Sometimes you have to take time to listen to what’s not there.
The set-up was simple, and to the point: Musical. An Audio Note UK CDT Five transport ($48,350 USD, $65,100 CAN) was feeding Redbook to an Audio Note UK DAC Five Signature ($87,825 USD, $118, 260 CAN) into an Acapella LaMusika integrated amplifier ($100,000 USD, $134,685 CAN) with a mixture of AN UK, and Acapella cabling translating the signal over to the Acapella High Cellini speakers ($55,200 USD, $74,340 CAN). Rack was by HRS with MX3 Isolation Bases ($13,880 USD, $18,700 CAN).
These are middle-of-the-road Acapella transducers, and feature the company’s famous TW1s ION, plasma tweeter, two ten-inch bass drivers, and a spherical horn-loaded midrange. At 67 inches tall, and 265lbs a piece, Acapella refers to this as “a more compact home loudspeaker” which is a fair assessment considering how huge their designs can go, but for anyone considering a pair of Cellinis, you’re going to need some room to let them breathe, and get the very best out of them. Audio Note UK continues to put out hand-made equipment with little to no fanfare anywhere in the world, but with a hardcore following of loyal customers who know there’s something very special in their simple circuit designs that implement virtually no off-the-shelf components. The company designs, and builds practically everything in-house at their country factory near Brighton in England, including silver-wired output transformers, bespoke resisters, valve-rectified power supplies, internal cabling, potentiometers – you name it, AN UK does it.
This was a real standout at the show for me, with a chilled-out atmosphere that was all about the music. The fact that the AN UK gear and Acapella amp, and speakers were simply, visually stunning gave me a quiet assurance that they would fit into any room’s decor as well. A point sometimes lost on many looking to buy larger horn-based systems in my experience. The High Cellini’s not only sounded the part, but looked it too.