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French speaker brand Apertura had been on my radar ever since Jefferson Torno delivered his €12'500/pr Grand Cru Audio Horizon speakers for review. That's because he and Apertura's Christian Yvon both use ribbon tweeters and progressive crossovers which the latter describes as dual resonant intermodulation minimization or multi-elliptic Cauer filters which use independently adjustable ripple behaviour in the pass and stop bands. A triple transition slope begins at 6dB, progresses to 12dB then 24dB/octave for a stabilized rejection ratio of nearly -40dB. Prior to Apertura Yvon co-designed with Georges Bernard the Goldmund Dialogue, Apologue and Epilogue speakers. His third-from-the-top model on active display starts at a sticker which is essentially half of the Horizon whose sound I really admired. Hence I'd been keen to see what 'shared design DNA' might sound like from Yvon.

After talking to general manager Eric Poyer about the most appropriate model given my new 100m² sound room, a review of their 8-inch two-way Edena shown here is on the books. This was very good hifi sound with just the right degree of musicality to marry precision, transparency and capacious staging with satisfying tone and substance. The unusual cabinet cross section with no parallel vertical panels and the finish quality were added highlights. As showgoers admitted about Sven Boenicke's little W5—on not needing more speaker based on its room-filling performance—this was another such reminder. The vast majority of folks with standard to good-sized rooms could call it a day with the Edena and leave the monkey coffin vanity speakers for those still enamoured by excess. And let's not kid ourselves: €6'500 for a pair of speakers is considered affordable only by wacky audiophile standards. Yet there we are. Give me this speaker over Magico's equivalent two-way tower any day of the week.

A sound that wasn't for me but which I could nonetheless peg as perfect for a particular listener came from designer Martin Schützenauer who with a new partner launched Wiener Lautsprecher Manufaktur whilst separating from Hannes Frick who continues to helm the firm known by the same name's abbreviated WLM letters. Martin's outfit is spelled out instead, abbreviated as WIM and their new website is still under construction.

The extensive new product line is quite a rethink on the former WLM models Martin had designed. A closer look at the active flagship shows a tall dipole ribbon tweeter; an upfiring dispersion-lens midrange; four subwoofers per channel (two up, two down-firing) which occupy the cabinet's rear half; another five forward-firing drivers; and—I believe but am not certain—more rear-firing drivers. Based on the sound I'd pretty much guarantee that Martin is a drummer. No other system I heard in Munich equalled this one's gun-shot ability. Percussion impacts hit as hard and violent as they do when one stands a few meters from an actual drum kit. Ex Stereophile and 6moons contributor Chip Stern once gave my ears such a close-proximity workout in his NYC brownstone flat. That's what live percussion sounds like.

For popular music played loud—Martin liked to crank it even during his WLM days and still demonstrated a happy trigger finger—this new speaker line deserves attention. As a quieter listener of primarily acoustic music, my requirements are quite different. But that doesn't mean I couldn't recognize and acknowledge the perfect drummer's speaker when I hear it.

For hifi sound perfected which here means better than life on many aspects yet enmeshed with just the right degree of musicality to be very attractive without crossing into warm dark tube turf, I'd single out Rainer Weber's Kaiser Acoustics Kawero! speakers which I heard in two rooms. One had Bulgarian Thrax electronics, one French TotalDac and Swedish Lars gear. The latter had my vote, particularly with the compact $23'000/pr Chiara monitor for which I had to return a second day to hear it hooked up.

On a brief exposé why Panzerholz—translated: tankwood in English—is superior to aluminium for speaker cabinets, read these test results published by Louis Motek of LessLoss. Panzerholz is a composite material generated from Birch ply and resin compacted under immense pressure after which it becomes literally bullet-proof. It's also brutal on router bits during machining. Kaiser Acoustics are the only speaker manufacturer I know of who use this material throughout their line.

The Chiara monitor—another example of the enough-for-99%-of-all-listeners speaker, albeit at the bleeding edge—takes the science of managed resonances all the way into its integrated stand structure.

To show off how far the company is willing to go when a client has the requisite itch 'n' scratch, one of Rainer's customers allowed him to showcase the below crossover built of exclusively Duelund parts to contain more silver than sits in my bank account in Swiss franks on the very best of days.

Roy Gregory wrote a well-done tech exposé on the Chiara as part of his AudioBeat review which will give you the full story.

With its rear-firing passive radiator à la Sonus faber Extrema, Phil Jones PureSound Monitor 7000i or Amphion pro monitors, this very modern compact put out tremendous quality bass which should leave most wanting for nothing.

Like the EnigmAcoustics Mythology M1 and equivalent Raidho, the Kawero Chiara is a take-no-prisoner example of the advanced monitor craft. With plenty of reviews on it published, my chances at taking a spin seem slim but I did express interest.

For a speaker whose holy trinity of quality drivers, crossover and cabinet design has been pushed to an extreme degree, the Chiara is a prime example of applied science. It categorically eliminates the enclosure from the equation without needing absorptive filler to dull the sound; and deliberately voices the presence region such that toe-in or straight firing acts as a predictable adjustment. Chapeau time!