... driven by music ...
ROSSO FIORENTINO CERTALDO 2
Slim Design, Full Scale Sound
The new Certaldo series 2 is a mostly re-thought and re-designed system which takes the performance of our slim design floorstander up to the next level. It definitely performs out of its physical size. It already did, but now in an even more seductive and elegant way.
The Certaldo series 2 inherits the hybrid rear/down firing loading system of the previous version and further develops it.
The enclosure volume was increased by around 10%, and in order to obtain a greater low-end octave authority and reduced distortion, the 5.25” mid-woofers were re-engineered focusing on the motor venting system and suspension material.
An additional improvement was also provided by the underneath aluminium port with its redesigned and enlarged gradual flaring which contributed to the overall over-damped yet powerful bass performance.
Having demonstrated an excellent overall performance, we decided to retain the 1” neodymium wide surround silk dome tweeter used in the previous Certaldo. Thanks to the implementation of an all-new crossover, this unit has achieved a second incarnation, integrating in an even more linear way with the midwoofers.
Like its sibling Pienza, the Certaldo features a highly sophisticated enclosure, where a blend of mechanically different materials helps to render the cabinet incredibly still and inert allowing the wonderfully accurate and detailed drivers to operate with utmost clarity and dynamics.
The Certaldo series2 implements a totally re-engineered crossover circuit which provides a more extended low frequency emission, a higher efficiency and a practically ‘resistive’ impedance which makes it possible to pair this model with a wide range of electronics.
The use of top quality components like the custom Rosso capacitors made by ClarityCap, thick film resistors and our new "made-in-Italy" inductors adds that extra touch of refinement and dynamics to the full sound of this speaker.
$ 8,000 per pair
Type : 2.5 -way rear-ported floorstander
Sensitivity : 88 dBspl (2.83V, 1m)
Nominal impedance : 8Ω (minimum 5Ω)
HF Driver : 1 x ø 25mm (1.1 in) silk dome neodymium tweeter
MF Driver : 1 x ø 130mm (5.25 in) glass fiber composite cone woofer
M/LF Driver : 2 x ø 130mm (5.25 in) glass fiber composite cone woofer
Frequency response (±3dB) : 40 Hz – 30 kHz
Typical in-room bass resp. : -6dB @35Hz)
Crossover frequencies : 200 Hz – 2.5 kHz
Recommended power : 50W – 150W into 8Ω with unclipped sound signal
Cabinet : Solid HDF, aluminium front and side panels, internal damping pads
Height : 1075mm (42.3 in) incl. plinth and spikes
Width : 194mm (7.6 in)| 237mm (9.3in) including plinth
Depth : 262mm (10.3in) | 303mm (11.9in) including plinth
Net weight : 28 Kg (61.7 lb) each
Cabinet finish : exclusive RF silky matte black coating / leather covering on front and lateral panels
Custom leather covering
Other finishes on request
what they say ...
The Absolute Sound / HiFi Plus - UK
Alan Sircom | September 2016
Here’s an elegant floorstander from the Italian company that really gets closest to live music reviewed
"I A significant part of the Rosso Fiorentino product execution is ‘la Sala del Rosso’ : a purpose-built listening room designed not only to evaluate the company’s designs, but used as a live music event space. This, combined with a solid technical basis of development, means this comparatively new brand has garnered a reputation for good engineering backed up by good sonic performance.
That aforementioned reputation is more important than it might first seem because what is chronically lacking in the audio industry is good, solid, honest sounding products at prices that are affordable or attainable. The Certaldo fits that role perfectly – it’s an inherently ‘honest’ sounding speaker with a level of design and finish that is ‘honest’ value for the money. This honesty comes across by having a finely balanced performance across the kind of musical and sonic criteria favoured by most people.
Although ‘honesty’ is not a synonym of ‘grounded’, there is something refreshingly pragmatic about the way the Certaldo doesn’t require careful care and feeding in the wild. The loudspeakers benefit from good upstream components, but there’s no need to partner this with a tightly-defined set of the best possible components, and the speaker does not need to be installed in an ideal acoustic space to micron tolerances. A good amp in a fairly good room, and installed reasonably well is more than enough. Yes, you will benefit from improving the components, taking care with the installation, and lots of running in, but the Certaldo is not fussy by audiophile standards. Moreover, the Certaldo’s footprint and its frequency response (45Hz-30kHz) combine to make it a fine loudspeaker for the real-world listener in a typical UK or European living space. Its understated elegance makes the speaker perfect for the shared listening/living room commonly found in the the UK and Europe, too.
