Backenders. Different from backhanders, here that's a treble 0/+1dB switch which presumably just inserts a different shelving resistor to create a mild HF contour option. This segues into what amps to vote for.
Giving our massive Pass Labs XA-30.8 a whirl, it improved over the nCore monos on fluidity, harmonics and treble but still belonged to the warmer girthier more bottom-up school. By now I hankered for less raw power and thick substance. I just knew the Amphion capable of more twitch and élan. This meant moving downstairs and walking right past my desktop which in the interim had downsized to no longer accommodate their foot print. It likewise meant bypassing the 2.0 video system just then powered up by a Simon Audio Lab AIO. That too is a proud fully paid-up member of the bottom-up soft-power club. Where I was headed was straight for the 1MHz DC-coupled fully balanced LinnenberG Liszt monos in the main sound room. Here's a final glance at now proper upstairs decorum before the Finnish lot…
… ended up down under in Eire.
Argonauts. Augmented at 10Hz with a 4th-order low pass by Zu's big Submission tower woofer which created plenty of bleed into the desired 1st octave, the German amps preceded by Wyred4Sound's actively-buffered passive STP-SE 2—zero voltage gain below 63 where I sat at 15-25 on its dial—proved to be my ideal Argon3s drivers just as suspected. Gargantuan staging with tripod-type focus and quick reflexes partnered with keen insight which relies on total absence of even fine mud, ringing and between-the-notes stuff. Now resolution and speed had shot up but of course so had the front end and amplification. In typical audiophile takeover mode, the monitors sat about 3 metres from the front wall to support capacious staging as a function of not just software but sheer setup. As so often with other smaller speakers, I couldn't make out any stickum of sounds clinging to boxes. The sensation of absentee apparent sources and instead just a pulsing bubble of sounds floating freely in front of me was strong.
Stands by Track Audio UK.
Aurally, this was the genie out of the bottle grown to serious proportions. In the upstairs wide-but-near setup on the floor, the genie too had popped the cork but not expanded to this extent. Upstairs had been a more intimate quasi enveloping slower more padded experience. Downstairs morphed into something wider, deeper and dynamically far more unleashed because bigger room volume and a longer listening distance now supported those attributes scaling up without overloading the ears; and because the system fronting the Argon3s was deliberately tuned for speed and resolution.
♠ Music changing flavour from album to album.
♠ Sonics morphing in lockstep with ancillary changes.
♠ Spaciousness one's mind can walk into and about.
♠ Clear focus one needn't steady or sort out.
♠ Tunes seemingly aloof from mechanical reminders and obvious room disturbances.
♠ A modest visual impact to subtract more readily from the playback experience.
♠ Attractive cosmetic options to integrate seamlessly into varied decors.
♠ Complete bandwidth for the majority of setups which this size and price of speaker is likely to end up in.
These are just eight of the fine things which today's €2'150/pr Finns deliver. And whilst one can sprawl out if the decor allows, the perhaps neatest trick of Argon3s is that it already works within inches of a wall. That's where non-audiophiles prefer to set up because it interferes least with how else they use their living rooms. Argon3s also does well at lower volumes because of its inherently high resolving power from time alignment, quality drivers, proper acoustic design and absence of ubiquitous port issues. More quietly is how many non-audiophiles use their system primarily. It's here then where smart shoppers should remember the Amphion brand with its passive radiators when the time comes. This speaker is neither a space nor SPL hogger. It's a wall and low-volume hugger.
Just what does one call all of that in one word?
Argon3s. By Amphion if we're allowed three.