It felt strange to travel all the way across the country, Portland to Tampa, leaving behind a system of mostly Audio Note UK components just to wander into another room filled with mostly Audio Note UK components–Audio Note Florida, if you will. This isn’t the same as visiting the Audio Group Denmark room at FLAX 2023 and seeing almost the same exact system. But it’s close.
Words by Marc Phillips, Photos by Scot Hull
The Audio Note Florida system was more ambitious than my current review system, Audio Note Portland, with my Audio Note UK AN-J D Hemp speakers replaced with the AN-E SPx Alnicos, and the lovely and affordable new Cobra integrated replaced with the Meishu Tonmeister Phono Silver Signature. In Audio Note UK parlance, my system is level 0 through 1, and this show system was made up of AN components from levels 3 and 4.
I really wanted to hear an Audio Note UK system with the proper yet somewhat unconventional speaker placement that Peter Qvortrup recommends. I made the mistake of posting photos of my system on social media while the system was breaking in–with the AN-Js positioned in my usual spots along the long wall. (After Audio Note Florida, I’m going to rearrange my living room and carry on.) That didn’t stop several of the Audio Note UK faithful from asking, “You are going to set those speakers up properly, yes?”
Corner loading, quite frankly, converts these Audio Note UK 8″ two-way designs into bass monsters, with some of the more sophisticated AN-Es reaching down to 20 Hz and below. In the Audio Note Florida system, I immediately noticed that extra depth in comparison to my break-in situation at home–even when Audio Note UK’s Adrian Ford-Crush played some Vincent Belanger cello for me.
That’s because we were reminiscing about the last time I visited Adrian in the Audio Note UK room at the Pacific Audio Fest last summer, and I was lucky enough to get a private demo and performance from Belanger as he played along with recordings of himself. This visit to Audio Note Florida was just as informative and helpful for the next stage of my deep and long anticipated dive into AN. I think I’m already turning into one of those guys who ask, “Are you going to set those speakers up properly?”
If you would like to hear even more coverage from FLAX 2023, check out our recap report and highlights from our audiophile-oriented show The Occasional Podcast. You can stream the episode direct from the embed below, or from your favorite podcast platform including iTunes, Android, Google, Deezer, Spotify, iHeartRadio and more.
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