Delivery was uneventful except for DHL having elected to chuck Jorge's pallet and rain-proof wrap prior to loading their truck. Probably customs had previously clipped the zip ties of one flight case to inspect the innards whilst leaving some dirty fingerprints. Wiping them off restored the paint to flat white. No power cords or XLR interconnects were included. "We do not provide any signal cable. We only pack a pair of basic EU power cords and prefer that our customers or dealers choose the right cables for their systems. In your case basic power cords were left out because ours presently only feature Schuko plugs since we currently don't have dealers in Ireland or the UK; and because the space for the cords was filled with four orange tie wraps for the return shipping." Jorge confirmed that these flight cases are standard. All buyers get them. They make for the easiest un/reboxing. In the upright position, cover removed, a little tip walks the speaker out. It goes back in just as easy for an effortless one-man job. As someone who does a lot of this, I really appreciated this elegantly engineered packaging. Olé!

About inevitable A/D conversion, "the Stereo 3 features a 2-way active digital 110Hz xover linked to a pair of PWM class D amplifiers, hence analog input signal is first converted to digital. There is also a passive 2-way filter at 3kHz for the coaxial driver which connects to one of the class D amplifiers. It's how we get the accurate time-aligned controlled bass that characterizes active loudspeakers plus the natural sound of passives in the mid/high range."

These flat adjustable footers are ideal for parquet, tiles or concrete but plush carpet might want to replace them with spikes for a firmer footing.

About auto detection of analog/digital signal as suggested by the rear panel's analog/digital LED but absence of a selector switch, "your units only accept analog signal. We recently updated the input management to allow input selection between analog/digital by small trigger switch." Not being representative of current production on this count, I couldn't test how much or little of a fingerprint internal A/D conversion might leave. I'd run just analog signal. For digital, volume control must happen in preceding software, i.e. Audirvana's 64-bit code for Mac or equivalent controls embedded in Windows, J.River, Qobuz, Spotify or Tidal. It'll be digital attenuation at whatever resolution your streaming service or player software provides. My first sound test took place upstairs where a Soundaware D100Pro SD card transport fed our COS Engineering D1 DAC with analog volume control.

Plugging in two long Crystal Cable power cords and pro-audio XLR interconnects, I had instant proof of life, albeit also of woofer hum equal in both channels regardless of whether the XLR plugged in or not. Jorge confirmed that on his own pair, he hears "thermal noise of the electronics and, a level below it, the hum of the mains frequency" but only with his ears within 10cm of the woofers. As we live deep in the country, our ambient noise is low. That makes a stereo's self noise more audible. So I heard this in my listening chair as could my wife. Next I tried our Vibex DC filter. It had eliminated a madly intermittent hum on our Zu subwoofer's Hypex plate amp. On the Stereo 3, it didn't help. Now Jorge asked to retrieve my loaner samples until he could submit revised units. It'd give him opportunity to test their behavior on his end, compare to his samples, perhaps even revisit the electronics to perfect that aspect. Clearly not everyone is so critical of low noise. Many SET aficionados consider more hum perfectly normal since you won't hear it once music plays. Vinyl lovers accept the occasional snap, pop and crackle as par for their chosen course. Mentioning this just ticked off a small box to keep it honest. At this juncture, Jorge simply asked to put the review on hold whilst considering his options. What follows are a few quick first impressions on the first pair.