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Bloopers. Wishing to show you what I figured was the most attractive horn/sub set their website doesn't show—did it actually exist—I had strategically requested a pair of natural Paulownia horns with matching mono subs. (The form factors might as well be from two different makes. The only possible matching is on finish.) Margareta Karadza's explanations had me logically anticipate black or white Fostex spheres with black or white subwoofer boxes, cheeks nattily dressed up in natural Paulownia wood. The first disconnect with clearly set-up expectations on my end arose when Margareta announced pending delivery with one stereo sub. I promptly reminded her that my review acceptance had specifically entailed mono subs for their best system. I'd never noticed anything remiss with her English. She acknowledged she'd make the necessary adjustments. But her delivery still surprised on multiple counts. As paying customer by proxy, it was not what I'd ordered.  
Matched set? Far from it.

What arrived were a pair of strangely burnt black horns with black spheres and a pair of all-white subs. Had Ring Audio meant to demonstrate best foot forward on an assignment they solicited? This wasn't it. There were to be further backward steps. One, the Hypex amps on the subs only take power cords with shaver-style 2-prong plugs shaped like a figure 8. Very few audiophiles inventory those. I don't. Why then weren't proper cords included? Two, both Hypex amps hummed a bit on multiple AC outlets. Three, these amps only sport 0/180° rather than continuously adjustable phase. That's out of context with an upscale music sub whose 50-150Hz low-pass filter might end up set on the high side. Four, the pointy footers which are mandatory for horizontal sub placement were missing too. Five, one installed footer between Master Horn and round plinth had fallen out in shipment. Its flat part had been merely glued to the wood rather than securely bolted. Six, the rhomboid inserts embedded in the horn mouths were in natural blond wood. Why not stain them black to match? Seven, the binding posts at least perceptionally—they might sound better than the usual suspects from Furutech, Cardas, WBT—looked and felt sub par. Their thick shafts also didn't fit standard spades which had to be turned sideways.

Sending Margareta a request for the missing bits, "our suggestion for mono CH1 subs is to use them exclusively in the vertical position. The stereo CH1 can be used in both positions. Anyway, if the client wishes we can also send footers for horizontal placement of the mono subs. In that case the coax interconnect must have a very short RCA connector or sport an 'L' option to secure a quality connection with the preamplifier." If an 'L' connector might be necessary, why not include it? "The difference between subs is the embedded Hypex amplifier. In the CH1 monos we use plate amps without variable phase control but only a 0°/180° switch. The recommended vertical position of these subs is closely related. Only with the CH1 horn mouth oriented towards the listener and positioned near the main horn mouths do we achieve correct phase.  
Face-down sub with carrying straps and two footer cones with receivers

Final placement and ancillaries - Trafomatic single-stage DHT preamp with FirstWatt SIT-1 monos

"Phase delay is thus controlled by correct in-room placement. About this we instruct our distributors in detail so they can help their customers position each component of the set. The CH1 stereo sub has a Hypex amp with variable phase control. Accordingly it isn't as sensitive to setup. In that case the sub's mouth can be oriented upwards—we suggest a ceiling height of ca. 3m—whilst phase delays will be controlled by the variable pot."

Did that make sense? Two very sizable subs are harder to place than one. This wants more not less placement flexibility. Why no continuously adjustable phase on the presumably superior subs then? More on common sense, potential issues of insufficient gap height between floor and sub in the horizontal orientation are easily solved by longer footers. And suggested 3-meter ceilings? What customer can adjust for that? I shook my head again when the missing bits arrived. The power cords were 1m each. If the mono subs were so critical of proper positioning, their cords should be at least 3m long and not bank lazily on a power socket within easy reach. Going pro is made up of all manner of little and not so little details.

To help manoeuvre these big subs, they thoughtfully arrive with solid leather straps. Those are bolted with 1-inch washers to the same threaded inserts which can later receive the pointy footers. Should you run the subs vertically however, those same bolts and washers minus the leather straps remain exposed for not exactly the last word on thoughtful final finish.

Still on last words, Ring Audio's website sports a page which shows sculptor Dalibor Stosic enhancing/disfiguring a pair of wooden horns with steel wool brush, torch and other tools of his trade. That's clearly the pair I was shipped. Equally clearly the artist was working over the beautiful wood with the spherical head attached albeit protected. His surface treatment thus couldn't reach into the narrow creases behind the spheres to leave those areas exposed. Sorry folks, that's not a completely finished job.

Beauty remains in the eye of the beholder of course. That said, Stosic's treatment had eaten away at the rims of the horn mouths whose edges were now ragged rather than smooth. Some will consider his makeover attractively antiqued or an example of Neo Primitive Art. I compared what was dispatched to what I'd been expecting and thought the former sadly ruined. Would going sonic overcome my unexpected first impressions? Not as it turned out. The mixed bag continued giving.