A cannon for fly squatter? Not owning a turntable or valve amp of any persuasion, microphonic or otherwise, that's what I questioned. Worries about potential futility for zero audible benefits despite real effort were being reinforced by the breakdown of 32kg/71lbs for just the top plate and 62kg/137lbs for the massive base respectively. "This should be manipulated by two strong adult persons" warns the manual, particularly because mirrored precision ball races must align without clumsily dropping top onto base to risk deforming a race. Before I ever began contemplating how to accomplish this by myself—my wife's back is strictly off limits for hifi antics—I ascertained just in case that surely a pump to inflate the air bladders would be included. Jarek's laconic reply was "sorry no but any car pump will do". Like magic, this inflated my consumer-by-proxy spleen without a pump. I pointedly reminded Jarek that even the cheapest Ikea delivery includes whatever hex key is required for assembly. They don't assume that you own the right one when you get home on a Saturday evening to unwrap your new acquisition. Yet for €5'900, I was now asked to procure my own hand pump? Not. The burden of providing one would fall on Jarek. Without pump, his device was inoperational. Why deliver it crippled? So... if your car includes no pump—none of those I ever owned did—specify that Stacore include one when you place your order. [Right: bleeding off the appropriate air bladder is how one levels this platform.]

As timing would have it, the promise of mega flies to fire my Polish cannon at appeared momentarily with the delivery of a pair of Audio Valve Baldur 300 valve monos with a dozen tubes per side. Alas, 55kg per channel disqualified participation in stereo, never mind that the Stacore wouldn't be wide enough to accommodate two in the first place. Their combined weight would eclipse the allowable rating by a whopping 45kg. I'd have to do a mano-i-mono.

If none of our transistor amps or tube preamps proved sufficiently 'jittery' to show up distinctive improvements between the Artesania Audio amp stand and Stacore, one Baldur might have to become my default fall-back scenario for mono listening.

First of course I'd trial the Pass Labs XA-30.8 stereo amp, the compact LinnenberG Liszt monos and the Nagra Jazz and Classic valve preamps. So much for pending fun. How about unpacking, moving into place, then setting up this massive thing from Banino? Had I bitten off more than I could stomach?

After all, our crib doesn't have Stacore's fork lift.

With promised delivery MIA two days in a row, Jarek checked in with an apology. "Due to size and weight, we cannot use big global services like DHL or TNT who then won't deliver to private addresses. We used a Polish shipping agent specialized in big cargo shipments but also door-to-door shipments to private addresses. Unfortunately their service is not usually up to DHL/TNT standards. I'm trying to get some binding commitment as to when delivery will occur." Whatever Irish subcontractor had to take over from Dublin airport for the Polish agency probably wanted a vehicle with lift gate and electronic pallet jack; more than the usual white van. If this subcontractor didn't do routine deliveries to our west coast, it would take some coordinating to dispatch a suitable vehicle to our remote location. It's a 3.5-hour drive from Dublin. Might a trucking company not want to accumulate sufficient orders to make such a trip worthwhile? At this rate, my DHL'd pump would arrive first. I could already start blowing hot air.

One slate float perfectly aligned.

But suddenly there was a knock on the door. Outside was a white van and a man I'd not met before. He had a hand prosthesis and announced very good-naturedly that this was a very heavy thing though he respectfully refrained from asking what might be inside. Three hands managed to heave it off his van and onto our covered back porch. My trusty furniture dolly did the rest. Once inside, I contemplated quite compact dimensions. Then I tried to remember where I'd left my bottle of elbow grease. The pump was due to arrive the following day; good reason to postpone unpacking by 24 hours.