Vancouver 2015: Audio Note UK


By Rafe Arnott

Vancouver-Audio-Show-CustomBurnaby, British Columbia, Friday May 8, 5:30 p.m.

With no sign of beer imminent as my eyes darted about the large lobby gamely looking for a quick pint, and a terrible thirst building in my parched throat, I gamely staggered into the Hilton Vancouver Metrotown Friday afternoon weighed down with laptop and camera bags for the Vancouver Audio Show 2015.

I had arranged to make my first stop the Audio Note UK room set up by AN UK North American “show guy” David Cope and Soundhounds sales manager Don Thorne who made the best of a another standard hotel room without resorting to a nearby fire axe to knock a strangely placed post out-of-the-way.

Playing a mix of CDs and LPs, the sound was fat, organic, ballsy and absolutely room-filling. The AN-E/SPe HE speakers easily pressurizing the room and throwing a wide, deep soundstage.

David let me throw on Beck’s latest LP, Morning Phase, and we let the rolling symphonic sounds and bass lines crash through the front row of seats they had placed about 10 feet back. The system handling the big dynamic swings and subtle acoustic guitar riffs without breaking a sweat.

Power was flowing through an Audio Note Soro Phono SE that had an Audio Note AN S1 step-up transformer being fed by a Voyd TT, AN Arm Three V2 and a Denon DL-103.

Digital duties were handled by CD 4.1x which has a sound about as far away from digital as I’ve heard. Think an old Thorens TT with an MM cartridge and you’re getting close.

This is a room I’ll be coming back to more. I’ll be talking to David Cope at length later on Audio Note philosophy, so look for his interview.

More coverage to follow shortly.


  • CD 4.1x  $14,500 CAN
  • Voyd TT  $ unavailable 
  • Arm Three V2. $2,500 CAN
  • Denon DL-103 $300 CAN
  • AN-S1 step-up $1,150 CAN
  • Soro SE Phono $8,250 CAN
  • AN-E/Spe HE $11,500 CAN (in Slate finish)







About Rafe Arnott 389 Articles
Editor of InnerFidelity and AudioStream


  1. Must have been refreshing to experience real dynamics from a system.

    Your photos are riddled with flare & noise.

    • I have a follow-up coming to this room review that should be added to this post shortly.
      Plenty of systems at the Vancouver Show with dynamics… not sure what you mean. Perhaps you can elaborate for us?
      Some of the rooms are difficult to photograph because there’s no lighting to speak of, and you are faced with extreme backlighting when the drapes are opened from the direct sunlight of the south-west exposure.
      Apologies, a few of the pix used were taken with my iPhone so we could get a file up quickly, directly from the hotel rooms.
      The iPhone takes decent pix, but had difficulty coping with so many f-stops between the light and dark that the room presented.
      But hey, thanks for your stunning insights. Great to get positive feedback. LOL

  2. What do you think about the McIntosh $5G headphone amp? Compared to the Oppo it’s a no brain waste of money.


    Sent from my iPhone, have the best day ever….


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