Audio Group Denmark 2023 Factory Tour – Ascension to Audio Nirvana

The Titans

We were in a small room in the attic, sitting at the table on one side with our plates stuffed with pasta and salads, eating casually and talking with the other two men sitting on the other side of the same table. It was a cozy, small room with a long table in the center, a chair in the angled roof corner, and a whiteboard behind us. Entering directly from the cafeteria seems like an ideal place for some privacy. As we found out later, it was, in fact, an exciting room. It was the room where some big ideas came to life, and essential core business decisions were drawn. It was one of the smallest rooms we visited, carrying perhaps the most significant historical importance for the company’s present and future.

It felt like a surreal moment. One from a long row of incredible moments we had in those two days. This one was still more special. I felt like stepping into someone else’s dream. After a few good minutes spiced with casual talking and a few jokes, I became aware of the incredible moment we shared right there. The naturalness of eating lunch and the calmness and coziness of the atmosphere put me in a routine and relaxed state of mind. A few minutes later, I realized who were the people on the other side of the table. I have a reasonable excuse, though; after one and a half days of continuous wonder and sensory exaltation, my mind needed a few moments of easiness, a step back to assimilate it all.

It has been exactly one month from that day, December 12, and my head is still spinning when I return to that moment. I am still thinking about how rare moments like that are in life from so many perspectives. For me, it was a personal quest to understand how it is possible that not two but three of the most intelligent, talented, passionate, and highly skilled people in the industry can meet, start something, keep it going, get along, cultivate freedom of thinking and creativity, master the innovation and create not just viable products but state-of-the-art, industry landmarks. What secret sauce binds them together despite their different personalities, talents, goals, and experiences? Should it be pure passion? Should it be a shared dream? From my experience as a small entrepreneur for many years, pure passion or a dream can easily crumble in the face of economic reality. Talent and creativity are usually insufficient for a long-term, sustainable, precise, and productive manufacturing process. I do not have an answer. Probably a lot of everything is required, years of experience, and luck on top of it. After so many years, I have a partner now; I share a dream with my friend Sandu, the host of this platform. He is a more experienced writer than me and has a lot more insight, and I am just eager to learn and develop. And for the first time, I feel that this will work. But how three Titans can unite and conquer the world in such harmony is still a wonder to me.

The Titans of the audio industry that I am talking about, the backbone of Audio Group Denmark, are Lars KristensenMichael Børresen, and Flemming E. Rasmussen. And we sat together in the same room, eating lunch and discussing their incredible achievements and ideas. Actually, I was listening with my mouth open most of the time. It was a grandiose experience; our exemplary hosts have treated us with such openness and passion, a spirit that will fuel us for a long time. And we really needed that certainty of success and hope for the future in our new beginning.

Lars Kristensen, former sales manager at Nordost, a military and medical industry company in the beginning, steered towards the high-end audio market with his significant involvement; he was the founder of the Raidho brand together with Michael Børresen in 2001 and after passing this jewelry to Danish Dantax holding in 2009, started Ansuz Acoustics and Aavik Acoustics in 2013 and 2104 respectively, both part of Audio Group Denmark of today.

Michael Børresen, the engineering brain of Nordost, founder of Raidho with Lars, and Audio Group Denmark’s tech heart, for all the AGD umbrella brands: Ansuz (all cable and interconnects, networking, resonance control devices and power), Aavik (high-end electronics), Børresen (speakers) and finally the new fourth brand Axxess developed to make authentic and emotional musical moments accessible with even more people.

Flemming E. Rasmussen, former chief designer, and Gryphon’s owner, is now part of the Audio Group Denmark’s design and development team. With his 35 years of in-depth experience in the hi-fi industry and unsettling creativity, Flemming’s mission is to pioneer areas of technology, design, and innovation that have so far been untapped.

