D for deliberate. "The front reflex ports are underdamped types tuned with regard for the side panel contributions. Out-of-phase effects are real for either front or rear ports. Either choice has its good and bad points. We designed the speakers for the good aspects of front ports while canceling their typical issues. First, it's well established how all reflex ports exhibit a resonant frequency, possibly up to 200Hz. We customized our ports from 6060 aluminium alloy to keep the FR below audibility. Then the proportions between port and mid/woofer surface were calculated to cancel turbulence. Air flux was calculated to remain below 80km/h to avoid typical chuffing. On the naturally good side of front ports are superior dynamics; in our case about 1.5dB more than the rear orientation would have produced. Plus, the speaker works closer to the front wall if necessary. Regarding your clever observation about the leather-covered panels which I prefer less anyway, those use a harder 2011 aluminium alloy to guarantee the same effect as the anodized panels made from 6082/6063 alloy."

For more technicalia on how much the panels contribute measurably to the behaviour and performance of the A-3 XL, Maurizio looped in Garlo Certini, their resident speaker designer who also was the project leader on the recently reviewed XT-7.

"The panel oscillation of the A3XL is calibrated to work faster than the MDF cabinet by creating a wave that helps 'cancel' unwanted vibrations across a broader range. The resonator panels work at about 35Hz [F=V/2√(2/L)] where V is the speed of sound and L represents the x,y,z dimensions of the aluminium panels. It's obvious that as a passive resonator, this doesn't work like a Helmholtz-based air flux design (port). The effective range is wider, with strong attenuation kicking in above so that by 100-120Hz, the resonating energy is almost completely dissipated. The panels help cancel stationary resonances of the wooden cabinet for a cleaner sound but with good bass extension considering the dimension of the box. Such an effective design enhances the performance of a relatively inexpensive speaker without investing a lot of money and cabinet volume as would normally be necessary to create a complex resonating system."

With flawless finishing and elegant cosmetics—only the small gold logo decal on the front serves any branding—the Gold Note proved to be quite the looker. The gloss black loaner pair had the embossed metal panels whose subdued black-on-black pattern enhanced the understated note of sophistication. For those not into biwiring, Gold Note include thick metal bridges between the terminals. Those have replaced the earlier twisted wire jumpers shown below.

Because we had both Track Audio and EnigmAcoustics stands, I asked Gold Note not to bother shipping their own. With their smaller top plate, the Track Audio stands were the perfect fit so that's what I set up.