Discussion in 'Speakers' started by murphythecat, Oct 29, 2019.
anyone with any experience with the AN-E speakers?
really interested in trying a pair...
I’ve spent a few hours over a couple different auditions w/ AN-E LX spe plugged in to a full AN rig at a dealer and was pretty impressed. They’re the reason I have my poor persons’ AN speakers now. You definitely need to audition in a room using PK’s setup guide, I.e. corner loaded and huge amount of toe-in.
Edit: now that i've got a few minutes I'll expand a bit on what I think the house sound tends towards. The thing I most noticed after listening to AN-E, AN-J, AN-K, and AZ-three was that they're voiced very similarly in the midrange. Compared (briefly) to some Harbeth P3ESRs and while the Harbeths had better imaging, the midrange/midbass was a bit screwy compared (directly) to the AN-J. On the Harbeths, the lower half of the piano registers sounded not as convincing. Going up in price gets you extension at either end of the response curve and added planktons. Inner detail is increased when you get into the silver VC stuff. They all have mild box resonance that if you're focusing on it (in the larger AN-E, J, and AZ-three) can sound a bit thick if they're not positioned correctly. It took me a good bit of fiddling to get the right balance of upper bass and bass with my AZ-threes. They're all (except for the AN-K) voiced with a smooth but consistent slight downward tilt. They're all not "HIGH-REZ". If you like B&W/Beyer, go away. But, they're highly coherent and very, very engaging. They don't do bombast, and they won't make your friends jealous while playing Telarc 1812. Talk shit all you want about AN Japan and AN-UK going all sideways, but PK has a good ear, IMHO.
I have a lot of experience with different AN-E (E/D, SPE, SPX).
It's magical speakers with demand of all around AN rig.
You better ask in US shelter of AN fans — https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/strictly-for-fans-of-audio-note-uk.422880/
Audio Note is well worth a listen. AN-E is their best speaker line. The sweet spot is AN-E SPE HE (the last model before getting external crossovers). They already work great with an Oto SE or a Meishu (their Oto PP is not as good and the Soro is at best a side step from the Oto but it's more powerful). Their DACs are filterless NOS (so you have to like that kind of flavor). I wouldn't bother with the lower end ones with Philips chip, try one based on AD1865N. So I am rambling about amps and DACs when your question was about speakers. I think it pays to try an all AN system to get a feel of what can be achieved within a given budget. Beside that, the AN-E are pretty much like Yotacowboy described them. The main advantage is corner placement so they get out of the way (unlike Maggies) but because of early wall reflections you loose precision on imaging (their main weakness). They have relatively high efficiency so they are pretty dynamic (and so are the AN amps). With corner loading, they also go decently low for an 8" woofer while keeping good speed and bass definition. They are pretty fussy about placement so if you have a demo better go to an official AN dealer who knows what he is doing or an audio show with Mario Binner. In proper conditions, the AN-E are really fun and make you forget about technicalities to listen to more music (very different sound than the ATC SCM and more lively than the Devore Orangutan).
I know a member at stevehoffman who went from Harbeth shl5plus to AN-E. Another who went from C7es3 to Devore o93 to AN-e. And another who went from again o93 to AN-E. I think I need to try them, but the hemp woofer version is out of my price range. The only version I could afford is a used AN-E with the original paper cone woofer.
the measurments which used to scare me is actually what seem to be my preffered type of listening ( -4 even -5db from 1khz up to 8-9khz). https://www.stereophile.com/content/audio-note-e-lexus-signature-loudspeaker-measurements
My experience with my Seas A26 clearly indicate that I much prefer that precise type of tweeter "shelfing".
I'd suggest listening to both the paper and the hemp versions, if you can. The paper is a little more nuanced and delicate and the hemp has a little more "body and chest".
@msommers posted this in The Deals Thread. Kit w/cabinets $3200 or w/o cabinets is $2240. Hemp woofer and silver voice coil drivers.
I am not surprised that some folks move from o93 to AN-E: I played Killing in the Name from RAM (original CD mix) at full blast on both speakers and clearly the o93 didn't communicate the same level of energy, delineation and impact on the bass line, grunts on vocal (that being said, the o93 were run with a Sugden amp which is a bit sedated to begin with while the AN-E were driven with a Meishu).
I hear the paper vs hemp in a similar fashion as Yotacowboy, or put in another way, the paper is a bit "drier" and the hemp a bit "wetter" (but it's not night and day, more of a matter of preference). If you go for used AN-E, make sure the foam surrounds have been serviced (with foam and not rubber) and are in good shape. It's cheap and easy to do yourself if the drivers need it but they'll sound like crap if you demo the An-E with old rotting surrounds.
It's better then hemp!
I used to frequent a store that was a dealer for both AN uk and AN japan. I have spent many hours listening to the AN-E.
I have also gone to hifi shops around the country and have been to many hifi shows.
