Downstairs. A few groundfloor sessions served up confirmations and a few extras. First of those, the DWX loves power. Our Kinki EX-B7 250-watt monos perked up its overall demeanour and that plus more air volume made everything bigger still. This included image sizing which bloomed still more. Two, whilst this big sub played predictably cleaner—its cardioid radiation eliminates sidewall reflections, even diminishes front-wall gain—and went lower, on most material the DWX quite sufficed because the port did its job. Three, though intended as mere photo op to show downside up, the sound actually changed unexpectedly when the boxes inverted. High port added reverb and sounded slightly phasey. In your install it could be the opposite; or you might hear absolutely no change. The point is, do experiment. You could miss out. The widebander's floor height won't change, only that of the tweeter and port.

The speakers which the Zu displaced were Qualio IQ 3-ways. Those combine an open-baffle 6" SB Acoustics Satori mid run as widebander up to 15kHz with a Mundorf AMT on a 1st-order high-pass also open-backed, then add a rear-ported bass bin with a 9.5" Satori woofer. Though slightly smaller of diameter, this dedicated woofer extends lower than the Zu. Also, the Polish speaker really showed up the whizzer cone's limit in the low treble. Whilst the 'super' tweeter adds top-most fizz/air, the lower harmonics and highest fundamentals lack energy. It's the enabler of Zu's friendly Volksvoicing.

Of my three setups, the office surprised the most, this last one impressed the most. Dropped into a larger room with shinier kit, the DWX scaled up. It refused to become the odd toy out. That was a call to action; of an old concept named balance. It hides its omissions and won't overplay its strengths to avoid a pear shape. Getting such from a brand which for years played up a punk attitude on the high-end establishment might still come as a surprise. That it doesn't have to cost more extends the dirty weekend's X factor. That it includes such fine build and detailing puts the finishing ShinE on X.

Some special attractions of the DWX are:

♦ unfussiness of setup, repertoire and SPL from the low to the loud, from the artsy to clubby get-down
♦ doing the fulsome and weighty off pure transistors tuned for speed and precision with DC coupling and MHz bandwidth
♦ going places where floorstanders and other Zu models may not
♦ giving us control over widebander height with the right stand.

Not being a fan of the mega-monitor look currently enjoying a big comeback on often short raked frame stands to sit low but aim up, I had no such stand options about. Yet the DWX seems tailormade for them. Ditto surround-sound applications. DWX for center? Fold!

For now.

With John Darko in Berlin having received his own loaner pair, we scheduled ourselves for a podcast review to compare, contrast, contradict and chew any other 'c' we can muster.

Like any decent judge then, I shall leave a few final arguments in my chambers. Meanwhile these teal samples forwarded to Dawid Grzyb in Warsaw for more notes on his website

Sean responds: Onto your final questions. Via elevation, canting, toe-in, tweeter orientation and position of the whole loudspeaker within the room's influence, there's lots to tune and DWX is as sensitive to all of it as many 2-way stand-mounts. Here's a bit on how and why which might help a user get the tone and stereophony they desire. The interplay between tweeter and ten-incher is pretty high in the bandwidth (12kHz center frequency) so comb filtering between them is quite above the center bandwidth of our hearing. Still, it can be used to good effect to add or subtract presence at target positions and even as broader audience-wide response characteristics. We recommend users experiment with tweeter on top then on bottom. Tweeter on the inside, tweeter on the outside is also a thing and users who don't mind the look of a horizontal cabinet are encouraged to try. Height off the floor too makes a difference as it does with most any stand-mount I can think of. For most of us here at the shop the starting point is with the widebander at ear level, tweeter on the bottom, toe-in so the drivers fire right at the back of your head. In addition to moving DWX closer/further from the walls, users can nudge bass response by lowering the speaker closer to the floor, even right on the floor. When playing with elevation it's important to follow up with possible changes in canting (lean-back or forward). Canting changes the phase gradient of the 10-incher's primary cone and also the phase relationship with the tweeter's overlap. Canting like toe-in also influences the high-frequency amplitude characteristics in relationship to the longer midrange and bass wavelengths. Canting and toe-in is where I adjust wetness.

In rooms where you might have a bit too much kick drum, upright bass or lower piano register, owners should play with the position of the speaker within the room, maybe elevating it a bit higher on a meter tall stand [39"]. Users can also stuff the port without any concern for the cabinet/driver tuning. Now DWX will be closer to critically damped and the bass response will be characteristic of an infinite baffle. As to amplifiers, I really like DWX on the Pass Labs XA60.8. That matchup does everything pretty well and has great shove and bloom without woolly bass. Mids and highs come through naturally. Granted, that's a lot of amp to hang on our entry-level speaker. On the more price-appropriate side I really like the Black Ice F11 integrated which gives a warm and wet sound without being overly plump or round. I also spent a lot of time with a Bose PM-8500. Yeah, not high cred but the sound is killer and I have two in my amp stack. I ran the PM8500 with two channels bridged which is my cup of tea for dance and anything hard hitting or full of power turned up to live levels. DWX also response nicely to FirstWatt amps. I got great sound from the SIT-1 driven via an RND-5060 console (which continues to be one of my favorite line-level gear of all time, you can just make it do things no other hifi kit can). For a crate of music that's mixed or processed hot or in rooms in need of some damping and diffusion, FirstWatt's F6 is very nice. There were other amps we tested but either they are too exotic or not commercially available. DWX isn't at all picky but still revealing to amplification and the system as a whole. Small changes in the system can yield large changes with DWX.