Reality check. Whilst equivalent on lower bandwidth—in our big space, both benefit from sub 40Hz sub assist—Mimí's drivers obviously don't move as much air as Zu's Druid VI. Here's how I described that difference in the Denafrips review: "Given Mimí's showing of 'we may be petite but are fully grown up so to hell with a small-room curfew', instinct told me that our hard-hung Zu Druid VI should take the same attributes to the next level. With their 10.3" widebander augmented by a wave-guided premium compression tweeter, Druid VI's 16Ω load has most solid-staters deliver just half their 8Ω power. Additionally, Druid's load value which is twice or four times more than normal magnifies its pronounced saddle-shaped impedance peaks by the same degree. That makes amp performance notoriously unpredictable. As luck would have it, the Denafrips amp was so completely in its element that I fell in love with Druid all over again. Whilst mirroring Mimi's innate richness, it moved far more air. This injected serious elemental violence.
"Thinking on how best to describe the effect, I imagined a stampede of baby elephants which crack and careen through splintering bamboo for the sheer spectacle of shove, impact and gravitas. To add to these visuals the necessary aspects of control and speed, I next thought of a comic strip having the same elephants pirouette on ice skates. It's an outré image but between stampede and ice rink, rather fitting. Where our 200-watt LinnenberG Liszt monos maximize Druid's resolution, the Hesta/Hyperion combo honed in on what I'll call the thunder-and-lightning aspects. Drums and electric bass cracked and snapped like very big very powerful things. The overall element of tone wasn't a pale Brad Pitt but a Wesley Snipes in full-on black-leather Blade mode: dark and scary and of flawless complexion. Of all our resident electronics, this Denafrips duo jumped to the very top of our Zu keeper list. For massive big-boned sinewy sound, this would be my new go-to setup."
It's here where in a direct A/B, Mimí's smaller stature registered. The same is true for most our other resident speakers. Druid VI does things differently. It's not about soundstaging, bandwidth or tonal development. It's on shock-wave impact. Bigger drivers energize more air. This more believably tracks how a kick or bass drum behaves in real life. Just envision their drum-skin versus speaker driver diameters. It's on this count where the Kroma behaved like a small speaker. That's just common sense. If you want maximum in-room air pressurization, you need bigger or more drivers. For Zu-type live sound, alternates would be Heco's Dreiklang or Ubiq's Model 1. It's a different sonic profile. With Zu, it relies on an unusually big paper driver being used up to 10kHz.
About what's required to get Mimí going, we already met the 15wpc Bakoon, 30wpc Pass, 90wpc Denafrips and 200-watt Liszt. With Rike's unusual Romy 20SE showing up just then, I had a German 20wpc SET on hand. Because that arrived as still needing 300 hours of break-in to fully form its very specialized big capacitors inside, I parked it upstairs to not interfere with the big downstairs system. With comments on sonics reserved for its review to first complete the mandated workout, I'll only point you at the COS D1's half-lit display. That represents my usual volume level. On Romy, Mimí left a lot of untapped SPL headroom. In an appropriate room, 15-20 premium watts really should be sufficient.
So… Kroma's Mimí ticks off superlative build, premium drivers and elegant cosmetics. A 40Hz port tuning ticks off my idea of a super monitor as a compact which most users shy of 25Hz electronica fans should find full-range as is. Unlike some minis whose tidy dimensions and bass reach necessitate highly damped mega power, Mimí appears rather easier to drive. Being front not rear ported adds to the 'easier' list on placement. It doesn't pile on pressurization in your room's front corner pockets which typically leads to boom and murk. Like most any speaker, fully rolled-out soundstage depth benefits from a meter or two of front-wall distance. Here Mimí's very manageable size and weight make it easily moved about should your décor not support such a permanent position but your ears appreciate its benefits.
Why 'settle' for an expensive small speaker when the same coin can easily pursue bigger and more? Unless you are strangely blessed by a non-combative room, 'more' can be the very issue. It's an open secret that many trade-show demos suffer from too much speaker for the room. Little is as sonically obtrusive as lumpy boomy bass which swamps out the high frequencies and blurs the vocal range. If your room is 4 x 6m or less and your finances can swing it, a super monitor really is the best option. Even though our household already counts enough speaker variety to support my work for good mix'n'match tasks, I enjoyed Javier and Miguel's baby speaker so much that this loaner pair won't go back. It'll now anchor my upstairs system with the puny Bakoon. As a more personal than public rig, this isn't about work. It's about pleasure and indulgence. As such, don't expect to see Mimí in too many future reviews. I've found the perfect spot for it. Which gets us back at Mimí Augello, that recurring character in the Inspector Montalbano novels played by Cesare Bocci in the films. His character brief reads something like "beautifully dressed and coiffed, charms every lady he comes across in a day's work. His love life is usually hectic. He has a propensity to bare his soul to Montalbano until all hours of the morning." That last line sounds absolutely perfect to me!