Indiq Signature Mishras 2.0 vs Sonus Faber Lumina IIs

vkalia

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I had gotten a pair of Sonus Faber Lumina IIs as a stop-gap measure, with the idea of spending time to listen to what's new in the world of speakers of late. The Luminas are fantastic speakers, especially given their size. For vocals, jazz, etc they could be all the speaker one needs to enjoy the music. But with large scale symphonic music, they are let down a little: small drivers in a small enclosure can only move so much air.

I did audition - and loved - the sound of the SF Sonettos and had nearly settled on the 5s. However, I wanted to check other alternatives before springing for the speakers, but work and other stuff kept me from doing so. I did have a chance to listen to Focal Arias and they are magnificent audiophile speakers for people who want to appreciate the sound coming from them - but to my ears, they sounded artificial and absolutely lacking in any kind of musicality.

I had started a thread earlier about trying out the Indiqs at their studio in Bangalore and had really liked their sound:

Last week, I decided to break out of my holding pattern re alternatives to the Sonetto and asked Amit to audition the Indiqs at home. They arrived yesterday and I have been listening to them, as well as A/Bing back and forth between them and the Luminas. For the purpose of comparison, I tried to level-match by ear (which is certainly NOT reliable), and also changed the levels up and down at random, so that one speaker was occasionally louder than the other.

Here are my impressions, based on my standard list that i use to audition audio gear:

- For vocals (male and female): there is very little difference between the two. Difference in levels is likely the biggest culprit in explaining any perceived differences in sound. Here, my general philosophy kicks in: if you are straining to hear a difference, or if you cannot swear the difference exists, dont worry about it and just enjoy the music. I'll call it a tie

- For instruments (violins, piano, cello): the SFs do a better job of reproducing the leading edge of the note - when the bow hits the strings. The Indiqs do a better job of reproducing the body and reverb (the trailing edge). The sound is just "fuller", for want of a better word.

- Mid/upper bass (second octave and upwards) was more present on the Indiqs. Here, I suspect it is a matter of the listener's preferences. For someone wanting a more detailed sound, the Luminas do a better job. For someone wanting the concert hall feel (where the bass decay tends to hang around a little and mix with the subsequent notes, and the highs tend to get absorbed a little by the concert hall and people), the Indiqs feel closer to the music.

- Where the Indiqs win is in dynamics and ability to just go louder. While the driver isnt that much larger - 6.5" vs 6" - the enclosure is significantly bigger and overall, the sound is more muscular. I was (finally) able to crank up Iron Maiden's "Run to the hills" to a level that did it justice - something I was not able to do with the smaller Luminas. Similarly, the thunderous finale of Shostakovich's 11th came closer to the goosebumps of the live performance on these speakers.

- Soundstaging/imaging: not checked. Am indifferent to them.

Long story short - when I had first heard them, I had the feeling that i could be very happy in the long term with these speakers, and the home audition just reinforces that belief. I am well past the stage of trying to find the perfect sound (wasted shed tons on money doing that when I was younger) - and I have given up all audiophile pretensions. I just want the music to sound nice and to involve me the way it does in a concert hall, and beyond that, I couldnt be arsed. These speakers do that. Would the Sonettos, at 6x the price, do a better job? Maybe. Would it be significantly different? Unlikely - while I cannot directly compare the sound of the Sonettos with these, I can compare my emotional reaction to both speakers, and based on that, I dont know if spending the additional 4L would be worth it.

I am going to try to use this momentum to listen to the Lintons as well - had an imperfect audition of them, but they have potential. But even if the Lintons dont work out, my Lumina IIs are getting replaced.

(As an aside: I also have a pair of Mishra Golds on audition, which i want to use in a different room - will post my thoughts on them in a few days as well)
 

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I had gotten a pair of Sonus Faber Lumina IIs as a stop-gap measure, with the idea of spending time to listen to what's new in the world of speakers of late. The Luminas are fantastic speakers, especially given their size. For vocals, jazz, etc they could be all the speaker one needs to enjoy the music. But with large scale symphonic music, they are let down a little: small drivers in a small enclosure can only move so much air.