Now, you can better picture the Titans trinity, Audio Group Denmark‘s heart and soul. It was impressive and almost incredible, with over a century of cumulated experience, stunning achievements, and, above all, a passion that transpired from every gesture. This team looks like the “Guardians of the Audio Galaxy.” It was a casual discussion about something very technical. The easiness of such a complex and passionate explanation of unseen concepts and technology was the whole merit of those people’s modesty and normality in a world overwhelmed by overnight cardboard stars. Maybe this is the correct answer after all: the magic force that keeps together these three personalities – the understanding that nothing is for granted and the passion, work ethic, and modesty, all that, at the end of the day, will grant access to a new beginning. Past achievements never guarantee success; we cannot rest on our laurels.

They explained key concepts that will clarify the look and purpose of many strange components we saw along our factory tour. Starting with the Tesla coil technology implemented at every level in the audio chain and continuing with the properties of exotic materials like zirconium, titanium, and highly expensive ones like silver and gold, unseen internal wiring terminations, and finishing with the cryo treatments applied to almost the whole product line in the upper echelon. You may find all this boring, but wait until you see those alien-like objects that don’t resemble anything you’ve seen before.

We had a few questions; frankly, we did not expect such detailed and open answers. 
For example, we asked how it is possible to obtain 200 W of pure Class-A power from reasonably large but still manageable dimensions of the Aavik I-880 amplifier. Something like that using standard technology should be a monstrous half-of-the-room beast. This is what Michael expected to launch: a complete set of explanations and drawings on the whiteboard explaining how they managed to keep the transistors fully open to operate in pure Class-A for the whole time. The entire idea was laid out on the table, and it was brilliant!

It was related closely to another critical question – why are the high-frequency switching power supplies used everywhere instead of the linear and conservative approach of the majority in the industry? Michael proved it step by step with strong and unbeatable arguments. And not just regarding the low efficiency of the old technology that is no longer sustainable for the future but also regarding the noise floor and power delivery capabilities. 

We asked further – how is the Tesla noise cancelation working?

And we got a complete explanation, from the initial idea of the implementation. We learned about the double-inverted coils, the active and passive noise cancellation, the manufacturing process, and how all of this started. We had the opportunity to find out how this noise-canceling technique came to life from the experience of Michael Børresen with the radar systems used on land and sea. This invaluable insight into how noise on the land can affect the performance of very highly sensitive electronic equipment like defense radar systems and how, despite expectations, these systems performed better on the sea in a more unsteady environment than on land, just because of the lowest noise pollution, away from land.

Why are those cables terminated like that everywhere?

We have seen strange cable terminations inside all the equipment with a Tesla coil resemblance. We discovered that all internal wiring is made this way to limit incoming noise mechanically and electrically. Every piece of wire is, in fact, an antenna that could receive the worst RF noise from the more and more radio-polluted environments we live in. The idea is to transform every piece of wiring into “the worst antenna.” Doing that everywhere in the audio chain will pay significant benefits; the result is not just “audible.” It is staggering! It was a rollercoaster as everything we encountered those two days of Audio Group Denmark’s factory tour. But, above all, meeting and talking with those extraordinary people was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

The double helix cable is in the works.

Noise-canceling at the extremes

We landed on a December Sunday evening in Aalborg, Denmark. An ancient city where Viking ships once sailed past on the Limfjord, Aalborg has evolved into a vibrant cultural hotspot with a spectacular waterfront of iconic architectural buildings. The New York Times even put Aalborg in its “Top 10 Places to Go” in 2019. I have to be honest; we did not have a chance to see much of this lovely city other than from the rushing car window. We promised ourselves that we would have to come back for a proper city visit.

