Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Sources: 27" iMac with 5K Retina display, 4GHz quad-core engine with 4.4GHz turbo boost, 3TB Fusion Drive, 16GB SDRAM, OSX Yosemite, PureMusic 3.01, Tidal & Qobuz lossless streaming, COS Engineering D1 & H1, AURALiC Vega, Aqua Hifi Formula, Fore Audio DAISy 1
Preamplifier: Nagra Jazz, Wyred4Sound STP-SE MkII, Vinnie Rossi LIO (AVC module), COS Engineering D1
Power & integrated amplifiers: Pass Labs XA30.8; FirstWatt SIT1, F5, F6, F7; Bakoon AMP-12R; Crayon Audio CFA-1.2; Goldmund Job 225; Aura Note Premier; Wyred4Sound mINT; Nord Acoustics One SE Up NC500MB monos; LinnenberG Audio Allegro monos
Loudspeakers: Audio Physic Codex; EnigmAcoustics Mythology 1; Boenicke Audio W5se; Zu Audio Druid V & Submission; German Physiks HRS-120; Eversound Essence
Cables: Complete loom of Zu Event; KingRex uArt, Zu and LightHarmonic LightSpeed double-header USB cables; Tombo Trøn S/PDIF; van den Hul AES/EBU; AudioQuest Diamond glass-fibre Toslink; Black Cat Cable redlevel Lupo; Ocellia OCC Silver
Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all components, Titan Audio Eros cords on conditioners and amp/s
Equipment rack: Artesania Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc Krion and glass amp stands [on loan]
Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators
Room: d-shaped, with the listening "tip" a 4 x 6m bay with high vaulted ceiing which continues into an open 5 x 11m kitchen/living-room area for no wall behind the listening seat
Review component retail: €14'850/pr ex VAT

The day was young.
Who knew that of all places, Lithuania would check in? Admirers of LessLoss cables, DACs and powerline devices know the country as a hifi destination. Ditto lovers of tone arms and turntables from Reed. But with 8mm audiolab, we finally get into loudspeakers: the 3-way down-ported Piu floorstander and matching Piu Mini rear-ported 3-way monitor, both with sidefiring woofers. Welcome Donatas Tamošiūnas. After ten years of experiments and two years on this final project, his would have their first debutante ball at Poland's annual November 2017 show in Warsaw; in room 710 in the Sobieski Blue hotel [below].

"Piu's frame skeleton is crafted from select solid Lithuanian oak. 6-layer damped side walls and up to 10cm thick front panels keep vibrations to a minimum. The inlaid cheeks are finished in an ecological multi-layer composite which provides the highest scratch and heat resistance as well as the highest gloss and reflection levels in the industry." The vertical waveguide carved deep into the oaken baffle "broadens the ideal listening area with improved 3D imaging and clarity. Reduced horizontal coverage minimizes wall reflections." There also are custom silver banana terminals, custom copper inductors and a silver-traced PCB. The Piu—Italian for more—is rated for 35-20'000Hz bandwidth ±3dB, 92dB sensitivity, 150-watt long-term power handling and a minimum 5Ω impedance. Filter hinges sit at 250Hz and 2'000Hz. The drivers are a 1" Sica compression tweeter, 6.5" BMS mid and 12" sidefiring Beyma woofer. Dimensions are 130x53 x22cm HxDxW and weight is a hefty 75kg/ea. Available finishes are gloss black or white trim. Looking at the photos, the use of solid wood, narrow baffles and sidefiring woofer recalled the Swiss designs of Sven Boenicke. The very clean nearly Scandinavian styling recalled the DIMD integrated from neighbouring Latvia. Hifi from these Baltic nations clearly had industrial design down pat.

The brochure summarizes how "we've always believed that music deserves to be heard the way it was actually played. As outstanding sound recreation requires outstanding tools, so Piu embodies an idea which guided us through countless experiments - to deliver more in terms of sound reproduction. More accuracy. More clarity. More expression. More life. Moreover, we have always believed that aesthetics of sound must reflect aesthetics of design." For more linearity, "each driver incorporates a highly advanced FEA-optimized magnetic circuit with multiple shorting rings for less distortion." For more vibration control, "floating on four adjustable footers with additional oak dampers and magnetic oak covers provides up to 11dB of attenuation at 50Hz for a more focused soundstage and clearer bass." For more contact connections and to withstand highest current input whilst preserving an amplifier's damping factor, "our silvered high-velocity terminals are crafted from 1.5" ultra pure copper bars and completely clad in silver. All filter parts connect directly to HVC silver plating for zero signal loss inside the speaker." Internal wiring is by Mogami and obviously, the asymmetrical tweeter horn pursues more directivity control, Baltic Birch plywood for braces and midrange chamber walls more rigidity.

Asked about the brand name and aesthetics, "I've long admired the modernist architecture of the inter-war period in Kaunas City where I live and am inspired by its simplicity, smooth curves and emphasis on shape and material rather than ornaments." As to 8mm, "besides denoting quite a few dimensions in our loudspeakers and drivers, '8' as a symbol of balance and millimetres as a symbol of precision reflect our vision perfectly. We're already working on enhanced versions of both our models for the ultra purists."