Whilst waiting for the customs examiner's benediction to clear my new Swiss monitors, I thought more on how these system improvements had come about. I didn't have the impedance plot for the Dutch boxes on hand but did have that of the incoming sound|kaos Vox 3awf below. It tells the same story. By creating a shallow roll-off starting at 100Hz—again, -6dB/40Hz, -24dB/20Hz—our mighty but small Bakoon amp no longer paid for the port tuning's Ω toll. Unlike the Swiss speakers, it frolicked duty free. With death and taxes off its shoulders, life was rosier.
Adding up, not only did the speakers gain in dynamic range because they kept cooler voice coils. The amp driving them didn't have to muscle its way through impedance spikes/troughs and associated phase angles in the bass.
That was a good thing. Slicing off the lion's share of the port's bandwidth and its load effects was the prime enabler. For the soundstage meanwhile, the trick was sharing enough output across the 2nd octave of 40-80Hz, between stereo-triangle mains and corner-placed sub. For the vast majority of music data, stereo not mono cues remained solidly in place. Even for infra bass, the first overtone an octave above each fundamental fell into the same shared band to mask the real mono bits. That made the sub's location truly undetectable no matter what. So deliberately wandering synth bass which slowly walks back and forth across the stage or keeps flipping channels remained perfectly localized and not at all skewed to the left where the sub sat.
All of it confirmed that, phew, the choice of fixed 4th-order hinge at 40Hz had been the right one. Happy days. More followed when I installed Pál's firmware update for the big remote. This merely meant downloading RCT firmware uploader freeware, then pointing it at Pál's .hex file while the icOn connected to the same computer via his custom USB firmware cable. After five seconds, the new code had installed. Now the big wand's extra buttons had magically learnt their assigned new tasks. If only I could reprogram my brain this effectively!
As 3-ways with dedicated twin woofers which take over at ~200Hz, the sound|kaos didn't benefit from the dynamic midrange expansion of Pál's high-pass as the 2-ways had. But Zu's Submission certainly showed them a fine set of heels when ambient fare dished out infra bass. To my ears, this was ideal hardware synergy all around. Also, the big remote's new tricks had added the ability to defeat the sub with one key press. Not only that but the central 'info' button had learnt to show whether the sub was on or off. Whilst playing, this command briefly shows which input and output are on since the standing readout just displays the volume. That's even useful for blind A/B. Toggle back and forth until you lose track. Then take blind notes. When you're done, hit the 'info' command to tell you which was which, no 3rd-party cable swaps involved. Brilliant.
It should be perfectly crystal now. My very own SE version turned out to be everything I dreamed of and then some. Kudos and salutations to Pál Nagy for his resourcefulness and mad willingness to go the distance. Aside from flawless sonics, unheard-of functionality and very fair pricing—£2'799 with all the trimmings exactly as reviewed—it's that customization craze of his which firmly sets the icOn 4Pro platform apart. Now that more people have found out about it to stand in line (guilty as charged), you'll simply have to wait a bit to get yours. That only proves its worthiness.
Of course I haven't a clue what currently non-existing feature you might ask him about. I'm simply certain that if it's at all doable, he'll manage it for you. What else is there to say? This passive magnetic linestage from Manchester with its optional precision active lo/hi-pass is the bee's knees, dog's bollocks and banshee's scream all rolled into one. Now excuse me while I indulge in that unholy trinity some more, brand-new crush and all!
Pimp out me Pro? Even that seems to be on the docket if nixie tubes and VU meter are any indication. Based on requests, Pál is conceptualizing an 'audiophile jewelry' version and looking toward the upcoming holidays to explore sundry options. No rest for the wicked…