Strictly for fans of Audio Note UK (all things Audio Note UK) PART TWO

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Steve Hoffman, Apr 29, 2022.

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  1. J.Uotila

    J.Uotila Forum Resident

    Espoo, Finland
    For a while I had K SPe, Meshu Silver and CD 4.1. In a way, the synergy between Meishu and AN-K was magical - in many ways completely unique and one that I haven't managed to achieve with any other Audio Note combination.
  2. Marchino

    Marchino Forum Resident

    Amsterdam, Holland
    Thanks Gjo
    My dealer is busy whit it. In the beginning your sugestion was he’s first thought but when the cd player played again for several discs he started doubting. So we thought it might be the door switch (top loader Philips pro 2 I guess it’s called). But I took of the lid and put the lid in this way gravity closes the door and the switch is doing fine.
  3. ghasley

    ghasley Forum Resident

    Carbondale, CO
    Indeed Steve, there is just something about the Jinro that is so very "right". Now, I can imagine that your Ongaku is "more right" but in a normal home, with the normal things going on, I'm just not sure I could appreciate an amplifier/system any more than I do the Jinro. I concur, the 31st minute is outstanding, prior to that it sounds better than I think it should but knowing where its going during that time, I just make a leisurely drink, read emails and play some pedestrian music that you have yet to remaster. Best wishes.
  4. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    People always ask me "How do you warm up your AN equipment?"

    Easy, turn on and immed. enjoy music. Even cold it's better than most. When it warms up, mo' better!
  5. nige harris

    nige harris Forum Resident

    Isoacoustics; Gaia's now Orea's...

    So after I finally got around to installing Gaia I's under my AN E's, I was suitably, read very, very impressed with the overall improvement they gave to my set up, which I was already very happy with. (Still want some of the ever so elusive Yellow 'Blu-tac'?)

    I had previously asked Finn / Bryan if he'd experimented or had any experience with other Isoacoustic isolators under equipment - primarily I think external cross-overs for the E's.

    Well, I can now report back, that I installed a set (4) Orea Indigo's under my M6RIAA, which at first thoughts I was not too impressed with / not unimpressed but certainly not to the level of the Gaia's, but on settling in with them for a while, I realised that everything was that more 'right', open, defined, clean and well presented. So another great win and one I'd recommend.

    I then had the good fortune of a set (4) of Orea Bordeaux, which would be able to take the weight of the Tomei, I installed them about an hour ago... and oh, its going to be a long, long night of music, they are so very impressive!!!

    I'll settle with them for a while, probably quite sort, but I'll be getting either a set of Graphites (8 off) or a set of Bronze's (6) for the E's cross-overs... and who knows from there, some for SUT, TT PSU's even the TT itself, which already sits on its own isolation platform.

    Thanks Nige.
  6. finn

    finn Forum Resident

    Glad to read your efforts were not in vain.
    I actually bought some Gaia III feet to install under my x- overs but haven’t had time yet to do so.
    As for the yellow tac, there was a retailer here who was selling it half price so I stocked up you could say, I think about 60 or 70 packs. I will enquire as to postage costs.
  7. rappaport

    rappaport Forum Resident

    Currently I'm using my Cobra fitted with the best EL34 I've heard to date; The Psvane EL34Ph fed by a Sootto mains. Awesome pairing. The Psvanes have a whole other soundbalance that your typical EL34s. With the biggest tightest bottom end I've heard from the current crop - paired with lots of oompfh, the rest also being top notch.
    Thought initially I'd striken a home run when finding the beautiful blue tinted Sophia Electric EL34 STs, after having been through first the factory EH's then SED Winged Cs. Beautiful valves too the Sophias, I got hip to courtesy of Jeff Day. It's not only their glass envelope that's 300B like. Their whole sound bears quite a resemblance with the famous triode - due to the fact the glass' shape has a profound impact on SQ - or so I'm told.. Bottom line; The Cobra running the Sophias gives astonishingly little away to a true SET, when it comes to 3-D, lucidty etc.
    But, with my Type K's I prefer the grown up bottom end the Psvane's finest deliver.

