Strictly for fans of Audio Note UK..

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Richard Austen, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. spartree

    spartree Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    I actually commissioned the guy who runs Audio Sector to custom make my switch module, but yes I believe A/B amp/speaker switches can be done too.
    Audiosector

    Mapletree Audio makes a number of switches as well:
    Welcome to Mapletree Audio Design

    I also had an SPDIF switch made so I can toggle between my CD transport and computer. This one looks a little odd as it uses the ground post on my DAC for additional support. It took a ton of measurements to get the dims right. It’s harder to justify using this switch as it really isn’t much more work to just swap a cable, but I wanted to try it out anyway...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2020
  2. slcaudiophile

    slcaudiophile Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    i have built two dedicated rooms to listen to lots of different audio note stuff, this is what i have learned.

    at least for the E and Js to get the best balance on top and the best bass: push the speakers into corners and toe them in such that the tweeters cross about a 1M in front of your ears, have a four-cornered room with solid and strong walls, sit along the back wall and have little to no treatment aside from typical room furnishing. keep the room as simple and as solid as possible is what i’ve learned sounds best.

    i’ve tried a variety of room treatments and measured the room, while that presented a fun little graph to look at most room treatments and the like end up taking away more then they help imho.

    where i do use treatments is in rooms that don’t have four corners or are unusual in some way.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2020
  3. NielsSS

    NielsSS Active Member

    Location:
    Denmark
    I have AN-J-LX placed in the corners of my almost square room (4,6 m x 4,8 m) and it sounds great without any room treatment
    part from a rug and coaches. However my wife and I are about to install book shelves all along one of the walls and LP-shelves on another wall. I expect that to made further improvement. I see no need for measurements. I have read also on this tread that it's a general view that AN-speakers placed in the corners work well into the room.
     
  4. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Thanks - I may look into this down the line. The CD Transport/Computer switcher would be useful for AN DAC as I believe they only have one input. So it would be nice to have a switch there as well if you happen to have multiple digital sources.

    I have the DAC 0.1x and so I can connect the computer via USB and Transport via SPDIF butI believe all the models above this only have one input.

    Thanks for the links.

    Cheers
     
  5. roole

    roole Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vilnius
    I also do not have four corners and it's a small attic room (16 square meters). My AN Es give so much bass that I'm wondering what can be done in such situation? Bass traps?

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Subagent

    Subagent All I know is What I Read in the Liner Notes

    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    My listening room was block walls on three sides, with built-in shelves, holding LPs on the fourth wall (behind the listening position), and a concrete floor. I never used, nor felt the need for room treatments. A rug, curtains, and the furniture in place was adequate.

    Then I "finished" that room with paneling, bead board, and sheetrock covering framing. What a disaster, sonically at least. Far too lively for playback. Fortunately a few strategically placed acoustic panels-- first and second reflection points-- tamed it nicely and brought it under control.

    My point being that some of the answer is going to depend on the construction (and by extension, the sonic properties) of the room.
     
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  7. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Way back at CES 2010 or 2012 Audio Note had two rooms set up - one was a high end room being run by Audio Federation and the other room (at a dramatically lower price) was being run by Peter - this was at the Flamingo.

    The Flamingo is an older hotel made of concrete and both rooms were sounding good though Peter's was better the first few days of the show. Fred Crowder who also covered the shoe noted that Audio Note when set up properly in corners with solid walls can "pressurize" instruments.

    "Most noticeable was the ability of the 8” driver to create pressure gradients within the listening room which were noted as density changes in the air of the room. I have heard few large systems capable of doing this as effectively as these drivers when corner loaded." 2010 CES Coverage 9

    The trick is to try and get that "otherworldly" ability and it requires a fair amount of time and effort. My dealer in Canada (Soundhounds) was achieving pretty terrific results in their special room - but the dealer didn't like the room because it was kind of a wine cellar - you had to go outside and into a separate area downstairs and they could not take a salesman off the floor like that. Still I always felt like they would have sold a lot more gear if people could hear Audio Note in that room than in their other showrooms where they were good but lacked that pressure feeling. The Flamingo is still the only place I have heard it at a show.

