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Said caveman conditioning is gently poked fun at with Amphion's clever decorate with sound slogan. Whether in English or Finnish, clean timeless design translates; universally. That for many this will be even more appealing in full colour than black'n'white...


... is proposed in the following montage. Not that b+w lovers aren't catered to as well. Far from it. The clever Amphion wrinkle is that they manage this switch predominantly with accessorizing by coloured grills. It avoids risk for the maker to stock stale cabinets in last season's most popular tint which inexplicably falls out of favour the next. It also makes it cheap fun and child's play for any end user to adapt the visual timbre whenever the mood strikes or a move mandates a tweak to the hifi décor. Don't worry about cabinets. Just swap out a few metal perf discs. In fact, why not order a whole bunch to have on hand for weekly turns like wearing different watches (gents) or rings (ladies)? They're just €25/set.


Like all brilliant ideas, this one is shockingly simple and a trademark of Amphion's home line. That there's rather more to it than just visual style is demonstrated particularly by the growing body of glowing Amphion endorsements in the professional sector. That means people who listen to and mix & master music for a living. If they can hear more and better with an Amphion monitor, they produce better work in less time. That's not imaginary or whimsical but plain and easily ascertained fact. Of course hardboiled audiophiles routinely turn that argument around to mean unsuitable for home use. As though making recordings and playing them back required two very different sets of qualities and types of transducers. Their complaints centre on "too honest"; "mercilessly revealing"; "linear, low distortion and capable of high SPL but insufficiently emotional". Variations on this C-minor theme are common hurdles which makers of pro-audio kit who suddenly migrate into home audio face.


Amphion of course began in the home market where their reputation was built well before the breach into pro occurred to boss Anssi Hyvönen. What kind of sonic figure then would their newest and best one rung below the flagship Krypton cut in our digs? Surely it had to be at least somewhat informed—doubters might predict tainted—by the company's victory lap through pro? After all, that preceded the Argon 7L's makeover to the Argon7LS of 2017 plus its subsequent xover tweaks of the 2018 loaners. I was quite curious to find out. In fact, I had a very specific experiment in mind to rig up a quasi 'pro' setting before converting to 'audiophile' mode.


The pre-show press release for Munich HighEnd 2018 announced that "the larger Argon models 3S, 3LS and 7LS will be updated versions. All have a redesigned crossover, incorporating more of the know-how we have collected from our pro-audio experience. We are in constant communication with the real world and listen very carefully to customer feedback. These conversations urged us to look for new and more sophisticated solutions. Our experience from the pro market gave us the answers on how to make the Argon models even better. This update brings more air to the highest treble, improves openness and resolution and brings the tweeter level adjustment possibility also to the Argon7LS."


After entering their web portal, Anssi Hyvönen presents us with two doors to walk through: 'create' for their pro line, 'enjoy' for their home range. The latter's tag line is even shorter than Dynaudio's Danes Don't Lie was from many moons ago: beautifully honest. It makes the same point as Dynaudio did. Then it adds that critical qualifier. Without it, fretful audiophiles would be right back at 'too honest'; as though musical truth could hurt. Which raises a question. Other than price and cosmetics, what actually did distinguish Amphion's pro and consumer models of 2018? Was their voicing/tuning the same or different? How about their drivers, filter parts and cabinet construction? Off went a few questions to my press contact Georgi. In the meantime, a Kuehne+Nagel freight tracker had arrived to show a single shipping carton of 69kg and 0.58m³ volume. The handover depot for the lengthy road freight from Finland's Kuopio was to be Nottingham in the UK. There another trucking company would take over to expedite final delivery to the Emerald Isle including another lorry ferry. My loaners would be seasoned travellers by the time they arrived. In Ireland of course, travellers is also the name for a minority people who just last year achieved legal recognition as a distinct ethnic group. Some things are very slow to change. In the audiophile community, it's this segregation of pro and home. How would Amphion's answers stick a pin into it?



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