The difference between my 925 and the 993+903 had been very clear but now the disparity between integrated and 995R/915R combo was far bigger. A fairly brief comparison was all it took to hear it and the following weeks merely confirmed it. We always hear and read about the law of diminishing returns, how more often than not it hits our wallets hard and thus should always be considered. This time that simply didn't apply. Nic managed to graft the very best traits of his 925 to the new separates, then boost the effect exponentially. I'm not able of framing this in percentage points but in the language of the hifi knights, my 925 integrated took a senseless beating on any count I could think of. It wasn't a fight but a slaughter. That I hadn't seen coming.

The 993/903's momentum and zeal plus the 925's hefty presence and charm combined but the new on-stage gravitas still came as a shock. Nic's latest truly had my W8 in an iron grip. This made the music immensely impactful and energetic. I've emphasized many times how potent Sven's wooden boxes can be here once properly fed. But what Trilogy's statement goods did now was new: wilder, bolder and more majestic than ever before. I'd never yet heard the W8 this quick, big, open-throated and thunderous. Then the sheer size of frontal and lateral space was the clincher. The soundstage was of truly gargantuan width and everything within far more organic, present and articulate than the 925 could ever dream of. There was no fee for this, no artificial expansion via a forward treble or added distance. No trickery was involved. Everything related to imaging and sizing displayed naturally and completely without effort.

Nic had 'warned' me about this new openness and spatial potency. As a reviewer who is quite used to expansive musical landscapes, I felt prepared. Still, my high expectations in this regard were surpassed by the proverbial mile. Fully developed, organic, finely contoured and artfully separated images not only felt very much alive but occupied equally vibrant space. Stunningly big, served as close up or far away as my repertoire dictated, always pleasantly hydrated, this sound was coherent, open, substantial, motile and tangible all at once. All imaging was spot on, any attempts at fishing for nits as irrelevant as short-lived fads are.

If the 925 punched calm yet powerful whilst the 993/903 delivered shorter quicker more numerous and precise blows, the statement trilogy did all of it without a drop of sweat. Even the fiercest most dynamically challenging passages on my playlist turned to child's play. Without doubt, these flagship separates morphed my W8 into the most effortless and nimble version of itself I'd yet heard. On crack, bass reach and immediacy, Nic's hardware went off the scale in a big way. There's no exaggeration in saying that the Brits turned the W8 into a very much open-baffle type sound.