Back at the beginning of 2017, Greg Roberts, of Volti Audio, devised a clever way to bring his Rival floorstanders up to my penthouse pad, for what resulted in a rave review of those horn-loaded wunderspeakers.I live on the top floor of a seven-story, elevatorless building on a busy street in Greenwich Village. A vertical challenge? No problem! Roberts is resourceful in many things, from speaker design to his former profession, the building of custom homes. Affixing a pair of unguent-saturated straps to the screws on each side of a Rival, we lifted and transported the 106-lb speaker high in the gritty Manhattan sky as if it were child’s play. Neither of us emitted a huff or a puff.

Afterward, speaker installation complete, we decamped to my favorite Italian restaurant, on Father Demo Square. Over spaghetti and meatballs, Roberts said, “Your Shindo amplifier sounds great, but you’ve got to get Gary Dews’s BorderPatrol amps in your system. I use them at every show.” When a designer as talented as Roberts—whose Rival is one of the top five speakers I’ve ever heard—recommends a component, I listen.