"Friday I was able to apply the finishing varnish in three coats of high gloss. We now have a very shiny enclosure [fourth image below] with a surface that exhibits slight orange peel. This weekend the varnish had time to fully dry so now I continue with the last finishing step which will remove the orange peel."

"And here is the end of the finishing work. The purpose of this polishing step is to remove any small surface roughness. To start with, I sand the varnish with a fine 800-grit grain to obtain a smooth and matte surface. Then a finer sanding with a special 1500-grit abrasive makes it even smoother. Our surface also has become more transparent. Then it's time to start polishing with sheep skin and a medium-grain polish paste. Now the surface becomes completely smooth and shiny. A last fine-grain polish paste session brings out the final shine and reflective depth. The cabinets are finished and now I'm awaiting the Accutons which are on their way to start mounting the drivers and filters."

"I wish to purchase a pair of the M1 floorstanders. I would remit by wire transfer from our legal business name. If you're able to fill our order, that would be most appreciated. I'd choose santos rosewood in a less than gloss finish such as satin. If possible but not required, I'd prefer one set only of the expensive silver WBT binding posts rather than 2 sets of copper WBT. I'm open to your choice of clear or dark acrylic at the bottom. High-frequency balance preference is for neutral/natural used with balanced solid state. Currently that's Kinki Studio's EX-B7 monos. The M1 would be used in our dedicated 2-channel demo room."

Alain had forwarded this inquiry asking whether I knew its maker. It shows custom ordering in action. And it gave me the idea to ask Antoine whether my samples could still be single-wired since all my better speaker cables are single runs. "All drilling has already been completed. In fact there is a double terminal block because the crossover will be outside the enclosure. At the input of the crossover there will therefore be a simple terminal block. Do you mind having an external filter?" I didn't at all. Removing potentially microphonic parts from the high-pressure loudest part of the room inside the speaker box is usually a good thing. In short, if you have special requests, Aurai are clearly open to hearing them. Besides the aurai having been ancient deities of the breeze, sailors like Alain also don't move ahead unless there's wind so that name seems doubly fitting.

Antoine next had "current status. The drivers are now tested and mounted, the last crossover check for the external filters completed. I'm awaiting Miflex capacitors to assemble the final filters then will cut the acrylic bases." Two weeks later, Alain forwarded these photos from the room where the pair was play-tested before getting packed for shipping.

Aside from showing outboard crossovers in matching veneer like a high-end Living Voice Avatar OBX, we see Aurai's new as yet unpainted box frame stands for their M3 monitor. They'll be pearl black in production. The crossovers come with hardwired biwire tails to continue the internal hookup wiring unbroken. If you want to extend that all the way back to your amplifier, contact Alain for a set of his speaker cables in your preferred terminations. Showing Aurai's responsiveness to requests is reader Paul. To suit his install, he ordered a pair of satin walnut M3 with the port relocated to the front like the nearfield M Studio model; and an upgraded big Duelund part in the filter. Antoine had sent him the below two progress shots. Or as Paul put it, "it's really meeting people like Alain and having a hand-made beautiful instrument that is an extension of him that makes this so interesting for me."

Once I had my tracking, I saw listed a pallet of 106kg and 1.26m³. If the delivery vehicle had no lift gate—it happens—the driver and I would do some heaving before I could separate out the boxes. In six days, the Schenker lorry had made its way from Visseiche to Dublin via Le Mans, Serris and Tilburg. Delivery to the door was scheduled for two days later.