Widebander mojo. After the display's countdown from 99 to 0, Shinai's muting relay opened. Now a dead-quiet circuit handled our ~93dB Cube Audio Nenuphar. Just 33 steps from mute to max meant that '8' on these loads equaled normal room volumes. Here finer calibrations would have been welcome. Still, sonic happiness probably shadowed prior show success with Martin Gateley's open-baffle sound|kaos Libération and their paralleled Enviéé widebanders which want a bit more damping than the Poles. Having just prior wrapped a review on Bakoon's 25wpc AMP-13R with true variable gain, I had opportunity for a tête à tête. The primary distinction between that amp and Shinai was the Strahlkraft (German for brilliantine force or shininess power) of tone textures. Those of the Japanese/Korean DC-coupled class AB amp with 0.5MHz bandwidth were overtly more glossy and wet. They gave off more contrast pop for that film noir effect. It recalled what on that score one might get from a 45 SET on—good luck—copasetic speakers. Here Shinai played it more solid-state like our FirstWatt SIT-3 stereo or SIT-1 mono amps. But like those very special Nelson Pass static induction transistors with true triode curves, Massimiliano's were likewise temporally elastic and redolent, not rigid and über-damped like marching soldiers on a show-of-force parade.

On a filter-less speaker whose voice coil couples directly to an amplifier's outputs, here via big transformer, any reduction in gush factor registers without fail. The Bakoon precedent showed how still more of that freely spraying fluidic gestalt was possible. This might have also been a function of the AMP-13R's higher output impedance. On such speakers that's actually a benefit. Still, the Grandinote Shinai cut an impressive figure on Nenuphar. It placed itself on a quite short list of solid-state amps which are well matched for such uncommon loads.

For a classical concert you might actually just get away with hosting in your living room if you lived large enough is the young Intercontinental Ensemble. They  transcribe symphonies from Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms for string quartet plus woodwind quintet, i.e. the classical mixed nonet. With first-rate recording values from the Dutch trptk label, the Traveling Light album is a welcome addition to the very limited original repertoire for this particular instrumental formation even though particularly the "Poco allegretto" from the 3rd Brahms Symphony here would have warranted a far more poetic rubato reading with greater dynamic shadings. But then these players are still young. Give them time. Still, the slightly stilted not ultimately fluid feel of this reading paralleled an undertone of Nenuphar's behaviour on Shinai to make for a useful musical example.

Trading up to our 4-way Audio Physic Codex with hidden 10" woofer in a tiny internal box, happy-hour time on the volume changed to 15. Tea and crumpets. What's more, color intensity increased as though real tubes had come in somewhere on the sly. Over our usual LinnenberG Liszt monos, there was no mistaking this enhanced calefacción whose synonyms ardor and pasión confirm that no matter the language, such states always exhibit higher temperatures as though their carrier had a fever. Into these less sensitive more complex loads plainly appreciative of higher damping, the sound had heated up. I'd just met Max's slogan "amplify your emotions". Clearly this was the intended Magnetostatic effect. So Codex would stay put for the duration.

It took no saucy tunes to get this fever. Already the dreamy musette-tinged waltz "Pouro Rom" on the Russian Guitars album did the trick. If you enjoy this music, check out the Russian gypsy group Arbat of which Loutchek is a member; and the Bloutek/Loutchek guitar duos of Valse.

This was about red-blooded tone immediately asserting itself, without on these faster tracks yet loading down with wading-through-water reluctance on timing. This was authentic 6SN7-type aroma without any actual glass. It reminded me somewhat of the €14'000/pr 40-watt Thöress EHT monos. With Shinai, no separate preamp was needed though still two power cords. Unlike the cool-running Germans with the mostly empty internals, Shinai's heavily stuffed double-ventilated centre section gave off plenty of hot air. Otherwise and as far as sonic memory was trustworthy, I clocked a related aural aesthetic from a single heavy box. Think tube hybrid with big-tone triodes driving transparent current-gain transistors.