Setup and tweaking. To kick off, I had the Quadrals about 2 metres apart fronting the earlier mentioned shelving by 50cm and firing straight out. My seat was at roughly 2 metres as well to describe the classic stereo triangle. Like most proper compacts, the Galan 9 staged like aces, beginning slightly ahead of the boxes and with very impressive depth. I then changed to minor toe-in and like perfect focus, the performers locked in and depth layering kicked up a notch. The usual price to pay was slightly reduced width to barely beyond the speakers. With steep toe-in, the virtual stage became more intimate, nearly chamber-music like. This played to certain fare but not so much to big ensembles or orchestras. Unaffected either way were the airy brilliant highs and the impulsively dynamic response in general. Midbass cracked, hi-hats cut and there was no question just how aspirated Quadral's Galan 9 were. Hence an amplifier best deliver. Hitting the brakes with lazy valves wasn't fun and I quickly returned to the Abacus.

Now the Galan 8 cracked again without giving undue emphasis to the background bass growl of Sting's "50'000" from 57th & 9th which remained properly set back. Extension clearly dominated the Megan VIII which I used as stablemate comparator; not surprising when the Galan's build is deeper to enclose more volume. Even higher SPL showed no tendencies for boom. Seamlessly continuing on from the bass, the lower mids were clean and colour true, capturing Gordon 'Sting' Sumner's slightly hoarse and nasal timbre as realistically as the casually calm vocalizing of Leonard Cohen's Songs from the road. The remainder of the midband behaved equally mature and, with Sting's "Inshallah", showed how its energetic reflexes served also the quiet tones to recover all the subtleties. With nary any instrumental accompaniment, Sting's voice on this cut reproduced with fetching warmth to make for an astonishing eyes-closed illusion where the speakers completely disappeared.

Aside from finely resolved colour intensity in the midband, subtle treble peaks translated just as precisely to separate out minutely feathered cymbal brushwork without artificial hyper presence. The ultra-light ribbons tracked the signal so keenly that I nearly "saw" individual brush hairs. In short, the highs of Quadral's Galan 9 were guilty of neither rounded-off softness nor a vivisectionist's scalpel. Instead they straddled neutrality with fetching airiness.