Once perched on stands, I took closer note of the top-quality wood work and seamless joinery, the thick and engraved aluminium terminal plate secured with M8audio-branded bolts and quality binding posts. Bolt heads with the manufacturer's name on it are a rare sight even in far pricier products. This indicated how Mark was most serious about his work. I for one was very impressed.


For this review, my hardware context was the usual Asus UX305LA laptop streaming to the LampizatOr Golden Gate DAC with Psvane WE101D output glass, Trilogy 925 integrated or Goldmund/Job 225 handling amplification. AMR's DP-777SE made an appearance as well and reference speakers were my Boenicke W8 floorstanders. Now let's get some associated stereotypes out of the way. Hard tweeter domes are believed to be edgy and lit up, paper cones meaty, dense and bassy. Ports are near ubiquitous and a typical concern is potential boominess. The web presentation promised an involving listen that would be deeply musical, true to life for detail retrieval and dynamics, fatigue free and offer both bass slam and extension to cover all the bases - at least on paper. In practice, M8audio's Sweet Maxwell didn't play to any of the above stereotypes but quite accurately to Mark's promises even if those turned out to miss a key feature.


To begin with, if dense and dark sit on one side of the sonic spectrum where thick, fuzzy and syrupy become the extremes; then clear, lit up and shiny sit on the other, with edginess and hardness their extremes. Our Australian sat somewhere in-between but closer to the second polarity. Implying very informative openness, that description of course merely scratches the surface. To triangulate with components I've already reviewed, it wasn't LampizatOr's Golden Gate but the higher-tier Pacific stablemate; not Trilogy's 925 integrated but their 993+903 separates with increased resolution; not HifiMan'0s HE-1000v2 headphones but their twice-priced Susvara elders.


That's because it combined great detail magnification with a high-quality experience across the board. As my first rodeo with Beryllium tweeters, it quickly became clear what their strengths were: great presence without any sharpness or metallic tint, unusually extended decays, great weightiness in the lower treble, no apparent struggle, emphasis or ‘heat'. In one of his articles, Srajan opined that quality tweeters are also about the things they don't do. After encountering these SB Acoustics Beryllium tweeters, I finally understood fully what he meant. All the stereotypes about hard tweeters simply didn't factor.


The Sweet Maxwell turned out to be very capable in the bass too and again also because of what it didn't do. The short form is that it complemented the higher bandwidth without any bloat. I could sense the ports but they remained remarkably calm regardless of placement where mine isn't an easy room. I started with my usual ±1.5 metres between ports and front wall. That was just a bit lean. Mark explained that Sweet Maxwell was tuned to work well in small spaces, hence with more boundary proximity. When I shortened the wall distance to 50 centimetres, extension and power increased without transforming into a bass monster. It's highly likely that many enthusiasts would still add a subwoofer.