With the AD36's web page updated by then and with a brief owner's manual, I noted an LED list for eight presets yet no descriptions of what each does; nor what the mentioned 'inverted mode' means. Hadn't Train told us that he uses no presets to keep his custom tuning fixed? Had he changed his mind? Also, the majority of home users will use the analog input to control volume from a variable source or preamp. Yet the manual made no mention of input sensitivity and what the speaker's own volume control setting should be. Playing confused punter, I thought that Train made too many assumptions on what home users of active DSP speakers will be familiar with or stress over. "The LED preset documentation was necessary to secure CE certification. It otherwise doesn't apply. Advanced recording engineers meanwhile have empty presets to write their own response corrections to. 'Inverse mode' refers to presets 5-8 again only for compliance documentation. For volume control by external kit, I recommend our default setting of 0dB which is saved in the preset. Max gain is +15dB. You can mute it if you turn the pot fully counter clockwise so no LED shows. If a preamp's or source's output is too high or too low, this pot can make the adjustment. So it really is plug 'n' play."

For users who want to know, I asked what the pot's physical position is for 0dB; how 15dB of extra gain generate; and whether attenuation below 0dB is digital or analog. The AD36's knob clearly isn't meant as volume control per se—being mounted to the rear already said as much—but as a trim pot in conjunction with our own volume control. "0dB is relative only to the setting inside my preset. All these processes apply digital algorithms. The endlessly rotating pot has no detent." In short, the circuit's max gain is with the pot fully open. The default setting is down 15dB via digital algorithm, anything below the preset applies still more digital attenuation. At this juncture of the narrative a phone call from Train's freight forwarder TCB Group asked whether I'd be in the following day. Delivery was scheduled. Think standard cardboard boxes with typical white hard-foam cradles and thin white foam paper sleeving the speakers. Included were generic 1m power cords. In this class I'd like to see at least 3m if not 5m specimens. At 1 meter,  just sitting on a stand of appropriate height will only leave about 50cm distance to a wall; if that hosts outlets exactly where each speaker is meant to go. Once we want audiophile stage depth to require front-wall clearance of at least 1-2m, we need longer cords. In our home hifi sector, active speakers still aren't common. Many clients are unlikely to stock unusually lengthy power cables. Then it's far happier to bag sufficiently long generics and be in sound right away.

Will punters trading €11.5K be over the moons with Train's finish? Looking closer outed numerous unsightly flaws. Compared to our usual EngimAcoustics M1 with gently curved aluminium baffle, bird's-eye maple veneer and black tempered glass top and bottom shown on the next page, the Kenaz challenger wasn't nearly equal. Of course it demands less though Enigma sold through dealers, Kenaz still go direct whilst pricing already suggests dealer margins. Until Train moves beyond stained then clear-lacquered Birch ply for outer skins, the AD36 is probably as finely finished as the material allows. It simply might not wow the iPhone crowd; unless some members make allowances for today's whole small-scale boutique angle.

Oval patches in the exposed ply skin.

More potential niggles could be the rear mains switch and LED status indicators being potentially invisible and hard to reach; and a freely turning pot without clicks even marker dot. If used, it'll demand careful counting of partial turns to assuage concerns over perfect channel balance. It's not very precise. Worried? Don't touch it. One inexplicable item were different 'port-covering' cloths between my samples. One fabric was a solid tight weave, the other looked nearly perforated with sizable regular openings. Pair matching? Not!

Dissimilar cloths in inserts.