Audio Note

All prices listed are in Canadian dollars.

Audio Note exhibiting at the Montreal audio show? Nothing new. Audio Note exhibiting an all-Audio Note system? Again, nothing new. Audio Note speakers that are not placed in the corners and are on tall stands? That’s out of the ordinary.

Yet there they were: the standmount, 90dB-sensitive (2.83V/1m), built-in-Austria AX-2/II speakers ($6000/pair), perched on either side of a system comprising a class-A, push-pull, 28Wpc EL34-based Cobra integrated amplifier with onboard DAC ($8000), a TT2 turntable / ARM One tonearm / IQ2 MM cartridge package ($12,000 total), ECC82-based M1 RIAA phono stage ($4250), and CD Zero compact disc player ($4500), which uses a modified Philips CD drive mechanism and a 6111WA miniature dual triode in its analog output stage. Cabling, of course, was also by Audio Note.

On both CD and LP, I heard engaging musical momentum and composure. No matter how hard piano or brass instrument keys were hit or how many sounds from different instruments ran into each other, notes never turned unnaturally hard or otherwise lost their timbral integrity. The presentation was detailed, vivid, and transparent. Music sounded in-the-moment, quick-paced, and alive.

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