AUDIO NOTE AX-1 and AX-2
While the AX-2s may not make a visual impression, the sum of the seemingly-simple Audio Note parts added up to a musical equation. My main reason for wanting to review the AX-2 Signatures was their reported corner-friendliness. New listening arrangements at the Beard household require speakers that sound good in the corners—real-world placement issues for many music lovers. I felt that if the AX-2 Signatures were indeed corner-lovers, they might be perfect for a high-end computer music setup, so that is where they settled after a 100-hour break-in period.
It didn’t take long to realize how well the Audio Notes performed in the near-field configuration of the computer setup. Driven by the Blue Circle CS, they had excellent imaging and sounded very good in a small space. They have very good bass response for such small speakers—nicely defined and very tuneful without a hint of one-notedness—but they have a very sharp roll-off, as in, “Where’d that bass drum go?” That’s fine with me, as I can fill in the bottom with a sub. While the AX-2s do not seem to be quite as extended in the treble as some speakers, I liked their top-end performance. There was a short bout of tizziness during break-in, but the AX-2s eventually produced smooth and believable high frequencies.
AUDIO NOTE LOUDSPEAKERS
Audio Note loudspeakers simply and consistently allow you to get past the equipment and on to the more important task of listening to music. This is simply why they are held with such high regard by music lovers worldwide.
Since the company’s foundation, they have passionately pursued the same, simple aim; To create products that play music in a natural and pure. The sound should have this “organic” feel of real instruments being played before you. Wood should sound like wood, metal like metal, voice like voice.
ABOUT AUDIO NOTE LOUDSPEAKERS
Audio Note loudspeakers are extremely persuasive, whatever the philosophy behind them. Perhaps Peter Qvortop has sprinkled some fairy dust on them and not told us. They are exhilaratingly open and gloriously transparent. String instruments are transcendent, human voices strikingly clear and instrumental voices remarkably lifelike.
All Audio Note speakers are designed to occupy the corners of the room, toed in such that their ‘lines’ cross about a meter in front of the listening position. This said, most AN speakers work fine out in the room, so the fact that your room has no useable corners does not rule them out. All Audio Note speakers are high efficiency (with efficiency rising as you go up through the range) and present an easy load to the amplifier. This allows a wide choice of partnering amplification including transistor and valve amps Though they particularly love low-powered SET’s.
Audio Note AX Speaker Range
The AX range deserve much wider recognition as they offer extraordinary performance for the price. They reproduce music in a way that few other entry-level loudspeakers can. The beauty of these speakers are that they can be driven by practically any good quality amplifier, be that valve or transistor. Though I can think of few other speakers at this price point to demonstrate the beauty of single ended valve amplifiers, such as the Audion Sterling and the Audio Note OTO.
Audio Note AX-1
Audio Note AX-2
Audio Note AX-2 Review