Next Level HiFi: Børresen, Aavik, Ansuz

When I heard Usher's "Yeah!" being blasted out from the, uh, Serenity Room, I wondered whether to go in or hang back from the crunk. Not hating on the song, but it was awfully early in the day for this. (It turns out there was someone shooting a video in there.) But the real surprise was that the bumping, club-worthy music wasn't coming from outsized tower speakers, but from a pair of stand-mounted two-ways with some innovative porting.

The demo was presented by Next Level HiFi, one of several Chicagoland area dealers at AXPONA; one of their three rooms was assigned to me. The system included equipment from Audio Group Denmark's three brands. Børresen 01 Silver Supreme loudspeakers with stands ($60,500/pair). These speakers contain a new, patented iron-free magnet system, replaced by a N52 neodymium-magnet system in a special array. I won't dig into the technical details in this short report, but this approach is reported (in part) to increase the driver's power handling capacity and reduce voice-coil inductance to improve sonic performance: less driver lag, more resolution, bass focus, etc.

The Børresen 01 stand-mounted speakers have an enclosed planar-ribbon tweeter and side air ports to diffuse airflow. On back are two aluminum diffuser rings positioned near the rear port to add specific resonances, I was told.

The 01s were driven by an Aavik C-580 preamplifier ($30,000), an Aavik P-580 amplifier. An Aavik S-580 streamer ($25,200) served as the source, streaming Qobuz music over Wi-Fi; a top-tier Ansuz DTC Signature PowerSwitch was in place to reduce network noise for quieter backgrounds behind streaming playback. Ansuz DTC Signature Cabling and Foundation, Power Box and grounding, and small Darkz treatments were used throughout.

The system pumped out an astonishing amount of heft and power for the size of the speakers (and room) as noted. Details were resolved and delicacy maintained on Eva Cassidy's "What a Wonderful World" and Leo Kottke's "Across the Street" where his acoustic guitar strings and hollow body showed lovely texture. But this didn't have to be an easygoing, polite presentation: You were made to feel something. Larger-than-life musicality. Even the low-end extension was pretty robust. Fun stuff.

windansea's picture

The exhibitor certainly differentiated itself by playing Lil Jon's barking. Reminds me of once being blasted awake by someone pumping out 2 Live Crew's Hoochie Mama.

Julie Mullins's picture

All that said, there was also all kinds of other music on tap in there!