The first and most repeated phrase on my note pad after ‘honest’ was ‘grown-up’. This is a grown-up speaker for grown-up listeners. By that, I mean it’s a mature and sophisticated design intended for listeners who have grown out of the ‘meathead’ phase of listening. There is none of that growling boomy bass, or even the over-polite upper midrange bloom that can sometimes plague Rosso Fiorentino’s Italian rivals. This sonic integrity (another word that kept appearing on the note pad) is more easily found in the length of listening than the listening itself. This sounds paradoxical, but the best loudspeakers always seem to be the ones in which you can lose yourself for hours, playing a wealth of different musical pieces. In contrast, some of the supposed ‘best’ loudspeakers are initially extremely impressive, but that impressive presentation ultimately proves wearing and limits the amount of time in each listening session.
On the Rosso Fiorentino, Shelby Lynne’s ‘Just A Little Lovin’’ from the album of the same name [Lost Highways] had wonderful lyricism and vocal articulation. Her voice was very slightly forward in the mix, but beautifully refined, and the overall rendition was extremely (that word again) honest. This album is an audiophile classic of soundstaging and it didn’t disappoint; Lynne’s vocals standing proud of the instruments, all of which occupy a three-dimensional space around and behind the loudspeakers, which effectively disappear from the mix. This is not an ‘uncanny’ aspect, as it often happens in really good loudspeakers, but it is comparatively rare at this price point and from loudspeakers this unfussy.
Moving across to ‘Valentine’ on Richard Hawley’s Lady’s Bridge album [Mute] the same applied. The performer’s open and sounding natural voice was again forward of the backing band, and the great guitar playing was projected far into the room. Tonally, this was simply lovely to listen to, and the track had a very 50s feel in a Roy Orbison meets Lambchop manner. Some of the guitar reverb tail is lost a little in the complexity of the mix, but I’d struggle to find a loudspeaker in its peer group that didn’t strike a similar trade-off.
The loudspeaker’s tonality was particularly accurate, suggesting an extremely well-designed cabinet. There was some mild port resonance in the upper bass, but this was extremely mild and not the typical ‘chuff, chuff’ sound sometimes heard in less well-engineered designs. It was more like a slight thickening in the lower tenor, the kind of thing that you tend to only notice on close examination and comparison, rather than an obvious aspect of performance. That aside, the loudspeaker was remarkably integrated, coherent, and lyrical.
Dynamics were excellent, too. This became more apparent on classical works. Playing Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony [Jansons/Oslo Phil, Chandos], the sense of a thrilling race through the first movement makes this a tough dynamic challenge for a loudspeaker. The Certaldo handled this with great ease, moving from dynamic shade to shade without a problem. As you might expect, deeper bass is more ‘noticed’ than ‘felt’ in this case, although the deep bass is impressive in a small to medium room, and doubly so when driven by a meaty, solid state amplifier.
This is the sort of loudspeaker where the phrase ‘let’s be realistic about this’ resonates well. The Certaldo is not a full-range loudspeaker, because it’s not intended to be a full-range loudspeaker. More importantly, the use of a full-range loudspeaker in the kind of rooms in which the Certaldo will reside would actually undermine the sound quality by sounding bass heavy and ponderous. It’s a realistic loudspeaker for a realistic marketplace, at a realistic price. What’s not to like?
It sounds like an oxymoron, but we’re in the midst of a quiet revolution in loudspeaker design. In the past, loudspeakers were good at some things, less so at others. The Rosso Fiorentino Certaldo is that rare loudspeaker that is good at everything it’s supposed to be good at, and the few areas where it shows limitations are deliberate attempts at making a pragmatic design for the real world. I keep using the word ‘honest’ for a reason. This is a loudspeaker that makes a very honest sound, at a very honest price, and comes honestly recommended! "
As if you were in the best club in town and seated in the front seats
I am tempted to describe Rosso Fiorentino as the "new Sonus Faber", just as I am equally bold in predicting that in the coming years we will hear more and more about Rosso Fiorentino ... a speaker manufacturer born in Florence into an area full of cultural influences, music, good wine and many artisanal endeavours that deal with sound.
