Audio Note™ Loudspeaker Drivers and Kits
Speaker Kit Manual
The falling pound and a series of price increases on various materials and processes mean that we have to increase our prices as per February 1, 2009.
News February 1, 2008.
The main news time are that we are now completely out of Black Gate bipolar crossover capacitors, so I have taken all the BG variants of the speaker kits off the “menu” I am currently looking for a good alternative, not a simple task!
Otherwise the other main news are that we are now offering a speaker kit based on the new AlNiCo drivers, the KIT-04, availability is a little restricted as production of the AlNiCo tweeters for the finished speakers takes up most of the available capacity. As always we use drivers that are slightly of the very stingent specifications applied to the finished products, but in spite of this the KIT-04 is a most remarkable speaker.
Over the past 6 months much of the work done on the Audio Note™ speaker drivers have finally started filtering though to the product range, and helped separate what we do from the rest of the audio industry’s products even further.
The most important development is the introduction of the hemp cone, which has started to replace the paper cone in all our speakers except the AN-K, the hemp cones will be introduced across the range as parts come in and is offered side by side with the paper cone for now.
The second important development is the new AlNiCo magnets which are now available for both the woofer and the tweeter (limited availaibility until mid 2008), the woofer comes standard with the hemp cone, but the paper cone version will also remain in the program while stock lasts (not long!).
Another Audio Note™ World First, the AlNiCo Magnet Dome Tweeter.
I am proud to announce that after nearly 6 years in development we have finally nailed down all the problems we had with sourcing suppliers, materials, performance etc. so here it is:
The all new Audio Note™ alnico dome tweeter, as seen up side down!
The double magnet is mounted to a special soft iron top plate which acts as the focusing ring around the silver voice coil, the front mounting plate is made from aircraft grade soft aluminium.
The Audio Note™ AlNiCo magnet dome tweeter became standard on our top level speakers, the AN-E/SEC Signature and the all silver
The speaker drivers and kits offered below are available from all authorised Audio Note™ distributors.
We shall be offering the speaker drivers that we use in our own loudspeakers for general sale from now on, you can buy the drivers individually or together with a package that includes the drivers with matched crossover, wadding and cabinet drawings, together with a pair of ports.
We have spent far more time looking at the efficiency/speaker load issues in relationship to the low power SE triode amplifiers than anyone else, and I believe that our solutions are both original and effective, unfortunately nature is as cruel as she is kind, when it comes to efficiency, bandwidth, size and price, so we have to accept the inevitable compromises that she gracefully enforces.
For the time being we will be offering both our drive units and kits with either copper and silver voice coils, whilst the measured difference is negligible, the difference in sound between the two is very great indeed, which again begs the question what it is we measure in relation to what we hear.
ANYWAY! Here we go.
|Order Code||Driver Type||Crossover Range||Cone Material||Price Ex. UK Vat|
|SPKR-031||1 Inch dome tweeter copper voice coil||2 - 3 KHz||Impregnated cloth||Open price list|
|SPKR-032||1 Inch dome tweeter silver voice coil||2 - 3 KHz||Impregnated cloth||Open price list|
|SPKR-040||1 inch dome tweeter silver voice coil, AlNiCo magnet||2 – 3 kHz||Impregnated cloth||Open price list|
|SPKR-002||8 inch woofer, 4 Ohm, copper voice coil, 21 cm basket||Up to 3 KHz||Paper, coated centre||Open price list|
|SPKR-002/H||Hemp version of above||Up to 3 KHz||Hemp||Open price list|
|SPKR-004||8 inch high efficiency woofer, silver voice coil, 21 cm basket||Up to 3 kHz||Paper, coated centre||Open price list|
|SPKR-004/H||Hemp version of above||Up to 3 KHz||Hemp||Open price list|
|8 inch high efficiency woofer, silver voice coil, 22 cm basket||Up to 3kHz||Hemp||Open price list|
|SPKR-100||8 inch woofer, silver voice coil, paper cone, Alnico magnet, 21 cm basket||Up to 3 KHz||Paper, coated centre||Open price list|
|SPKR-100/H||Hemp version of above||Up to 3 KHz||Hemp||Open price list|
|8 inch woofer, silver voice coil, hemp cone, Alnico magnet, 22 cm basket||Up to 3 KHz||Hemp||Open price list|
Please note that most of our woofers now come with either 21 cm or 22 cm diameter basket the 22 cm basket is the new version, which has been developed to be able to take both of the forthcoming (don’t hold your breath!!) high efficiency AlNiCo woofers and the Field Coil version, something the old 21 cm basket would not accommodate.
All our speaker cabinets used to be made from different materials, front baffel is either plywood or soft chipboard, the wrap is dense MDF and the back is again either plywood or medium chipboard, they are now made entirely from Baltic birch plywood with no damping materials applied to any part of the cabinet, although we do use some bracing to raise and shorten or redistribute the cabinet resonances.
Do I hear cries of "cabinet colouration"??