Mark my words. I have yet to find any modern made speaker that comes even close to the audio note speakers. Period. Full stop. ProAc and Spendor would be my distant runner ups. The only thing I have ever heard that was better than audio note was vintage western electric horns, and those cost $$$$$$$$$.
I think the magic behind audio note is that everything they do is based on the idea that they perfect simplicity. These speakers are nothing more than a simple high efficiency 2 way ported speaker. There is no gimmick, there is no weird law of physics these speakers are trying to warp, and they aren't using some scifi driver either. Its just a simple design that they have refined over the last 15+ years.
The end result is a natural sound that is unmatched in the modern market.
The AN-K, J, and E speakers are all absolutely fantastic. I have heard pretty much every iteration of the Es including the fancy pants all silver model.
Unless you have a large listening room, I actually prefer the AN-J. The Es sound fantastic in a larger room where they have a chance to stretch their legs.
If you simply can't afford any of it, get some Snell J2s or J3s. They are the progenitors to the audio note speakers. They sound 80% as good and you can mod the speakers to sound closer to the audio notes. I got my snells for 300 bucks.
Second that, Snells are a good alternative to AN if you are in the US.
They are relatively easy to find used and pretty inexpensive.
You can have a good overview of the Snell range at: www.snell.no
The Snell K, E, and J2 are the ones designed by Peter Snell.
Peter also had a part in the E2 design but I'm not a big fan of the back tweeter design.
jeez, some real praise.
im torn right now lol
very happy with my Seas a26 but the AN E are very tempting. aaargh
I'd be curious about the A26 kit compared to even Snell J/E, let alone an AN-x, as that's one kit I'd like to build eventually. It's been some time since I last heard the original A25 but I remember it being good for what it is (and that the A26 improves on it overall, much like the original Snell designs being further developed by AN). I hear nothing but good things about them though, it seems like my style anyway and I like to DIY.
Tristan and I used to frequent the same dealer/showroom he mentioned and that + a mutual friend led me to owning my Snells...and they're great. Best with a refresh to make sure the crossover is good, new foam and serviced tweeters, but for what they typically go for plus any TLC needed to restore is worth it IMO. But yes - high praise on all the AN setups I've heard, very influential and more or less as the others previously described...I hope to have my own pair of AN-J one day.
what i can say i love about the Seas A26 is how easy it is to tailor the sound for more or less brightness.
looking at the AN-E, the highs are about as shelved as I like. I think why the AN-E is so revered is cause it uses paper woofer, silk dome tweeter, good xo component and shelved down tweeter. this is precisely what the A26 is (with the 18 ohm resistor in place) and why i like it so much.
I had a pair .. the SPE hemp version.. it is very transparent and has good midrange but still has box colorations in my opinion. Need to be placed in a corner and back to the wall to generate the best bass. Easy to drive.. though 8 watts would be minimum.
AN-E is good speaker for larger rooms, during 10 years or so I had several AN and snell speakers, AN-J SP was pretty good, only big difference vs AN-E was really the lower bass. I have pretty big room, around 40 square meters and 3.5 meter ceiling.
At the moment I have AN-E SPE and pretty happy with it, actually amount of bass seems even too excessive sometimes.
Don't think I will change them anytime soon, but the possible suspects are ocellia(phy-hp) or bigger tocaro units, really loved their sound, AN-E SPE HE hemp could also be possible upgrade, they just seem to have more details.
For the price of AN-E I don't think I heard anything similar to be honest, but like someone mentioned, there is some box coloration(which I like) and my system is pretty much AN based, except metrum DAC which will go away soon enough in favor of audial...
@murphythecat did you ever end up hearing any ANs?
My two main issues with the AN-E I heard (Alnico magnets) were compressed, flat soundstage as if you're always hyper aware you're listening to speakers (like no image depth). And second I can hear a discontinuity between the woofer/midrange and the tweeter. This is most obvious to me on solo piano recordings. These were both with dealers, though I've heard it in show conditions too.
Yet I'm still intrigued by them because they must be the most room friendly speakers with being able to be placed in a corner. I don't know any others like this that are also higher sensitivity. And I think in the grand scheme of speaker costs they are still reasonably priced if you stay within the non-exotic models (silver wire, caps).
FWIW, here is a review I did of one of the AN-E speakers a while ago, complete with the original clams from my dislike of editing:
The bottom line is that finding a pair of Snell E will give you a real idea if their presentation is for you. I still think corner placement is pretty much the way to get the best out of these.
As you go up the line, the $$$ numbers go up fast. A friend of mine has had the pretty much maxed out Audio Note system and it is excellent, but to me if you don't buy in to the premise of the AN-E, it may leave you a bit underwhelmed. To me, the AN-E is a "cult" product (in the non-pejorative rather then the sacrificing virgins in the forest sense), a bit like the Quad 57.
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