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Just looking at the Dwarves has you see what makes them different from other speakers, even those with internal DSP and amplification. The tweeter is placed horizontally firing down into this grooved black metal protrusion. How the sound disperses from this metal radiator in conjunction with how the cabinet's top slopes backwards and at what angle is clearly not coincidental and likely tied to the phase and time alignment mentioned by Solphonique. The mid/woofer below is oriented conventionally. The enclosure vents out the back but the back panel also is somewhat unusual. First there are no speaker binding posts but if you think about the internal class D amplification, that becomes self-explanatory.

While amplification is present in both boxes, one is designated master, the other slave. Source signal can be delivered to the master by way of RCA-terminated interconnects from a CD player for example. The slave gets that signal with what looks like very non-audiophile included cable. Naturally each speaker must be connected to wall AC with the included and also very ordinary power cords and the Dwarves are equipped with an optional remote user interface.

But lets return to the back panel. There’s also a coaxial S/PDIF input and output plus USB; a single subwoofer output; and banana outputs from the internal amplifier. Solphonique obviously understood that many would-be owners have medium to large-size rooms that could make good use of a subwoofer. Digital signal is handled up to 192kHz but what’s the coaxial output for? It’s a communication option between the two speakers. The USB port can link up to your PC for music files and to download to the Dwarves configuration files and digital filter settings.You can even create your own configuration files and save them for future use but I did not experiment with this and used what our domestic importer had preloaded.

Solphonique speakers are designed and built by legendary Australian acoustician Joe Hayes. His team also includes the award-winning designer Brad Serhan who was responsible for the Orpheus loudspeakers. Both are well known in Oz already but now they make an attempt to infiltrate other corners of the world. Will they succeed? Time will tell but my guess is that they stand a good chance.

Sound - discs used during the listening sessions: Bill Bourne, Lester Quitzan, Madagascar Slim, 3 Continental; T & M 016; Pink Floyd, The Wall; EMI Japan, TOCP-53810-11; Heifetz, Double concertos, RCA Victor; 09026 63531 2; Mighty Sam McClain', Keep on movin', AQ-CD1031; Tao Ruspoli, Flamenco, Wildchild! 10452; Joey DeFrancesco, Falling in love again, Concord Jazz; CCD-2160-2; Stargate OST, muz. David Arnold, 5050466 3079 2 7; Matthew Doyle, Tony Lewis, Stormbird HDW 4509.