About partnering electronics with on-par cosmetics, Ashley named Devialet and Naim's Mu-so as two all-in-one examples. About partnering electronics with on-par sonics, he pointed at Bel Canto's Black ACI 600. As to partnering electronics with looks and sound to match, he remained quiet. He didn't know yet. I wasn't sure either. But then synchronicity and that day's DHL delivery suggested Aavik's brand-new U-380 integrated as a real contender. Then our petite but very Zen Bakoon AMP-13R proved to have sufficient moxy to awaken Hylixa from 82.4dB slumber and sounded even better whilst shrinking the package though lacking a built-in DAC. Ashley thinks that a big portion of their core audience could favor all-in-one solutions for a minimal box count with concentrated functionality.
Some color combinations to suggest the endless range of choices.
After Ashley had heard the loaners warm up from white van transit downstairs, we did a quick upstairs recon before he and his wife left for Dublin. This bedroom is ~4x6m so on the small side for a dedicated listening space yet typical for what many flat dwellers have for a living room or lounge area. It thus doubles as my secondary review system to report on suitability in equivalent spaces. For a bit of extra color, wool coats on the side walls add some free HF absorption.
To avoid a door frame, the next shot's lens setting compressed width but shows off Hylixa's purposeful stance which leans forward on the asymmetrical tripod support. With the Cardas terminals at the very bottom—huzzah!—no unsightly cables mar the top as they do on 99% of stand-mount speakers.
Luster-polished 24K gold baffles on high-gloss black eggs overtaxed this occasional picture taker so I'd not even attempt to control reflections. That would take finessed pros with the right kit or going outdoors under a cloudless sky – not Western Eire in late November.
As always with piano-gloss black, if you don't want to mirror and distort your environment, go for a lighter color or a satin finish. At the Bentley show, Node received a bespoke request for a full-on 24-carat gold finish. If they can do it, that'd be another very heavily mirroring object. So the owner is in charge. And that's the very essence of any bespoke credo.