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To further underline this surprise, how Nubert's nuPro A-300 reconciles the developmental conflict between box size and bass authority transcends a mere 'hat off' when one throws into the same bargain loudness stability and price. It must become an enthusiastic chapeau magnifique type of exhortation. Of course disco-fever pant flaps remain better served by most three-way towers. Even so a solid party within one's own four walls is very much on the docket. For all their mighty-mite bravura these boxes also play it tonally strictly linear. Forget upper-bass chicanery or other trickery.

Whilst on counter-intuitive SPL still but in reverse and again with Magnus Öström though now on "Ballad E", I noticed for the first time just how clean the Nuberts were. This cut kicks off with a gently plucked acoustic guitar. And even priming the pump there was to be nothing else. Hiss, hum and other untoward disturbances impressed only by their absence. With active speakers particularly in this price class such truly black backgrounds still aren't guaranteed as they ought to be. It's likely that Nubert's fully digital concept really does offer the systemic advantages which are claimed for it.

Which should neatly segue into the criteria of resolution and microdynamics. On Kode 9's aggressively driven "Am I" the very curtailed reverb behind the voice sounds as though it was recorded in a telephone booth or similar. Over the Nubert this was dead obvious. Which is a good place to mention in passing that vocals in general came off exceptionally well. The melange of hi-hat, snare and sax on Goran Kaifje's "Sand Boogie" from X/Y includes very fine ticks, probably from a ride cymbal. This remained clearly accentuated to show how with these boxes softening or fuzziness aren't on the menu. But to keep it real, the various ingredients of this melange did show greater more intelligible separation over my reference system and more completely rendered textures.

Even the passive Quadral Megan (without active electronics priced similarly to the 300) can track the upper registers with even more finesse when given appropriate amplification to isolate individual sounds more strictly. With one hand already in the bean-counting till, it's important to stress that the Nubert stays clear of artificial treble brilliance. That benefits honesty and cohesion. Beirut's sibilants from "Sunday Smile" on The Flying Cup weren't swallowed up or prettified but still less aggressive or sizzly than over my big Thiel CS3.7. Solid resolving power meets long-term comfort. What more could one want for the money? Perhaps a tick more sorting accuracy in the soundstage; or a tad more three-dimensional plasticity which often are the strengths of small two-way monitors?

At this some folks like colleague Markus Sauer shrug their shoulders without much interest. Why bother with the purely illusory pursuit of outline sharpness and more or less placement specificity? Markus is fond of saying "I don't care where on stage the musicians are. I care about why they're there." Others on our team disagree. As I learnt when being accused of overlooking proper description of soundstaging in a recent review, Jochen Reinecke finds soundstaging one of the most important criteria. The Jochens of this world could thus bitch a bit about the A-300. Speakers like the Kirsch Audio Studio Q5 MkII (passive, €1'800/pr) I recently spent time with beam individual instruments into the room with such laser precision that one means to grasp for them. Such reflexes the Nubert triggers less. It's simply not honed for localization sharpness and plasticity. If less exacting staging makes you nervous because the panorama could seem inconsistent or in permanent motion, be assured that the Nubert doesn't go there. Its panorama is cohesive and easily approached, a bit as though one sat farther back in a concert. The farther one moves from the stage, the more the sounds blend and mix with the venue's ambience. Likewise the A-300 suggests a more farfield presentation for less intimacy or reach-out-and-touch factor. If you want more of a lap dance, try an S/PDIF port. I did to leash up my legacy Fonel Simplicité disc spinner.