AUDIO NOTE AX-2 LOUDSPEAKERS
AUDIO NOTE AX-2 REVIEW
When I was a young boy, I fell in love with a black-as-night Jaguar XKE. The XKE seemed to evoke a pleasurable response from nearly everyone who laid eyes on its sleek form. It seems to me that another English manufacturer, Audio Note, builds audio components that elicit the same type of emotional response from audiophiles. I had not heard any AN gear until recently, so the opportunity to hear a pair of their lowest-priced speakers made me quite happy. The Audio Note AX-2 Signature loudspeakers are a refined version of the AX-2 bookshelf monitors, and while not inexpensive at $1000 per pair, they are among the least costly Audio Note products.
Cosmetically, the Signatures differ only slightly from the $600/pair AX-2s. The 2s have chipboard enclosures covered in wood-look vinyl, and their cabinets have recessed front and back panels, while the 2 Signatures have all-birch plywood cabinets with wood veneer and smooth front and back panels without obvious seams. The AX-2s are available in beech, cherry, rosewood, and black ash vinyl, while the Signatures’ veneer choices are beech, cherry, and maple. Like the entry-level AX-2s, the Signatures are relatively small (15 x 9 x 9.25 inches with grilles), rear-ported, two-way bass-reflex speakers featuring .75-inch soft-dome tweeters and 5-inch woofers. Their rated sensitivity is 90dB/watt/meter. The rear of each speaker has two pairs of high-quality gold-plated five-way binding posts. The gold-plated jumpers provided are removable for bi-wiring.
by Gary Beard
AUDIO NOTE LOUDSPEAKERS
Audio Note take the approach that a loudspeaker is a musical instrument. Two key features of any instrument are the dimensions and the material. Audio Note’s speakers are designed around these key features. Audio Note speakers are wider than they are deep because this allows the speaker to breath. Audio Note speakers are built from the highest quality Russian Birch because of its sonic characteristics. When you listen to their speakers you do not get the sense that the music is restricted by the cabinet dimensions. With Audio Note speakers instruments sound natural, full and effortless.
Simplicity is the key to the electronics in Audio Note speakers. Audio Note speakers have paper for the woofer cone, a lightweight polymer for the dome tweeter and a simple crossover. These materials marry the low and high frequencies seamlessly. To ensure the drivers and crossovers are matcher Audio Note have developed a dynamic matching process. This ensures that each loudspeaker is matched to obtain the best possible combination of drivers and crossovers.
Refinement is a central theme to every product at every level in the Audio Note product range. They do not believe in applying bigger, louder or more complex solutions to their products, but seek to establish greater value through better sound. One good example of this refinement is the internal cabling within their speakers. The cabling consists of either 99.99% pure copper or 99.99% pure silver Audio Note cable depending on the exact model.
AUDIO NOTE AX-2 REVIEWS