"The paralleled widebanders run wide open. I've always enjoyed Alnico-powered drivers and widebanders sound great on piano, saxophone and voice. They simply have HF dispersion issues which we solve with our UFO lenses. For the vocal range, a 5-inch diameter is actually ideal. Yet nobody makes an Alnico-powered paper cone in that size. So ours is exclusive to us. I had to have it made. Our solid Maple phase plug gives it a very rich tone.

"In multi-way speakers, the intertwined problem always is that of phase and timing. My ears simply insist on correct timing. That's because I collaborate closely with a big Parisian recording studio and their wonderful team of engineers. They work with a number of Grammy-winning artists. I participate in some of those live sessions and treat the venues and instruments. They've even asked me to treat a line of monitors for mixing and mastering work. Last year I was invited to help solve the acoustic issues of a philharmonic concert hall in Spain. Live sound and recognizing it have become second nature to me.

"When it comes to a loudspeaker's industrial design, I see it gracefully integrate with your living environment. It can't look like a monster from outer space. It should be an object d'art in its own right. So from one side, César looks like the Eiffel tower and you won't see its drivers. It's just a graceful sculpture. But as you know, 360° dispersion is far closer to live sound than the typically directional speaker. Omni is the more natural radiation pattern.

"Unlike Duevel but like my resonators, César has both narrow and wide dispersion windows on top. So the user can choose the preferred orientation. César even doubles as a very precise monitoring tool for recording and mastering engineers. It is very dynamic yet doesn't need big power to come alive. Here it works like a guitar's Alnico pickup. And César likes tube amps. Hey, you hardly find a guitar player who uses a transistor amp."

As a player who co-authored his own guitar, Franck would know.

"I will ship you a pair in Maple with integral super tweeter so you don't need a second cable connection. The super tweeter then is fixed to enter at 15kHz which blends ideally with the main drivers." On my other question—about invisible trickery inside—Franck had another surprise.

"This time I didn't put any resonator inside because the cabinet is very well designed. The bass is tight and precise and goes surprising low for the size of the cabinet. It doesn't even need feet. I think that a good speaker should work perfectly without any tricks. The tricks are only the cherry on the cake."

About the super tweeter: "The widebanders already hit 20kHz which really is enough. But some audiophiles love an even spacier feel. So I offer the optional super tweeter for 35kHz. It's a magnesium alloy dome with powerful neodymium motor which uses its own deflector lens. In real recording sessions of course, the studios are filled with foam. There I don't hear any space at all. That reverb effect is only added once we do the mixing. But already without the super tweeter, it sounds really great.

"For over two years now, I've done lots of live gigs with many different musicians. And sound engineers visit me often. One guy runs a piano shop nearby. He came over to listen to César and was stunned. We played some older Jazz recordings that day. We really felt like we were there in the smoky bar, with the musicians right there with us."

About the cabinet: "As you can imagine, it's not easy to make. Because I didn't want it to look like yet another ugly box speaker, even the connectors are on the underside. That way absolutely nothing mars the enclosure no matter what side you view and it looks great even in traditional old-style homes like most of our apartments in Paris."

"I just had a sound engineer over who brought his own recording and spent the entire afternoon listening to César at my office. Now he wants a pair for his control room. It's a great recording he made."