One of the biggest surprises at RMAF was the launch of new Børresen Acoustics (website) loudspeakers from Denmark. Michael Børresen and Lars Kristensen always tend to be found in the better rooms at any given show but honestly these new wood cabinet speakers knocked my socks off. I finally had some time off from covering rooms and stumbled into their room with my pal Jimmy and we both were blown away by the speed of these speaker systems. Given that Michael and Lars really had to prove themselves since leaving Raidho, the speakers had to take a leap forward over the already excellent Raidho speakers which look somewhat similar.
Michael had two ideas to improve the performance: 1. a new, lighter ribbon tweeter design, and 2. a new driver. The tweeter is a ribbon design which Michael has lots of experience with. The new driver has a moving mass of just 0.01 grams! The team used finite element analysis to optimize the magnetic flux field and it operates from approximately 2.5khz upward. Efficiency is very high at 94db.
As for the drivers themselves, Michael uses a very thin carbon fiber on each side of a 4mm nomex honeycomb cone. This creates a Formula 1-like formulation that improves the stiffness to weight ratio.
The driver magnet technology is also remarkable but I will let Michael explain in his own words:
The Børresen magnet system is totally unique and very different from anything else on the market. Having worked with driver designs for quite many years, we have seen that the fundamental structure of magnet systems haven’t changed since the loudspeaker driver was invented. Iron is used to concentrate the magnetic flux in a narrow gap the the voice coil is located. Iron is good for concentration of flux, but also poses some challenging issues when it comes to the voice coil parameters. The parameters simply change with VC position, leading to iron distortion.
The Børresen magnet motor is uniquely designed without the use of iron what so ever, instead 4 opposing neodymium ring magnets are used to squeeze the flux lines together over two solid copper discs that then act like pole pieces.
The Børresen magnet system has a high flux of 1.1 Tesla and the solid copper pole rings act as very effective heat sinks giving the driver very high power handling.
The copper pole rings also reduce voice coil inductance to a very very low value of 0.04 mH (less than 10% of normal drivers)
The extremely low induction gives the driver some very desirable attributes. Two which are very good and very desirable. Lower induction means a faster driver, with no lag and thus a very detailed presentation. Lower induction also means less resonance impedance variation, meaning less phase angles and impedance variation for the driving amplifier, and also less impedance rise over system resonances, leading to a much smoother and less boomy base presentation. Bass performance becomes very tight and well focused. The Børresen magnet system is patent pending.
To top it all off the loudspeakers leverage Danish furniture craftsmanship to create a shapely, walnut covered cabinet that is quite beautiful. While many are putting on a high gloss finish, Borreson has a textured finish that is simply gorgeous. The cabinet design allows for vents for the back wave from the tweeter. Resonance control is built into the cabinet feet. There are three models:
- Børresen 01 – a compact monitor at $30K and up depending on finish
- Børresen 02 – a 2.5 way floor stander at $45K and up depending on finish
- Børresen 03 – a taller 2.5 way floor stander at $66K and up depending on finish
This is typically more technical detail than I put into a show report but I wanted to give some insights into how fast this makes the loudspeaker and tie it into what I heard as Lars spun some CDs on a CD player (supporting gear was the Aavik electronics and a DTC line conditioner). The music from the 03 model was simply breathtaking in two areas: detail and dynamics. I have rarely heard a loudspeaker this fast at the price point. It was incredibly transparent and genuinely real. Transients were lightning fast on several electronic tracks from Lars. Vocals were both clear and full of body. Bass was equally impressive.
This is simply one of the more natural loudspeakers I have heard to date. Børresen Acoustics is a company to watch.
Their print ads (The Absolute Sound) are written with a somewhat awkward English translation. Some might find that quaint or charming, but it might also point to a lack of attention to detail if they hope to score in the US market.