The following day, having an excellent breakfast, when we wondered how to get to AGD premises, we got a message from Bent Nielsen, Audio Group Denmark’s marketing head, telling us to enjoy ourselves and wait for Lars, who will come to pick us up shortly. I assumed we read it wrong; Lars will probably send us a vehicle. Minutes later, Lars himself entered the hotel lobby looking for us. We did not expect such a personal and warm welcome. This is how our visit to the Audio Group Denmark factory premises started. Lars was an incredible host who guided us for the full two days everywhere, explaining and answering every question we had but mostly demonstrating the audible differences between levels of sophistication of different systems, materials, and technologies. After a quick coffee and meeting a few people from the 60+ employees in the office, we started our adventure in the Ansuz cable production line. Funny story – Lars swears never to be involved in the cable industry again after leaving Nordost. That worked until Michael gave him a few prototypes put together with the idea of the double helix shielding to listen to. And that was it! It sounded so good, and the idea was so cool that they had to transform it from a prototype into a comprehensive product line. At the end of a large room, we met an exciting machine with the sole purpose of straightening and cutting the precious solid-core gold-plated cable conductor to perfection without altering the surface of the wire, which is used in the Gold Signature’s insanely high-quality and quite expensive range. We looked puzzled at the alien internal wiring prepared to accommodate every component input internally, designed to limit incoming noise. We will see these unique treatments everywhere during our visit. Cable terminations and Tesla coil technology, passive or active, are the foundation of noise rejection and cancellation technology used everywhere in the whole product range. We have to admit, we never saw anything like that anywhere. Full Stop.

Beautiful cable finished on the working post.
Work in progress.
The costly machinery used to straighten and cut cables with very high precision.
Precious solid-core gold-plated cable.
Internal wiring with noise cancelation terminations. So alien and beautiful looking.
Active Tesla coils on the Gold Signature cable PCB.

We continued on intricate corridors from the factory area and had the chance to see and take some photos of the Ethernet switches and power distributors. It became much clearer how the internal wiring with noise cancelation was used, and the level of detail and the number of Tesla coils are coming together as you go up on the product scale. Later, we will hear the big differences between all these steps in different product ranges. 

Bare switch without the noise rejection treatments.
The Ansuz switch has noise rejection treatments on inputs and noise-canceling Tesla coils.
Ansuz D3 power distributor with noise rejection inputs.
Ansuz D-TC Supreme. All the best AGD has to offer on mains power.

The blind test

Traveling through the maze of AGD during those two days, we spotted many prepared-to-ship products. I remember the face of my friend Sandu when he saw the enormous metallic boxes with large M6 text stuck inside. His eyes were so big, and only the starting smile on his face could overcome that. He is into monsters like that, but we also spotted many X2 and X3 cardboard boxes, and I was happier to see these than the monsters. I am always interested in technology trickling down from the higher echelon and made accessible to ordinary people. I firmly believe that a company’s success also resides in making innovation available to more people in a more economically democratic way. I respect and admire excellence, but I have never believed in luxury with only the purpose of limited accessibility, and AGD is graciously stepping away from this trap.

Børresen X2 boxes are ready to ship.
The Børresen M3 metal containers speak of special care applied to the precious inside.
Huge Børresen M6s top-of-the-line containers compared to the X3.

After visiting some departments, from packing to logistics, and wandering in the vast labyrinth, we landed in a blind test room in the attic. It was quiet and cozy, with a welcoming couch and a drape in front of it. We could have guessed a whole system opening behind the drape or just a Sonos speaker. Lars had something tricky in store for us. He started playing music, and we sat there for some time, enjoying only the music. It was something to listen to without thinking of what was on the other side of the curtain, not caring about the source of the music, not wondering in our minds about electronics and cabling, you know, the standard audiophile OCDs. 

At the end of the first session, Lars asked us what we think is hiding behind the curtain. It seemed like a tricky question because it sounded excellent, and we immersed ourselves entirely in the music. It would have been bonkers and embarrassing to discover something straightforward. But it sounded too good, with accurate imaging and sound stage, a totally AGD sound signature with proper weight, speed, and impact, full of details, and above all, really musical, smooth, and life-like. I sighed in relief when Lars took the curtain down. Behind the scenes was a complete Axxess system with Børresen X2 loudspeakers as the main attraction. Nice!

