Real people fi. Oops. Cursed by dualistic language, once we write that, we've turned ourselves into despicable judgmental dunces. What does it make the rest? Hifi for faux people? Let's try again.

With the Argon3s, I wanted to document what 'real' people apart from diehard audiophiles might/should do. For evidence, the prosecution for the cause presents exhibit A. That's my wife's room. It's how Ivette has always set up her bedside system around her MacBook Pro with external DVD drive. The usual also white Amphion Helium 510 in residence simply made room for their bigger brethren. An Aura Note Premier II from Simon Lee's old brand April Music is her designated driver all in one box. The laptop quickly disconnects from the USB cable should she do some writing work in bed.

'Real' people hifi stands from Ikea of course. Upgraded drawer buttons from TK Maxx.

And yes, it puts speakers within inches from the front wall. But so what? With the rear-aiming auxiliary bass radiators, there's no issue. It just increases their radiance resistance for even snappier loading and was clearly superior to the Heliums' ports. Of course that wasn't the only thing which improved. With its larger mid/woofer and opposing radiator, Argon3s was fleshier and denser in the all-important midband. This gave voices proper chest cavity over lesser toothiness. That low-end reach would reach lower was perfectly predictable even if in this sane anti-bombastic context, its primary contribution was really to jack up the black levels of the tonal palette for enhanced colour saturation. Your takeaway should be that Argon3s is right at home in such setups. It's no eco-warrior tree but wall hugger.

Moving right along, exhibit B from just one room over, now a diehard audiophile den of iniquity where sins of debauchery against decorator sense are common. But wait…

… what the heck is that?

A rare sighting of the only Republic of Ireland hifi brand I'm aware of.

Say hello to Ardán Audio's unique desktop speaker stand.

"Yeah okay" you allow. "But what the funk, it sits on the bloody floor." Now the defense protests in combined ire like a victory chorus. It sure does. It mimics Pierre Sprey's of Mapleshade Records favourite setup for Anthony Gallo's Strada 2 of yesteryear.

Far from rug-rat audio and little green men and women—green is the national Irish color after all and St. Patrick's Day just happened last Sunday—it precisely aims up and toes in your tweeters to hit your ears like a contractor's twin lasers. What's more, it exploits boundary reinforcement from the floor which is always present so might as well become useful for a change. It simultaneously minimizes the usual time-delayed but otherwise unavoidable floor bounce.

The big difference of the Irish hardware to Pierre's Quaker-sourced solid maple affair is that simple rotator knobs quickly adjust the rake angle and turn the assembly above the decoupled plinth for adjustments along both the up/down and left/right axes. The farther you sit away, the less lean you need. Which begs the question. Would you want to sit closer – like a lot closer?

Get ready to consider exhibit C.

That's monitor-console type near-field listening. It broadens the base of the typical stereo triangle to however wide you fancy your soundstage without it getting diffuse in the middle, then moves the apex of the triangle toward the base for a wide-but-close geometry. The benefits are:

♦ maximum elimination of room effects
♦ minimal loudness loss over distance
♦ a quasi-surround very immersive sonic bubble effect like giant headphones

Now the defense is finally speechless. Hurray.