    I had a guy on another forum who was on my case for 2 years - AN sucks blah blah - but when he heard Warren Jarret's demonstration he hailed it as the best sounding room and one of the best reproductions systems ever. But again - he had been to many shows and not liked AN speakers at all! He loathed them.

    Point is - rooms do in fact matter and they matter a lot for a speaker designed to be placed near solid walls or in corners.

    My dealer in Hong Kong has no corner or ability to place them near a wall because they are fake walls with cheap material covering the walls. The speakers sound good free standing but they sound dramatically better in my flat with concrete walls. When free standing they are good speakers - they're tuneful - they're cohesive etc but they're not necessarily world beaters. I suspect most people have not heard them at their best - and that includes many owners of the speakers.

    I maintain that AN speakers generally always sound "good" often "great," but getting that "otherworldly" is difficult.

    Here is Wes Philips of Stereophile on the AN E at CES 2009 - a year before I covered the show. His over the top rave is how Fred and I felt in follow up years. Ongaku Means Ecstasy

    I spent over 6 months trying to get my AN J in the right spot - the AN E is more difficult. I had the AN J right in the corners - big tow in - slight toe in - out 1 foot - out 3 feet then back. I got it all just great and then moved to South Korea - d'oh :doh:
     
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  8. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    What is the wall behind the speakers made out of. When you play music loud with bass - feel the wall and see if it is vibrating along with the music. Basically you want a solid wall - preferably concrete. But most people don't live in an ideal venue.

    The first and cheapest and fast way to tell if you have a room issue is to stand in each corner of your room and clap your hands. If you hear an echo you need to find a way to combat that echo so it goes away - lots of furntiture helps - throw rug that you have leather couches or two (I have two large ones) and lots of paintings on the walls - all mine are canvas so no vibrating glass pictures.

    I would try to have your right speaker moved to the left so that the port is firing into the wall and not down the hall way. Depending on the wall - being closer to it can actually tighten up the bass - it is counter-intuitive - you would think being closer to the wall would create problems but give it a go - it tends to work in reverse. Boomy bass is generally a positional issue - if it is sitting in a certain spot it may excite a certain frequency. The tricky bit is that you may move it and find the bass improves but the midrange is slurred so you have to move them again.

    The more bass a speaker possesses the more difficult the speaker is to set up properly.
     
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  9. Sugar Man

    Sugar Man Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hermosa Beach
    This is the path I took and I did save A LOT of money, but had to put in a ton of sweat equity as I also built the birch cabinets (with professional help). I also had to take a leap of faith in buying the kit off of eBay at half price. Even half price is a lot of money for a box of parts.

    This is the response that usually accompanies any posts about the AN Speaker Kits. I had the good luck to live close to @Warren Jarrett and was able to hear @Steve Hoffman's AN speakers and AN amps when Vincent Belanger performed live with his cello at the Audio Home in a shootout. Vincent won. What I came away from that day was that my Speaker Kit-04's sound damn good too. So while perfectly matched "A" stock drivers and factory-tuned crossovers might get you an additional 5% of performance, it will cost you A LOT more than what my budget allowed. Which then gave me the spare change for a Harley.
     
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  10. spartree

    spartree Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    This. My apartment in Germany had concrete walls and two proper corners which put just the right amount of space between the speakers. The sound was phenomenal, the scale was amazing. My current apartment in Canada is a challenge to say the least. One usable corner and the typical wood framed walls, plus I can’t get as much space between the speakers. Still sounds good, but not like Germany. It’ll have to do for the next year.
     
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  11. Encore

    Encore Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denmark
    I agree. And concrete walls are not a guarantee for good sound. I’ve heard E’s in concrete rooms—including the basement room at the Copenhagen dealer—where they were very boomy.
     
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  12. NapaBob

    NapaBob Forum Resident

    Location:
    Napa Valley CA
    The best position that I have heard so far for my Es is 12" in from the side wall and 8" out from the back wall with a small toe in. I bet every room is different.
     
