Audio Note AX-Two - Welcome Home

MWalt

Active Member
In an 11x11 office space. It’s cramped but they do well.
That's roughly the same size as the office I was set up in when I lived in Ohio. There are specific audio challenges, but they can be overcome with the right gear. I would love to try the AX-Two someday.
 

StevenZ

Pending Gold Star Member
That's roughly the same size as the office I was set up in when I lived in Ohio. There are specific audio challenges, but they can be overcome with the right gear. I would love to try the AX-Two someday.
The NHTs would work in here as well, especially with my HSU sub. But yes, small rooms are very challenging to say the least. The AX-Two's ability to play well against the rear walls and into the corners is a lifesaver for this room.
 

MWalt

Active Member
My Proac Tablette 10's and the NHT Super Zero 2.1's both sounded great in my small room. I guess the common denominator was the sealed acoustic suspension design. Although a totally different genre, the Hornshoppe Horns were great too. Now that I have 18x15 feet of space, I like them both better pulled out 3 or 4 feet from the wall. Did you have to plug the rear port?
 

StevenZ

Pending Gold Star Member
No plugging or the ports here. They work great as-is almost directly against the wall.
 

StevenZ

Pending Gold Star Member
I feel like I should give a quick update. These are still excellent speakers and my current favorite with every amp/source combo I’ve got.

I did follow a guy who has experimented with changing the crossovers and last week I got around to installing the series crossover he designed. I was really happy that the detail seemed to increase, which I felt it needed more of. However the cohesion between the drivers was lost.

Come to find out he scrapped the series crossover project and went back to the stock crossover because it just couldn’t be beat. He did build his own with much higher quality parts though so he’s reaping the benefits of the masterfully designed parallel network but also getting more of everything with the better parts used.

This morning I placed an order with Chad @ Meniscus Audio to have the parallel networks built using relatively high quality parts as well. Not Mundorf or anything, but good custom wound air core inductors, metal oxide resistors and Clarity CSA caps in the tweeter portion and Clarity PX in the woofer. This should be a significant improvement. The crossovers will be external moving forward.

Just a quick update as I though someone might be interested to see how it has panned out over the past few months. These speakers are definitely up there with some of the best I’ve had.
 
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Richard Austen

Junior Member
I feel like I should give a quick update. These are still excellent speakers and my current favorite with every amp/source combo I’ve got.

I did follow a guy who has experimented with changing the crossovers and last week I got around to installing the series crossover he designed. I was really happy that the detail seemed to increase, which I felt it needed more of. However the cohesion between the drivers was lost.

Come to find out he scrapped the series crossover project and went back to the stock crossover because it just couldn’t be beat. He did build his own with much higher quality parts though so he’s reaping the benefits of the masterfully designed parallel network but also getting more of everything with the better parts used.

This morning I placed an order with Chad @ Meniscus Audio to have the parallel networks built using relatively high quality parts as well. Not Mundorf or anything, but good custom wound air core inductors, metal oxide resistors and Clarity CSA caps in the tweeter portion and Clarity PX in the woofer. This should be a significant improvement. The crossovers will be external moving forward.

Just a quick update as I though someone might be interested to see how it has panned out over the past few months. These speakers are definitely up there with some of the best I’ve had.

It may not be a bad idea to post this on the Audio Note mega thread where several dealers, AN engineers, and very occasionally Peter Qvortrup posts. They may offer a specific cap selection as an upgrade to explore. Strictly for fans of Audio Note UK (all things Audio Note) *

Alternatively, getting in touch with Andy Whittle who designed the AX Two may have some suggestions - he can be e-mailed at Rogers speakers. I believe he still consults at Audio Note. Both Andy and Audio Note are big on external crossovers for the AX Two and the other speakers.

I sure hope the AX Two comes back soon - without too much of a price hike. I want to try an Atmos system and adding 2 more pairs of AX Two would really make for a pretty cool set-up. I would have to move from this apartment to a village house to get more space for this to work but it is the down-the-road plan. Saving on rent would allow the purchase of the speakers.
 

