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There’s a sub let in the tweeter dorm. That’s the high-pass filter built up exclusively of flat-foil copper coils and silver/gold Mundorf capacitors (the latter proved superior to the even costlier oil-filled silver/gold variants in this context). This room mate lives quite comfortably on a free-floating foam-lined bed without further mechanical fixtures. The simple but quality low-pass filter with copper flat-foil inductor lives right behind the binding post terminal.

The 18cm mid/woofer too is from Scan-Speak’s catalogue. Whilst a top Illuminator issue, it is ‘off the shelf’, not some secret conspiracy and specially modified variant as many competitors in this sector often claim. The designers here fancy both of their chosen drivers for ‘minimal signature’ i.e. an overriding absence of sonic fingerprinting. "In the past we experimented with Beryllium tweeters and for the mid/woofer with Accuton ceramics, Magnesium and paper/Nextel units from Seas/Excel, paper/carbon and pure paper drivers with slit membranes from Scan-Speak’s Revelator range as well as home-built versions."

More exotic than the drivers themselves is the mounting solution for the mid/woofer. It recalls Audioplan’s approach but Stereokonzept says theirs dates back to experiments in the 80s inspired by a product of the time, Focal’s 500. An externally accessible bolt (not to be touched by the user since it requires an adjustable and properly calibrated torque wrench) grabs a mid/woofer-coupled post which terminates in a cork buffer. This sets very specific mechanical coupling values for the driver and further stabilizes front and rear baffles to minimize ‘sonic smear’.

No less tweaky than certain internal aspects of the 3.0 is the floor interface. Viewed from above one merely sees the usual four footers or spikes (granted, other such schemes are visually more attractive but Stereokonzept has already announced a cosmetic upgrade). Once the head travels south to be level with the floor however, one spots a fifth footer cone from which the designers expect further resonance control [see above - Ed].

Once the Stereokonzept 3.0 has been properly levelled in its final position (6 degrees of backward tilt are acoustically optimal), one reaches underneath the speaker and turns this 5th cone poking into its spike protector until it makes contact, then a tick farther to get noticeably load-bearing without of course destabilizing the four surrounding footers. If all this sounds a bit screwy, it’s utterly simple in practice. And it’s not as though one had to set up speakers newly each day. The biwire terminals are Mundorf issue, suitable for fat cables and easily tightened for spikes. Those interested in the 3.0 can organize a home audition with the firm whilst a dealer network is being established. This now signals time for us to heave two times 54 kilograms into fairaudio’s listening room.

"This will be easy to write up" quipped colleague Ralph upon initial audition. On one hand I had to agree. The Stereokonzept 3.0 seemed to have a recognizable sonic profile. But then perhaps it wouldn’t be quite that easy. Though seemingly a contradiction, there also was something very free of artefacts to elude obvious self sound. Best to attack things squarely then. A reach for the CD drawer and there’s John Frusciante’s Will to Death. This ex guitarist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers has released many a solo album now which aren’t merely commercially but also musically quite removed from the California combo around singer Anthony Kiedis. For my tastes they shine with terrific song writing.

My usual speaker references are quite high caliber—Sehring S703SE, Thiel CS3.7—and in matters of midrange purity anything but weak. Yet the quality of Frusciante’s vocals hovering between the fragile and forceful on "Times Run Out" was the first thing I zeroed in on. I was surprised by the spot-on tonal colors, the spatial focus and definition and subtly feathered out rather than in-the-face transparency which resolved the underlying brittleness of the voice, the reverb which ramps up over the course of the song and the immediacy to suggest a live-vibe effect.