Audio Note AZ- Two/Three Loudspeakers
The Audio Note AZ Range
The AZ range are simple, elegant speakers with all the characteristics usually associated with Audio Note. They are designed to be partnered with the Audio Note Zero level CD Player and Amplifier. That said, they are a particularly versatile speaker that performs superbly with most transistor amplifiers. A particular favourite of ours is the AZ-2’s with an OTO PP and CD1. This simple two-box system produces pure magic for the money. There is an openness and clarity, which draws you into the music. They are easy to drive and not too sensitive to room placement. Though to get them working at their optimum they do benefit from being placed near a rear wall or in a corner, to enhance the bass considerably.
The AZ range come in two versions; paper coned drivers and hemp coned drivers. The hemp cone drivers appear on many of the dearer Audio Note speakers and are a key part to what makes this speaker rather special. The benefits of the longer grains on hemp gives the sound a relaxed and highly textured mid band quality. They come complete several finishes Black Ash , Rosewood , Beech, Cherry
Audio Note AZ-Two’s
The AZ-Two is a simple, elegant floor stand speaker from Audio Note. It is a superb entry point into the world of Audio Note. Many people begin their journey with Audio Note with these speakers because they are so affordable (£1050) and accommodating to a wide range of electronics. Once these speakers are in the system it allows you to really hear the beauty an OTO or Audion Sterling.
Audio Note AZ-Three’s
The AZ-Three is the larger version of the AZ Two . The differences are not just limited to the increased cabinet size but also the tweeter, whereas the AZ- Two uses the same tweeter as found in the AN-K, the AZ- Three uses the tweeter found in the AN-J and AN-E. As you’d expect there’s greater treble refinement and resolution from the superior tweeter, and greater low frequency ability due to the larger cabinet, but for me the biggest jump was a reduction in cabinet colouration (which is counter intuitive given the increased cabinet size). These speakers are an absolute must for anyone looking for an affordable floorstander, the fact they’re very easy to drive and can be placed in corners are just the icing on the cake.
AZ Loudspeaker Review
“The AZ-Two loudspeakers make the absolute most of what they’re given, sounding lively and assertive, with lots of brilliance and detail. A slight forwardness in the upper midband, ensures the music projects into the room with plenty of authority and presence. We used the Zero system in a fairly large room and found it able to fill the space with relative ease.
It went as loud as we would ever want. Even on uncompressed recordings of vocal music (opera, choral, classical lieder), which normally test low-powered amps to destruction, the system covered its tracks. If the amp was under pressure, it hardly ever showed signs of distress.
We‘re not recommending this system for headbangers. But, although (on paper) somewhat challenged in the wattage stakes, lack of amplifier power is much less of an issue than you might think. On rock or classical, the sound is sharp, transparent; very clean and nicely balanced. It’s subtle and delicate, yet suitably gutsy and immediate when the music demands muscle. As previously mentioned, the tonal balance exhibits a mild degree of upper midband forwardness and this sometimes results in a sense of peakiness. However, after listening for a few minutes, this impression diminishes and one quickly adjusts to what’s on offer.
The AZ-Two is very good at pitch- differentiation and has excellent timing. You’re literally drawn into the music. We found the Zero system very good at conveying the impression of people singing or playing in a unified coherent manner, so that the music (and performance) makes sense.
Our review samples had hemp- coned bass/mid drivers. What’s more, the clarity and definition proved excellent, conveying a clear impression of forward momentum. Subjectively, the speakers produce nicely extended bass – the bottom end might not seem obviously ‘full’ or powerful, but it’s clean and free from smearing. Claimed low-frequency point is about 28Hz, but we found a reasonably healthy output down to 20Hz. Placing the speakers near to walls or corners will increase bass output.”