The cabinet.  As with all AN-K versions except for the AN-K/D in ply/MDF, the SPe's cab is made of special Russian birch ply. According to company president Peter Qvortrup, "a lot of research and development took place in this area. Over the years we've tried many different materials and combinations in a time-consuming endeavor which culminated in the current design." Inside the enclosures is minimal bracing and as little damping as possible. As a result, the cabinet is more part of the overall sound tuning than that of many other manufacturers. The speaker is also designed for placement close to the wall where bass benefits from added acoustic reinforcement. The relatively wide baffle offers the drivers operating conditions similar to being installed in a virtual wall aka infinite baffle. According to Qvortrup, this provides the broadest most consistent dispersion pattern with any enclosure.

Looking at the drivers, as with all AN-K models we find a 20cm woofer and 19mm dome tweeter. The woofer has a stiff paper cone and rigid suspension while the relatively small dome tweeter consists of impregnated silk. The AN-J and AN-E woofers can be ordered in hemp fiber instead. Peter Qvortrup and chief developer Andy Grove believe that all 'fancy' diaphragm materials can indeed shine in certain areas but will always also have a negative side, a "distinct sound signature of their own." More important for the result was that "the sound and characteristics of a driver match those of its partner so when an instrument is reproduced by both drivers which is almost always the case, the upper range does not sound detached from the lower range and vice versa. That's why we chose good old-fashioned paper for the woofer and impregnated silk for the tweeter. These materials, when properly matched, blend seamlessly in the low and high frequencies."

More silver, more levels. As you will have gathered, silver is a factor for the classification of all Audio Note devices. Put simply, the more silver, the higher the level. However, a less obvious measure is individual adaptation of 1st-order crossovers to their drivers which always suffer inevitable series variance. Large-scale production can never reach this level of detail. Audio Note don't always provide their filters with precisely the same capacitance, inductance and electrical resistance values. Instead they take into account the technical and acoustic variance of the drivers themselves. According to Audio Note, even tiny differences here can lead to quite significant differences in sound. Therefore Audio Note rely on a "dynamic matching process" to ensure that each speaker in a stereo pair matches a "master curve" and its partner to within 0.4dB.

It turns and turns. In general and whenever feasible, Audio Note build all components and electronic parts themselves. Attention to detail goes so far that Peter bought a machine to punch RCA plugs from silver since they weren't available on the market. According to Stefan Wörmer of Audio Note Germany, the British company's transformer and coil construction expertise is probably unbeaten worldwide. The exchange of standard coils for experimental models conceived by Andy Grove has already dropped more than one jaw, says Wörmer. So at Audio Note the wheel of innovation never stands still. Combined with a vast stock of NOS tubes, this guarantees many new products of the highest quality. Also, Audio Note invest in crisis-proof production even in these uncertain times; or precisely because of them. Depending on level and device type, British development work is followed by on-site production (this applies to almost all amplifiers and Level 5 and Level 6 devices), assembly in Lithuania (digital solutions Levels 1-5 and all Level 0 devices) or Austria (assembly of turntables, tonearms and speakers).