I did audition - and loved - the sound of the SF Sonettos and had nearly settled on the 5s. However, I wanted to check other alternatives before springing for the speakers, but work and other stuff kept me from doing so. I did have a chance to listen to Focal Arias and they are magnificent audiophile speakers for people who want to appreciate the sound coming from them - but to my ears, they sounded artificial and absolutely lacking in any kind of musicality.

I had started a thread earlier about trying out the Indiqs at their studio in Bangalore and had really liked their sound:

Last week, I decided to break out of my holding pattern re alternatives to the Sonetto and asked Amit to audition the Indiqs at home. They arrived yesterday and I have been listening to them, as well as A/Bing back and forth between them and the Luminas. For the purpose of comparison, I tried to level-match by ear (which is certainly NOT reliable), and also changed the levels up and down at random, so that one speaker was occasionally louder than the other.

Here are my impressions, based on my standard list that i use to audition audio gear:

- For vocals (male and female): there is very little difference between the two. Difference in levels is likely the biggest culprit in explaining any perceived differences in sound. Here, my general philosophy kicks in: if you are straining to hear a difference, or if you cannot swear the difference exists, dont worry about it and just enjoy the music. I'll call it a tie

- For instruments (violins, piano, cello): the SFs do a better job of reproducing the leading edge of the note - when the bow hits the strings. The Indiqs do a better job of reproducing the body and reverb (the trailing edge). The sound is just "fuller", for want of a better word.

- Mid/upper bass (second octave and upwards) was more present on the Indiqs. Here, I suspect it is a matter of the listener's preferences. For someone wanting a more detailed sound, the Luminas do a better job. For someone wanting the concert hall feel (where the bass decay tends to hang around a little and mix with the subsequent notes, and the highs tend to get absorbed a little by the concert hall and people), the Indiqs feel closer to the music.

- Where the Indiqs win is in dynamics and ability to just go louder. While the driver isnt that much larger - 6.5" vs 6" - the enclosure is significantly bigger and overall, the sound is more muscular. I was (finally) able to crank up Iron Maiden's "Run to the hills" to a level that did it justice - something I was not able to do with the smaller Luminas. Similarly, the thunderous finale of Shostakovich's 11th came closer to the goosebumps of the live performance on these speakers.

- Soundstaging/imaging: not checked. Am indifferent to them.

Long story short - when I had first heard them, I had the feeling that i could be very happy in the long term with these speakers, and the home audition just reinforces that belief. I am well past the stage of trying to find the perfect sound (wasted shed tons on money doing that when I was younger) - and I have given up all audiophile pretensions. I just want the music to sound nice and to involve me the way it does in a concert hall, and beyond that, I couldnt be arsed. These speakers do that. Would the Sonettos, at 6x the price, do a better job? Maybe. Would it be significantly different? Unlikely - while I cannot directly compare the sound of the Sonettos with these, I can compare my emotional reaction to both speakers, and based on that, I dont know if spending the additional 4L would be worth it.

I am going to try to use this momentum to listen to the Lintons as well - had an imperfect audition of them, but they have potential. But even if the Lintons dont work out, my Lumina IIs are getting replaced.

(As an aside: I also have a pair of Mishra Golds on audition, which i want to use in a different room - will post my thoughts on them in a few days as well)
I appreciate your thorough review. I was instantly drawn to them and experienced the same muscularity. Really looking forward to receiving my 2.0 by the third week of October.
 
A bit late but my thought on the Mishra Golds: they are nice enough speakers but have a very different sound palette to the Signatures. Pretty much the opposite end of the spectrum: more lively treble (although not harsh, thankfully) and the music is a little more immediate/in your face.

This took me by surprise - i was expecting the same design philosophy on all the speakers but that's not the case here. Honestly, i did a few minutes of A/B with the Signatures and i realized that these are not for me (but then, as i mentioned, i have very specific tastes, so this is more a reflection of my tastes than the speakers).

But they sound nice enough - they have pretty good timbral accuracy but just the presentation and balance is different. Listening to the same music on it compared to the Diamonds, its felt as though the music was recorded/miked differently.

Given how inexpensive they are, they are certainly worth considering and if the sound palette appeals to you, they'd be a great option.
 
@vkalia : Before you buy anything, please listen to the ATC SCM19/SCM20 and ATC SCM40. You will like them. They are very smooth, have a wonderfully revealing yet full sounding midrange and very tight bass/articulate bass due to a sealed box design.
 