    But like you, I (also) have in my possession (amongst all to many others); My Hot Rod version of the AN Kit One (1996-vintage) running WE300B re-issues from the mid nineties, awaiting repair at the mo. Probably some caps in it's PSU gone bad by the way the amp behaves.

    I'm aware of the Vindam Acoustics take on the Type Ks. from late 1980'ish - I was might tempted - but never got to hear them at Tom's when he ran AC. Too busy at the time
    But from what I heard they sounded the part - perhaps even better in some part than Peter S' finest effort. As I recall the only downside being a little light weight in the bass?

    Being danes the both of us. We might stick together someday...

    By the time of the introduction of the Snell K II's the rot had already set in Voecks instigated shortly after taking over from Peter Snell. A whole other animal the II's. NOT to the liking of PQ either to put it mildly.
    I actually ran Snell Type E mk 1s also back then, for the most part of the eighties.
    Lovely speakers.
    The best incarnation ever coming out of the US. With their rather nice oiled american oak veneer. Foolishly parted with in a moment of "insanity" (haven't we all?) when offered a nice pair of the first Martin Logans, the CLS mk.1 almost for free.
    The Snell Es already then having a most impressive big bottom end - (not the snappiest though), besides great transparency - sounding just plain "right".
    You live and learn...
    That said, the Snell E mk.1 for all its qualities then - wouldn't be able to hold a candle to it's AN descendants of today
  8. rappaport

    rappaport Forum Resident

    So nice hearing from another K-afficionado.
    Sounds like the K's are taylor made for the size of your listening room.
    Try giving the scarce toe-in another go.
    You to be able to reach a result akin to the one I described.
    If you do, and succeed, I think you'll be rewarded with having a pair of speakers that don't SOUND like speakers - in as much their image placements will for the most part feel totally free of the boxes themselves.
  9. SetANE

    SetANE Forum Resident

    Sydney NSW
    @rappaport so you have a power cord connected to the Cobra that is costing perhaps twice what the Cobra did? i 100% can believe how good it sounds. i would often run very cheap stuff using power setups that cost many times the front end or amp and the result was always astonishing imo.

    broadly speaking is it not possible to say that the last 5 years have been all about the power supply? whenever i read a product developer this is what they talk about often. separate boxes for power supply etc. Although it is a tough nut to crack with all the temptation out there the way i see it if i did it all again i would have best possible power cords (so Sootto) before anything gets upgraded. i remember sticking a $1500 LPS on a $50 RIAA from JayCar with a $5,000 power cord supplying the LPS and then all of that plugged into decent Shunyata gear from wall. It was beautiful!

    i also recall an anecdote from the great Michael Fremer wherein a chap demoing his active speakers used 2 power cords (one for each active speaker) that were each worth same as speaker pair. Fremer pointed this out in public and the vendor said "yeah but it makes them sound amazing". Too true.
  10. rappaport