StevenZ

Pending Gold Star Member
It may not be a bad idea to post this on the Audio Note mega thread where several dealers, AN engineers, and very occasionally Peter Qvortrup posts. They may offer a specific cap selection as an upgrade to explore. Strictly for fans of Audio Note UK (all things Audio Note) *

Alternatively, getting in touch with Andy Whittle who designed the AX Two may have some suggestions - he can be e-mailed at Rogers speakers. I believe he still consults at Audio Note. Both Andy and Audio Note are big on external crossovers for the AX Two and the other speakers.

I sure hope the AX Two comes back soon - without too much of a price hike. I want to try an Atmos system and adding 2 more pairs of AX Two would really make for a pretty cool set-up. I would have to move from this apartment to a village house to get more space for this to work but it is the down-the-road plan. Saving on rent would allow the purchase of the speakers.
Thanks for the input @Richard Austen I will check out that link. I do not think I will take the crossover costs any further than I have already though. Being this is a budget speaker I could easily surpass half their cost just on crazy crossover parts if I wanted to but I won’t go that far. I think the Clarity caps and other parts are fine and likely a serious step up from the tiny little electrolytics that were in there.

I do want to point out that there are build variances between my AX Two and others. First to note is the lack of Audio Note branding on my tweeters. Every other AX Two I’ve seen has white AN screen print on the tweeter faceplate. Second is my cabinet is made of chip board. The crossover designer guy’s cabinets are made from MDF. I wonder which sounds better. I’m typically not a fan of MDF cabs. And lastly there’s different crossovers that all use the same value parts but different PCB and different brand caps and coils.

It makes me wonder if they come from the same build house. The drivers are the same as far as I can tell though and cabinet dimensions as well.

I am temped next time when I open up the speakers to damp the frame of the woofer and apply some felt in the inside of the frame similar to what I’ve seen Decware(I think??)and Planet 10 do to some of their drivers. I want to stay away from adding anything like no-Rez or additional bracing to tue cabinet though as 1 I don’t feel any extra resonance in the side panels and 2 if there is some, I would imagine it’s beneficial in this design.

I’m also very tempted to build better boxes for these eventually with some 18mm birch. @Richard Austen wasnt there an SE version or something of the AX-Two that used Russian birch cabinets?
 
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Richard Austen

Junior Member
Thanks for the input @Richard Austen I will check out that link. I do think I will take the crossover costs any further than I have already though. Being this is a budget speaker I could easily surpass half their cost just on crazy crossover parts if I wanted to but I won’t go that far. I think the Clarity caps and other parts are fine and likely a serious step up from the tiny little electrolytics that were in there.

I do want to point out that there are build variances between my AX Two and others. First to note is the lack of Audio Note branding on my tweeters. Every other AX Two I’ve seen has white AN screen print on the tweeter faceplate. Second is my cabinet is made of chip board. The crossover designer guy’s cabinets are made from MDF. I wonder which sounds better. I’m typically not a fan of MDF cabs. And lastly there’s different crossovers that all use the same value parts but different PCB and different brand caps and coils.

It makes me wonder if they come from the same build house. The drivers are the same as far as I can tell though and cabinet dimensions as well.

I am temped next time when I open up the speakers to damp the frame of the woofer and apply some felt in the inside of the frame similar to what I’ve seen Decware(I think??)and Planet 10 do to some of their drivers. I want to stay away from adding anything like no-Rez or additional bracing to tue cabinet though as 1 I don’t feel any extra resonance in the side panels and 2 if there is some, I would imagine it’s beneficial in this design.

I’m also very tempted to build better boxes for these eventually with some 18mm birch. @Richard Austen wasnt there an SE version or something of the AX-Two that used Russian birch cabinets?

