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, Apple iPod Classic 160GB (AIFF), Astell& Kern AK100 modified by Red Wine Audio, Cambridge Audio iD100, Pro-Ject Dock Box S Digital, Pure i20, Questyle QP1R
Preamplifier: Nagra Jazz, Vinnie Rossi LIO with AVC module, COS Engineering D1, Wyred4Sound STP-SE Stage 2
Power & integrated amplifiers: Pass Labs XA30.8; FirstWatt SIT1, F5, F6, F7; Crayon Audio CFA-1.2; Goldmund Job 225; ; Aura Note Premier; Wyred4Sound mINT; Nord Acoustics One SE UP NC500MB; Linnenberg Audio Adagio
Loudspeakers: Albedo Audio Aptica; EnigmAcoustics Mythology 1; soundkaos Wave 40; 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; Arkana Research XLR/RCA and speaker cables [on loan]; Sablon Audio Petit Corona power cords [on loan], Black Cat Cable Lupo; Ocellia OCC Silver
Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all components, 5m cords to amp/s + sub
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: Rectangular 5.5 x 15m open floor plan with two-storey gabled ceiling, wood-sleeved steel trusses and stone-over-concrete flooring
Review component retail: €14'890/pr

Original photos from Belgian importer

Unfamiliar with Bulgaria as a hifi tourist destination? Progress from antiquated notions in black & white to full-colour current facts. For just three Bulgarian hifi brands, look up APL Hifi, EBTB aka Everything But The Box and Thrax. Now we add Ecobox to go four square. "My name is Svetoslav. I'm the CEO of a young audio company based in Sofia. After our participation at the Munich HighEnd exhibition last month, we believe (and our attendees confirmed it) that we're ready to present ourselves to the global audience. So we are interested in a review of our open baffle dipole Daydream speaker with true ribbon tweeter. As you can see on our website, this is one exceptional pair. You will spot a strong Raal influence. Aleksandar Radisavljevic customized for us a new dipole ribbon tweeter called 70-20XR. The Daydream includes several other innovations and patents but the most important consideration is that people enjoy the speaker. This includes competitors who surprised us with wonderfully positive feedback during the show." - Svetoslav Tsenov

"They are packed in wooden crates. Each crate weighs 45kg. Usually they are shipped on one pallet. Each crate measures 150cm high, 50cm wide and 78cm deep. One man can handle it but two are better of course." This was in response to specific queries to help me decide whether I could accept the solicitation. As a one-man show with just four-leggeds for neighbours, checking on size and weight beforehand is mandatory. I'd be okay. I could proceed. Did I want to? I considered the photos. Familiar and superb Raal ribbon. A piranha swarm of what looked like small but snappy Alpair widebanders from Mark Fenlon, celebrated Ted Jordan alumni. Isobaric dipole bass of properly stout 2 x 15" LF weaponry. Elegantly curved baffle, no generic flat sheet of Ply with unsightly braces. It all looked very sensible. Specs of 91dB sensitivity and 0/-3dB bandwidth of 34Hz to 34kHz repeated the message. Power handling of 250 watts stressed it. These weren't old-fogey wall flowers fit only for Jazz trios. They'd keep up with the demands of youthful material and ears whose pain tolerance is still high enough to attend Rock concerts and live to tell the tale without ringing. So I brushed up on my Bulgarian. да моля! Yes please.

Here we see the Ecobox exhibit of the Munich show; and a closer look at how cleanly the seven top drivers terminate on the other side.

If your uncommon sense tells you that encasing drivers in a box creates more problems than it solves, never mind allocates undue expense to box and finish not drivers and crossover... an open-baffle dipole can become a valid alternative. Most simply tend to the cosmetically challenged; fine for a sorority pad or basement cave perhaps, less so for more mature uptown digs shared with family and visitors. The Bulgarians' take seemed unusually sunny. Rotating their woofers 90° narrows the baffle. Space-divider widths are one of the breed's domestic burdens. Without heavy DSP, its figure 8 cancellation pattern relies on massive woofer surface. Anything to visually mitigate those requirements opens doors. No matter how sterling their sound, with the majority of folks fugly speakers won't get past first base. Rightfully so. Why reward designers for cosmetic laziness? Massaging appearance past a Łukasz Fikus P17 is essential then. Scanning commercial OB examples, that seems easier said than done what with permanently streaking driver motors, hookup wiring and sundry visions of DIY. On those counts, the Daydream seemed no nightmare at all. That clinched the deal. I emailed Svetoslav our delivery address.