Audio Note AN-E Loudspeakers
Audio Note AN Speaker Range
The superb Audio Note AN speaker range, is based on the classic Snell design and improved upon by Audio Note designers. The fundamentals remain consistent throughout the various models; a two way, rear ported, stand mount design using an 8 inch bass/mid driver and 1 inch soft dome tweeter. The speaker proportions may seem quite different from modern fashion, being wider rather than deeper, but this allows the speaker to breath naturally as a musical instrument would. When you listen to Audio Note loudspeakers you do not get the sense that the music is restricted by the cabinet dimensions, rather instruments sound natural, full and effortless.
About Audio Note AN-E Loudspeakers
The AN-E must be the most efficient wide band speaker of moderate size on the market, with an effective bandwidth from 18 Hz to 23 kHz at -6 dB, efficiency better than 95 dB/m and a dynamic headroom above 108 dB. The extremely high efficiency is retained well over the bandwidth, and makes the AN-E very suited to the high quality, low-power triode amplifiers.
The AN-E is a two-way, ported enclosure, with a carefully designed cabinet which is shaped to enhance and aid driver dispersion on one hand, and bass output on the other. The cabinet is lightly braced and little internal damping is used. The cabinet is designed in such a way that it augments and supports the drivers in their task, not unlike the box of a guitar. The drivers are selected and paired before they are matched to the crossover in the same process as the AN-K and AN-J.
Audio Note AN-E comes in various specifications and price varies according to the level. They are available in 20 different finishes including: maple, palisander, curly maple, olive, tulip, alder, oak, apple, white matt, cherry, walnut, black ash, wenge, birch burl, birds eye maple, makassa-ebony, madrone burl, indian rosewood, poplar burl, yew.
Dimensions: (Height, Width, Depth) 790 x 360 x 270mm (31″ x 14″ x 10.5″).
Audio Note AN-E Reviews
Audio Note AN-E/SPe
“Nothing in the last 30 years prepared me for the sound of the Audio Note AN-E’s. The sound that comes out from them is beyond my words. It stirs my emotions and it is easy on the ears. It sounded more like live music than any system I had ever heard. It has the clearest, most transparent, most coherent and most beautiful midrange I have ever heard. Vocals and instruments are just there with all their dynamics and with unbelievable tonal accurateness. The bass is quick, dynamic, and so deep it will blow your mind. The top end is just beautiful like real music is. Most importantly, the system let’s you emotionally into the pace and rhythm of the music. It is dynamic enough for orchestral or big band music, and refined enough for a small jazz quartet or a string trio.”- Jack Roberts
Audio Note AN-E/SPe HE
“The AN-Es are genuine stars, and although they have received ’glowing’ reviews over the years, it’s all too easy to discount such older designs because technology has apparently moved on and rendered them obsolete – or so the manufacturers and developers of such technology would have us believe.
Fortunately Audio Note believe in the old axiom ’if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, and decided to refine rather than redefine the simple configuration of two tried and tested, superbly matched drivers in a simple box enclosure with the finest internal components – the results speaking for themselves, so to speak
On first listen, the AN-Es don’t tend to grab you by your genitalia and put you into some multi-orgasmic state of bliss; but just as your most highly regarded, long standing friends tend to be those who didn’t try too hard to impress on first introduction by either showing off or by otherwise drawing attention to themselves, so too do the AN-Es quietly work their way into your affections by doing the job they were designed to do in an understated but highly efficient (no pun intended) manner – that job being to convey the intimacy of music to the listener while remaining a bit part player, not some narcissistic diva who wears a low slung dress to display her ample buxom.
It’s not that the AN-Es aren’t an impressive speaker, it’s just that I believe their primary strength is their ability to provide long term satisfaction.
