I’m not sure where it happened, or when, but somewhere along the way, I became a fan of David Cope. I suppose he’d cringe to see that written down, but it’s true. He’s been very quietly and calmly wearing me down. And as a result, I think I might finally be an Audio Note fan.
The room here in New York was very similar to the last several times I’ve seen David and his traveling kit of Audio Note gear. Here’s the list (courtesy of Mr Cope):
- TT Two Deluxe – $3,525 – Updated TT Two suspended, two motor turntable with wood- veneered Russian birch plywood plinth, all internals upgraded to superior materials. An external power supply with electronic speed switching is available as an option or upgrade. Black Ash shown. Black or white gloss, rosewood and cherry are also available.
- Arm Three V2 – $2,000 – New Audio Note-designed 9” tone arm, AN-AI 99.99% pure silver wire with AN-Vx external cable. Single piece tapered arm tube from tip to tail. A drop in replacement for 9”arms based on Rega geometry. Available in black or silver.
- IQ3 – $980 – Our best moving magnet cartridge, with a Pocan body weighing 6 grams. The square cross-section titanium cantilever with an Audio Note type 2 is identical to the one used in our $4k+ IOI low output moving coil cartridge.
- CDT One/ II – $4,100 – The display may be dimmed or turned off and a remote control is included. Brushed aluminum fascia with aluminum buttons (shown), or black acrylic fascia with gold buttons is available.
- DAC2.1x Signature – $5,500 – A Red Book DAC utilizing the AD1865 18 bit chip that allows it to read 24/96 files, (albeit truncated to 18 bits.) I/V conversion is accomplished via purpose designed, in-house wound transformers. As in all Audio Note DACs, no up- sampling, oversampling or filtering is used. Analog output utilizes a pair of 6922 tubes, while power is rectified by a 6X5 tube. Output coupling is via Audio Note copper foil capacitors. Audio Note tantalum resistors are used in critical locations. Your choice of brushed aluminum (shown) or black acrylic fascia.
- OTO SE Phono Signature – $6,325 ($5,525 line) – We took the classic OTO parallel single- ended, EL84 integrated amp, added AN tantalum resistors and AN foil caps in critical locations, then replaced the M4 IE output transformers with IHiB double c-core models – superior magnetic core material in a superior topology. Available with your choice of a brushed aluminum or black acrylic faceplate.
- J/D – $3,700/pair satin ($4,000 as show w/hemp woofer) – Two way, acoustic suspension speaker system, 92dB/w/m sensitive, using an 8″ woofer and a 1″ silk dome tweeter, wired with Audio Note D copper speaker cable. This entry level version of the J uses a cabinet with MDF front and back faces and particle board top/bottom/sides. The D model is only available in satin black ash.
What I can tell you, above all that, is that the sound in this room on Saturday was like a cliche grab bag. It was an oasis. A calm port in a storm of noise. It was music. It was everything just about every other room at this show wished it could be. It was, in a word, great.
Part of the reason for success had, no doubt, to do with David’s careful selection of loudspeakers. These are not the largest loudspeakers, and nowhere near the most expensive. But they fit the room! And there really is no way to overstate how wonderful that was. This was the work of a pro, working with excellent tools. I could have stayed all day. In the end, it was edged out only by a single room — this was my Best of New York Runner Up. Loved everything going on here, and I look forward to revisiting.