To learn more on the Evolution of the A6-XL, we talk to head chef Maurizio Atterini.

His steady stewardship of the brand built it up from an initially pure OEM shop—an associated house brand back then was Blue Note as marketed by NYC's Victor Goldstein—to what today is Italy's biggest full-catalogue hifi house. Such growth will this year mean yet another factory expansion.

It also means that Gold Note do everything from turntables to cartridges to phono stages to digital server/streamers, transports, DACs, separates, speakers, cables and even equipment racks.

Maurizio on the changes from A6-XL to A-6 Evo:

"There are a few differences but basically, we wanted to keep to a pretty similar design which was already appreciated by Gold Note fans for its proven ability to fit a relatively small room with good bandwidth, dynamic power and realism without exciting their spaces as larger speakers would.

"For the A-6 Evo, we did what we thought we'd missed with the precursor. We starting by redefining its cabinet with a still stiffer structure. It now features low-resonance sandwiched diamond-shaped wooden side panels to increase rigidity. That's helped by a very solid specially machined MDF plinth which guides the woofer's downfiring bass reflex port to be marginally affected by front-wall placement unlike normal bass reflex designs are.

"The bass reflex port of larger Gold Note models now decompresses the two parallel midranges of the new speaker on its back. That vent is a solid aluminium pipe with smooth flares for lowest turbulence.

"Except for the Audax tweeter, the other drivers have changed. The midrange units became the Seas CA15RLY over the previous Ciare HW131. That we chose for its ability to work very well across the intended 60-2'000Hz bandwidth despite quite large dimensions. The internal woofer is now a Seas U16RCY with a low 36Hz resonant frequency in a floor-vented alignment to increase extension, power and resolution with minimal room effect.

"A high-quality crossover split into two separated PCB has one dedicated to the woofer and the other to the mid/tweeter array featuring exclusively Mundorf capacitors, coils and MOX resistors. As a result, the A-6 Evo is ideal for moderately sized rooms where it can play far more powerfully than its slim shape suggests but without overloading the room or going boomy."

Ports for midrange drivers aren't common but we recently saw them with the Davis Acoustics Courbet N°5. If they're tuned to well beyond their driver's bandwidth, one might perhaps think of them as mostly 'breathing bores' to prevent pressure build-up on the backs of the drivers. They probably also minimize typical reflections which return from the cabinet rear through the driver membrane for time-delayed ghost signal. Lastly, one might get minor dipole contributions for a more spacious sound field and a freedom from boxiness that's just a bit closer to open baffles than typical sealed enclosures. How exactly the A-6 Evo's operates I don't know.

On how 2 x 15cm midranges balance out against 1 x 16cm woofer—it's unusual to see raw cone surface of the vocal range exceed that of the bass as it does here 141cm² to 80cm²—"it depends on how you manage the drivers. We are very satisfied with the results and find this design very smooth in the vocal range."

To compensate, the woofer port probably adds about roughly an octave of reach over a sealed equivalent. Plus, "the Evo midranges cover some lower frequencies, filling even areas where the bass reflex port works." It appears to be quite an unusual design.