From the choice of the name "Rosso Fiorentino" to the spikes on the speakers, everything is so well thought out that it surprises the unsuspecting listener who has not yet come across any of the creations of this particular Italian manufacturer.
Its name is borrowed from the famous Renaissance painter, and the person in charge of the company is Francesco Rubenni. Rosso Fiorentino is not a big company, as fewer than 10 people work there ... and yet they achieve miracles such as the Certaldo from the RF Prestige series. What differentiates this company is their fabulous Music Hall 'La Sala del Rosso', a cozy concert venue located in a beautiful villa in Florence. Definitely worth a visit, if you are in the Tuscan region.
I had the opportunity to attend a performance there, and it was truly a unique experience. At La sala del Rosso all the speakers are designed by Rosso Fiorentino. Some are production speakers, and others are work-in-progress. On the night of our visit, the amplifiers were specially designed components by Gold Note.
Unsurprisingly, they hold very frequent concerts there, because the acoustics of this venue are just wonderful.
In this space, Rosso Fiorentino engineers design the speakers and then use them in live concerts to record and improve their performance. This reminded me of Formula 1 test tracks. Very few speaker manufacturers do this, and as a consequence … believe me, Rosso Fiorentino speakers have this 'live aura', one that is far from anything that can be described as clinical.
A quick listen to them is enough to set your mood and arouse your anticipation. Just like the feeling before a concert, they put you in the mood to listen to music, to have a good time. What is even more inviting, is that you sit in a comfortable armchair to enjoy the performance. This is the 'core identity' of Rosso Fiorentino ... and the Certaldo, named after a Tuscan city, fully expresses it. Warmth, melodicity, brio and an atmosphere of a jazz club ... only the smoke from the cigarettes and the voices of the audience are absent.
A Blind Date, or an alignment of the planets ? The Certaldo speakers arrived at our studio, where a few days earlier we had welcomed an Italian integrated amplifier, the Maestro Anniversary by Audio Analogue.
... Two Italian components that really offered us a very rare and powerful experience. Money-wise, the amplifier and the speaker are a few thousand euros apart, but that does not mean that they cannot work together and communicate. What the Maestro Anniversary showed us is that Rosso Fiorentino speakers need good "company" to be at their best and show their talent.
From the first notes, the cold - due to the weather - space of the studio started to heat up and present a musical envelope that unfolded in front of us. It was as if we had opened a bottle of well-aged Tuscan wine and had waited for it breathe and bring out its aromas. The Certaldo proceeded to take us on an emotionally-charged musical ride, and one realizes that they are one of those speakers that allows you to get lost in the music. You 'like' them immediately, and want to get to know them better.
You find yourself imagining a playlist in your mind, as if you are going to "go out" on stage to assume the role of the conductor ... when, in fact, you are the listener ... and the enjoyment is all yours. They are neither difficult nor demanding, and have no need for precision placement. They play just as well away from or near a wall, tilted or directly facing towards the listening position. Thus, they are very easy to install, a testimony to how well and cleverly designed they are.
You immediately see the solidity and grandeur of the stereo image they form.
An image where the instruments are "nailed" in place ... one that is as high and deep as the music scene transcribed onto the recording. You then close your eyes and see the performers in front of you, almost in 3D ... you would think that the musicians "came out" of the speakers for your sake.
No, the Certaldo does not earn laurels for thunderous bass performance, and it is not a speaker to impress and seduce "ignorant ears". This is a 'mature' performer, with a mature character capable of enticing the least demanding and experienced listener to walk down new and memorable paths of discovery.
This 'illuminated' sound conjures up memories of beautiful intimate performances, of grandiose large-scale concerts, of underground jazz clubs in Chicago. It is a speaker that "paints" with the color dyes of melody and musical expression.
The vocals stand out with a delectable "wetness" and finesse. The midrange exudes rich tonality and balance ... while the 'whole' is encapsulated in an incomparable lyricism. This is a speaker that speaks the 'language of love' ... for those lost in the 'myriad of compromise'.
A great design with a playful precision that springs forth effortlessly from its enclosure and is completed by mystical tuning."