Wised up. When my designated now 4m balanced l/r cable failed to trigger the left channel, I paralleled a coax. That instantly awoke the mate. Now RCA could unplug and XLR handle 5V signal. I'd figured out that my sample couldn't use the AES3 protocol for the initial handshake with the slave. At now taller SPL appropriate for a typical audiophile midfield setup, the 7" mid/woofers could really jump in their hoops whenever low loud beats demanded large excursions. But the absence of ports also avoided any form of room boom. Time to take the full sonic measure? I was game but a good hour into the session, the right channel self muted though continued to feed the left. No power cycling revived sound in the right. So I chucked AES/EBU entirely and rewired Swöxx for dual coax. Instant joy for the F1 and F3 profiles but F2 muted the left channel. I asked Sinan whether he wanted to proceed or retrieve the loaners for an inspection. "Engineering challenges are part of the fun. Let's continue and I'll handle debugging or settings optimization afterwards. I also think that I'll still release a passive Swöxx with a very high-end xover for my sound signature and quality to make this one of the best price-to-performance products." Onward it was with the 'modern' F1 preset. That worked like a charm and for multiple 8-hour days. Afterwards the room was always warm because the Hypex metal plates radiated properly.
Only the digital transport on the lower left shelf saw any action. All else bypassed.
Listening here, I again felt that relative to insight—separation, layering, focus and the mapping of recorded space—Swöxx played it soft even in the F1 profile. The thicker home-theater F3 option did so even more. To my ears that approached the opaque so I stuck with F1. DSP can perfect time alignment on a vertical baffle without Accuton Cell drivers so I expected a quicker sound more tweaked for detail. I invariably found myself back at this textural/transient gentility. It was polite and respectable but shy on gumption and energy. This became my overriding impression of Swöxx. Given our usual sound, I frankly struggled. The sound was pretty and non-offensive so tripped matching selections of slower simpler romantic music.
When it came to fare that layers up more like this slowly developing virtuoso cut from Randy Tico's nicely recorded Earth Dance album, I felt shy on layer separation, depth penetration, raw speed, the heated upper harmonics of Steve Kujala's overblown flute and the equivalent bow work on Charlie Bisharat's violin. The same held true for heavily percussive fare where hard skin slaps and cracks should startle like an expensive glass just shattered on kitchen tile.
It felt as though Sinan was allergic to overly dry hyper-damped class D sonics—I am too!—then overcompensated. The result would probably have really appealed during my days of Yamamoto 45 SET experiments. Now my reference amps with lateral Exicon Mosfets are all tuned for wide bandwidth, high slew rates and DC coupling so inherently fast. From that perspective, Swöxx struck me as a bit gemütlich. But then Austrians do love their coffee-house deserts. Wiener Apfelstrudel is the national dish after all. Its flaky crust continues the baklava of Turkish occupation but fills it with apples, raisins, toasted breadcrumbs and almonds. Sinan's Swöxx uses sweet not tart apples with plenty of butter and sugar. And then there is Sachertorte, another famed Viennese specialty of chocolate sponge cake with apricot jam and dark chocolate icing. So Swöxx has some sweet tooth in its DNA.
Coax in, coax out, mains cable in. Only if you do multiple sources will this get any busier.
Once recognized, it will be welcome news if it overlaps with your tastes. Many won't know that it's available from class D-powered active DSP speakers. It's a very different aesthetic than the Kii 3. It's not about maximal bass extension or taut control. It's rounder, looser and gentler. It's not about maximal treble elucidation either. My Fram Midi 150 actives on the desk top clarified that. It's not about extreme resolution. For a better match just to convey a notion of expectation, I'd probably look to a Franco Serblin era Sonus faber. Swöxx has more in common with his sound.
The little LED to the right of the mid/woofer confirms power status, signal lock and volume adjustments.
As delivered, today's speaker from Mozart's town of Salzburg simply wasn't quite ready for prime time yet. Fine-tuning its firmware won't necessitate any hardware changes, just optimize trigger thresholds, reset the default turn-on volume, fix F2's mono fixation and solve the strange AES/EBU aversion between boxes. Perhaps Sinan will even re-tune one of his three profiles for a tarter leaner sound? That would give listeners like myself more to dig our teeth into when our diets play it lighter on sweet heavy deserts…
PS: By October 3rd, Sinan reported that he had solved all the issues to his satisfaction.
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