New York — High-end speaker supplier Sonus Faber plans to expand its customer base through a three-SKU Chameleon series with interchangeable side panels and lower opening-price points.
“We want to reach a new customer and bring them into the Sonus Faber fold,” said Chris Smith, VP of North American business development for Fine Sound, which owns Italy-based Sonus Faber. Pricing and design are the ways to reach new customers, he told TWICE during a launch event. Consumers will be able to change side-panel colors whenever they move or redecorate, he said.
The three Chameleon speakers, like other Sonus Faber models, are made in Italy, and “to do that at these price points is unheard of,” he said.
The speakers, shipping to U.S. dealers in June, are priced at $550 for a center channel, $900 for a bookshelf pair, and $2,000 for a floorstanding pair. The next series up in the Sonus Faber line is the Venere series, which starts at $1,198/pair and runs to $3,498/pair. The brand’s top series is priced up to $120,000/pair.
Each Chameleon SKU ships to dealers with three sets of lacquered-MDF side panels, each set in a different color. One set in included in the price. Consumers pay for additional sets. Six sets are available in white, black, metal blue, metal gray, orange, and red. Special-edition and custom panels are in the works as well as possible partnerships with artists.
The cost of additional side panels is $400 for a set of four for the floorstanding speaker pair, $200 for a set of four for the bookshelf speaker pair, and $50 for two panels for the center channel.
All speakers are made of solid wood and clad in leather yet deliver a high value-to-price ratio, Smith said. Cabinet shapes and proportions were selected to “guarantee exceptional control of internal resonance, perfect acoustics, excellent driver stability and easy integration into rooms,” company literature adds.
The series will be available to current Sonus Faber dealers operating about 140 locations, including Magnolia Design Centers, but the company is also considering authorizing Chameleon to dealers who don’t sell other Sonus Faber SKUs, Smith said. Those retailers could include nontraditional retailers such as high-end furniture stores, he noted.
The Chameleon series includes the Chameleon B, a $900/pair two-way vented bookshelf speaker with 50Hz-25kHz frequency response and suggested amplifier output of 30 to 150 watts. The $2,000/pair Chameleon T floorstanding speaker is a three-way vented speaker with 38Hz to 25kHz frequency response and suggested amplifier output of 40 watts to 300 watts. The $550 Chameleon C center channel is a two-way closed-box speaker with passive radiator.
Sonus Faber is one of several audio brands owed by Fine Sounds Group, which also owns McIntosh, Wadia, Sumiko and Audio Research.