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To not coddle our two-times-eleven sonic maestro, I decided to wait on my efficient Dynamikks and first leash up a less compadre two-way mini by way of Thiel's SCS4. That's not really a true current guzzler either but mating a compact monitor to a low-power valve amp doesn't tend to be wisdom's first choice after all. But sometimes wisdom is a wash. This match came off rather well. The Thiel is averse to electronics which are harder, crisper and overly present since its own highly accurate core flavor then likes to flip into the rigid and unpleasant. Here the Dueundici became the veritable antidote. The small Italian injected an extra dose of charm into the equally small American which particularly in the mid and treble regions acted like balm without causing tonal-balance shifts. Yum.

Of course I couldn't fail to suspect that more abstinent colleagues might translate 'charm' as 'total harmonic distortion'. I had to admit that Boys' Valeska Steiner did sound prettier than usual but hey, why else would one get it on with a low-power SET in the first place? On the other side of 12:00 on the dial even the most generous inspector wouldn't invoke charm any longer but cry obvious distortion. Two handfuls of watts simply hit their limits at high levels. With the Thiel one doesn't miss too much since the speaker itself hits its own limits a bit later. You want mo louda, get ye a Dynamikks Monitor 8.12!

Though on paper endowed with 'only' 6dB more sensitivity, the difference in achievable loudness was most notable. Only out of curiosity and not really because I meant to listen that loudly, I again pushed the volume control past high noon and even now distortion set in eventually. Granted, now that was accompanied by SPLs I'd not consider healthy over the long haul. Unlike with the Thiel, this ceiling simply far from coincided with the Dynamikk's own. The Dueundici isn't merely limited on max loudness, the same holds true for dynamic certainty.

For context let me state that I abused the amp with a 30m² space of high ceilings and for purely porcine badness had cued up the electronica band Pivot whose gnarly synth exploits can bring even 10 times more potent amps to their knees. It really wasn't a sandbox to have an 11-watt valver blossom for joy. So let's leave excess and listen more carefully.

Tonally the Mastersound played it balanced with a tendency for the warmer. If you wanted to tag on 'valve typical' I'd not fight you but would simply add that I've heard dozens of transistor amps with similar leanings, say our team's workhorse Denon PMA-2010AE. In the midband the Dueundici was only mildly warmer than the Japanese. This was clear early on with Lisbeth Scott's vocals from Charmed, a 24/96 classical audiophile download, read good-sounding but boring. The Japanese was a tad more open on high, the Italian a tick fuller.