    rappaport Forum Resident

    Your reply quite litterally gave me goose bumps from reading it!
    Thing is like you say;
    The moment I realized what a profound - almost insanely big hike in SQ hearing what e g. the Sootto does to my humble Cobra, I've come to this conclusion:
    Before I make one further box upgrade, I'll first have all of my power cords of the best quality I possibly can afford. A power cord like the Sootto giving me a far larger upgrade to the sound than I could have gotten buying a far more expensive amp.
    And before someone calls two white clad men carrying a straight jacket between them - with me chanting: "They're coming to take me away ho ho ha ha. " Re-think this proposition:
    While most AN devotees find themselves in a constant box evolution, with ever changing and upgrading the hard ware. If firstly going for the best power cords money can buy, you've got an investment that's going nowhere.
    No need to.
    The power cords will continously make later upgrades sounding even more impressive.
    Already having a Cobra punching far above it's weight - and sounding far better that it has any right to do.
    I speak from experience - having lived with the best to hold what I hear up against.
    Having lived with the Ongaku, Kegon, Baranzu and Gaku Oh on a daily basis.
    The first and third amp at home in my own system for nearly a year.
    Taking the Sootto for instance.
    It offers dramatic changes to the SQ in ways hard to come by going from one amp to a far costlier ditto.
    The gradations it does to transients is mindboggling. The precise different values it lends every pick on a guitar, bring this instrument to life in a way I hadn't quite heard before. Apart from hearing the real thing. The overall dynamics is second to none - likewise the added colors it brings to the sonic palette; unparallelled.
    Just for the sake of experiment I swapped the power cords between amp and riaa.
    Suddenly realizing the old audio addage of;
    What's first been missed, can never be recouped, no matter you do.
    However in the long run having also a digital (cd) counterpart, missing the Sootto feeding my amp seemed unbareable. From now having cd sounds sounding lifeless to the point of feeling dead (so again; don't try out a Sootto mains cable - unless you have the means. Cause it'll be nigh on impossible to go without first experienced.
    So back on the Cobra the Sootto went, while my ISIS mains was reinstalled in my riaa.
    So now I know where to set in when funds permit.
    As crazy as all this might seem - the ISIS being a very rewarding upgrade to almost any other mains cable - it's going silver for power transfer that constitutes the most groundbreaking difference.
    This to a degree I as an exeriment delegated an old AN Kondo 1.gen. pure silver IC to mains duties on my Garrard 301 TT. Where it weaved it's magic even though not being made for this purpose. Encouraged by this I even tried the Kondo IC gone mains on my riaa. Only to realize that size really matters. In audio as well!
    The sound became highly detailed - but lean.
    Not enough juice to bring up the rear end.
    Lesson learned;
    The TT with drawing a measly 12 watts AFAIR, was far more like it, and made my TT sing in a way I had'nt exoerienced before.
    Later I'll have to look further into if bringing silver core count up will dramatically improve what is already an impressive improvement: Feeding the TT's motor via a silver cable - weird eeh?!

    Lastly on silver mains:
    I believe it was AN Kondo Japan, the original silver smith-San, as far back as in the late seventies, early eighties who imployed stranded pure silver wire as mains cable.
    I had the good fortune to acquire his M7 phono pre in spring '83, then with FETs. A lucky find. As it showed up a dramatically superior sound to an already superior class leading package. Out of only some eighty speciments that were made in total.
    I knew the M7 were packed with silver.
    It had a mains transformer wound with pure silver wire. But what I wasn't prepared for; even it's captive mains lead were multi stranded pure silver all the way to the wall socket too, when I mounted the Schuko plug.
    In hindsight with what we know now. This detail (together with the all silver mains transformer) might have been the magic bullet responssible for the M7's otherworldly performance back then.
    jonwoody, dunkyboy, moremusic and 6 others like this.
  11. rappaport

    rappaport Forum Resident

    That's the danger of it all.
    Sometimes to strike upon some God-given combination by accident not realizing how fortunate the stars aligned that day.
    Falling in the trap of believing:
    Huh?! I can do even better than that - easy peasy, by altering or substituting part or all of it with something reportedly superior.
    Yeah perhaps something that really was better, in some other fortunate combination of components. If you go with the whole caboodle. Change even one thing, and the princess becomes an ugly toad warts n all
    Cause sometimes you really do chance upon a system of pure unparallelled magic out of expertise - or just pure luck.
    With (lowly'er) components you perhaps wouldn't believe to possess the ability for true "almost as good as it gets" greatness. Having a star quality, not even easy obtained with bottom less pockets.
    One such combination could be the humble Audio Note AX2s driven by the little unobtaineum amp; Almarro a205a mk.II.
    The latter voiced with 2 NOS Blackburn Mullard EL84s and 1 good specimen of ECC83 coming from the same factory - with this piece being very crucial: - 2 AN coupling caps. Having had extraordinary spectacular results with the bargain AN Tin Foil caps. Instead of the dreadfull awful analytical and thin sounding - AND pricey - teflon V-Caps!
    All combined to deliver a SQ beyond belief in a not too large listening room (I run my combination in a room of 27m2)
    And yes, this little amp wonder's 4.5Watts/ch. being plenty to deliver near live level SPLs with e.g. small'er scale jazz groups - but also rendering classical music with aplomb - if backing down just a notch on the vol.pot.
    A combination this good, that if I were forced to live with it for the rest of my audio life. I'd find peace with it, living ever after without the need of wanting to substitute anything - less the occasional valves of course.

