"I know who I am and what I like but this is a matter of very personal taste. That said, here is the recipe. I control the tweeter level with magnets. Everything is set on the motor. By removing or adding a magnet, we adjust the level and overshoot.

"Think of a car with a big engine but no brakes. It's useless. Everything is a matter of balance. A good tweeter values the whole. We don't hear it per se but it gives life to all the micro information. So based on your answer, I will set this balance to my taste. You can then remove or add a magnet on the back of the tweeter motor.

"Here is the tech and the curve.

• The blue curve is without added magnets.
• The red curve has a magnet in the opposite field to achieve max output of ~96dB.
• The green curve shows what a 5mm teflon magnet does in the attractive field.

"With full-power extension to 18'500Hz in a 10mm voice coil, that gives us 6dB of tuning leeway without any shelving resistors. Not bad. If you have any other questions, ask away. I have no secrets. I happily share my experience which, at 66 years of age now and doing driver and speaker design for already 35 years, is starting to work."

In 20 years of reviewing, I'd never seen that trick before. Very clever.

"Most important here is that's how we control the overshoot. For that purpose, magnets or autoformers are the royal way. But there's more. This tweeter uses a floating system to avoid screws or extra glue. Now it works without tension and far fewer mechanical vibrations. Its shape is like a Western Electric 555 motor placed in front of a 2" Altec diaphragm."

"To me the legendary WE555 is the holy grail. I work with many horns where this concept is ideal. The diaphragm could be aluminum or a bakelite-type phenolic. The shape is a classic dome like an Altec Lansing or JBL. Yet it's not the membrane material but geometry which is most important. I'm presently working on four different tweeter designs in fact and recently developed this studio monitor for very close-up listening in the extreme nearfield. I think Simon may start bringing it into his domestic market. For your loaner cable set, do you want spades plated with silver, gold or rhodium? I tested them all." I told Alain to pick his favorite so I'd hear the speakers the way he thinks best. I personally prefer bananas but Simon asked for spades on their cables.

As Antoine put it, "Alain's 30+ years of experience includes testing the majority of existing drivers on the market. This helped him develop his own which addressed specific shortcomings. His filter development goes beyond basic software calculations. Those only give approximate results so additional more precise methods are needed. Our custom tweeter is fast, dynamic and of wide flat bandwidth with highly controlled directivity and up to 96dB sensitivity. We use it exclusively across our range of speakers which mate to it quality transducers from primarily the Accuton and AudioTechnology catalogues. We offer a unique listening experience that will leave its mark on your memory."

As we already know, it certainly did so on Simon Lee.

Which returns us to the M3. Behind its squared-off conventional facade hide some unique solutions not all apparent to the eye. Its four-square talking points are:

♦ premium Birch ply not MDF enclosure construction
♦ a proprietary ultra-light horn-loaded and user-tweakable tweeter which is based on a legendary Western Electric concept executed with extremely controlled directivity
♦ a pedigreed mid/woofer from Accuton, a supplier made famous by very expensive speakers from Germany's Tidal Audio and Sweden's Mårten Design
♦ a compound crossover with premium Rike Audio parts (Germany's Duelund) whose minimum-phase 6dB slope at the filter hinge accelerates sharply beyond it for minimized overlap.