"The new filter controls resonances without disagreeable notch filters or impedance compensation, just a resistor. In these raw graphs you see the Accuton without filter then with classic 18dB slope + Ω adaptation at left; and the Accuton with my filter versus the classic 18dB + Ω compensation on the right. This shows the difference between a good classic and my new filter. I'm still surprised by just how well it works."

"So now your M1 loaners are locked in at the tech and listening levels. I am not capable of better. This is the sound I love. For me everything is about the emotion and the pleasure. At 91dB, this is a real musical weapon. Early next week I'll integrate the filter on the final boards and then this pair comes back to you. I also just received prototypes on the solid aluminium tweeter pods for the monitor versions. Those will come in black or titanium anodize and mount without any fixings or cabling being visible. Production versions will be finished to micron tolerances."

"I finished the company logo and am waiting to receive the decals for the product fronts. I can ship without those or wait until they arrive." I asked Alain to wait. I wanted to photograph the final look down to the last detail. Sharing notes on red tape surrounding the formation of new companies with banks and government agencies, "I completely agree. I just went through all that again for Aurai. I've spent my life simplifying various processes. Now I do the same in hifi as I did in medical or on my ships when I was captain. I'm smart enough to simplify things. My new concept for rendering 18dB attenuation slopes is mind-blowing in its simplicity. With just one resistor I perfectly modulate the slope's fall from the parallel cell so we get filters of greater than 6dB attenuation which are as stable as classic 1st-order filters. I'm exceptionally happy with the results, both in the measurements and in the listening seat."

Inspired, Alain next revisited his M5 nearfield monitor with AudioTechnology mid/woofer and front port.

Above we see his personal pair with original filter next to a new pair with new filter readied for a US client. As he put it, the latter was ready for "musical warfare" so we know who won. "You will have the very first speaker that benefits from this new principle with new paper/wax Jensen caps. That M1 has become my departure for all the other models. If you compare your memory of the first pair to this, keep in mind that the only things changed are the filter and its parts. In both cases the slope was 18dB+12dB. It shows just how important filter design is to the sound.

"I just spent an evening with musician friends, one a sax player and the other a pianist. We compared the two M5 filters. The difference was far bigger than even I expected. It's surprising really."

This room is where the DNA for all of Alain's models gets written to each final design. It's also where a long time ago, Simon Lee had his big 'aha' moment with Alain's original speaker/system.

As we learnt, that encounter led to the M3 and M1 models which then spawned Aurai Audio as a formal brand this year. You might say that my encounter with the M3 and M1 had timed just so. It's why telling this story in greater depth felt appropriate. After all, how often do reviewers get to observe the birth of a new brand in the midst of an assignment?

"It lives."

Above we also saw Alain's Model Zero protos for ongoing R&D on their design. At left is a pair in formal rosewood dress code.

"Zero is complex. I tested several 12" woofers from Audio Elegance and Audio Technology, with 245/285mm [9.6/11.2"] Supravox mids, ESS and other tweeters in dipole mode. The overall omnipolar concept from this layout is new and complicated.

"Simon's original 001 version of the Zero had a 285mm Supravox, 12" Audio Technology woofer from 30-110Hz and a Chinese/US ESS AMT which works very well above 2kHz. With Supravox I now developed a smaller 245mm widebander. 100 of those are on order. I'm also waiting on 100 very high-end aluminium tweeters. I'm still expecting 12" and 15" Supravox woofer samples but my one issue with them remains the cubic volume required. Their enclosure must be big. Currently the most rational solution is still the Zero Junior. Its tweeter is very good, the 245mm Supravox widebander perfect for my taste and its 8.7" low-carbon woofer works very well. For most people of course, the M3 and M5 will be the most practical and realistic models. To eclipse them, things have to get bigger and then bigger again." I thought Alain's instinct to remain 'reasonably' sized even for his flagship model commendable. Current trends which step on the gas in the other direction leave most of us in the dust.