As Anssi's stock photos of listening spaces show, he loves clean industrial design. It must be Scandinavia's genetic fondness for timeless simplicity. Anssi enjoys showing with Antelope Audio not just for their sound quality but also good looks. This goes for the NuForce desktop range too. Of course endorsing specific electronics as a speaker maker can backfire when not all your dealers will match your own matches. Demoing with repeat enthusiasm anything that your customers can't easily duplicate fires blanks. Hence for the last 5 years Anssi had been researching various class D solutions to see whether they could roll their own. Scandinavia after all is quite the hot bed for class D, be it ICEpower, Pascal or Anaview (formerly Abletec, 500w module at right). With Anaview having developed their tech with Amphion speakers, now Anssi finally had the right stuff.

"Pro audio relies nearly exclusively on powered monitors. Their guys no longer own separate amplifiers. We needed to supply our own to connect to the XLR outputs of their mixing consoles. So now we have an AMS Series 500-watt into 4Ω rack-mount amp." Having heard Hypex, NCore, ICEpower and Pascal amps but never Anaview, I petitioned Anssi to include one with RCA inputs just for the fun of it. After all, they will shortly be available from Amphion's pro dealers. I love potential high-value discoveries.

Asked about his take on the sonic advantages of passive radiator loading, Anssi likened the general behaviour to how a sealed box creates more natural in-room pressurization, hence fewer room issues; suffers lower group delay; and exhibits far better start'n'stop speed for superior time-domain performance. All the drivers of Amphion's pro range are sourced to their specifications from Seas of Norway [tweeter manufacture at Seas at left].

"Another thing hifi users can learn from pros is nearfield listening. With the room otherwise being the biggest uncontrolled variable, nearfield listening eliminates most of it to make for far better performance. Not only that, it means smaller speakers suffice which equals lower cost; or even better performance because your discretionary hifi money can pursue fewer but better drivers in more inert better-looking enclosures. PCfi on the desktop duplicates the mastering engineer's setup already. Those listeners are set.

"Others with spare bedrooms vacated by kids gone to college can convert them into private wellness spas without holding their living rooms hostage with big unsightly towers. With a pair of quality monitors, one doesn't need a big room to get full-range sound. And because the One18 you're reviewing isn't ported, it creates less room interaction; but still lower bass than a traditional sealed cabinet would. It's a win/win all around."

To rephrase the ABR gist according to Amphion, it's ported bass on quantity, sealed bass on quality.

Should you wonder what an Amphion lookalike speaker from Cayin is doing here, you might enjoy the aptly titled WTF industry feature I wrote once discovering it. Enough said on that front.

In that made-in-China cloning context, we still ought to add however that "the Association of Finnish Work—clumsy name by the way—has performed a pretty detailed audit on the production process and local content of Amphion end product. In our case, the local content on average was found to be 81% Finnish. As proof of that, the product can be sold with the Avainlippu (Finnish key flag) symbol. In today’s world, a manufacturer can claim lot of things. In our particular case, this is fully certified by an external oversight agency that our guys actually make the product in Kuopio, Finland."

Or as my feature put it, do these guys really look Chinese to you?

Not. These are real Finns building real Finnish boxes.