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)