Business manager Shandro Fischer of the VOXX Group [left]—this group includes the Magnat brand—identifies three vintage 10" two-ways he remembers with fondness: a Siemens Klangfilm box from the 60s; a Lansing from the 70s; and a Technics from the 80s. Designer Christian Gather [right] meanwhile was working on a speaker in the high-efficiency big-woofer 2-way genre for himself. Then synchronicity aligned.

His prototype won the eventual green light as a formal Heco production model which launched a year later at Munich HighEnd 2015. The Direkt is a nominal 6Ω load which doesn't drop below 4Ω. However, the ports create a 22Ω spike at 28Hz and a 23Ω peak at 70Hz. That's where low-impedance transistor outputs, possibly preceded by a tube linestage like in the Magnat RV3 shown, could have the edge over pure tubes.

As the right photo shows, once the metal footers are bolted on—those ship disassembled—the speaker hits an average man at about the belt line. And if you hadn't yet made the connection, the two drivers in it were purpose designed, the big 'un just for this model. They're not off-the-shelf generics from some catalogue but custom. That speaks to Heco's in-house resources.

My company contact Meruert 'Meru' Zimmer with her email suffix announced delivery by DHL. Arriving crisscrossed with Magnat-branded tape on its black shrink wrap for the single pallet, the shipment reiterated how these two marques are joined at the hip. Easily fitting both boxes into the elevator with plenty of room left for this operator, unboxing showed thick 2" foam pieces cradling the speakers from all six sides. Attaching the flawlessly machined metal footers via 6 bolts with the provided 5mm hex key was obvious child's play. Termination options were spikes or hemispherical rubber tips. Given hardwood floors in a rental, I used the latter. Wiring up by single terminals and checking on the volume setting of the Nagra Jazz preamp immediately confirmed rather higher than usual sensitivity.

Michel and fellow foam funkers will sleep easy knowing that the big driver surrounds are butyl rubber. Haters of reflective gloss finishes like yours give two thumbs up for Heco's matte finish which is far easier on finger prints, dust and high maintenance. Despisers of sharp edges applaud not only the profile's round corners but the slightly curved transitions between vertical edges and cheeks; and fine roundovers elsewhere. Given that the Direkt is a box with three sets of parallel walls, not a trendy wind slippery boat-hull affair, our Germans from Pulheim have craftily shaved off bits of material here and there to soften their rectangulosity. In the finely painted MDF flesh, actual cosmetics were even more attractive than the photos had promised.

Whether the efficiency promise kept faith with low-power tube amplifiers relative to impedance swings and phase angles would be sorted with a 6V6 push/pull integrated from Russia's S.A.Lab whose power rating mirrors a standard 300B SET. I'd also acquired a twice-as-powerful 6L6 15/30wpc into 8/4Ω specimen from the same designer scheduled to land by the end of the month. For a base line of what the Direkt could do, I'd of course start with our beastly 30wpc Pass Labs XA30.8. That actually does 90 watts of pure class A into 8Ω before THD hits a nominal 1%. That'd let me know what, if anything, the tube amps left under the table. Game on.