Before we vacate my office for standard 'free-field' scenarios, more words on close and personal; first finish. Unlike our Soul VI with its glassy surface which fills in all wood grain for a hard smooth skin that gnats could ice-skate on, the DWX leaves the hickory's grain unfilled. Its unpredictable grooves would crash the same gallivanting gnats. I found this treatment attractive, skilful and something close proximity merely emphasized. Next we also see the unified SpeakOn terminal which parallels the standard 5-way posts. I suspect the perhaps greatest advantage of the Supreme pack is the extended factory torture. If you despise extreme SPL like we do, chances are high that your playback will never break these drivers in fully. Receiving them cooked not raw is a major boon. On an older pair of Druid V I once had a B3-terminated pair of Zu Event wires. I didn't really drill down into significant sonic benefits other than having a properly locked connection that would never loosen for peace of mind.

Another desktop attraction that warrants extra verbiage—can you spare some change?—is the DWX's cover of 'high-brow' fare with massed violins. Not doing get-down stuff won't get you down with any perceived lack of presence-region sophistication. Be it Claude Chalhoub with his Strad on loan from a Swiss investment group; the Ayoub Sisters on violin and cello fronting the Istanbul Strings; Middle-Eastern singers like personal flames Abeer Nehme, Julia Boutros or Tania Saleh – I had no complaints about how massed violins portrayed upper harmonics. This wasn't just per se. This was against the M1 precedent which in 2014 sold for $13'700/pr. It suggested a clever balancing act. Whatever payment the DWX extracted for its richer/bigger take on the wider vocal region didn't debit the inside-out detail ledger in telltale ways.

Obviously the DWX was no Raal ribbon or Mundorf ATM reaching down to 2kHz; or still more extreme, doing the full-range stunt headphone style. Yet playing the Sirba Octet's repertoire of Russian, Klezmer & Gipysy music with the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège came off far better than expected. Again, a crafty sleight of hand aided and abetted by proximity. Saying so doesn't invalidate that the real DWX calling card was expert timing and dynamic scaling.

A good demonstrator for these qualities is Jamshied Sharifi's virtual desert soundtrack One with "Di'vaneh". It wasn't just the power and impact of the big drums, the alacrity of the pitch-bending talking drums, the vocal layers.

It included the ability to clearly follow the jagged bass line at 4'10" beneath the melée; to track the rhythmic swagger like a Mad Max rider in hot pursuit over rugged terrain.