Despite what you might think the guitar like structure of our cabinets is not resonant sounding, what they do do though is greatly enhance efficiency, dynamics and sparkle and sounds less coloured than the alternative methods, which generally just move the resonans frequency and amplitude of the energy lower down in the spectrum, which in most cases is more audible, mainly because this also increases the duration of the resonans, our belief is that the shorter the duration of the energy is the less likely it is to interfere with the immediacy of the original transient and disturb what comes after.
For this reason, we also use only a minimal amount of wadding, and it has to be a specific type, preferably well cleaned and carted sheeps wool, positioning is critical, and here experimentation is recommended, if you build the speakers yourself.
We will sell you a basic kit of crossover parts, a cabinet drawing and a port tube, and then you can experiment with the cabinet itself to your hearts delight, alternatively we offer a complete tested kit of drivers and crossover, a cabinet drawing and the port tube, which, if you follow the directions carefully will make a speaker with is reasonably close to a genuine Audio Note™
Please note that all hemp versions of the speaker kits are now supplied with the new 22 cm basket, we have not had time to update the drawings yet to reflect this, so check the woofer diameter of the actual unit BEFORE you cut the hole in the cabinet for the woofer!!
|Order Code||Description||Price Ex. UK Vat|
|SPKR-KIT-02||Built, tested and calibrated crossover with matched COPPER COIL drivers, drawings, description, port tube|
|SPKR-KIT-02/H||As above, but with hemp coned woofer|
|SPKR-KIT-03||Built, tested and calibrated crossover with matched silver voice coil tweeter and new 98dB efficient hemp cone woofer also silver voice coil with AN-E cabinet drawings and port tube|
|SPKR-KIT-04||Built, tested and calibrated crossoverstandard crossover parts, with matched silver voice coil AlNiCo magnet tweeter and AlNiCo hemp cone woofer also silver voice coil with AN-E cabinet drawings and port tube, the ultimate speaker kit!!|
The above price is for a kit to make a pair of two speakers, if you want mono only then just halve the price, the speakers in SPKR-KIT-02 are similar to the AN-E/LX which are close to 94 dB efficient with a very wide bandwidth (at –6dB 17Hz to 23KHz provided it is placed correctly in a corner) all in a cabinet of modest dimensions, 80x36x28centimeters, and are designed to stand close to rear and side walls. An ideal partner for low power single-ended amplifiers, except the ultra-low power variety, the Kit 02 or 03’s load behaviour has been designed for maximise the power bandwidth and dynamic energy transfer from a wideband 300B or 2A3 SE amplifier.
SPKR-KIT-03 now uses the brand new hemp coned woofer which allows for an efficiency of just shy of 98dB, ideal for single ended 2A3, PX4/PX25 and 300B amplifiers.
Some Frequently Asked Questions Answered
Will my kit 02 be an exact equivalent of the finished AN-E/LX?
No, it will be close provided the cabinet is made with fine tolerances and from the right grade of Baltic birch plywood, BUT it is important to appreciate that a finished AN-E is always likely to be better that any equivalent kit version, no matter which one, as the drivers we use in the kits have a slightly wider "spread" in performance than the ones used in the finished products, basically the kits get the drivers which cannot be matched within the very tight criteria used in our finished products.
Also we do not spend anywhere near the amount of time setting up the Kit speaker's driver - crossover matching, we allow a tolerance on the finished products of 0.2dB plus or minus, in the kits this is increased to 0.6dB plus or minus, mind you this is still several dB better than anything done by other manufacturers, but it is audible in the overall performance of the speakers, if you do a direct comparison on very good equipment
This and the fact that it is necessary to rematch the driver - crossovers to the actual cabinets when assembled to maintain the tightest possible match, this is not possible for any hobbyist building a kit and means that a kit can never get close to the consistency of a finished product.
Again this does not necessarily mean that a Kit 03 would not be as good as or even better than a standard AN-E/SPe provided you can make a cabinet that is on par with our, which I doubt you can, as the production methods used have takes years to develop and there is much we do not disclose, but is it possible to get quite close if close tolerances are achieved.
What if I put Audio Note silver speaker wire in my Kit?
Upgrading the wiring in any of our kits will always improve the sound, so if you change the internal wiring in a Kit 03 for example to SPe it will raise the level of the Kit 03 closer to that of the finished SPe model.
Can I upgrade my standard Kit 02 to a Kit 03 by changing the woofer?
No, it is NOT possible to upgrade a standard kit to the high efficiency version later as both the drivers, port tube and the crossover are different.
Can I order a fully silver wired kit, similar to the AN-E/SE Silver for example?
No, we will not be offering all-silver versions of the kits, as the cost of all the silver inductors, Black Gate or copper foil capacitors plus the time it takes to test, match and calibrate the crossover to the drivers is so great that there would be a percentage wise small saving and in addition to maintain the tight specification the final testing must be done in situ in the cabinet, all of which makes it impossible to offer a comparable quality kit version to the justly famous AN-E/SE Signature or AN-E/SEC Signature speakers we sell finished, so please do not ask!!
I think it is important to make the point here, that the whilst "AN-E kits" are exceptional quality for the money, they are generally not as good or as consistent as our finished products, in the final equation one always gets what one pays for in our products.
Updated February 1, 2009
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