    So, if having settled on a pair of AN AX2s I can only whole heartedly recommend seeking this hard to beat combo out.
    So far the sound from the small AX2s haven been bested yet, with any other amp I've tried them with.
    This combo will occasionally make you feel like "being right there!!"- in the audience.

    A prima example - if running cds, is the must have Proprius UltraHD CD "Live is Life" with swedish (of Jazz at the Pawnshop fame) saxophonist Arne Domnerus.
    In a recording, made as far as I know, with two very special rather large hand built mics, to render this recording even far spectacular that the justly famous "Pawnshop" recording.
    The "you are thereness" is unbelievable. With the sound of their instruments sounding more like themselves than we're accustomed to, with almost unrestricted dynamics and a soundscape with so much clear elbow space and 3-D it's seldome heard better - if ever?
    Try besting the AN AX2/ Almarro a205a mkII pairing synergestic MMIH - I haven't so far.
    That's why I hang on to these 2 small overOVERachievers inspite of already having an embarrasement of riches...
    R.T.Firefly, jonwoody, Tlay and 8 others like this.
  12. nige harris

    nige harris Forum Resident

    Hi Finn, that would be great.

    I'll drop you a direct message as well.

  13. Andrew Mackay

    Andrew Mackay Forum Resident

    Taillant, France
    I'm glad the little AX-2s are getting the credit they deserve...they are EXTRAORDINARY for the US$600 (used) they cost me a few years ago after it became clear that AN were mothballing them (and later stopping production). The reviews were so good that I thought it would be a good insurance policy to have a pair in case I needed to downsize to a smaller room/system, or my K-SPes had to go off-road for repairs. They give the Ks a serious run for their money and I don't know whether it's the paper cones, the combo my OTO SE Line Sig or something else, but I have started to listen to them with less of a 'second system' mindset. They are head-turningly good.
    Encore, jonwoody, Salectric and 4 others like this.
  14. Zero106

    Zero106 Forum Resident

    Just upgraded to P3 Silver and AN-E/Spe
    Really like sound of this P3 Silver
    JeroenPaco, dj_w, SpinIt and 16 others like this.
  15. SpinIt

    SpinIt Musicphile

    Paris, France
    This. Same thing applies to my OTO. Would be a waste of time to wait for it to warm up properly. It’s already lovely sounding when it’s just switched on. Then, after 20-30 minutes the magic starts to happen.
  16. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    I think this could be said of all tube gear, warm up is crucial. But especially so with AN gear.
  17. rappaport

    rappaport Forum Resident


    I have both.
    One of the things the smaller AX TWOs do even better that the Ks is (perhaps unsurpricingly) sounding even more open, more free of the cabs - besides even quicker and snappier due to its smaller bass/mid driver.
    Having build AN speakers before the operation moved to Austria, I sometimes (most times!) cannot keep my hands in my pockets. But have to experiment seeking out the boundaries of a given speaker model.
    So neither of my Ks and TWOs are 100% standard/ original anymore having been heavily upgraded.
    My AX TWOs having later gotten SPx internal cable soldered directly to the TWOs binding posts, their crossovers moved outside the cabinets, besides having a tiny super quality adjuster cap parallel over the Vifa D19 tweeter caps.
    The D19 IMHO for decades being perhaps thee best "budget" tweeter ever devised, doing treble duties in both speaker models TWO & K accounting for the success of both.
    I have yet to hear a really awful speaker comprising this little gem of a tweeter.
    What these changes have brought to an already excellent overachieving speaker are an even more clean reproduction.
    The SPx silver speaker cable amongst others removing a tiny hitherto unnoticed grit - first really noticed when it's gone.
    The tiny adjuster cap bringing finer filigree detailing and an extended top end with additional "air".
    - Finally bringing the crossovers outside it's shaky environment brings an unflappable calm to proceedings, to an extent no crossovers should ideally rest whithin a serious speaker's cabinet. Weren't it for the far more elaborate and costly implementation of having separate crossovers as per the costliest AN models.
  18. jonwoody

