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Having already acquired the Crayon Audio CFA-1.2 integrated which had so magnificently ruled over the Aptica during their original review, it only made sense to complete their proven marriage. I contacted Massimo Costa for a delivered quote. He referred me to his business partner Cristiano Bastianelli who in short order produced a very attractive invoice. A week later a pair in glossy graphite was ready to ship. It would have to sit in standby for a bit until my purse caught up. But the plan was in motion to have a speaker in the general Estelon, Isophon, Kharma, Mårten Design or Tidal vein, albeit in a very compact super-attractive form factor. There was great attention spent on the time domain via a minimum-phase acoustical 1st-order filter and physical time alignment. There was equal attention on diffraction control and vibration management. There was advanced computer-modeled transmission-line bass loading. There were small monitor+stand dimensions without any acoustically wasted space. Actual cubic volume in lieu of a stand benefits both bass power and reach. Into my existing mix of ribbon tweeter with paper-cone widebander (soundkaos Wave 40) and metallic mid/tweeter plus plastic woofer (Boenicke W5se), this added two hi-tech ceramic drivers. Now I could report on system interactions with this type of speaker whilst working with and enjoying the one I'd conclusively identified as my absolute favourite in its category.

In high-gloss black lacquer.

Like the Swiss, I could also comfortably carry and move about the Aptica. No furniture dolly required. For a reviewer who likes to mix things up for comparisons, all of that mattered. If you think that professionals ought to be financially invested in their work rather than work with borrowed tools, what matters too is favourable pricing to enable a more deeply stacked tool box than just one component per category. Of course one component per category is all one needs to build a system. It's also all one can listen to at any one time. But to do a better job with hardware matching, reviewers ultimately need multiples of everything. That gets costly quickly. And it's really about having stuff sit on shelves or against the wall unused for stretches until it gets swapped in. Now it really helps when manufacturers extend courtesy aka dealer or distributor pricing. Though some forum posters cry foul and protest this convention, I for one couldn't have acquired the hardware inventory I have any other way. And I do believe that the majority of our readers would concur that owning for example two different pairs of speakers at reduced pricing serves both them and me more than if I only had one at full price. Whilst in certain quarters this seems to be an unpopular admission to make, I openly thank and acknowledge the equipment makers who have assisted me in my work in this fashion over the years. This now includes Massimo Costa and Cristiano Bastianelli of Albedo Audio. Grazie!

Of course I'd not rerun all this as a review without sonic commentary. Because I've already formally written up this 6-inch 2-way in August of last year, this addendum concerns itself solely with reporting on appropriateness for a larger 100sqm space with an additional 2nd-storey loft. When audiophiles shop speakers for such spaces, they tend to buy far more than they need. Put differently, for the same budget they could have gotten something smaller, prettier, generally better (less of everything but superior) and more suitable for their use.

Just saying so remains abstract. Documenting it with photos and hifi comments should drive the point home more succinctly. If you want additional feedback on the Aptica, click here for a review by former contributor Wojciech Pacuła which ends in an award. For a similarly enthusiastic review on the related €5'540/pr HL2.2 in Polish and from Stereolife magazine, click here. For another Polish Aptica report on Soundrebels, click here. Clearly word on these speakers is finally getting out.

As seen on, space-strapped folks apply ingenuity all around, here by way of a retractable bed that hoists below the ceiling when not in use. Could that be done for big floorstanding speakers? Perhaps better to stick to small ones.

If you want breakfast in bed, sleep in the kitchen. That's really what it says in our kitchen. My wife was born in NYC. She retains the city's confrontational humour. How does this apply to big speakers in the living room? Use your imagination. If you can't, Albedo's €24'780/pr flagship has you all set. Rather than block our lovely lake and mountain views and occupy more floor space, we quite prefer the small two-way. And there's always Zu's centrally-placed tall $5'000 Submission subwoofer painted gloss ebony white should some listening sessions ask for mild bass assist below 40Hz.

Once we subtract bass extension and LF power from the equation, the only remaining meaningful advantage of a big speaker in the same family of driver, cabinet and filter quality is added loudness potential. Here knowing your consumption levels is vital to escape the greedy clutches of believing that bigger is better. I use this iPad app SPL meter. 90dB peaks in the seat are all we tolerate in the friskiest moments. With the majority of music today exhibiting less than 20dB of recorded dynamic range—easily checked via PureMusic's display—our actual median levels hover between 70 to 75dB. To create an ambiance or mood with background listening, they're closer to 65dB and even lower when we have friends over for dinner. None of that taxes the Aptica. Hence absolutely zero need, desire or justification to go any bigger!

And aside from relative cost and size, 2-ways have another advantage. Their midrange doesn't see a high-pass to thread in a woofer below. There's only a low-pass atop its bandwidth to hand over to the tweeter. As Christian Yvon of Apertura put it whose soon six-deep catalogue has nothing but 2-ways, "we prefer them because 3-ways are far more complicated and costly. The qualitative gain of a 3-way speaker is almost always seriously reduced or zero compared to a properly designed 2-way and always to the detriment of far more complex filters. Here simplicity is better."