About his choice of metal woofer diaphragm, "at this size it's more rigid than paper. Our aluminium/magnesium cone is a one-piece alloy with very even surface which won't easily deform with our big voice coil and long-stroke design. Since the woofer is also at the bottom of the cabinet facing down, I'm mindful of the owner's investment where a cellulose cone can capture moisture from humidity. Finally, under high power our alloy cone has far lower distortion than an equivalent paper woofer."

Then came this email: "Did the last check on César and played it for two days. Will pack and ship to you this week. Need your address, please."

César's land fall on Irish soil was imminent.

The two recommended orientations, narrow or broad side forward toed in, show that even omni radiation leaves audible differences which a listener can pursue to lock in a favourite besides pure optics.

Obviously rotating the speakers such that one of the roofing beams looks straight at you would be counter productive. Hence Franck's two recommended layouts which face you with a narrow or wide window at the reflector lenses. "The orientation with broader windows will present you with a Broadway Musical wide soundstage," Franck promised.

With delivery booked for April 1st as a single piece of 80kg, I knew that this was no joke. DHL would likely dispatch the usual stiff 40-foot lorry with lift gate whose driver knows the narrow windy country lanes of our hinterlands and how to maneuver his monster sled into the narrowest of slots. Except this being April 1st, they sent a guy in a white van. To load the boxes, he'd taken them off the pallet. Even so, they just fit given what else he had on board. His young son looked on from inside the van as the two of us heaved out the boxes. Was he wondering what was inside; or whether that's what he'd do one day, deliver big boxes to people with strange accents way out in the boonies?

What unpeeled from the inner carton in massive foam cradles was César in a blue satin robe, the hat of the super tweeter still separate. "I offer the blue robe thinking that it can be used as a cover while the user is away from home." Good idea. Whether they play or just stand there holding a pose, even emperors gather dust.

Here we see that magnesium-alloy tweeter with its protective metal perf grill. The top hat fits very tightly around it to end up with a flush mount whilst needing no fasteners itself.

And here is César paired, narrow side forward, cutting an agreeable profile in our listening den like fine audio sculptures. A nice detail was the company logo printed in gold on a transparent sticker. One affixed to each broad side right above the belt line. Should you prefer César anonymous, just peel the stickers off to show pure wood. It's an elegant solution to have it either way and remains most unobtrusive when left on.

Seeing in person these gently bowing lines and bulging panels in immaculate wood veneer drove home just how complex this form factor must be for the shop entrusted with its fabrication. Even Kaiser Acoustics would tip their hats at this execution. Just two days prior, Franck had "sold a Walnut pair. The lawyer came by to see and hear them before taking them. He is very happy. Even though I had just finished assembly, they sounded very good already." Unlike Cleopatra, César didn't sound like a fussy customer despite wearing bespoke Saville Row.