    jonwoody Tragically Unhip

    Washington DC
    Congrats Vladmir great looking system and I like that floating cabinet of yours a lot also!
    Zero106 and NaturesDub like this.
  19. rappaport

    rappaport Forum Resident

    When it comes to Power Cords/ Mains cords I'm totally undivided today.
    No matter how your chain is put together/ "voiced" etc. AN's dedicated silver mains cables are an order of magnitude better that all the very best copper - or even gold - "twisted and turned" variants of ANY make.
    Besides silver mains cable are one of a select few items (more much later), that will improve ANY given system.

    This is not a cable pusher talking (I haven't been directly affiliated with the audio bussiness for more than 20 yrs)
    But a guy that's finally come to realize, that in order to unfold - be it even the most expensive - or modest - by AN standards - systems full potential:
    There's NO getting around silver wire.
    If you're set on bringing out the utmost of what ever system you've got.
    Only silver mains cables are gonna take you there.

    Where I AM divided, is when it comes to speaker wire and inter connects.
    Here the need for voicing a system using either copper or silver DO come into play.
    Here you cannot always rely on silver being the best sounding solution.
    Of course when nearing the top - or being ON top - of the AN Level of systems - like Peter - and the like, or whenever everything fits perfectly together, where all kinds of additive and/or subtractive flaws have been dealt with(removed) - silver wins hands down - each an' every time.

    But for all the rest of us perhaps less fortunate - where careful voicing has to come into play, in order to get our systems to sing and stay balanced. The choice of silver or copper become a question of what material suit our systems the best.
    Silver vs copper becomes trial an error.
    Broadly speaking; if you have perhaps a too dark and dull sounding system in need of a little invigorating life and light, you most likely find silver to ameliorate this. Bringing back a natural balance to your system.
    While a too bright, too lean system will most likely be in need of perhaps a very good copper speaker cable.
    Or, if digital being part of your system with having the same problem. A good copper IC will surely bring back more flesh on the bones to help restore balance.
    Bringing the libra in "vater" so to speak

    Since "cables" became a subject for 'philes to take into consideration. (Saw and heard the very first dedicated speaker cable in the summer/fall of '78. About the same time the dreaded "SS-amp Terminator": The Japan made "Polk" Cobra green and copper colored litze speaker wire was introduced. I believe the very first to be from Sansui - but I'm not 100% sure) -
    I have always likened cables to adding the "salt and pepper" etc. to your "audio meal"
    Making an audio system to really sing, bears a strong resemblance of making/ cooking up the most perfect and tasteful dinner.
    Where you even after having spent money on buying some of the best, finest, most expensive ingredients, you're still in need of having your meal "brought to taste".
    Just like "voicing" your audio - but here using salt, pepper, perhaps a little sweetening or vinegar instead of cables - to reach what the japanese call UMAMI - of making the meal "sing" and bring harmony - just like audio.