But, Lars just started rubbing his hands. We have been through a series of comparisons with Darkz resonators. You may now feel we have entered a slippery slope – some black magic was happening. But I can assure you it was quite the opposite. The different materials have, without a doubt, precise physical characteristics and properties. What was really impressive was not the audible difference between different types of materials but the audacity and stubbornness of Audio Group Denmark to avoid the paths already walked by others. Trying all kinds of rare and exotic metals when everyone else is just polishing the same good old aluminum. Discovering that from all other possibilities, rare or not, aluminum sounded the worst was quite a breakthrough. Going further to build everything with as little aluminum as possible or using it where it does not count so much, relying instead on zirconium, titanium, and artificial diamonds to build consumer products, in the end, is a bold endeavor. This newly acquired knowledge is beyond marketing rhetoric and is based on trial and error, deep studies of materials, careful listening, and following pure musical characteristics. We will hear the perfectly audible differences many times during our visit. Most of the time, it was apparent that there was no struggle to discern the audible differences. So, the different Darkz resonators’ effects on the Axxess Forte streamer, DAC, and amplifier were quite apparent, and it was only the beginning.

Axxess Forte 3 streaming amplifier with Børresen X2 speakers.

Axxess – Sublime sound for the masses

As I told you, I was very interested in this new endeavor of Audio Group Denmark with their new Axxess brand for more affordable pieces of equipment using existing technology developed in the search for the complete excellence of their top-of-the-line products. As Lars puts it, getting to Axxess and Børresen X speakers line would have been impossible from the start; it had to be an excruciatingly expensive bookshelf speaker first like M1 and the Aavik top-of-the-line amplifiers. It makes sense that it is the only way to scale down cutting-edge tech successfully. It is much more complicated than it seems to have the budget restrictions that the top-tier products do not have. Succeeding in keeping the essential part of the bigger siblings’ musical performance and aesthetic design is not straightforward. And not a whole lot will venture into such an adventure.

For now, there is an all-in-one product line of amplifiers (including streaming and DAC functionalities) named FORTÉ, but AGD promises that “Axxess will manufacture high-quality loudspeakers, amplifiers, and audio cables that Audio Group Denmark’s dealers can sell at a more modest price than the Ansuz, Aavik, and Børresen equipment.” Axxess stands for accessibility and essentials in one box, a brand for a full home entertaining system. Forte is already coming in three flavors, 1, 2, and 3, and the difference lies in noise cancellation technologies and materials used, not in feature set or power output. 

The promise of the entire product line is exciting, as I have already heard how much of the beautiful sound has been distilled into the Axxess series. They carry the same signature: very low noise, resonant mode power supply, 1-bit DAC proprietary circuit, fast data processing, Ansuz Tesla coil technology, but mostly the novel UMAC™ amplifier technology and a streamer module inspired by the one used in Aavik streamers. I am sure we will hear a lot more in the coming months about this new UMAC™ amplifier technology as new products will join the Axxess family. We hope to have a chance to listen to Axxess Forte in our systems; it is that good!

Can you hear a difference?

We continued our journey to a new dedicated listening room, with an Axxess system like the previous one but with some state-of-the-art cabling and it was a very interesting experience as we discovered something remarkable. Lars performed one of his magic tricks and replaced the 2-meter cable from the wall to the mains distributor with the same type of cable but doubled in length, a 4-meter one. The result was eye-opening as the soundstage expanded significantly, the dynamics improved, and overall, the sound was larger and more holographic. I had no idea that the first cable from the outlet is the most important in the system, and more than that, the length is so critical to the overall sound performance. 

Lars continued to amaze us by showing the difference between distinct ranges of power cables, going from C2 to D2 all the way up to D-TC Supreme with 24/128 active Tesla coils, coating connectors housing with a most uniform layer of zirconium and tungsten, complemented by a layer of aluminum titanium nitride, pure copper gold-plated connectors, and shielded silver-plated pure copper conductors. Fancy enough? An audible big difference? You bet! This is what cost no object can bring to the table.

What I like about how they do their stuff is how it is all played out in the product details. They are not bragging about it and do not hide anything either; they are pure and simply honest. It is what it is with all this complexity and material science, and it is your job to listen and appreciate the emotion and authenticity added to the music. All these sophisticated and advanced noise reduction, resonance control, and dither technologies will show you such an authentic and natural sound, that you will feel like you lived in a lie. But the truth comes at a dearing cost, like everything in life. Do not succumb to despair, though; there is still hope, as even the entry-level products from the range share a lot with the top-of-the-line siblings. And with the new Axxess expanded line of products coming soon, the accessibility will improve a lot. 

