Molto piu. If we revisit the vertical waveguide, it claims to "broaden the ideal listening area with improved 3D imaging and clarity. Reduced horizontal coverage minimizes wall reflections." This raises a question. What is the ideal listening area? The guide's narrow shape shrinks sideways dispersion but broadens it vertically. That makes the speaker less critical of listening height, i.e. standing versus sitting. Donatas had to find that aspect more relevant than counteracting a tweeter's inherent sideways beaming as something which for example Æquo Audio's Ensis and Stilla models pursue. Their shallow waveguide's ovoid shape is turned 90° relative to Piu's. Their designer Ivo Sparidaens believes in minimizing ceiling/floor not sidewall reflections. He wants his tweeter's lateral dispersion to be wider not narrower. From that one would think that unless Piu's toe-in went straight for the ears, one should expect reduced treble energy for a more darkish presentation. And dark is exactly how regular contributors Marja & Henk described 8mm's Warsaw premiere; and how Polish syndication partner Dawid Grzyb called it for the Piu Mini monitor atop its tripod stand in his review for HifiKnights.

A nice detail is the inset flush oak trim ring around the midrange driver.

Solo listeners can easily aim the big or small Piu to have their tweeter axes fire directly at the seat. For more than one listener however, one anticipates some tonal balance shifts. Additional tuning comes from deciding whether to orient the woofers in or out. Though operating in virtual omni mode at their crossover point, that decision still locks in shorter/longer paths/times for the first sidewall reflections. The woofer placement close to the floor creates deliberate and predictable loading/reinforcement as does the floorstander's downfiring port. Without an adaptor, the terminals obviously limit speaker cables to banana terminations. That's why the shipment includes at least screw-type banana-to-bare-wire plugs.

The open midrange trim ring can be replaced with the included grill version whilst the woofer's grill isn't removable.

Readers with more than three fingers will have fussed to no end. Why did the previous page show four drivers when the Piu clearly only has three? Because a €3'500 costlier Deluxe version gets a rear-firing ambience tweeter with level adjust for extra air and spaciousness à la Boenicke. Going upscale further installs deluxe Beryllium HF membranes, superior woofers, silver 'super' caps, silver coils, silver-plated hookup wiring, additional oak coatings and any available high-gloss colour for the inlaid cheeks. Finally, sensitivity does a +1dB over the standard version. In short, the hot-rodded version gets costlier parts, more silver, more finish options and an extra driver.

Either way, delivery will entail a solid 237kg of immaculately protected, professionally strapped pallet. With reusable ratchet straps and extra cling wrap, 8mmaudio had also given thought on how to prep the return freight. In 16 years on the beat, theirs was the very best packaging job I'd ever come across. This included crate construction. Instructions on how best to unpack the goods were included of course and massive modular liner blocks made it child's play to remove the inner protection before slipping out the actual tall and deep but narrow speakers. Assembly with the included hex key meant all of four bolts total. The required bits came in their own branded and naturally wooden box. This meant the outriggers, bolts, adapters, dress rings—the front grills shipped installed and were a cinch to remove—plus magnetized wooden footer hoods. Hoodies?

Those were a real surprise. They conceal the mounted and adjustable swivel footers, leaving only a bit of clearance to account for leveling offsets. Very simple, very clever, very effective, they complete the streamlined look head to toe. Like already the branding on the shipping crates and accessory box, our Lithuanians did everything with style.

To match their black sides, my loaners' outriggers were painted a thick high-gloss black. To prevent insects from nesting inside, the floor-firing ports were transparently sealed off with their own black cloth. The custom terminals showed an engraved '+' and '-' whilst the writing above identified my pair as serial # 0005. From receipt to unboxing to setup, my first impressions were of a highly professional, very detail-oriented company with immaculate execution and a fully considered game plan that left nothing to chance.