@vkalia : Before you buy anything, please listen to the ATC SCM19/SCM20 and ATC SCM40. You will like them. They are very smooth, have a wonderfully revealing yet full sounding midrange and very tight bass/articulate bass due to a sealed box design.

Oops. I have already ordered the Mishra Signatures for myself.

I've been putting off the decision for months, figuring that if i am going to spend 5L or more on speakers, I want it to be well-researched (ie, listening to a lot of gear). Which i havent had the time to do. As it turns out, i love the sound of these, they are very reasonably price and best of all, i know they work well in my home. So instead of being on an endless chase to find the "perfect sound", i am happy to just get these and enjoy my music.

And in any case, if, down the road, i do find something better, i can always stick them in a different room.

Thanks for the suggestion, though - i will try to listen to a pair if and when i can, just to get familiar with their sound. Know anywhere in Bangalore i can do so?
 
Oops. I have already ordered the Mishra Signatures for myself.

I've been putting off the decision for months, figuring that if i am going to spend 5L or more on speakers, I want it to be well-researched (ie, listening to a lot of gear). Which i havent had the time to do. As it turns out, i love the sound of these, they are very reasonably price and best of all, i know they work well in my home. So instead of being on an endless chase to find the "perfect sound", i am happy to just get these and enjoy my music.

And in any case, if, down the road, i do find something better, i can always stick them in a different room.

Thanks for the suggestion, though - i will try to listen to a pair if and when i can, just to get familiar with their sound. Know anywhere in Bangalore i can do so?
If you wish to listen to the ATCs, you are more than welcome to come over to my place later. I have the SCM19 standmounts and am getting my new monoblocks for them very shortly.

Maybe even get the Mishras for an A/B while you are at it :).
 
If you wish to listen to the ATCs, you are more than welcome to come over to my place later. I have the SCM19 standmounts and am getting my new monoblocks for them very shortly.

Maybe even get the Mishras for an A/B while you are at it :).

That sounds fantastic - let me get my Mishras and I will bring them over for an A/B. Will ping you once i get them.

Cheers!
 
I had gotten a pair of Sonus Faber Lumina IIs as a stop-gap measure, with the idea of spending time to listen to what's new in the world of speakers of late. The Luminas are fantastic speakers, especially given their size. For vocals, jazz, etc they could be all the speaker one needs to enjoy the music. But with large scale symphonic music, they are let down a little: small drivers in a small enclosure can only move so much air.

I did audition - and loved - the sound of the SF Sonettos and had nearly settled on the 5s. However, I wanted to check other alternatives before springing for the speakers, but work and other stuff kept me from doing so. I did have a chance to listen to Focal Arias and they are magnificent audiophile speakers for people who want to appreciate the sound coming from them - but to my ears, they sounded artificial and absolutely lacking in any kind of musicality.

I had started a thread earlier about trying out the Indiqs at their studio in Bangalore and had really liked their sound:

Last week, I decided to break out of my holding pattern re alternatives to the Sonetto and asked Amit to audition the Indiqs at home. They arrived yesterday and I have been listening to them, as well as A/Bing back and forth between them and the Luminas. For the purpose of comparison, I tried to level-match by ear (which is certainly NOT reliable), and also changed the levels up and down at random, so that one speaker was occasionally louder than the other.

Here are my impressions, based on my standard list that i use to audition audio gear:

- For vocals (male and female): there is very little difference between the two. Difference in levels is likely the biggest culprit in explaining any perceived differences in sound. Here, my general philosophy kicks in: if you are straining to hear a difference, or if you cannot swear the difference exists, dont worry about it and just enjoy the music. I'll call it a tie

- For instruments (violins, piano, cello): the SFs do a better job of reproducing the leading edge of the note - when the bow hits the strings. The Indiqs do a better job of reproducing the body and reverb (the trailing edge). The sound is just "fuller", for want of a better word.

- Mid/upper bass (second octave and upwards) was more present on the Indiqs. Here, I suspect it is a matter of the listener's preferences. For someone wanting a more detailed sound, the Luminas do a better job. For someone wanting the concert hall feel (where the bass decay tends to hang around a little and mix with the subsequent notes, and the highs tend to get absorbed a little by the concert hall and people), the Indiqs feel closer to the music.