Moving on to another listening room – there are a lot of proper listening rooms on Audio Group Denmark premises, it was well-prepared, a clear sign that they listen to music a lot – we first compared the Axxess Forte different flavors. We passed from Forte 1 to Forte 2 and landed at Forte 3, and yes, the noise-canceling technology added from one tier on top of the other counted a lot. There are clear audible differences; everything becomes freer, less contracted, effortless, bigger, more transparent, and more musical. All these improvements become something like a pattern everywhere.

Hmmm… Can we do better?

This was one of Lars’s preferred expressions. We heard this sentence muttered in his beard so many times, that we were a little disconcerted… it was so good that we just wanted to listen further, enjoy it, and keep it in our memory for as long as possible. How it could be better? It was so good already… 

But this is more than one of Lars’s tricks. This is a real motto of Audio Group Denmark, a “modus operandi”. They always try to push the boundaries of what’s possible. Always looking into new ways of doing things, checking new technologies, and testing new materials. All that innovation is based on a continuous struggle to improve, excel, and go beyond the next day; it is not something dreamed of overnight. It is a state of mind that will seem utterly tiring for any of us, but the secret lies in complete immersion in their job, in their passion for what they do. I remember now what Michael told us very casually – “This is not what you call “work” for us; this is us playing all day long.” He was joking, of course, but there lies a good portion of the truth. Otherwise, no one can sustain this level of dedication indefinitely; you have to love what you do to sustain it and even enjoy it. This is something that every one of us dreams about – to have the chance to do what we love and be very good at.

Because we can.
The answer comes every time, like clockwork, after changing any component to a higher-tiered one. 
“It can be better because we can!” And they do.  

By improving on the core technologies, AGD is promoting the validity and future-proof aspect. Every time we stepped up the product range, we were impressed by how the same tech multiplied adds up to the performance. And, of course, there are some unique materials reserved for the statement products.  

The Tesla coil principle
As we learned, the principle is to have two wounded coils in each direction/coil and a counter coil. In Ansuz’s words: “A double inverted coil” – the two coils are both carrying voltage – and when the Tesla coil encounters a voltage spike, a counter spike is activated to eliminate the noise. Noise spikes are pure voltage and carry virtually no charge, so the cancelation is quite good but not 100%. Adding more P-TC coils in parallel increases performance. By implementing this, the perceived blackness in the music improves significantly. Ansuz Tesla coils are available in various types as they complement each other regarding strengths /weaknesses.”

Cryogenic process – extreme treatment, huge improvement
Our hosts had their very own Irish pub next to their largest listening room. Could you let that sink in for a moment? This place was as authentic as it could be. They even performed a fully double cryogenic process on the locally manufactured GIN, it was as hilarious as it was surreal. We tasted it as Lars prepared us godly drinks, with our heads already spinning from what we had seen and heard already, but damn… it was incredible! We had to give up those two bottles generously gifted by Lars as we had no luggage for check-in. The audio system installed there (Børresen Z-range monitors and Aavik mid-tier electronics) was no usual noisemaker rig typical for such establishments either…

Cryogenic treatment of all metal components of the loudspeaker results in a further significant improvement in conductivity – unleashing the finest and most subtle musical details. When metal components undergo cryogenic processing, they are subjected to extreme cooling. In the wake of this process, the crystal structure of the metal contracts more and more. Alloying elements are pushed out of the metal’s grain structure, which resembles a monocrystal. These structural changes in the metal profoundly affect its audio properties, increasing conductivity by 6-8%.

