The takeaway was clear. Although moving up just one notch on the Ansuz ladder demands substantial coin, commensurably higher performance always follows. This doesn't mean a slightly different sound but one that's better in all regards. The performance gap that showed between €36k Mainz D-TC Supreme cord I reviewed here and its nearly twice costlier Mainz Gold Signature sibling was large to put it mildly. Whenever you reach for the Group's very best, it's quite silly how much of a difference a single product insertion will make. That observation nicely set the stage for the next presentation conducted by Morten in the Aavik/Børresen suite. That setup mirrored the one used by Frits albeit with Børresen Z3 speakers on deck. Morten's program was very similar. He too improved the system one component at a time from least to most expensive. The difference was in his means. The entire gig revolved around Ansuz network switches and RJ45 cables as product types which cause heated online debates. Some posters deem such devices incapable of doing anything audible and won't ever give them a try. Others mint positive experiences and dare to say so. To each his own. AGD's stance on the subject is unusual. Our Vikings obsessed with noise erasure see regular routers as major offenders. To them no streamer can perform its best without the barrier which proper network switches and associated RJ45 cables provide. Hence in Aalborg these accessories become even more important than the streamers themselves. Morten's demos stressed that very well. Although not all transitions from one tier to the next were equally pronounced, each made a detectable difference. To finish with a bang, he finally removed the Digitalz D-TC Gold Signature cord to cause an instant performance dive. I'm confident that its sheer degree would have left even die-hard naysayers puzzled if not shocked and very upset.

Z5 enclosure ready for parts population | production Z5 ready for listening

The last set of demonstrations Lars gave himself in the Supreme suite. The name of the space previewed the hardware level inside as the very best Aavik, Ansuz and Børresen currently manufacture. We didn't get there right away of course. First we listened to regular Børresen 01 monitors which their Silver Supreme version then replaced. It's how Lars showed what happens when a speaker's inductance drops from replacing its copper pole pieces with cryo-treated silver. This alone had again a drastic impact on precision, torque, weightier treble and soundstage size peopled with denser images. I hadn't seen that coming. Little did I know that the man had more aces up his sleeve. Here I should mention that in the suite managed by Lars I also listened to the new Børresen M1 but this prohibitively expensive insanity deserves its own story. All I'll say here is that it didn't behave like the similarly sized already most remarkable Silver Supreme 01. The M1 was something else entirely and unlike any other monitor I ever experienced. It didn't sound like a stand-mount to begin with as though it had secret means to go where its breed usually doesn't. It pulled stunts it shouldn't have in a 100m² space. Then again, expecting the unusual from a compact speaker priced €100'000/pr is justified. I'm sure that this very ambitious high-performance project breaks quite a few rules.

Tiered isolation footers identified by colored inserts | passive noise filters for open i/o | 3rd gen Tesla coils | noise-countering cable details

Once the monitor base was covered, Lars progressed to their heaviest artillery, Børresen's 05. Since this is the largest most expensive speaker they currently make, I had no idea where the CSO/SMO wanted to go from here. It quickly turned out that the 05 would introduce various tiers of Sortz and Sparkz noise killers. He connected several of these one at a time into unused Ethernet, USB, RCA and XLR sockets. It showed what happens when one shields these open sockets from airborne noise which seeps in otherwise. Each accessory addition made an audibly positive change though not as meaningful as power products had the day prior. The thing is, variously tiered Sortz weren't all alike. The Signature types did more than their lower-tiered siblings just as their price tags suggested. Not all products respond the same way and socket types matter. The same Sortz used on XLR and RCA was audibly more efficacious on XLR. Balanced ports feature more mechanical antenna points so the XLR Sortz could do noticeably more. Then Lars connected a Sparkz harmonizer to the wall outlet far away from the system. We had a listen before he unplugged it. That A/B sufficed to track changes but at this stage I was quite inured. Everything I'd heard until then had made a difference. Why would Lars suddenly demo something that didn't work?

Display case with older products

The next thing my host did was as surprising as it was unusual. At some point he paused playback, took two Darkz Z2S decouplers from a nearby accessory box and placed one atop each 05 speaker near its front edge. The sound changed. Then into the hollows of these decouplers he placed small titanium balls to create another subtle still audible shift. Clearly puzzled I had to ask. Lars explained that added mass mechanically changes cabinet resonance on the fly. If you do that with the right material, you'll notice a difference. Zirconium's properties make it particularly useful. Titanium fits the same profile. Some two hours into the session, I made a remark on how acoustically excellent all listening rooms at the Aalborg HQ were even though several just minimalist acoustic treatments here and there didn't communicate that. I was told that measures to damp and diffuse sound waves contribute but that their primary focus is airflow and careful speaker positioning. Lars calls putting objects into corners pretty much the worst acoustic decision as far as listening premises are concerned. To make his point he paused playback and disappeared in the nearby warehouse. He returned with a handcart the crew uses to move finished speakers. He resumed play, after a minute paused again then positioned the handcart in the right corner a fair bit behind one speaker. When he hit play, the soundscape was radically narrower, less organized and even bass was looser. Once he removed the culprit, everything snapped back to normal. What to say? I didn't think that a bloody handcart would make an ounce of a difference in a room this large but it did. Color me deranged, I won't take it personal.

Although parts of today's report may seem like fantastic tall tales, I couldn't care less. Audio Group Denmark are no regular company. They march to their own drummer. They're out-of-the-box thinkers who in a berserker's pursuit of even the most outrageous ideas are willing to burn cash without remorse. Then they acquire whatever means are required to execute them, launch remarkable products with them and keep raising their own bar. From what I've seen and heard during three most memorable days at their Aalborg facility, this MO clearly works a treat. I was thoroughly impressed; again. My sincere thanks for the invite and hospitality. Now it's time to wait for some of their packages to arrive. Stay tuned…