As news of the new Maserati MC20 sports car, and its powerful new V-6 engine, sends shockwaves through the automotive world, waves of a musical nature are being made by its Sonus faber audio system. The pairing of the two iconic Italian brands is not just the first time that an Italian automotive marque has featured an audio system from an Italian manufacturer, it’s also Sonus faber’s first foray into automotive sound.
Fittingly, both companies share reputations for making handcrafted luxury products that combine artisanal tradition with technical innovation. Sonus faber, founded in Vicenza, Italy, in 1983, is known in audiophile circles as a maker of world-class loudspeakers. It’s also known for artistry in woodworking that reflects the region’s heritage as home to great instrument makers like Stradivarius and Guarnari.
With the pursuit of natural sound reproduction at the fore, engineers at Sonus faber and Maserati worked together to design a system for the cabin of the Maserati MC20 that replicates a live musical performance and immerses driver and passenger in the signature Sonus faber sound that emphasizes accuracy and refined detail.
“It’s a very collaborative effort,” says Jeff Poggi, co-CEO of McIntosh Group and CEO of Sonus faber. “We’ve provided home audio systems in the development centers to try and create an automotive equivalent for the in-home audio environment.”
According to Paolo Tezzon, chief of Acoustics, Research and Development at Sonus faber: “The caliber of detail that goes into manufacturing a Maserati perfectly matched Sonus faber’s attention to detail and inspired our team to focus on what has defined the brand over the years—expert craftsmanship. Utilizing tuning to provide a naturally distinguishable sound, we complemented the intense force of the Maserati engine with Sonus faber’s soothing natural sound to create a hybrid of melodic movement.”
A dozen speaker drivers are located throughout the cabin, including three tweeters, two surround tweeters, three midranges, two surround midranges and two woofers, all positioned to achieve the flattest frequency response and to establish a precise sound stage.
The transducers, using rare earth magnets for maximum efficiency and to reduce weight, employ natural cone and soft-dome tweeter materials to the greatest extent possible, adapted for a challenging automotive environment that factors heat, vibration and ambient noise into the performance equation. On the positive side, the dimensions and materials specific to the MC20 interior have allowed engineers to optimize every parameter of system performance.
Class-D amplifiers employ Digital Signal Processing (DSP) to produce a total of 695 watts, with each speaker driven by its own dedicated amp: 100 watts for woofers, 60 watts for midranges and 45 watts for tweeters and surround speakers. With over-engineering in mind, the power-supply stage delivers more than twice the current required from the amplifier at maximum volume, ensuring wide dynamic range without compression or clipping.
The Maserati MC20 became available for preorder on September 10 and is coming to US dealer showrooms next year.