    Peter Q have always had strong beliefs.
    He were perhaps one of the very first - if not the first audio persona insisting on viewing a system more holistically and as a whole - from start to the end.
    Remember he was still then an importer/ vendor. Not one manufacturer hoping to be able to sell you "the lot".
    And opposed to what was "de rigueur" in the seventies up through the eighties of demanding of a product - every product - to be good/ neutral enough to be put into ANY chain of likewise "neutral" products, and immediately weave its magic. Improving not just one chain of "excellent neutral" products - but EVERY chain of so called neutral products.
    And, if failing to do so causing trouble.
    The product were deemed flawed and colored - not being "neutral"enough. "Neutral" being the overriding buzz word of that era. Or washed out as it became. For fear of being deemed COLORED.
    As we all - or most of us - already know; that's NOT how the World works, with all it's different demands on impedance and sensitivity matching - and the like.
    But the times then, hadn't caught up with this, but only one, of PQ's mantras when still being the importer/retailer of Snell, AN Japan and EAR amongst others back in DK. Up to the point where Peter simply refused to deliver anymore products for testing in the danish rags.
    Realising it being somewhat akin to delivering a spanking new Ferrari up for testing, and the rag insisting on how this beaut of a sportscar would behave when given something like 4 old refurbished tires. "Just in case" a customer should choose to do so.
    Then slaughter the Ferrari for not performing like anticipated!! With the argument; we had to see what it feels like, when the car is given any kind of tires.
    I don't even have to point out how that whole silly concept feels like!
    So the system approach has been a VERY strong point for PQ and later AN - always.
    The strong point of his; "Comparison by contrast" I sometimes get the feeling is being a little misused or misunderstood.
    This comparison is not the A-B'ing of components.
    It's how skilled your system is at showing up as many differences (contrasts), and different qualities from record to record. Even between tracks on the very same record! As never two different recording sessions/ situations are the exact same. Different rooms, mic positions etc. all contributing to put a different kind of flavor down on the recording medium.
    So, the more different it all sounds played back on your system, the less your system impose it's own sound signature on what ever you hear.
    If everything always sounds either cozy and warm - or thin and irritating, it's your system editing the flavor of what you're hearing. Not the recording itself.
    The optimal situation here, and the thing systems are beginning to do better and better as you move up the ladder;
    Is to clearly show up all these differences - bad - or extremely good. But still being able to sort out making sense of even the very badest of recordings, making them convey what ever goods are naturally burried within. Be it an extremely gifted performance made by a great artist perhaps almost 100 yrs ago - or more.
    Or despite all of it's faults, still be able to move you - affecting or changing your mood.
    That's what a very good, balanced system can do to you.

    In the beginning I mentioned; few components, if any - other than silver mains cables - are this good, this spectacularly and outstandlingly superior to be able to be inserted into ANY chain and immediately taking it to heights you never dreamt of.
    Such a product were (my) the best sample(s) of Andy Rappaport's Amp One power amp (100watts into 8ohms, 200 into 4, and 400watts into 2 ohms) which I "wrestled" from Mr. Q's mittens back in may 1981 to be precise.
    The worlds first "real time" SS-amp of having NO global feedback, and NO sound degrading protection circuit, and lots of other niceties such as massive cooling fins placed horizontally in order for this brute (50kgs) of an class A amp to hold on to all that warmth as opposed to release it asap. Andy (there's another one for you!) knowing the Motorola output transistors acting the most linear when litterally reaching the point of being fluid inside! The prototypes thus reaching temperatures where the solder joints inside the amp (baking oven!) became fluid again, making these early Amp Ones to break down.
    Andy R had set out to making the best ever SOUNDING transistor amp possible - never mind tomorrow, without as much as casting an eye on reliability, warranty issues or any other kind of practicallities. Resulting in all the production amps eventually broke down as well. Most to the point of being unable to being fixed - having stability problems too due to being a NFB design. All this making this amp akin to F1 motors of that period, set up to just barely survive doing time trials before a race to settle starting positions. All motors being kaput afterwards - or even before - not even being able to finish the trials.
    THAT kind of a product were the AMP 1
    - with a performance to match.
    I've always been the firm believer of; had the Rapp been a reliable and practical product proposition, constituing the blueprint for all amps to come. I ain't so sure we'd have ever seen the same revival of valve amps as we've seen the past 25yrs
    Me, being fortunate and lucky, yet again,(but, not in other walks of life, lest you'd think I'm Gladstone Gander personified!) had one of the only working sampels.
    Reportedly being the only one working in all of northern Europe - to soldier on.
    Mine sure broke down also - several times.
    But always being reparable.
    This very amp first heard - never to be forgotten again.
    To the point of making e.g. the big Krells coming out at that time sound as if litteraly broken. True story.
    In most ways a totally impractical product. Seen from both the buyers side - as well the manufacturer's - who eventually went bankrupt, never to grace the audio scene with yet another otherworldly SOUNDING product, instead moving on to the upcoming mainframe computer industry.

