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To lower ship fees from Serbia Dayens uses the postal service rather than the far more expensive international couriers like FedEx, DHL and UPS. When my Tizo+ loaner shipment ended up stuck in Swiss customs for two weeks, this method of shipment meant that nobody could inquire directly about cause of delay (not even the Swiss post office). The sender is instructed to wait one month before he can initiate an investigation with the post on his end. Luckily the release freeze unthawed itself. The parcel arrived late but in good shape.

Two comparable speakers from Amphion—their €699/pr Helium 410 and €1.399/pr Argon1—had arrived for review in the meantime. This fortuitously broadened comparative context beyond the already in-house Tizo and era design Sat5. Stands for all would be the truly excellent Track Audio Precision 600.

As the next photo shows, the Tizo+ not only adds a driver but also port over the standard Tizo. The preference again was for small diameters and long vent pipes. The speaker terminals attach to a standard recessed plastic terminal cup. The cabinet edges are sharp except for the two frontal upright edges with their smooth round over. In the big system the amp of choice was my 100wpc Mosfet ModWright KWA-100SE driven from its matching LS-100 linestage. This admittedly was overkill to report on what if. I subsequently switched to the Ampino fronted by my 160GB AIFF-loaded iPod. The latter was decoded via proper asynchronous USB protocol by Cypher Labs' battery-powered AlgoRhythm Solo. That runs an internal top-line Wolfson chip and master clock. I also relied on Peachtree Audio's iDecco with digital-direct iPod dock for a single-box solution.

Quick & dirty, the Tizo+ with a beefy amp like the ModWright and my Esoteric C-03 preamp set to 24dB of gain had sufficient bass extension and overall density to satisfy even a listener used to lots more. Big expensive amp + small affordable speaker = unexpectedly good (but clearly unlikely) results. With the iDecco and Ampino not so much bass extension but weight and overall substance diminished and in that sequence. Leashing the Ampino to the iDecco's fixed outputs to benefit from the American's Sabre-DAC'd iPod conversion and single-tube buffer was my ultimate affordable electronics combo. As far as a speaker with two 3-inch drivers can, this got surprisingly serious. Without a subwoofer the original Tizo under any of these condition was not satisfactory. That's admittedly from the perspective of someone whose routine speakers have ports tuned to 28Hz, reach 20Hz and otherwise move significantly more air. While I naturally downscale expectations with affordable gear, lengthy exposure to very fine stuff has unavoidably tweaked the level below which I quickly lose interest whilst someone coming from far less would still be keen. That's no snobbery but certainly not entirely useful either. Still it's a factor one must admit to. It's confession that one no longer writes for an unqualified audience but one whose standards have matured.

Shoot 'em up: Always compared to the main suspect, the American-voiced era design SAT5 from Aerial's Michael Kelly (era has since been consolidated into the Peachtree Audio brand) had slightly more foundation i.e. lower midbass weight but paid for that with higher ringing at port resonance. The sound was warmer, clearly more laid back in feel and apparent proximity—i.e. staging put events farther away from the listener—and on edge definition or transient sharpness it was a bit fuzzier/rounder. A three-word description would call the SAT5 beefy comfort sound. From out of this bunch the era's curved sides made for the only cab to transcend the rectangular box mold. It and both Amphions also had bolt receivers for wall mounts which the Serbians lacked.

On perceived raw resolution with equivalent bandwidth Amphion's Argon1 was the closest match. This was a leaner faster more neutral sound. The core differentiator between Finn and Serb in the big system was fire. The Tizo+ had more upper mid/lower treble energy and as such a more exciting 'leaning forward toward you' presence where the Scandinavian played it cooler 'back into the chair'. Both were roughly equals on ambient recovery to create a stronger overlay of recorded acoustic on my space. The more lit-up d'Appolito design simply created an impression of even greater visibility into the stage depths and added a skoch of wiriness to certain transients where the Amphion was mellower in the same region. From out of the bunch these were the two most advanced on the fidelity portion of hifi. I ultimately felt the Finn was probably the more neutral and even-handed to make the better studio monitor. In the farfield of the listening room and nearfield of the desktop meanwhile the Dayens' more energetic reading was slightly more fun. For the 3-word tag on the Argon1 I'd pick honest articulated clarity.