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Zoltán then wanted a photo of my room but not to vet its size or planned speaker locations. "I think they'll be in a good place. I just needed a photo to check on your flooring. Parquet is perfect. I will include foam bungs for the ports if you want to attenuate the bass." When my TNT tracker arrived, I saw its origins were Volánpack ZRT. I had to look twice to realize that this was the Bayz Audio pallet. But what else was inbound from Hungary just then? The sender was a professional packing/shipping company in Budapest. So no, I wasn't having an unsolicited casket containing Nosferatu en route. However, it would contain something unusual.
"The carbon version has a 25m² prepeg¹ built into several layers because the conductive carbon layer acts as a capacitor. When you remove the foil packaging from the speaker, this creates an electrostatic discharge which in turn charges the body of the speaker. This effect cannot be measured in the frequency domain or as distortion but does cause a perceptible change in the sound. It takes days for the speaker to lose this charge and settle into its sound. This phenomenon was first recognized by Peter Belt. I discussed it with my academic brain-research acquaintances. My understanding is that this effect doesn't modify the physical behavior of the actual speaker but rather, our subjective perception of its performance." So the Courante 2.0 would arrive wrapped like a mummy and only come fully alive a few days after unwrapping it. As someone sensitive to WiFi radiation and the benefits of cable lifters and acoustic resonators, I didn't think that strange at all. "It lives!"
¹ Prepreg is a reinforcing fabric pre-impregnated with resin, typically epoxy, which includes the curing agent. So the prepreg is ready to lay into the mold without the addition of more resin like in a manual layup. To cure the laminate then relies on a combination of pressure and heat.
When the TNT driver arrived in his white van, he wanted to know the contents of my big but unusually light crate. "So you get to listen to 'em and then just write a short commentary about it all?" I saw a light bulb come on bright. Career-changing moment? Once he was off to dwell on it, flipping the lid revealed mummy wrap code to be sorry amateur hour of clear-taped bubble wrap over clear-taped foam paper. Mind you, it's a perfect 1-way solution which works swell. Alas, no matter how persnickety careful one pulls off overlapping trails of tape, bubble wrap tears, foam paper nicks just looking at it cross. Nobody had given any thought to repacking the lot. If you've signed an until-death-do-us-part mortgage, you may not mind. But whoever survives you may need to sell off your hifi trophies. Hello trip to a local DIY or shipping supply store to get properly kitted out. A reviewer arrives there within a matter of weeks not months or years. Sorry then, for €55'000/pr I'd want the full pamper package. Fleece-lined cloth bags with velcro flaps done up in purple perhaps?² With that out of my remaining hair and the goods unpeeled, I had four risers with set screws to consider. Checking on tweeter height in my chair without risers, it was crystal that I'd want the extra lift. With the speakers so extended, one simply lifts them atop the granite plinth's receivers and slips them on. Done. Even granny could manage if you helped her guide the fit. Being omnis, toe-in will only affect port/wall directionality. To get started, I set them straight out so perfectly squared off against the carpet. It looked the bomb I thought.
² "The packaging you received was the dealer sample version. Customers do get a rollable hard case, a separate bag with usage instructions, white gloves, a special wipe and more. There's also an alcantara fabric cover. Due to the epidemic, the sewing shop was simply closed."
With only one chance at a first sonic impression, I decided to let these very modern very sleek sonic sculptures de-static first for three days as advised. Meanwhile I'd have a good think on just what playlist should become the soundtrack to my first session. This was a real occasion. Some festive preparation felt in order. While I mulled that over, here comes a zoom shot of the tweeter, its ribbed grill and the outer cartridge with its three window openings of which the biggest divider faces straight back, presumably to avoid the earliest face-on reflection onto the carbon tube. The backsides of the mid/woofers proudly proclaim papyrus paper with an imprint to remind us of their origins in the SB Acoustics Satori range, albeit customized for this project. Looking at how this tweeter closes off the C shape, one does wonder about the many steps involved in Courante's physical assembly.
Because I had the system set up accordingly, my first session would exploit the provided 5cm Ø 11cm long foam bungs to plug the ports and run the Courante 2.0 sealed through the analog 4th-order Linkwitz-Riley high pass fixed to -6dB/40Hz built into my autoformer preamp. That runs a mirror-imaged low pass to the sealed down-firing Zu Submission subwoofer. Afterwards I'd switch over to a full-range output, open the ports and remote the sub from the equation. By direct contrast, that would reveal how much if any bandwidth the solo Bayz left under our Nepalese carpet.
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