Next Level HiFi's Aavik, Ansuz, and Børresen System

Now consolidated under the Audio Group Denmark umbrella, Aavik electronics, Ansuz cabling and accessories, and Børresen loudspeakers made an impressive showing in several rooms on the Hilton's 5th floor, sponsored by Next Level HiFi of the greater Chicago region.

The first (for me) of Next Level HiFi's rooms was dominated by Børresen Z1 Cryo monitors ($14,500/pair; above), Aavik's U180 class-D integrated amplifier with DAC ($10,800; below) and S180 streamer ($7200; below), and Ansuz cabling, XTC power switch (an ethernet switch with noise reduction—$2600), and XTC Mainz 8 power distributor ($1900). On a live-from-Berlin performance of "Electrified II," the nearfield soundstage was extremely exciting and engaging, the sound a mite dry, and bass quite good for a system comprised of components that are lower-priced than other Audio Group Denmark equipment.

"Anything that can be cryo-treated is cryo'd for 72 hours in our own facility," I was told. I believe the process adds to the price of speakers that contain Børresen's own ribbon planar tweeters and woofers, patented motor system, titanium voice-coils, and special metal composite. "We avoid aluminum because it creates hysteresis," said Audio Group Denmark's Peter Hansen as he led me to a table in the hallway that displayed the speaker's internals and gave me a graphic display of hysteresis.