Efficaciously Aavikacious. With top and bottom cover off by undoing four long bolts hidden beneath the top's dress discs, we see how Aavik's 'organic composite' aka high-density fiber board chassis in flat black paint surrounds a thin inner metal cage to which mount the various PCB.

Standing upright behind an L-shaped steel shield sit the compact switch-mode power supply then two boards of 36/ea.hand-wound coils; and placed classically horizontal are the mother board with piggy-backed crossover. The remote control is a custom metal wand with clever slide-out tray for two AAA batteries. The upper photo shows how this dot-matrix display really goes the distance but can of course black out if you do your best work in the dark. If you expected more stuff, look elsewhere. Ditto mass. This is a lightweight component and XLR even of the convenience sort are off the menu. Easy does it; except perhaps for 16'000 smackers which some shoppers could conflate with heavy-metal enclosures, big transformers, avenues of boutique capacitors and other audiophile whizbangery.

In this price range, the C-280's board-mounted RCA outputs feel a bit low rent. Only the filtered outputs become chassis-mount types. It's the flagship C-880 which adopts the latter all the way. Analog Devices MAX5123 DAC chips for digitally controlled variable frequency filters .

Time to put the lids back on and check on sonic features and fitness.

In my upstairs system, Aavik's wand double-teamed a Crayon CFA-1.2 with haywire responses. I had to power-cycle the amp to restore proper working order. But now Aavik's remote had mysteriously unpaired itself from the C-280. It refused to reboot using the recommended 'pairing' protocol even after first invoking 'factory default reset'. A spare Apple remote meanwhile paired without a hitch; except that the C-280's selectable filter freqs now stopped at 80Hz rather than the promised 160Hz. Had the infrared code's crossfire between two decks locked out an entire octave's worth of 5Hz steps? I emailed an SOS to my factory contact and began listening to 80Hz slopes. Apple's remote gave me full access to all functionality. From the seat I could change circuit gain, display brightness, channel balance, 30-80Hz filter settings in 5dB increments and HT features I'd not use.

I soon figured out that my 'unpairing' had accidentally pushed a wrong button. Surrounding its central ring of five commands sit four small buttons on the C-280 remote. Those assign it to an Aavik amp, streamer or phono stage instead. That was easily remedied. Reminder to self: don't touch those buttons. I used a marble coaster in front of the Crayon's display to block its IR eye. Aavik's RC5 ± volume code was the same as Crayon's to trigger both at once. Meanwhile Aavik's tech department was looking into the unexpected 80Hz limit.

"The filter design was changed and I guess the manual or specs weren't updated yet. The original version was 60-160Hz in 10Hz steps. The new default version is 30-80Hz in 5Hz steps. The original version remains available as a special order option." Mystery solved. With these speakers good only to ~65/70Hz, an 80Hz filter cut with a shallower 2nd-order slope was pretty much the lowest option. Exploring alternate transitions would remain reserved for downstairs whose mains breach the 30Hz barrier to welcome all of Aavik's new 30-80Hz xover points.