    A long read of a mixed bag.
    Having the same passionate fire in the belly still, even after 54 years and counting.
    Hope at least some of it were of interest, me having made "the tour" from the very beginning, which led to what you all know as Audio Note UK of today.
    Cheers Henrik
  20. Gjo

    Gjo Forum Resident

    Los Angeles
    Why do I feel like this a situation of “if you have to ask the price, then it’s too expensive”?

    Akin to buying a Ferrari (or whatever…fill in the blank). Yes, I’m sure it’d be amazing, but…
    rappaport, audio archon and dunkyboy like this.
  21. Andrew Mackay

    Andrew Mackay Forum Resident

    Taillant, France
    Are the interesting upgrades to AX-2s and K-SPes you describe above factory only - or could they be undertaken by a competent electronics engineer with audio experience (certainly not me !)?
    rappaport likes this.
  22. whaaat

    whaaat LT Fanatic

    Toronto, ON
    I’m also interested in more info on this!
    rappaport and Andrew Mackay like this.
  23. Salectric

    Salectric Senior Member

    Replacing the internal wiring of an AN speaker could, in theory, be done by a competent tech if (and this is a BIG IF) the tech has the necessary tools and experience. Higher grade AN wires all use a Litz design which means that each of the wire strands is coated with an enamel that insulates it from the other other strands.

    For example, SPx has 31 silver strands and all 31 are joined at one end of the cable and at the other end but they are insulated from each other at all points in between due to the enamel coating.

    In order to solder a Litz cable, the enamel coating of the strands must be removed at the point where the cable is to be soldered. This is done with a solder pot which is a little vat with a heating element. You put a bar of solder in the solder pot and it melts to form a little solder bathtub. When the liquid solder is the right temperature, and if the bare ends of the Litz wire are placed in the solder pot for just the right length of time, the enamel is removed without damage to the delicate strands and you’re ready to solder the cable. It takes experience to know the right temperature and how long to leave the Litz ends into the solder pot. If the temperature is too high or if you leave it in too long, some of the strands may burn off making your SPx something less than a 31-strand cable.

    Once you have done this a few times, it’s not difficult but few techs will have ever had to work with Litz wires. Most won’t even have a solder pot.

    My advice is to use an experienced tech at an AN dealer or take it to the factory if you’re in the UK.
    Encore, jonwoody, dunkyboy and 2 others like this.
  24. JanJ

    JanJ Forum Resident

    These stories of Audio Note's early days and how some of the products and practices were born are super interesting reading, thank you Rappaport! We want more!
  25. finn

    finn Forum Resident

    Yesterday morning, someone well known to all of you rocked up and borrowed another Sootto mains cable to complete the all Sootto mains supply concept. Owns one ,borrowed two. The text messages started coming in at 6.31 and if the police ever arrest me and check my text messages, they will likely think I have been supplying Columbian marching powder by the kilo given the content of those texts.
    The same afternoon, Cath is doing some stock reconciliation and asks why do we have 6.7 mtrs of Sootto mains cable in stock and I smile and think to my self, “it’s a Pablo Escobar thing”.
    In reality I said we use it for the HiFi shows.
    Just ask Nic for some demo lengths and see what it brings to the party.
    scobb, R.T.Firefly, Tlay and 6 others like this.
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