Børresen loudspeakers, designed by Michael Børresen, joined forces with its Danish brother companies Ansuz and Aavik to present the world premieres of the cost-no-object Børresen M1 standmount loudspeaker ($100,000/pair) and Aavik 200Wpc I-880 class-A integrated amplifier ($70,000). In a system that paired them with the Aavik’s S-580 streamer ($25,200) and D-580 DAC ($25,200) and Ansuz’s Signature Sortz, Darkz Z2S supports, and Gold Signature cables, the sound of multiple selections was simply too high for the room. Because I could not get a decent sense of what the equipment could do, I returned for a private listen on the following morning, before the show began.
Determined to test the system to its limits, I chose my own 24/96 WAV files of Andris Nelsons’ performance of the everything-including-the-kitchen-sink close to Richard Strauss’ Sinfonia Domestica. The soundstage was fabulousas huge, all-encompassing, and limitless at it gets. When multiple instruments began to play, the soundstage made the side walls and ceiling disappear.
When the Boston Symphony Orchestra played softly, the system captured the music’s gemütlichkeit like few others I’ve heard. It made me want to listen to the sound of every individual instrument. I was transfixed. In simpler passages, the sound was magical. But when everything got going at once and the bass drum was pounded for all its worth, the limitations of small standmount drivers that can be driven only so much became apparent.
Børresen, who was present, claims the tweeter is the lightest and fasted on the market, does not store energy, and moves faster than others; this results in greater sonic clarity. He also claimed the driver’s induction is “10% of a normal driver’s. This generates much less back EMF for an amplifier to deal with.” The basket is constructed of extremely stiff 3-D printed zirconium. For a lot more information, please see this website.
The I-880 amplifier’s cabinet is made, not of aluminum, but of copper and titanium. The output stage is said to stay in class-A to full power, meaning that the amp should avoid the harshness produced by switching between class-A and -AB.
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