Step 5. First I had to hear Move in my usual setup to map the Groove addition in this bigger space. Here's the upshot. Move is like a Marvel superhero. During the day he's your reliable friendly very capable and uncomplicated pal next door. When his special powers transform that persona, out step more dangerous skills. In both my rooms the Move/Groove combo clearly 'detuned' those dangerous aspects. The enablers—or restrictors depending on your perspective—clearly were conventional box bass with its omni room interactions; and likely slower softer class D tuning with its low-pass filter on the outputs. When mated to a non-conventional very directional bass system and fast 2.5MHz DC-coupled amplifiers, Move's full speed stepped out. With it came danger. More critical even than massed strings are massed voices. Mozart's legendary Requiem makes an acid test for related complexity and dynamics. Likely due to minute intermodulation as a function of imperfect intonation—do we really expect mass-paralleled singers not synths to hit consistent perfect pitch throughout a lengthy work?—choral voices can trigger shoutiness and stridency in the presence region. Those are two aspects which widebanders tend to be trigger happy about depending on their Ø. It's how transformer-coupled SET became friends with benefits for quarter-wave backloaded widebanders. Their HF phase shift from bandwidth-limiting output transformers and textural thickening from high 2nd-order octave-doubled harmonic distortion counteracted what became colloquially known as the Lowther shout. It's what Cube Audio's triple whizzers combat with intentional wave interference. It's what Martin Gateley of sound|kaos addresses with a notch filter on the small Enviée widebander of his Vox 3 monitor in my wife's office.

Basic Ripol geometry.

After playing musical chairs it became clear that Norbert's Groove addition not only adds bandwidth and dynamic range but fixes the same issue. With my electronics and select triggers like the Requiem, the Alpair 5 could trend into too much whitishness and get forward and crispy in the 2nd octave above middle C. On copasetic material this made for intense directness and electrifying clarity. On rare material selected specifically to trip things up, the same behaviour crossed the line into artificial wiriness and glassiness. A warmer slower amp should have moved that line. I initially lamented the concomitant step back from the nearfield edge of flashy energies and incisive reflexes. That's because on the majority of my predominantly acoustic fare and for my tastes, it never played lemming to fall off that edge. But as I trawled my library deliberately looking for trouble, I began to see sense and sensibility in the Groove-led transformation of temperamental superhero back to pal next door. To the average shopper looking for a turnkey solution that will play anything including the ugly screech of overdriven e-guitars on fuzz boxes, a fussy superhero with special dietary requirements would be all wrong.

To overwrite for effect, it's like a woman's slinky little black dress. On the right occasion it's super sexy. Wearing it at work, on the bus or when it's chilly outside is simply silly. Plus, wearing it with sneakers and socks looks all wrong. Unless one is prepared to make every listening session a black-dress affair by carefully controlling the weather and having a bouncer keep rowdy troublemakers out, a less demanding transducer is the better choice. I'm only breaking this down because Move/Groove buyers won't see that superhero emerge. Yet when conditions for its emergence are properly curated, the gap in skills presents. Move really is spectacularly capable of headfi immediacy. It just wants more standard amplifiers than our ultra-wide Kinki types to cordon off those danger zones.

All the 'stuff' between the speakers other than the tiny magnetic volume control was superfluous. A Move/Groove owner wouldn't need or see any of it!

Docked and patched in on Groove, Move sounded a bit more conventional. It still was excellent and especially so considering the minimalist means but it no longer was quite as spectacular. Highlights are what we expect from any point source so excellent depth layering and focus. This leads to show-off soundstaging which no headfi can match because here size of width and depth really matter. The lower treble has weight and the AMT adds enough fizz for triangle and cymbal trails to show. As we descend in frequency, we lose cone surface relative to typical multi-ways with bigger woofers. That prioritizes small-driver quickness and articulation over big air motion and their shove. Below 100Hz it also means lower dynamics. Bolting on Groove adds cone surface to the engine room of the upper bass. Whilst this brakes and fattens up the show, dynamics gain impact. Norbert's tuning of class A driver into low-gain class D also seems to emphasize tone density and mellower transients on its own. That injects blackness into the colour palette. It's the anti-widebander counter-whitishness strategy. It's yesteryear's SET trick executed with modern class D. It's back at the pal/gal next door you can bring home to mom.