I’m not sure I can answer that with 100% confidence but I’ll try. The short answer is I get the feeling you’d be a little happier with the Guarneris, provided you have the power and don’t need timpanis slamming from off stage left. I’d say both are musical first, imaging second. Definitely good, but not as good as the Strads with the huge caveat that the Strads have the benefit of better amps, better preamp, better digital, and better cables. I might actually say the Guarneris are a fair amount closer imaging wise in the mids to highs, but I’m comparing an homage generation Amati to the memento generation Guarneris which I believe upgraded the tweeter at minimum. So timpani slam from the left? Amatis. Oboe dancing across the stage or something as low as a bassoon, Guarneri might be your ticket. Again, if you have the power. I say that because my pairs are 88 sensitivity for the Guarneri and 90 for the Amatis. I’m more of a tube guy these days, and my 75watt / channel MC275 tube amp didn’t quite let the Guarneri sing as much as an old MC352 solid state. That’s the short answer. My longer answer with more caveats follows. It’s been so long since I’ve had them both in the same place, as I was bicoastal for 7 years before storing them both and getting the Strads. So going from memory where the Amatis were fed by the MC352 and then McIntosh Mc501 monoblocks in a ~900 sq ft “room” which had living dining and kitchen all in one. The Guarneris were in my ~250 sqft bedroom. I later had the Guarneris in a 12x20 foot room living and kitchen apartment on the other coast. Neither had the best power or interconnects, and both are sensitive to room placement in imperfect rooms. The Amatis probably being a little more forgiving as it can move more air and you get a fuller sound and concert hall dynamics easier if you’re going sub-less. I did try a room correction box (McIntosh MEN220) for awhile with the Guarneris in the 12x20 room when I tried them on the narrow end but eventually took it out as some of that sweetness disappeared. With them on the long wall it worked well without the correction.
Both Amatis and Guarneris are 4ohm, but I ran them off the McIntosh 8ohm taps for a little more oomph in the bass given the unruly rooms without subs.
My Amatis: with sound off they just win the sexy contest if you have the room to really see it from all angles and it isn’t cramped. Sound on in my setup it did sound a little congested, with subpar cables and a crazy inconvenient room with concrete floors and not enough rugs. Still though it sounded musical and smooth and easy. Jeff Buckley, while not an orchestra, had a fair amount of concert hall echo and good imaging with the drums and second guitar.
Guarneris: Flat out, I was often surprised that the sound was coming from speakers of this size. And in a way they disappear more easily because of that. Jeff Buckley’s voice sounded more there, clearer, and in the room. Could be that the room was smaller, but it wasn’t that small.
And one more time I’m sure the differences I heard were in part due to the interconnects, and the different generations of the speakers. Are you able to hear the new generation at a dealer? There’s a chance that among the same generation the mids and highs are the same with the Amatis having a fuller sound in larger rooms.