- Where the Indiqs win is in dynamics and ability to just go louder. While the driver isnt that much larger - 6.5" vs 6" - the enclosure is significantly bigger and overall, the sound is more muscular. I was (finally) able to crank up Iron Maiden's "Run to the hills" to a level that did it justice - something I was not able to do with the smaller Luminas. Similarly, the thunderous finale of Shostakovich's 11th came closer to the goosebumps of the live performance on these speakers.

- Soundstaging/imaging: not checked. Am indifferent to them.

Long story short - when I had first heard them, I had the feeling that i could be very happy in the long term with these speakers, and the home audition just reinforces that belief. I am well past the stage of trying to find the perfect sound (wasted shed tons on money doing that when I was younger) - and I have given up all audiophile pretensions. I just want the music to sound nice and to involve me the way it does in a concert hall, and beyond that, I couldnt be arsed. These speakers do that. Would the Sonettos, at 6x the price, do a better job? Maybe. Would it be significantly different? Unlikely - while I cannot directly compare the sound of the Sonettos with these, I can compare my emotional reaction to both speakers, and based on that, I dont know if spending the additional 4L would be worth it.

I am going to try to use this momentum to listen to the Lintons as well - had an imperfect audition of them, but they have potential. But even if the Lintons dont work out, my Lumina IIs are getting replaced.

(As an aside: I also have a pair of Mishra Golds on audition, which i want to use in a different room - will post my thoughts on them in a few days as well)
Hi @vkalia
Did you finally keep the Signatures? If yes, would you still recommend them against Diamond achals?
 
I had gotten a pair of Sonus Faber Lumina IIs as a stop-gap measure, with the idea of spending time to listen to what's new in the world of speakers of late. The Luminas are fantastic speakers, especially given their size. For vocals, jazz, etc they could be all the speaker one needs to enjoy the music. But with large scale symphonic music, they are let down a little: small drivers in a small enclosure can only move so much air.

I did audition - and loved - the sound of the SF Sonettos and had nearly settled on the 5s. However, I wanted to check other alternatives before springing for the speakers, but work and other stuff kept me from doing so. I did have a chance to listen to Focal Arias and they are magnificent audiophile speakers for people who want to appreciate the sound coming from them - but to my ears, they sounded artificial and absolutely lacking in any kind of musicality.

I had started a thread earlier about trying out the Indiqs at their studio in Bangalore and had really liked their sound:

Last week, I decided to break out of my holding pattern re alternatives to the Sonetto and asked Amit to audition the Indiqs at home. They arrived yesterday and I have been listening to them, as well as A/Bing back and forth between them and the Luminas. For the purpose of comparison, I tried to level-match by ear (which is certainly NOT reliable), and also changed the levels up and down at random, so that one speaker was occasionally louder than the other.

Here are my impressions, based on my standard list that i use to audition audio gear:

- For vocals (male and female): there is very little difference between the two. Difference in levels is likely the biggest culprit in explaining any perceived differences in sound. Here, my general philosophy kicks in: if you are straining to hear a difference, or if you cannot swear the difference exists, dont worry about it and just enjoy the music. I'll call it a tie

- For instruments (violins, piano, cello): the SFs do a better job of reproducing the leading edge of the note - when the bow hits the strings. The Indiqs do a better job of reproducing the body and reverb (the trailing edge). The sound is just "fuller", for want of a better word.

- Mid/upper bass (second octave and upwards) was more present on the Indiqs. Here, I suspect it is a matter of the listener's preferences. For someone wanting a more detailed sound, the Luminas do a better job. For someone wanting the concert hall feel (where the bass decay tends to hang around a little and mix with the subsequent notes, and the highs tend to get absorbed a little by the concert hall and people), the Indiqs feel closer to the music.

- Where the Indiqs win is in dynamics and ability to just go louder. While the driver isnt that much larger - 6.5" vs 6" - the enclosure is significantly bigger and overall, the sound is more muscular. I was (finally) able to crank up Iron Maiden's "Run to the hills" to a level that did it justice - something I was not able to do with the smaller Luminas. Similarly, the thunderous finale of Shostakovich's 11th came closer to the goosebumps of the live performance on these speakers.

- Soundstaging/imaging: not checked. Am indifferent to them.

