That's sets a good foundation but since this is not a single-driver effort, a tweeter was required to complete the picture. Given the high standard of the rest of the speaker, Maximus needed a transducer of extremely high distinction. Mark & Daniel design and build their own Heil-based air motion transformers which are arguably among the most ambitious available. In the Maximus Mk2, the tweeter extends down to 700 cycles for ribbon precision and dynamic agility to match the woofer's gymnastic exuberance. The substrate material is well damped and performs with very low inherent coloration, revealing a treasure trove of fine detail and nuance without over-etched sizzle. While competing state-of-the-art tweeter designs may challenge this AMT on specific points, overall performance keeps pace with other top contenders.

The transition to the woofer is nicely handled and approaches the coherence of the Apogee Duetta Signatures' wide-band ribbon hand-off. Since the Mark & Daniel is no line source, it is a little more sensitive to minimum listening height but easily optimized. Properly set up, the driver pairing exhibits little individual character and achieves well-matched levels of detail and dynamic gradations, remaining consistent from very low listening volume to quite loud. Yes, I can over-saturate and compress the dynamic picture but only whilst approaching PA levels in my room. Fronted by a system prioritized for low noise, the Mark & Daniel rewards with a very low noise floor, easily differentiating between recorded fade-out levels and digital dead. Both drivers exhibit speed to handle shifts from quiet to forte with good startle factor. From percussive workouts like FIM's DXD remaster of the Carmen Fantasy by the All Star Percussion Ensemble on 12" Gold to the electrifying Big Band Basie by Clark Terry and the De Paul University Jazz Ensemble, the dynamic presentation is absolutely emphatic, pushing and pulling rapid fire at all frequencies, parading the kick of the best piston-based loudspeaker designs and the delicacy of a panel virtuoso.

If this were a pure two-way, the results would already rank impressive but Mark & Daniel have added a tantalizing bonus. They have incorporated the formerly optional omni AMT super tweeter atop the cabinet. The inclusion here is much cleaner from an aesthetic perspective and superbly integrated from a sonic one. It is crossed over high enough that the effect is subtle and doesn't interfere with first arrival information from the main drivers. This adds greater sense of space without losing the precision of image placement or compromising the dynamic responsiveness of the direct radiation. Execution is first rate and each speaker has a level adjustment on the rear to allow for room matching. Since independent devices of this type often command prices approaching the cost of the entire Maximus pair, inclusion here merits serious praise.

The individual strengths of the Mark & Daniel come together extremely well in the complete package. Frequency character is overall neutral without any overt emphasis, making system matching quite easy. The system balance can be pushed into either analytical territory or mildly romantic with ease. Bass is powerful but proportional. The subterranean "Imagine the Fire" from the soundtrack Dark Knight Rises by Hans Zimmer shows the response limits with resolute conviction to near subwoofer territory yet slightly further up the range, the challenges of Nima Ben David's solo cello intricacy on MA's Resonance are delivered deliciously full-bodied and delicate. The midrange is expressive and quite faithful to acoustic instrument timbre. Male and female vocals are clean, allowing the acapella artistry of The Swingle Singers' "Largo" from Keyboard Classics and The Persuasions on the binaural recording The Persuasions Sing U2 to emerge fresh and undiminished by time. Highs are natural and never draw attention to the transducers themselves unless deliberately pushed in that direction. The Maximus Mk2 let the music speak.