For our Fostex MG floorstander, we've already taken visual note of its 10cm woofers in triplicate. For bass duties, those are unusually small diameters. Hence the multi parallel array. Alas, one look at the specs shows crossover points at 200Hz and 2kHz. This is a 2.5-way. Hence two of our 4-inchers combine up to 2kHz like a typical 2-way; and one operates as a dedicated woofer just below 200Hz as the 1/2-way bass assist. This explains the conservative F3 of 45Hz. It makes up on the other end with 35kHz. 1m/1W/2.83V sensitivity is a modest 86dB but minimum impedance is a relatively harmless 4.2Ω at 200Hz to have the speaker listed as 6Ω nominal. Dimensions are a compact 204 x 1054 x 320mm WxHxD (8 x 41.5 x 12.6"), weight is 23.8kg (52.47lbs).

The 1003MG is no behemoth on specs or physical stature. Instead it's deliberately lifestyled. That includes those seemingly poured then instantly freeze-dried glossy skins. This box is conscious of ending up in living rooms where smaller is better. The trade-off is the bottom octave. Here Fostex offer a number of active subwoofers in their PM range; should you really need more. On concept, one expects this small tower to be more about speed than slam, more about precision than brute power. And that would go with the looks. They suggest elegance and sophistication, not raves and Rock concerts transposed into basement cribs. It's about focus. Don't try to be all things to all people. That's a fool's errand. Focus. Tailor and tweak to your intended target audience.

Now reader Russell Dawkins had this instructive link: "There is a very revealing part in this Fostex demo video which shows very succinctly the worth of magnesium vs aluminium as a driver material. Not only is it lighter but much lossier, giving rise to a quieter driver in that settling time is truncated substantially. Listen to the—slightly incompetently administered—drop test at 1:50 into this short video. Imagine what that implies about how completely the speaker can absent itself from the sound it is recreating. If a picture tells a thousand words, then a sound tells a thousand pictures or graphs?" To recap the video reveal, a Fostex representative drops two identically sized/shaped raw driver membranes onto the top of a speaker. The aluminium disc clatters and rings, the Magnesium version makes just one short sound on impact. As a material, aluminium has a bell-like property. It oscillates when excited. Magnesium exhibits more self-damping. Its bell would be lined with an absorptive layer. It goes tok', not 'dinnnnnnng'. The implications are obvious. About break-in, my contact Bamba Yuji said that "it depends on your environment. We usually do aging with piano music for 1 or 2 days at low volume and follow with classical orchestra at mid volume for a few days, then play jazz with low bass. Play various music, gradually increasing volume over a few weeks. This is the case for larger speaker system but may be too much for the G1003MG. Besides, our Japanese environment is of higher humidity than Europe to increase the aging period. Your units were stored in the French distributor's warehouse so I guess that enclosure drying was already done."

Dispatch was by triple-sleeved cardboard boxes buffered with foam inserts and finally a cloth bag. Such care insured and delivered careful protection for the gleaming lacquer skins. After unboxing, I left the magnetized grills with the empty boxes in the garage. The tweeter was protected by an additional fine magnetized metal mesh. This I removed only for the next photo, then reseated it.

The rear sports a gleaming golden decal with serial number and model name; below it a felt-lined vertically oriented oval port which aligns with roughly the upper-most mid/woofer; finally the recessed single-wire terminal bay with rotary -2dB to +1dB tweeter contour which I superimposed and moved over to the left. In reality, this area aligns with about the central mid/woofer. A second oval port rotated horizontally shows up on the lower front right above the Fostex logo.

The integral plinth on stand-offs increases the foot print and overall height, then lowers the centre of gravity with a massive 5-sided iron insert that's shaped a bit like the mid/woofer cones. The four footers are slightly convex threaded furniture glides which can be adjusted for leveling. After that physical inspection, the pair went upstairs into the video system where it replaced our customary EnigmAcoustics M1 monitors to run in driven by Magnus Audio's 40wpc push/pull transistor amp in pure class A.

After a few weeks of that, it was time to move downstairs into the dedicated music system.