Bringing to an end my own review of the next to level entry AN-Es, it really is extremely frustrating because here I have a pair of speakers I would heartily recommend to anyone who cared to listen, yet I’m not prepared to come out with the kind of flowery, over the top adjectives which nowadays seem a prerequisite for a review to be deemed even a ’positive’ – let alone a ‘glowing’ review. The fact I now have a pair of AN-Es on my own shopping list says more than I ever could, and I’ve said plenty, but for me the Audio Notes have an overall coherence and articulation which results in a more involving listening experience, and this in itself results in more time spent listening to music”- Chris Redmond
AN-E SPE HE in a complete Audio Note System
“My first experience with Audio Note products was some twenty years ago when I was in the audio trade – with the Oto SE and the early version of the Type E. It was an ear opener for me, having played with all manner of gear up to some of the most expensive or most reputed brands raved by the hifi press, I was not prepared for what the relatively simple Audio Note system was able to do. It just played music in the most innocuous, natural and pure manner I could think of.
Listening to the system today, it was déjà vu! I am in love with listening to music again, not listening to equipment! The sound has that ‘organic’ feel of real musicians playing electronic or acoustic instruments before me. Nothing overblown, nothing exaggerated, just an honest, coherent presentation and most importantly, I could easily relate with the music being played. I can happily listen to the Audio Note system for hours with no signs of listening fatigue. For this is no ordinary hifi system, this is close to what I would describe as musical transcendence!”
AN-E LEXUS SIGNATURE
“The first notes I wrote about the AN-E Lexus Signatures—which their distributor had already broken in during various shows and demonstrations—centered around the fact that they sounded “immediate, tactile, emotive, and above all, musically right [I underlined the last word so forcefully that the ink came out on the page below], all without being in-your-face, overbearing, or anything even approaching bright or brittle.” A month and a half later, my enthusiasm has only increased.
Listening to “Time Has Told Me,” from Nick Drake’s Five Leaves Left, through the Audio Notes was an absolutely wonderful experience. The realistic sibilance of Drake’s voice in the middle eight was pleasantly startling, and every note in Richard Thompson’s electric guitar part was a joy. And on good recordings of more straightforward rock—try almost any song from Classic Records’ great LP reissue of Neil Young’s Greatest Hits – the sound of the electric bass was deep, full, and strong, with believable timbre and excellent clarity of attack. The Es were also excellent in their sense of sheer impact, as in the percussion on that album’s “Heart of Gold”
On one of their last nights here, I used the Audio Note AN-E Lexus Signatures to play David Grier’s I’ve Got the House to Myself and skipped to the Civil War–era fiddle tune “The Girl I Left Behind Me.” Eight or so bars in, my attention was completely captured by how real the performance sounded. Real in the sense that the notes started, flowed, and stopped in a manner that was eerily convincing.
Then, at almost the same moment, my wife walked into the hi-fi room from where she was scouring pans or some such thing, and asked, “What’s this?” I told her it was the most recent David Grier CD. She paused for a moment, then said—and I swear this is true—”For a minute I thought it was you playing.” (“The Girl I Left Behind Me” is in my own humble picking repertoire, although I know that my efforts and Grier’s are about as far apart as you can get and still be on the same planet. In fact, now that I think about it, I heard something else in my wife’s voice that night: an implied question, wondering how my playing had got so much better all of a sudden.)
I don’t mean to suggest that the Lexus Signature is the sort of product that impresses every time out; there are lots of things like that in the audio world, some of which are charming or truthful or soulful enough that their appeal lasts longer than a few months, though the majority of which are not. The Audio Notes are on a different plane altogether: easy, adaptable, and, in the best sense, mostly invisible. That they manage all that while being compatible with the very-low-power amps that some of us love is a heck of a thing.
Who would’ve thought? Who would’ve guessed that a speaker so unassuming, and so steeped in quiet tradition, might be the one that a whole subset of our hobby has been looking for all this time?
Anyone with this kind of money who’s looking for a very musical and exceptionally efficient loudspeaker simply must try the Audio Note AN-E Lexus Signature:”- Art Dudley