Country of Origin
This review first appeared in October 2020 on HifiKnights.com. By request of the manufacturer and permission of the author, it is hereby syndicated to reach a broader audience. All images contained in this piece are the property of Dawid Grzyb or Børresen – Ed.
Reviewer: Dawid Grzyb
Sources: LampizatOr Pacific (Living Voice 300B + KR Audio 5U4G Ltd. Ed.)
Transports: fidata HFAS-S10U
USB: iFi audio 0, micro iUSB3.0 and 3x Mercury cables
Preamplifier: Thöress DFP
Integrated amplifiers: Kinki Studio EX-M1, Trilogy 925, Bakoon AMP-13R
Power amplifier: AGD Production Audion
Speakers: sound|kaos 3afw
Interconnects: Audiomica Laboratory Erys Excellence, Boenicke audio IC3 CG
Speaker cables: Boenicke Audio S3, LessLoss C-MARC
Power components: Gigawatt PC-3 SE EVO+, Gigawatt PF-2 + Gigawatt LC-2 MK2 + Forza AudioWorks Noir Concept/Audiomica Laboratory Ness Excellence/LessLoss C-MARC
Rack: Franc Audio Accesories Wood Block Rack
Retail price of reviewed component: as reviewed €34'100/pr with Darkz T2 Supreme + stands; with basic Darkz C2r and no stand €25'500/pr; gloss finish or custom paint add €3'500; 01 stand €4'300/pr
After my recent Anzus Mainz loom review, it's time to investigate another product manufactured in the same place just under a different brand. Børresen's B-01 was on my radar ever since auditioning it for the first time. My late 2019 trip to Denmark's cities of Aalborg and Aarhus became an unforgettable highly educational experience. By witnessing for three days how industry veterans Lars Kristensen and Michael Børresen conduct their business, I'd learnt how their establishment operates from the inside. These two Danes at the steering wheel of brands Aavik Acoustics, Ansuz Acoustics and Børresen Acoustics all held under the parent UpperLevel APS umbrella clearly were about going big and in style. Products as costly as theirs are nothing out of ordinary at audio shows. There we're used to seeing multiple rooms loaded with hardware only the luckiest few can afford. However, visiting HQ had me sample such luxuries in a perfectly controlled environment free from regular trade venue downsides like crowds, sensory overload, random music and dubious acoustics.
Hearing top level stuff and experiencing what it can really do aren't the same. In Denmark I had opportunity to hear my hosts' undeniably costly products at their best just the way they were meant to be set up, with no compromises so no small rooms full of glass and/or paper-thin walls. Upon returning to Warsaw, I wondered how much of the distinctive Danish sonics I might inject into my own setup. The Ansuz stack had partially addressed this question already and automatically narrowed down the next assignment to product from either Aavik or Børresen. Past my first assignment, the Danes were happy to ship me whatever I deemed most interesting next. The sky was the limit. However, I had no intentions to overreach and my choice became simple math. Srajan had already handled Børresen's smallest floorstanding B-02 here so my input on it wasn't necessary. Anything above the 02 could have been too much for my humbler crib—it's something to still investigate further—so starting smaller was the ticket. This made the most compact Børresen 01 my target. Also, it had etched itself to memory a fair bit more than anything else I'd seen or heard in Aalborg/Aarhus so was the perfect fit.
The cargo included three packages strapped to a small pallet. The main box with its sides reinforced by wooden sheets housed two speakers and six top-level Darkz T2 Supreme decouplers. The pre-assembled stands were found in their own double cardboard cartons. Each component was wrapped in a cloth bag then snuggled between thick foam cradles. Extraction was a breeze. The un-crated sight was modest, utilitarian and free from bling. Each Børresen 01 measures 18.4×36.8×41.5cm WxHxD and weighs 11.5kg. The custom stand adds 6.5kg and 73.5cm in height. Although the structure is unusually deep and well over a meter tall, it remains perfectly manageable by one adult. The 01 is a vented 2-way of 86dB/1W sensitivity with a 50Hz-50kHz response, happy 6Ω nominal impedance and recommended power above 50W. The basic model with Darkz C2t pucks sells for €25'500/pr while my loaner with six Darkz T2 Supreme gets €29'800. Gloss finish or custom lacquers add €3'500 and the stands €4'300. As reviewed, this leaves a hefty €34'100 on your invoice.
The petite 01's sleek exterior looks modern yet simple, inconspicuous but different. Its makers never aimed at flash but rather quite the opposite according to their Scandinavian DNA. The HDF cabs outsourced to a Chinese factory score enough points on details and fit'n'finish to impress as an undoubtedly costly product. This comes as no surprise. The same subcontractor handles cabinetry for Dynaudio and Sonus faber to name just two brands. Although my loaner's admirable walnut veneer with zero bolts in sight implied professional standards, many far more affordable products deliver the same. Still, how the 01's cheeks slope towards its unusually narrow and concave spine is unusual and so are the substantial lateral flares to decompress the ribbon tweeter, the clever anti-turbulence port vanes and pretty much everything inside. These measures alone predict that today's product goes the extra mile. That and not bling or material mass is what one pays for.
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