"I went to see my cabinet maker this morning. He's a keen member of Lauenen's Jodlerclub who this summer recorded a CD. He asked if I would set up a decent system (AMP-13R and Vox 3f) in his show room a month ago so the choir could listen to their CD upon its launch.

"Seemingly the event went on until the early hours with just one CD and now he doesn't want to give the system back. He had a choir master of the top Jodlerclub in Switzerland visit a couple of days ago, sat him down and had him in tears. He has already booked the show room for his next CD launch.

"When you get such a show of emotions, it makes all the effort worthwhile. Anyway, at the moment it feels a bit like my favorite line of your 3f review: that like a rock dropped into a pond, the speaker sinks below the audible surface to leave behind only the ripples and waves."

On January 22nd, "delivered a pair of Vox to Essen dealer audioNEXT. Will be at Hamburg's show of their NordDeutsche Hifi Tage February 1st and 2nd. Stopped by Armin on my way back to collect the first batch of 3a drivers. Will be listening attentively in the next few days!"

Martin also attached this PDF for a possible super tweeter deflector. It would double as dust cover when not in use and shorten the ribbon's output pathway to the ear when flipped up.

Should the deflector be plexi or matching wood? Would it screw up the cosmetics? Vox 3a was beginning to segue into the final straights of its race to gestation.

"In Hamburg we shared a small room with 4-5 headphone stations from our dealer but there were attendees who said they'd go to Essen to have a good listen in a proper room. Most the German press was there and Roland Dietl from HifiStatement took the Vox and AMP-13R for reviews so that was a worthwhile trip."

"I'm going to that little Island off the coast of Europe tomorrow to do final voicing on the Vox 3a with Chris Ellis. It already sounds superior, more detailed and suave and much closer to the other Enviées. It has the little TangBand sound just a bit peasanty (plain/ordinary); not that I have anything against peasants. I come from good peasant stock myself and we performed well in Hamburg."

May 5th: "I'm just about there now, merely evaluating some final alternative copper foil caps to get our filter's very best. Not everything worked out as planned along the way but I'm pretty chuffed with the results we have achieved. I may add an alternate 3a version with these copper-foil caps. At €145/ea. and needing three per side, it could simply break the bank so I'll decide once I've compared. I was surprised by the step up in performance from the 3f's silver/gold Mundorf parts to the 3a's Jantzen aluminium caps I'm currently listening to." About the deflector, "it screwed up the timing so we canned it." With Armin Galm's widebander 11cm or 4.3" across not 10cm like the TangBand, its surface is a bit bigger and the other drivers are closely matched so overall efficiency has jumped up by two to 92dB. Besides the signature oiled/waxed wood finishes, a surcharge will buy you high-gloss lacquer skins over solid wood in a custom color. The final widebander's black nylon phase plug won out over earlier aluminium-alloy bullets and there are wood or metal stand legs with a 10mm aluminium bronze base plate, adjustable footers and brass spikes.

Wooden stand uprights above, metal below.

With Martin having extended my 3f loan well past their review to now facilitate direct A/B against the 3a meant that I could hear for myself just why sound|kaos needed a second Vox 3 model. Like initially doubting Chris, prospective buyers could look at the identical form factor, apparently minuscule difference of just the front driver—upgraded filter parts are obviously invisible—then focus down on the higher price and wonder.