Delivery was by small pallet, both narrow cardboard boxes cheek to cheek and wrapped in black cling film, then strapped. Lifting off one half of a box showed a thick cloth-sleeved sleeper agent inside ready to go mission critical. U-shaped hard foam spacers held it steady. One spacer box was empty. The other speaker's contained all the SwingBase parts for the pair. Because the W11 includes no protective grills, be careful not to mangle the exposed ambient tweeter dome or frontal drivers during initial handling when the speaker is still covered by its draw-string cloth sleeve. "It's easiest to first attach the SwingBase rear towers to the horizontal bar, then tilt the speaker back and slide in the lower bronze plate with the ball on it. This goes in the center about 4cm in from the front. If the speaker floats with almost no horizontal friction, everything is right. Again, bass level is adjustable with the help of the jumper in the back. The +2! means attention as now the bass impedance drops to 2Ω so an amp has to deliver a bit of current depending on your playback volume."

The "hole" on the underside contains the upper bronze race for the ball bearing.

Unlike our previous B10's four-point swing suspension adjustable in height on each post, the W11's SwingBase is a 3-point affair combining a frontal ball bearing with fixed-height floating rear. By moving the rear towers slightly out and far enough back so that the support bar doesn't catch in the walls of the tubes, the speaker is free to move if pushed. Playback will never cause visual movement of course. Minimal assembly consists of bolting the cross bar to the brace which slips into the speaker's recess below the rectangular port. Because this loaner delivery didn't include the lower bronze plates (they were probably left behind in Tokyo), I used two of our usual Track Audio spike shoes instead.

The wire inside each column terminates in a washer plus end cap which catches firm at the base of the bar's vertical channel.

A pair of 1kW/4Ω Wyred4Sound monos were still on hand from their review. Sven himself embraces class D. Without hesitation then, my initial setup with the bass jumpers at max used the SX-1000R to get a handle on woofers in/out placement for lowest room reactivity; and to learn of the optimum transformer tap for the woofers. I started firing those out for an earlier side-wall reflection. This assumed that it would be preferable to the greater delay of first firing across the room's width. Some things require trials, however. Mere assumptions are for armchair bigots. Clear right off was that the W11 wasn't just capable of near infrasonic reach. It could extend that low with full subwoofer-type power. Our Zu Submission would be decisively decommissioned. Big ambient bass extravaganzas would most certainly be on this review's menu without any external 3rd-party assist.

"As usual, please allow them five days to fully arrive sonically. Within those five days, especially the upper bass and lower mid will change from sometimes a bit muddy to much better. Typically it only makes sense to do the fine-tuning after that period."

Sven's descriptions correlated with my first take to the tautological 't'. The sound with the woofers coming in at their very shallow 6dB/150Hz felt too bassy. It clouded midrange clarity even on the most attenuated transformer tab. But like its creator's assurance, that remedied itself over a few days. Perhaps the magnetic motors warmed up to in-door temps? Perhaps the costly SE+ tuning tweaks needed some current to flow through them? This part of audiophilia juggles conspiracy theories. We observe effects but have no real idea what's behind them. Afterwards, musical chairs ended up with the woofers firing inward set to their central default tab. Front wall distance got slightly adjusted, Zu Event speaker cables replaced with Samuel Furon's crystal-sleeved solid-core Ocellia OCC silver wires. Those heightened in-room presence and quicksilvery reflexes. The latter accounted for the W11's potent reach and how the woofers triggered 'room gain' within our boundary dimensions. The new woofer orientation caused both more linear bass—score one for reality over theory—and an even wider soundstage.

Soundstaging is a very primary reason for the W11's desirability. Narrower of profile than many a mini monitor, they pull the same vanishing act. Then they add the type scale and profundity which absolutely rely on big woofers with sub 30Hz coverage and proper air movement. As demonstrated in any Boenicke show exhibit I recall, Sven's speakers love to play free space and be pulled apart a lot farther than conventional setups. Rather than get tonally thin or threadbare on centre fill, they simply cast an ever more capacious stage. It seems to subtract the physical speaker objects from the equation altogether. Whether due to visual dominance for a psychological barrier; whether due to acoustic issues from diffractions or box talk... speakers sized like quasi fridges in the living room tend to not disappear well. Having colossal small-speaker staging coincide with big-speaker scale and ambiance from very low bass can be mutually exclusive. With the compact W11 handled by refined muscle, I had proper low stereo bass that didn't require close boundary proximity to come off. That allowed being pulled out and away from the walls to enhance staging freedom.

The second key W11 wirtue is natural tone coincident with refined elucidated treble. Why did I italicize that for emphasis? Speakers with 8"-10" cellulose mid/woofers tend to excel at an overtly meaty dense midband which remains out of reach for 5.5" or smaller ceramic mids. Think Apertura Kalya, Zu Druid V, Heco Direkt, Ubiq Model One. In trade they often sacrifice lucidity and insight at their upper bandwidth's end where tweeters take over. Horn-loaded compression tweeters à la Zu and Ubiq compensate on dynamics. But they still can't disguise their lower mates' loss of fine resolution in the presence zone where upper female vocals and violins celebrate. The W11's larger-than-common wideband tweeter with exceptional off-axis response augmented by the rear-firing ambient tweeter covers a properly informative nuanced high end. Being allied then to a good-sized premium dedicated midrange that runs filter-less on the bottom and clusters in a tight point source accomplishes two routinely opposing things. It delivers honest tonefulness plus proper brilliance and air. That coupling differs from the Zu/Heco aesthetic which achieves its chewy chunky vocal band by being slightly opaque in its upper reaches. In turn, their even bigger mid diameters go beyond the Swiss on dynamic shove, kick and displacement; and they don't stage quite as shockingly enormous and deep. To wrap up the general sonic gestalt, the very slender W11 combines monitor-esque staging with big-box bass and the extra dimensionality that creates. Then it throws in natural tonal warmth with full top extension yet a rigorous avoidance of stridency or harshness. Balancing the conflicting demands of an informative treble (too explicit when overdone) with proper top-end weight (too dark when overdone) is a fancy game. Pulling out some signature treble tracks to check, I heard no limits on decays or overtone spray. Simultaneously, things never got bright or slightly whitish even when substituting the Pass amp with a leaner more lit-up Goldmund/Job 225. Organic hi-rez?