Franco Serblin Accordo loudspeaker Sidebar

The Man, the Brand

How do I write about one of my mentors, without getting all misty-eyed? Whatever anyone cares to posit, Franco Serblin, through his first brand, Sonus faber, did more to influence the look of dynamic speakers than any designer since the early 1980s. Although Serblin was not trained in electronics, he was a passionate music lover and a true aesthete. He grasped – decades before those who followed – that hi-fi was suffering because of the domestic unacceptability of cumbersome boxes. Serblin chose instead to house the drivers and crossovers in boxes made of real wood, with furniture-grade finishes, and with the edges rounded. They looked sculptural rather than coffin-like.

He pioneered unusual grilles, tapered-back enclosures, stands that didn’t look like surplus scaffolding. Almost every major speaker brand has since aped the Sonus faber ‘look’ in one way or another. His eponymous sequel to Sonus faber continues his belief that speakers must recreate the soundstage with great accuracy if everything else is to be correct. Why the huge success of Sonus faber? Simple: the speakers sounded as beautiful as they looked.

Franco Serblin Studio
Vicenza, Italy
Supplied by: Absolute Sounds Ltd, UK
0045 9684 5100