Long story short - when I had first heard them, I had the feeling that i could be very happy in the long term with these speakers, and the home audition just reinforces that belief. I am well past the stage of trying to find the perfect sound (wasted shed tons on money doing that when I was younger) - and I have given up all audiophile pretensions. I just want the music to sound nice and to involve me the way it does in a concert hall, and beyond that, I couldnt be arsed. These speakers do that. Would the Sonettos, at 6x the price, do a better job? Maybe. Would it be significantly different? Unlikely - while I cannot directly compare the sound of the Sonettos with these, I can compare my emotional reaction to both speakers, and based on that, I dont know if spending the additional 4L would be worth it.

I am going to try to use this momentum to listen to the Lintons as well - had an imperfect audition of them, but they have potential. But even if the Lintons dont work out, my Lumina IIs are getting replaced.

(As an aside: I also have a pair of Mishra Golds on audition, which i want to use in a different room - will post my thoughts on them in a few days as well)
Rotate stand
By 180 degrees.
Please
 
Hi @vkalia
Did you finally keep the Signatures? If yes, would you still recommend them against Diamond achals?

Yes and yes.

The Diamond Achals and Signature Mishras were A/Bed at Amit's place. The Achals are nice but to my ears, the Mishra Sigs handled the complex parts of a symphony better, to my ears. Hard to describe exactly what the difference was - more "natural sounding" would be my lame attempt at explaining it, i guess.

I think for something like this, you might want to give them a listen to decide what works better for you.

Rotate stand
By 180 degrees.
Please

Ha, i didnt even realize these things had a front/back.

Anyway, i made the change and it was amazing how much better the music sounded. It was as if a veil had been lifted of the music, I started hearing things i hadnt heard before and the sound was warmer and yet more revealing :)
 
Yes and yes.

The Diamond Achals and Signature Mishras were A/Bed at Amit's place. The Achals are nice but to my ears, the Mishra Sigs handled the complex parts of a symphony better, to my ears. Hard to describe exactly what the difference was - more "natural sounding" would be my lame attempt at explaining it, i guess.

I think for something like this, you might want to give them a listen to decide what works better for you.



Ha, i didnt even realize these things had a front/back.

Anyway, i made the change and it was amazing how much better the music sounded. It was as if a veil had been lifted of the music, I started hearing things i hadnt heard before and the sound was warmer and yet more revealing :)
@vkalia You rotated the stands and tested both Lumina II and Mishra's?
 
Just curious. Does this make a difference?
If you took the Monalisa and hung it upside down, surely Da Vinci would wince.

P.s. - i have the same stands - beastly at 15kgs without fill, 20 with. A tip to get the most out of them when they're facing the right way (since the feet are a tripod design which makes it easier but equally applicable to all stands and floorstanders) - use a bulls-eye spirit level to get both of them, well, level for both tilt and incline to improve focus, imaging and soundstage. Posting an exemplar below: 🙂

AASONS Spirit Level Bullseye Micro Button Level With Base Diameter 50mm (Pack Of 1) https://amzn.eu/d/8dLgUND
 
@vkalia You rotated the stands and tested both Lumina II and Mishra's?

That bit about the stands changing the sound was just humor. My apologies if that wasn’t clear.

I did test the SFs and Mishras fairly well, though. With the reversed stand, however (so no guarantees about the sound being in phase. ;) )
 
That bit about the stands changing the sound was just humor. My apologies if that wasn’t clear.

I did test the SFs and Mishras fairly well, though. With the reversed stand, however (so no guarantees about the sound being in phase. ;) )
Oh man, you would have compelled many folks to opt for WFH today just to test various placement angles and in absence of any OR meaningful improvement, they might have put some of their gears on sale 🤣
 
Soundwise - Zero

Aesthetic wise - i like them that way - at least the stands were designed to be in that orientation
That's what I had deduced. But the thought I had was that there are three points where weight gets distributed and from the shape of the bottom, the weight at each of the points would be 1/3rd of the weight of the stands of the speaker + stands. However any speaker, the front side has the speaker driver and the weight distribution is unequal with more weight on the front two legs. So having the stands in the front position is better because the weight gets distributed across two legs. The reverse position has almost the full weight distributed on jjust one leg.
 
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