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Packaging was secure but amateurish without pre-formed liners or end caps. The remote was a cheap plastic generic of the universal kind called URC-1 from Home by Somogyi without included batteries. There was no power cord either. Inspecting the unit proper revealed a full-size bent sheet-metal casing with heavily grained aluminum front and tall hard footers. On those counts Goldmund/Job and Wyred4Sound had little to worry about. Ditto connector quality.

Regardless of half full or half empty, a different layout could shrink the case..

With the ringy lid removed, the Japanese output devices revealed themselves to be two complimentary BJT pairs of Toshiba 2SA1943/2SC5200 per channel mounted to an aluminium L-bracket, then finned heatsink. This mounting method spreads heat dissipation to both chassis and radiators.

The fabric-wrapped signal-path Mundorf MCap Supreme input coupling caps mount on either cheek of the motorized Alps pot to which they're strapped for reinforcement.

The two very big Mundorf MLytic electrolytic capacitors for the power supply mount horizontally and tie-wrap to the circuit board for extra stability.

Next comes a small control logic board with socketed opamp.

Generic socketry is switched by Omron relays and triggered with heavily actuated rotary switches on long shafts.

On purely visual inspection the Ecstasy III suggested build quality like Ampino scaled up in size. At the mini's sticker all had been spot on. At the bigger brother's sticker punters hip to the competition could expect studlier chassis-mount connectors, beefier binding posts, superior metal work and a more specialized remote without so much extraneous buttonry. Would this impression include sonics?

To be frank, I was left wondering. Stood the Ecstasy III much of a chance against my in-house contenders? For a fair fight I'd run the Swiss Job 225 with the Polish Khozmo remote-controlled passive. This would package it close on coin. Time for these games to begin.