The Audio Note Room

Audio Note’s Adrian Ford-Crush maintains a sweet vinyl stash. So whenever time allows, I hide out in his room and check out the sounds. For this show, all the way from London, Ford-Crush brought Count Basie's fantastic Roulette recording Chairmen of the Board, a Blue Note Classics edition of Hank Mobley’s hard bop treatise No Room for Squares, Cannonball Adderley’s Quintet Plus, and Mad Professor’s 40 Years of Dub.

He also brought a very affordable (by audiophile standards) Audio Note system to play his vinyl: a TT Three Turntable with PSU1 ($9410), IQ 3 MM Phono Cartridge ($1311), Arm Three/II Tonearm ($2465), and M5 Phono Pre Amplifier ($15,840). For those smaller, silver discs, he brought a CD4.1X Integrated CD Player ($14,331). Amplification was provided by two 18Wpc Conquest Silver Signature mono power amplifiers ($30,170/pair). The loudspeakers were AN-E SPx Ltd Field Coil ($65,000/pair). Cables, of course, were also by Audio Note.

Much of this system has been at past shows, but the field-coil loudspeakers were new, at least to me. As with all Audio Note systems, the sound was pure, engaging, and affecting.

daveyf's picture

One has to really laugh out loud when one reads the 'asking' prices of some of this gear. Where on earth do folks get the idea that a speaker like the AN's in the review/article can equate to a value of $65K!! Do these folk even have any clue what $65K can buy one??? I say this, as it has gotten to be comical as to the 'hoped for' pricing of a lot of this gear.
Maybe there is a minute minority of consumers who will drop $65K or equivalent on a product that clearly costs a tiny fraction of this to produce, BUT i think anyone with any sense, nevermind economic sense, will simply shake their head in wonderment and laugh! Who do these folk really think they are kidding, except for maybe...themselves! IMHO.

mememe's picture

Without the AN cables, and they are not inexpensive to say the least, the total cost of this "very affordable by audiophile standards" system comes to US $138,527. I do not consider this an affordable system. So, I guess I'm not a true audiophile. Is Stereophile only for stereofools? And please no references to the myriad of uber expensive products such as watches, art, houses etc, to justify these prices. Maybe Stereophile can change its name to reflect its' true focus - Stereo For the 1%.

Glotz's picture


Advancing the state of the art costs money. Of which you apparently don't have. Sorry.

ken mac's picture

Didn't have to--you did.

mememe's picture

In case you didn't notice - it wasn't a positive reference. Just heading them off at the pass...

Ortofan's picture

... Chairman of the Board?

daveyf's picture

The point that 'audiophiles' are apparently a group who are easily taken to the cleaners is not lost on a lot of bad actors in the hobby. Luckily, the folks who have some economic sense can still vote with their wallets. The insulting thing, IMO, is that these very same bad actors have no problem insulting these folks with their outrageous marketing and with the fact that several audio writers seemingly go along with their 'BS', with zero push back on them. This is where I think the various a'phile periodicals and their staff are falling down. No question, there is interest in the very top end of the hobby, but I also believe that a certain amount of reasonableness needs to be applied to a lot of the price to value equation. The example ( one of many) that we have here, is more and more typical. These AN speakers do not equate to the asking price, IMO ---and in no way or form!

Glotz's picture

You haven't Been to an audio expo like this where you can hear all of it for yourself- And Then make an 'opinion'.

Currently, you have no benchmark to judge any of this as a rip off or worth it.

The Reason there is Zero Pushback is they, unlike you, aren't fools who waste their money. Rather, anyone with this kind of cash has Already proven that they are far smarter humans than You. They can afford it because they are smart and successful. And That is why these companies continue to thrive and grow.

Because smart people invest in smart businesses.


daveyf's picture

You are the one with no clue. There is an old saying, a fool and his money is soon parted. I think this probably applies to you. One thing though, you make a lot of assumptions...and you know what they say about people who make ass-umptions.
Glotz, the perfect 'mark' for these bad actors. You look soooo sweet to them!
Companies continuing to thrive and grow...really??? Like what Audio Research were doing just before they had to get bailed out...get a clue.Dude....LOL.