At the enthusiast audio shows I have visited in the USA over the years, I’ve always thought that year-to-year, the Audio Note (UK) rooms had some of most consistently excellent musicality & sonics of all the show rooms I visited.
The fact that those Audio Note (UK) show rooms utilized relatively modestly priced equipment and simple hifi systems based on integrated amplifiers to achieve such consistent excellence, piqued my curiosity, and when a lot of other show rooms with much more expensive separates were rather easily outperformed by the Audio Note (UK) rooms, I took note.
When I visited the Audio Note (UK) room at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest some years back (above), cellist Vincent Belanger (below) provided a live musical reference for the room so listeners could compare the sound of Vincent’s live performance to that of his recorded performance over the featured Audio Note (UK) equipment in the room.
The “live vs. recorded” comparison was very favorable, and I thought it was impressive that Audio Note (UK) would do that sort of comparison, as that’s a gutsy move. Quite a lot of very expensive modern hifi systems would not do well in that sort of comparison—which is why you rarely see a “live vs. recorded” demonstration at audio shows—but the Audio Note (UK) system truly captured the essence of Vincent’s live performance, and impressed me by doing so.
As all you long-time readers know, I really enjoy vintage audio equipment, but you might not know I also have a particular interest in what I refer to as contemporary high-performance “entry level” and “exit level” audio equipment.
By “entry level” I mean audio equipment that offers a relatively affordable high-performance excellence in musicality & sonics that would make for a great starting point for a serious music lover or audio enthusiast.
By “exit level” I mean an audio product that is so consistently excellent in terms of musicality & sonics across the spectrum of recorded music, that once said music & audio enthusiast obtains it they can exit the audiophile merry-go-round of equipment buying & selling, quit worrying about audio gear, and instead focus on building a substantial music library, living happily ever after listening to music favorites and exploring new music interests.