hyperion is a powered Nova. Sound Fusion is a branch of a large furniture corporation, and the construction quality of their speakers reflects the company's experience with fine cabinetry. I received a review pair of Novas finished in beautifully patterned birdseye maple.
The organic shape of the Nova (right angles are nowhere to be found) is designed to reduce internal standing waves and edge diffraction, both of which blur transients. The beveled front and back baffles are shaped out of 3-centimeter-thick furniture-grade birch ply. They are attached to the cabinet with gaskets to provide further isolation from vibration. Finally, the drivers are fixed to a carved flange and another gasket before being fitted to the baffle. As a result, the drivers do not come into direct contact with the cabinet. The top cabinet is joined to the bass module, but is isolated by a 15-millimeter-thick slab of birch ply and gaskets. Knocking on the sides of the upper cabinet with my knuckles made a muted thud, while the bass tower produced a more resonant sound.
Optimal placement of the Novas was made difficult by the fact that two people are needed to move these 115-pound, top-heavy towers. I suggest using a dolly or hand truck to maneuver the speakers into their final positions. Then screw in the threaded brass spikes and slide the four compliant pucks underneath each spike. This puts the tweeters 47 inches from the floor, nearly 10 inches higher than the tweeters of my Marten Miles IIs. At first I thought that this would affect my listening position, but the wide dispersion patterns of the ribbon tweeters' meant that the speakers let me remain in my favorite spot on the couch.
Ribbon tweeters are like a new Pat Metheny CD. I do not need to hear either to know I'm going to like them. The Novas' highs extend to 60kHz, and their upper octaves sound remarkably clear, extended, and detailed. Listening to the Pat Metheny Group's 2002 CD, Speaking of Now, I was impressed by the detailed sound of Antonio Sanchez' drum kit. At times, his superb stick work on the ride cymbal sounded like fine grains of sand. His strikes on a cowbell, with their initial burst of energy and quick decay, were holographically projected between the speakers. Layers of guitar were rendered with individuality and coherence.
The Novas' ability to sift out the fine detail from recordings was one of their strongest assets. Vivaldi's Concerto in G for Two Mandolins by the Pa...