Country of Origin


Børresen 02

Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Sources: Retina 5K 27" iMac (4GHz quad-core with Turbo boost, 32GB RAM, 3TB FusionDrive, OSX Yosemite. iTunes 14.4), PureMusic 3.02, Audirvana 3, Qobuz Hifi, Tidal Hifi, COS Engineering D1, Denafrips Terminator, Soundaware D300Ref as USB bridge/SD transport, Jay's Audio CDT2 MkII disc transport
Preamplifier: Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature with Western Electric 300B or Elrog ER50; Nagra Classic, Wyred4Sound STP-SE Stage II, COS Engineering D1, Vinnie Rossi LIO (AVT module)
Power & integrated amplifiers: Pass Labs XA30.8; FirstWatt SIT1, SIT3, F5, F6, F7; Goldmund/Job 225; Wyred4Sound mINT; Nord Acoustics NC500 monos; LinnenberG Audio Liszt monos, Crayon Audio CFA-1.2, Bakoon AMP-13R
Loudspeakers: Audio Physic Codex; Cube Audio Nenuphar; Kroma Audio Mimí; Albedo Audio Aptica; EnigmAcoustics Mythology 1; Boenicke Audio W5se; Zu Audio Druid V, VI & Submission; German Physiks HRS-120; Eversound Essence; Fram Midi 150
Cables: Complete loom of Allnic Audio ZL 3000 & 5000; Zu Event; KingRex uArt double-header USB cables; Tombo Trøn S/PDIF; van den Hul AES/EBU; AudioQuest Diamond glass-fibre Toslink; Black Cat Cable redlevel Lupo; Ocellia OCC Silver
Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all source components, Vibex One 11R on amps/sub
Equipment rack: Artesania Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc Krion and glass amp stands
Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators
Room: 4 x 6m with high gabled beam ceiling opening into 4 x 8m kitchen and 5 x 8m living room, hence no wall behind the listening chairs
Review component retail: from €38'000/pr to €46'700/pr depending on finish (Walnut standard, custom/high gloss extra) and resonance control level (Darkz C2t or T2 Supreme)

Our Aalborg factory tour set the scene. It gives today's review the necessary company history and lays out the brand's main design objectives. The Model 02 is the smallest floorstander in a quartet of Børresen models. Except for the 01 monitor, the 02, 03 and 05 are all 2.5-ways. The current 05 flagship introduces four paralleled 8" woofers with high-impedance voice coils. The 02 gets one mid/woofer and matching bass augmenter each. The 03 doubles up on both.

As the entry-level tower in the range, the 02 has a foot print of just 25.8 x 51cm, scales to 105.5cm in height and weighs a manageable 30.5kg with integral plinth. Published bandwidth is 40Hz-50kHz, sensitivity 88dB and nominal impedance ~4Ω. The standard finish is a very attractive Walnut veneer and the single binding posts take bananas only.

The triangular channel vents in the cheeks decompress the dipole ribbon tweeter.

With sleek high-density fiberboard cabinetry sourced from the same Sino factory which produces enclosures for Sonus faber and Dynaudio, the actual drivers are full in-house production as are the crossovers. The black-paint HDF baffle removes on metal pins to access the drivers underneath.

During his university days, chief engineer Michael Børresen took a leave of absence to start a company which built aluminium bicycle frames focused on triathlon athletes. When he returned to university a few years later, he switched gears from mechanical to analog-circuit design. He'd already built himself amplifiers based on Jean Hiraga's class A schematic and worked on a tweeter which attempted to duplicate but shrink the Apogee ribbon. He became fascinated with music reproduction and a frequent customer of an Aalborg hifi shoppe run by Lars Kristian Kristensen who later would achieve fame and fortunes at Nordost. Lars eventually brought Michael into Nordost's engineering team. Together with investors, they later founded Raidho. During the financial crisis, Raidho went into receivership then were rescued by Dantax Radio A/S who already owned Gamut. Dantax retained Raidho's personnel. Thus working under new management with additional in-house engineers to require balancing out more opinions and goals, Michael and Lars eventually split off into Børresen Acoustics. Here they continue their prior R&D work into cutting-edge speaker design. The current Raidho equivalent to their Børresen 02 would be the TD-2.2 with many differences.

Michael's present ribbon tweeter takes advantage of a new UK-sourced foil which bonds an aluminium layer to a nylon/aramid substrate for 600C° thermal stability and 1/100th of a gram of moving mass which spreads across the surface area of three typical dome tweeters. Combined with its ultra-strong N52 super-neodymium motor, sensitivity is a high 96dB and impedance without any transformer a very benign 6Ω. Without stick-slip inertia that would require a minimum input current to overcome, there's instantaneous response without lag or energy storage, hence zero resonance. Operated as an open-backed dipole, the ribbon's rear wave exits through the triangular vents in the upper cheeks which continue as flared channels inset into the cabinet in solid Walnut.