At a luxury resort in heavenly-beautiful Sardinia, Sonus faber – the speaker making arm of World of McIntosh group of companies which also includes such iconic names as Audio Research, Wadia and, obviously, McIntosh – launched its reinvention of Sonus faber’s classic 1980 the ‘Snail Project’.

Light years ahead in terms of its technology the new speaker, which is called the SF16, contains a host of advances which morphs the original into a full stand-alone audio playback system.

For starters, the SF16 features a total of 10 drivers. The main unit features opposing vibration-cancelling twin woofers in a push-push configuration with high bass output via built-in Analogue Devices DSP and Sonus faber’s Stealth Reflex System’ as used in the company’s high-end Il Cremonese and Lilium designs. The aluminium enclosure satellites house front and rear-firing drivers (for added spatial depth) made up of high excursion, neodymium magnet 2.5-inchers and high-end ½-inch tweeters. The satellites now extend via motorised arms which may be adjusted in terms of extension to suit user tastes.

Built-in amplification is via Class-D devices totalling 1400 watts of power. The SF16 features multiple digital inputs, an analogue input, streaming capabilities (also internet radio), DTS Play-Fi and much more, making the new system an all-in-one plug and play solution.

At the launch, the SF16’s designers told us the aim was “for a system catering to modern playback requirements with a full-sound, ease and involvement allowing long listening sessions, with enough power to have a party and simple enough to set-up so you just plug it into the power point.”

Pricing has been announced as Euro 8000+ VAT with the Australian distributor Synergy AV soon to announce a local price.

Sonus faber's industrial designer Livio Cucuzza