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My finished Audio Note Speaker Kit03 speakers


This section takes you through my experience of building the Audio Note Kit03 Speaker Kit.

I have been using my existing speakers for many years. They are Tannoy DC 386 15inch dual-concentric loudspeakers in Berkley equivalent cabinets. They certainly have served me well in that time and have been used for many generations of hi-fi as well as being used as a home studio monitor at times.

They too came in kit form where I had to supply the cabinets, which were built by a friend of mine to plans in the manual - the same man also made my two bass guitars - his name is Dave Blundell. He currently makes jewellery/trinket boxes as a hobby and sells them via his website.

I now feel, however, that my current system is just getting too good for them and leaving them behind a little. It was time for a change.

This had mostly come about since I heard a pair of Audio Note AN/E speakers at a local Hi-Fi show earlier in the year when I had purchased my TT-2 turntable. The model I heard was, I think, the lowest in the Audio Note AN/E range. They sounded spectacular.

I had known for some time that Audio Note also provides a range of speaker kits based on the AN/E range. One of the main differences between them is the amount of time spent calibrating and matching the finished product speakers. The kits are still calibrated and matched, but they are the ones that don't quite make it into the finished products. The tolerances for the finished products are, however, extremely tight and the ones that don't make it (i.e. the ones used in the kits) are usually matched to a much higher standard than most speaker manufacturers use in their finished speakers.

About the Audio Note Speaker Kit Range

At time of writing, Audio Note provides 7 speaker kits to choose from - although these are variations around 3 basic models. None of these come with cabinets but cabinet plans are included with them. Pre-built cabinets are, however, available from AudioNote Kits.

The kit featured here is the SPKR-KIT-03, the standard version of the Kit03.

The SPKR-KIT-03 is described on Audio Notes website as 'Built, tested and calibrated crossover with matched silver voice coil tweeter and new 98dB efficient woofer also silver voice coil with AN-E cabinet drawings and port tube'.

Audio Note has also just release a new cone material for some of their finished product drivers. These use hemp instead of paper. I don't know for sure whether the new drivers will make it into the speaker kits but it may be worthwhile enquiring if you intend to build one yourself. The hemp drivers are easily recognised because their cones are a distinctive blue colour.

You may be wondering if it possible to reproduce the really high-end Audio Note speakers by using their kits. The answer is no! Their top-of-the-range speakers (worth many tens of thousands of pounds) use very exotic external crossovers that use silver foil capacitors etc. I believe that many hours are put into calibration and component matching. Audio Note also have a few secrets up their sleeve when it comes to setting-up and certain materials that they use in the high-end finished products.

The kits, however, do make it possible to get close to perhaps the middle of the range which, believe me, is better than most speaker manufacturer's top of the range finished products from what I have heard for myself (so long as you get the build and cabinet tolerances right, that is).

Information Update: Recently, the range has been updated. The Kit01 is no longer available, the Kit03 now comes standard with new hemp coned woofers (I just missed out on that one, darm it), and the Kit02's also have hemp-coned woofer versions available.

The Cabinets The Kit Itself Fitting the Rear Panels The Wadding Fitting the Drivers and Finishing Audio Note Speaker Stands Speaker Kit03 Review

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