Backing our Audio Physic Codex—visually a 3-way but a 4th-way 10" long-throw woofer sneakily hides inside the cab in its own box whence it vents out the bottom—nothing else was really needed. For the sake of access convenience without WiFi or thumbelina by track not folder, I extricated the Soundaware D300Ref SD card transport from the double-wide Artesania Audio Exoteryc rack. That parked in front of AIO. Now our 1m S/PDIF coaxial Chris Sommovigo Tombo Trøn cable reached. This virtually consigned the entire sidewall stack to the hifi cemetery. It just sat there stone-faced like an ancient mausoleum's reminder of high-end's… well, complexifeckation.
"Fine" you say. "Simplifying is all nice and good. What about the sound?" Apply everything you already read. Liberate it from out of your head or a small chamber into free space set up for maximal soundstage depth. Voilà. True, not everyone can accommodate speakers this far from the front wall. But if you do enjoy a dedicated listening room, experiment with the free nearfield. Put your chair close, your speakers far from the front wall and as wide as the room allows. That plus steep toe-in straight at your ears will maximally minimize your room's influence and carve out a cavernous virtual panorama as the exact opposite of in-wall speakers.
To underline the sonic appeal of this setup, let's make a mini detour to horology collectors who talk of their beater watches. Very often those are big Seiko divers with metal bands. Why? Because they're virtually indestructible; can get wet and dirty; keep accurate time; won't easily scratch like that painfully dear 24-karat snob job with the ostrich-leg lacquered leather wrist belt. Should a Seiko do scratch because you nicked it hard, it merely adds to its go-anywhere sports appeal. Meanwhile the snob jobs remain reserved for fancy dates or business lunches to peek out from under the cuff of a dress suit and indicate social status and income bracket. The upshot is obvious. The 24/7 watch you actually wear is that reliable Seiko. The others are for special occasions only. Which sums up why we just made this detour. Here's another one to tie up the iMac image.
The world's first true-ribbon Raal Requisite earfield monitor™ called SR1a had landed. As a 0.0018Ω load, it would present even the most extraordinary ¼" jack like AIO's with a virtual dead short. Instead a passive adapter box with input chokes and 73 wire-wound resistors is leashed to your amp's speaker terminals. There it presents as an ideal unwavering 6Ω load resistor. It also burns off most your amp's output power as series resistance to feed the ribbons the safe far lower dose they need plus satisfy their appetite for 5A current when low but big bass transients hit at 30Hz.
The reason for this? Building the same load impedance into the headset proper would mean 2lbs of transformers to become unwearable. For the real math to equal out, the maker recommends amps of at least 50wpc. Hello AIO. The next photo spots the adapter box atop the D100Pro SD card reader. At a mere 35 volume out of AIO's possible 99, it made the SR1a sing like the fat lady.
True, in the end the class A Pass Labs XA-30.8's even stouter current delivery did take the crown. But 'twas just a stereo amplifier for a whopping €6'500 where AIO packed the lot into a single smaller prettier far cooler jacket for €4'500. Likewise for the big rig. With the €1'279 + €3'632 + €3'495 + €8'500 combo of Soundaware D100Pro, Denafrips Terminator DAC, Wyred4Sound STP-SE II preamp and LinnenberG Liszt 1MHz monos, never mind far more cables and cords, the glassy white Codex speakers were even more resolved and quicker of reflex.
But… the AIO had its very own comfort-sound allure. Ivette enjoys cooking inspiration from television chefs the two Hairy Bikers, Jamie Oliver, Ricky Stein and James Martin. Whilst they all have mastered those complex chefy things upside down and collected their stars, to a man they now admit to favoring far simpler foods without the Michelin Star "bullshit" as one calls it. Complex overpriced fusion fare? "Confusion" as two aged Italian chefs out it. When they hit the road to visit other countries, they pursue street-food vendors and actual households to see what the locals eat. They don't visit the posh poncy establishments. They want proper not doctored food. That's telling.
Seiko divers. Honest simple meals not cooked up in the fuss pot. To make it three, ask any woman about her most comfortable pair of shoes. It won't be that wobbly Jimmy Choo stiletto pump which balls up her calves, throws out her derrière and turns her bust into a lethal weapon. It'll be something like an espadrille even if it's a wedge. Hifi has its own take on that pointy high heel with our overdone highs, hyper lows and crisp-fritter transients. Now the let's-relax-into-it honesty of a performance remains overpowered by showy spectacle. We're distracted by effects.
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