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An automatic consequence is built-in non-parallelism of front and rear baffles though the side walls and top and bottom remain conventionally boxy/parallel. Cross braces and diole wool with high damping add themselves to the good fight against bad vibrations. Slanted baffles for time alignment are far from novel of course but rather less common here is the tweeter’s adjustable output via swappable metal bridges on the rear. Those tabs afford +/-1dB tweaks above 12kHz to accommodate taste and acoustics.

The mid/woofer and treble separation occurs at a very common 2.500Hz with a 3rd-order 18dB/octave electrical function. The low 85dB sensitivity figure (2.83V/1m) isn’t merely due to the crossover with its close-tolerance MKP and MKT caps and German-made copper inductors. It's also, says Phonar, because of "the innovative construction of the mid/woofer". This 180mm cone is from Scan Speak’s very best Illuminator range. Unlike the now boring industry habit, the folks from Phonar make no claims for proprietary custom modifications to obscure the fact that they, like most, must outsource their drivers. Their Illuminator is offered up ‘au nature’ as it were.

Its calling card lists linearity, dynamic range, low distortion and loudness stability "all pushed to the max". These qualities are supported by a long-stroke under-hung geometry which places a short voice coil into a long gap of what here are compact Neodymium magnets. Even during high output the voice coil never moves outside the gap. It thus remains controlled by the same optimized magnetic field strength and lower distortion is the result. This VC is 40mm across and drives a compound paper membrane inside a very open basket for best air flow and minimal reflection and compression.

Given the price one would expect proper threaded counter inserts, not wood-screw driver mounting.

The 26mm fabric dome tweeter also derives from Scan Speak’s Illuminator range. It benefits from multiple Neodymium magnets which are arranged in a circle and a well-vented geometry to drive down compression effects. There’s low self resonance and linearity to 30kHz which allow for wideband use and match the mid/woofer’s extreme output potential. On the loudness note a move into the listening room becomes à propos and a manly twist on the volume control will be mandatory to see just how far the Primi might take their upscale monitor game.

The first thing I noted was how my Lovan stands and Phonar boxes did not make for the best cosmetic match. The immaculate Primi veneers and shape deserved better. But then you aren’t reading Better Living but fairaudio where très chic is less important than sonic finesse. My preferred setup had steep toe-in—axes crossing slightly behind my head—and a slightly shorter speaker-to-speaker distance than the equilateral triangle which traditionally fits my space best. 'Fitting' indeed would be a term that suggested itself a lot during my auditions of Phonar’s Credo Primus. Let’s start with the Kentucky formation Rachel and their 1995 release Handwriting. It’s a great reco for listeners who can appreciate an atmospheric mix of experimental classic and Jazz with a subcutaneous injection of post Rock.

The Primi caught on to this multi-layered diet in a hurry not least because songs like "M. Daguerre" and "Southbound to Marion" exhibited anything but anaemic tonality. Admirers of juicy substantial mids will hit pay dirt. So do those—due apologies for non-technical terminology to the test bench crowd—who appreciate musical flow. Here descriptors like porous, edgy, harsh and rough aren’t in the vocabulary. The violin had the perfect simultaneity of wood and sheen, the piano was immaculately embodied, the bass clarinet showcased impressively substantial grumbles and the vibraphone was both organic and metallic.