The problem is that sometimes a better material in itself is not better for the particular speaker - the SE version in my opinion was an Audio Note mistake. My dealer at the time in Canada had both versions - the SE and the normal chipboard - the cheaper one sounded better - the SE version was less resonant but it sucked the life out of the speaker so it sounded more like the Totem Model 1 a much inferior loudspeaker for twice the cost.

Audio Note used to use part MDF on the older AN K speakers and that too was a cost-saving measure and those AN K's don't sound anywhere remotely as good as the new ones. I had the old AN K/SPe speakers and when I heard the new AN K/Lx I was stunned how the new one thumped my old AN K/Spe. The old AN K had rubber surrounds birch front and back with MDF wrap on the top bottom and sides. The new ones are foam surrounds, all birch, the cable strand count is higher and the drivers are both Scanspeak instead of I believe Vifa/Peerless of old.

The cabinets are supposed to resonate - it's part of the design - overdamping them is the wrong way to go IMO. Birch didn't seem to work on the AX Two though. I know Andy has played around with the thickness of the Rogers LS 3/5a and got varying results. I don't know what he settled on there.

I suppose there is no harm - you can always stick the drivers back in the AN cabinet if it doesn't work.

As for the AN logo on the tweeter that changed for newer model years but the speaker itself should be the same. Mine has a gold label at the bottom of the cabinet. Usually, AN provides the AN logo as a stick-on - you can put them where you like. I didn't put them on my AN E - who am I advertising them to? If I sell them, the second owner can choose.

I don't think they'll recommend super expensive parts - but the people who design the speakers probably know best what will make their stuff sound better. Audio Note also sells a lot of parts that seem quite inexpensive to me so long as you avoid silver.

 

StevenZ

Pending Gold Star Member
The problem is that sometimes a better material in itself is not better for the particular speaker - the SE version in my opinion was an Audio Note mistake. My dealer at the time in Canada had both versions - the SE and the normal chipboard - the cheaper one sounded better - the SE version was less resonant but it sucked the life out of the speaker so it sounded more like the Totem Model 1 a much inferior loudspeaker for twice the cost.

Audio Note used to use part MDF on the older AN K speakers and that too was a cost-saving measure and those AN K's don't sound anywhere remotely as good as the new ones. I had the old AN K/SPe speakers and when I heard the new AN K/Lx I was stunned how the new one thumped my old AN K/Spe. The old AN K had rubber surrounds birch front and back with MDF wrap on the top bottom and sides. The new ones are foam surrounds, all birch, the cable strand count is higher and the drivers are both Scanspeak instead of I believe Vifa/Peerless of old.

The cabinets are supposed to resonate - it's part of the design - overdamping them is the wrong way to go IMO. Birch didn't seem to work on the AX Two though. I know Andy has played around with the thickness of the Rogers LS 3/5a and got varying results. I don't know what he settled on there.

I suppose there is no harm - you can always stick the drivers back in the AN cabinet if it doesn't work.

As for the AN logo on the tweeter that changed for newer model years but the speaker itself should be the same. Mine has a gold label at the bottom of the cabinet. Usually, AN provides the AN logo as a stick-on - you can put them where you like. I didn't put them on my AN E - who am I advertising them to? If I sell them, the second owner can choose.

I don't think they'll recommend super expensive parts - but the people who design the speakers probably know best what will make their stuff sound better. Audio Note also sells a lot of parts that seem quite inexpensive to me so long as you avoid silver.

Their chipboard is like a lightweight spec. I wouldn’t be able to reproduce it even if I wanted. The only chipboard I have access to is high density and very heavy 3/4” stuff.

You mention resonance. I honestly don’t feel these cabs are all that resonant at all. I’ve held my hand on the sides when playing and I’m hard pressed to feel any sort of vibration in the inside panels.

I really would like to pretty these up eventually with some real wood veneers on the sides/top/bottom but would have to figure something out with the front and back since there’s no way to strip that vinyl and lay veneer down since the face and back are set back about a quarter inch. At least not easily.
 
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