Monitor Mania

Clunk. The sound of one penny dropping. It wasn't a Zen moment, rather a more ashamed 'duh'. It's when things so obviously stare you in the face that you're too thick to see 'em. Also hard at work had been new-is-shinier mentality. Then there was outa sight, outa mind. What am I on about? That it only took me a year past our last move to remember Cees Ruijtenberg's Acelec Model One. When you move from a bigger to a smaller house but take most everything with, it's inevitable that certain things end up in storage, be it a utility closet, boiler room or spare bathroom converted to indoor man shed. One means to rotate things to keep them fresh but the myopia of habit has other ideas. Or rather, none. Into this silence of stasis, the Great Upstairs had dropped its penny with the subtlety of a Harley Davidson clutch. Clunk. Anybody there? For a change there had been so here we are.

Our petite-but-mighty sound|kaos Vox 3awf monitors had worked the prior dig's upstairs. Recreating that winning system to a 't' in Kilrush moved them upstairs again. Happy days. The downstairs system too recreated from before. That meant Alain Pratali's Aurai Lieutenant speakers. More happy days. Then Martin Gateley's twin 15-inch cardioid subwoofer had arrived. A call to Manchester's Pál Nagy had netted an 80Hz/4th-order Linkwitz/Riley active filter box while he was burning the midnight oil on the forthcoming Gradient Box. I already had his 40Hz filter version. Comparing both I noticed how adding another octave of sub cover expanded the room-tuning benefits of its Ripol dispersion. It even cancelled a second room mode. Aha! Henceforth the 3-way floorstanders good to ~33Hz would be knee-capped. They'd be down 6dB at already 80Hz via a preceding active analog high-pass filter.

I was fully aware of the inherent wastefulness. Why promote an extended floorstander then demote it to seriously bass-shy monitor atop a big hollow stand? It had only transpired because when I got Lieutenant, I didn't yet have the sub from CH. 'twas my upstairs success with Dynaudio's force-cancelling 18S dual 9½" subwoofer which had paved the way to transform my downstairs rig into another 2.1 affair. The DSUB 15's arrival had then done that. Check. The second step would replace my now redundant full-range French towers with more appropriate minis. What to get? Mårten Design Parker Duo? Vimberg Amea? YG Tor? Stenheim Alumine? These days an upscale monitor shopper has plenty of options. This one already had an excellent one. He'd simply forgotten all about it. El professore.

As I said, not Zen at all when I remembered it languishing in the boiler room. Clunk. So now the Swiss 4-driver 3-way compacts have joined their stablemate sub downstairs in the main review system to sound huge beyond belief. The Dutch aluminators have settled in upstairs. A pair of premium French 3-ways in gloss Cherry veneer will be looking for a new home. Inquiries welcome but personal pickup mandatory since loss of our previous 3-bay horse barn meant no storage space for empty boxes in the present digs. It'll have to be cash 'n' carry…