UNDERSTANDING OUR SPEAKERS
How can the mundane looking Audio Note Speakers be granted the title 'best speakers In the World'?
There is a story to that of course, and quite a bit of explanation. Although listening to our speakers will reveal the truth by itself, this article contains an In-Depth introduction and analysis of our loudspeakers, and why they have become the best speakers in the world after 40 years of development.
Peter & Peter
Though most of the better speaker manufacturers demand a minimum measurement variation for their suppliers' tweeters and woofers, Snell went the extra mile and hand-tuned each crossover network to compensate for the drivers' response irregularities. Then a computer measured the speaker's response, and a technician noted the difference between the desired flat curve and the speaker's actual frequency response.
The hand-tweaking process continued until the speaker measured within Snell's unusually tight tolerances. The painstaking effort ensured all completed speakers measured within exceedingly tight tolerances (+/-0.5 decibels) of the original design prototype. Every Snell buyer heard exactly what the designer intended.
On September 20, 1984, Peter died in the factory from a heart attack. Peter Qvortrup of Audio Note UK long then has appreciated the unique work of Peter Snell, and managed to get his hands on the patents. The current Audio Note AN-K, AN-J and AN-E loudspeakers are direct derivates of the Type K, J and E speakers by Peter Snell.
Peter Snell, Qvortrup says, I owe him unbelievably much. If he were still alive he would definitely be making even better speakers than what even we are able to. Without fear he balances on top of a pile of vintage records on his search for a certain record to demonstrate his point. An organ recording finds its way down to the turntable; notes with a power and a depth one barely knew the existence of, literally shakes the room. The AN-E has is equipped such that one single 8 inch mid/woofer per cabinet must do this work, a seemingly impossible task for such a small element, but it seems like we've just got to bow for the master. - It's all got to do with correct acoustic coupling between the drivers, the box and the room. Qvortrup says, far too little attention is paid to this aspect in modern loudspeaker design.
The point today seems to be as much dampening as possible, fill the box with all kinds of… and make the drivers of another type of … I was on a hi-fi show in USA a few years ago, when one of the more prestigious speaker designers came over to our stand to listen. After a while he asked: - Where is the sub-woofer? - If you find a subwoofer here I'll treat you to a free dinner! I then told him that there is no subwoofer, whereupon he claims that there's just no way an 8-inch could do the job he'd just heard, and when he realised that what he heard had been reproduced by a 20 Watts Audio Note amplifier and an 8 inch woofer, he asked: How do you do it? The obvious and simple answer to that was of course: "That's for me to know, and for you to find out!”
Like the original Snell loudspeakers, also the current generation of Snell derived loudspeakers from Audio Note (UK) are designed to be placed close to the rear wall and corners. Besides being a much more practical solution in most rooms, the speakers than ‘couple’ with the room in a carefully designed way, making the walls act like an infinite baffle. This (and other ‘tricks’) also make the speaker very efficient (up to 98dB / 1 watt). The importance of this cannot be emphasised enough, and is further explained here.
The Audio Note speakers are one of very few (if any), that combine the dynamics of a horn, with the transparency of an electrostatic and the ‘impact’ of dynamic speakers. Real lows without compromising mid range clarity. Real dynamics, without requiring kilowatts of amplification. Real detailing, without exaggerated ‘high-frequency’ presence. Just natural, organic, lively and emotionally involving music. Without the downsides of horns, bi-polars or single driver speakers.
That they combine marvellously with Audio Note amplification goes without saying. The amplifier and loudspeaker forms a system. Get this right, and you have crossed halfway on your path to musical ecstasy, out of Audio Hell. As you will see in our catalogue, all AN-K,J and E variants have the same ‘shape’, but range in price from an affordable Rs. 2L, upto well north of a Crore. Offering a world class speaker for the discerning audiophile starter to the most demanding and experienced connoisseur, just as Peter Snell would have liked it!
Where Peter Snell himself failed during his short lifetime, Audio Note UK managed to significantly increase the already fabulous properties of the Snell designs by using bespoke materials in the crossovers, drivers, cabinets and cabling. Besides this, the matching process of the drivers with a reference and the highly specialised ‘tuning’ of the crossover has been now much further developed. With this, each 'higher' level version in the speaker line-up represents a significant upgrade to the point its hard to believe you are basically listening to the same ‘genius’ speaker design.
Real Word Experience
To get a good impression about how our speakers perform in the real world, please wactch the video below (4 parts).
The Secrets Explained
To achieve these results, a lot of thought has gone into the design. However, the way we design speakers is quite different from the mainstream as you will understand after watching the video below (4 parts).