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  13. highendlover

    highendlover Member

    Location:
    USA
    On their face book page they are coming out with a new improved version of the Alnico speaker kit 04 soon and I might try one later on down the road.
     
  14. Daniel Sun

    Daniel Sun Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Singapore
    Thanks everyone ! Sounds like I shouldn't start off incorporating any treatment.

    @Richard, this is most helpful. That was the other question on my mind. Since I was planning to build the room from scratch, I was wondering about whether to use concrete, bricks or wood. Sounds like concrete or bricks are the way to go, followed by furniture as needed.

    Now for a silly question, between a smooth wall or a wall with uneven surfaces along the long side, which is preferred ? Conventional wisdom suggests that a wall with uneven/textured surface will be better at diffusion but AN speakers defy conventional wisdom... :)
     
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  15. Encore

    Encore Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denmark
    If you’re starting from scratch, I would advise you to look into room dimensions as well. I think that the cases I’ve heard where the corner placement didn’t work (and bass performance was compromised) were caused by problematic ratios between the dimensions of the room.

    Indeed, my current room is an example. It is almost exactly twice as long as it is wide, and almost exactly twice as wide as the floor to ceiling height, and while I have made my E’s (and other speakers before that) work, it is still less than ideal. There’s a high bass suck out down the middle of the room, so while I love the soundstage that I get when the speakers fire down the long dimension of the room, I have to have position them so that they play across the short dimension.

    I seem to remember having seen a spreadsheet online that allowed you to calculate optimal room dimensions. Will try to find it. Otherwise, going by the golden ratio between dimensions should be safe afaik.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2020
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  16. Encore

    Encore Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denmark
  17. Encore

    Encore Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denmark
    I don't know if it's possible in your room but have tried a diagonal setup?
     
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  18. finn

    finn Forum Resident

    You bass issues are a result of the hallway directly behind the speaker and the fact it acts as a very handy bass drone reproducer. I would suggest you bring the speakers closer together and minimise the rear port inter reaction with the hall . If the power amp is sitting on a slab of acrylic on brass cones, maybe consider a different isolation material, it's not doing a great service to the sound.
     
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  19. roole

    roole Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vilnius
    No, it's the only way to place the speakers. I guess I'll continue moving around the speakers.
    Thanks all of you for insights.
     
  20. roole

    roole Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vilnius
    Thank you finn. Indeed my Vindicator sits on acrylic plate. Will try to experiment with different materials.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2020
  21. Daniel Sun

    Daniel Sun Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Singapore
    Thanks Encore, I know the links you're talking about. I've read up on the Golden Ratio too. They're here:

    Golden Ratio Calculator
    Room Calculator

    As I live in an apartment, my hifi room will be quite small if I were to use the Golden Ratio (about 16 sq m). But I guess it make sense to optimize the room dimensions if I'm planning not to use acoustic panels, and have concrete walls. I guess the question now is whether to go for AN-Js or AN-Es given the small dimension
     
  22. Fred Hansen

    Fred Hansen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    If you are certain that you'll stay in a room of this size, go with the Js. If there's any chance you'll be moving into a larger room in few years time, go with the Es. The Es will work nicely in your room but a larger room is needed to seize their potential
     
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  23. Encore

    Encore Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denmark
    My current room is 38 sqm and still is very difficult. I would probably take a smaller welldimensioned room over a bigger room with problematic dimensions.

    Am I understanding correctly that you are putting up walls in your current apartment to create an extra room?

    Once you’re finished, isn’t there an AN dealer in Singapore that will let you try out the J and the E in your room?
     
  24. highendlover

    highendlover Member

    Location:
    USA
    When I get ready to do my Audio Note Alnico speaker kit I will have my speaker cabinets made out of vertically oriented laminated bamboo. Many on the forums say this is the best type of wood for speaker driver enclosures with the most realistic sounding and least colored sound.

    Sierra - The Cabinet
     
  25. Sugar Man

    Sugar Man Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hermosa Beach
    You may want to rethink that with the Speaker Kit-04. All the higher end AN-E's are now made with Baltic Birch, although they may be veneered with other finishes. The enclosures are designed to not be inert.
     
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