What's in the tin? "I was impressed by the nice looks and very good sound of the new STX mini woofer. It had me think about scaling up the Vintage Oslo II particularly after the Fram Midi 150's success. The perfect opportunity arose with this new driver. It maintains the same build as the Oslo II's smaller version. Both speakers share my same input/processor electronics but Horten of course needs far more power. So I applied dual 60-watt mono class D amplifiers.

"As with the Vintage Oslo II, Vintage Horten comes with an added coaxial digital input [Horten D] or just analog inputs. This speaker can mount to a standard camera tripod with a ¼"/20 bolt. Of course I suggest to use solid stands. To play in very large rooms I added a subwoofer output but really don't think that average rooms will need extra bass power. The three pre-coded programs are neutral, less bass or less treble (or subwoofer). What programs would you like to test?"

With a subwoofer in each of our three bigger systems, I asked Jarek to activate that option. Though I have standard speaker stands, I asked for the tripods. I have one for my camera but with a complex head and no second stand for stereo. The adjustable height of a tripod with its head tilt can get speakers into spaces and positions they normally wouldn't. I thought that an excellent feature to report on.

At this point I realized that "brief comparo" probably wouldn't do the Vintage Horten D any justice. Unlike the Vintage Oslo II, it really asked to bypass the desktop for regular free-space options. The tripod angle simply winked at the desktop too. Now our 7" 2-ways no longer had to be on the desk to add clutter. They could go behind it higher up aimed down; low to the sides angled up; or any variation thereof. Imagining the most likely end scenario, my mind did somersaults. There'd be more to this gig than anticipated. Should I rewrite my intro? Not. It's far more reader fun to follow a critic's occasional stumbles, see him correct his own misconceptions and other impromptu reactions. I might have to atone, do a real save on vintage, invoke fine wine and call this a premium 2022 harvest?

Now it looked real likely. All I'd have left to niggle about were lack of remote and USB. Meanwhile the power mains and volume control on the front looked extra nifty to avoid out-of-reach groping for some of my tripod ideas.

"Adding a subwoofer is an excellent idea of course but ultimately should integrate everything into one matched speaker system to have my processor code include the specific sub added. Some time ago I manufactured a subwoofer for the original Studio Oslo. It was a closed box with the excellent JBL GTO 8" long-throw woofer driven by a 250-watt class AB amp. Unfortunately JBL stopped making this driver, probably because it was too good and well made for the price. This subwoofer was well matched to my speakers and had only one knob so was easy to operate. Until I make a replacement subwoofer, I use an available beer-budget solution. Bartek Debinski, a heavy-duty local audiophile and music-club owner, asked me to add the cheap Koda 750 sub to Vintage Oslo. At ~€120 it has an 8-inch woofer, 100-watt class AB amp, basic controls and broad availability. Bartek's idea was good. This model is enough for most users so I wrote my sub program for it.

"Vintage Horten's sub program expects a bigger subwoofer with an ~80Hz cut-off. My sub out just sums the left/right power-amp signal without filter. The speakers don't fully high-pass but I still reduce their woofer load. This idea has many disadvantages but one plus. The signal for the sub also is corrected by my digital speaker processor. Now it becomes possible to fine-tune the whole system to the room and specify a sub. The Koda is cheap and boomy but pre-corrected, it integrates very well and I can even improve some of its own imperfections. In my 27m² room, Vintage Horten even on bass-heavy records needs no sub. Just for fun, I drove it today with my new CD-Pro8 demo-kit CD drive. This drive is made by Steam Unlimited of Austria and will be at the heart of my new CD player. Even as a quick demo with a cheap power supply, this drive outputs a very high-quality S/PDIF signal. Playing both speakers with a digital signal is my favorite."