All metal components of the Cryo versions undergo cryogenic treatment. The cryogenic processing cycle requires a 3-day-time window. Within the first 24 hours, the metal undergoes a cooling process from room to cryogenic temperatures. During the second 24 hours, the metal parts are held at temperatures around -196°C (-321°F) before the temperature returns gradually to room temperature within the next 24 hours. Gradual cooling and heating are critical to avoid any thermal stress. The process strengthens and compresses the grain structure of the metal components and reduces inherent residual stress that occurs when the metal solidifies from its liquid phase to a solid phase.

Magnet system – the Silver Supreme Edition
The patented Børresen iron-free magnetic system has been further refined, with their inductance about ten times lower than that of conventional drivers. This exceptionally low inductance has now been even further reduced to an unprecedented new minimum level – about 12 times lower than the inductance level of conventional, iron-based drivers. Here is how AGD achieved this: since silver has 6-8% better conductivity than copper, they were replaced with in-house manufactured, handcrafted silver rings.
To take full advantage of all the performance-enhancing audio properties of the Silver Supreme, all other metal components of these premium speakers also undergo cryogenic treatment. This reduces their inductance by another 6-8%.
The result is absolute musical purity. With their unadulterated authenticity of musical reproduction, these premium loudspeakers set a new and unsurpassed standard – clarity, refinement, and sound staging at their very best.

The Børresen tweeter – exceptional efficiency
Elaborate finite element methods have been applied to linearize and optimize the magnetic flux field, to facilitate driver movement, and to ensure high efficiency and outstanding linearity.
The efficiency of this closed ribbon tweeter amounts to an exceptional 94dB and operates from approximately 2.5 kHz upwards. The moving mass is extremely low at 0.01 grams. The totally concealed tweeter can operate at an incredible speed, which is an absolute prerequisite to unlocking subtle and refined sound details. The enormous robustness of this tweeter allows it to handle extremely high transient peaks without any ear-fatiguing breakups. No transformers are being used.

All in-house development and manufacturing

As we continued our visit, we saw the products on the manufacturing lineup up close and at different execution stages. The geek inside me was more than happy to dissect the internals of Aavik’s top-of-the-line amplifiers and speaker crossovers with my eyes. The all-copper interior of the Aavik I-880, the switchless optical input board, and those 200W pure class A transistors were like Christmas presents to me. The cabinet design resulted from Flemming Erik Rasmussen’s artistic and aesthetic work. It was designed primarily to maintain the best audio characteristics of the electrical design: the lowest inductance, reducing hysteresis to an absolute minimum, and ensuring excellent resonance control. We will have the chance to listen to it in its full glory later, and it was evident that I-880 represents an incredible journey and achievement of Audio Group Denmark.

Inner copper shell of Aavik I-880 power amplifier.
The Aavik I-880 model is almost finished.
The beautiful and highly advanced top cover of the Aavik I-880 is made from titanium plates and a copper interior.

We have been through so many rooms, and everywhere we discovered an in-house manufacturing process that is unique and perfectly controlled. The goal is to master every piece of the audio chain so nothing is left to chance. AGD produces everything in-house: from the equipment stands, Darkz resonators, noise reduction accessories Sortz and Sparkz, Ansuz cables, power and ethernet distribution, Aavik streamers and DACs, phono stages, amplifiers, and, naturally, Børresen speakers. 

Room after room, we were amazed by the manufacturing processes involved for every component. From the casting of copper and silver poles of the speaker drivers to voice coils, baskets, motors, and spiders, cones of carbon fiber with titanium skin applied. It is impressive how the Danes succeeded in manufacturing everything by themselves. It is so complicated to master the metallurgy at this level, melting and casting all those rare metals. We saw again the super unique baskets, 3D-printed from zirconium and optimized by AI, designed to be the utmost rigid and incorporate as little of this precious metal as possible. AGD invests a significant amount of money in R&D and exotic materials.

Ever wondered what a kilo of silver looks like? These silver ring poles are cast from tiny silver ingots

On our way to the lounge area, we took another peek inside one of many speaker assembly rooms. There, Lars showed us the incredible tweeter components, and we saw the spectacular M1 speakers on the bench. We could admire the X-line and some active crossovers on another speaker manufacturing line. Yes, you got it right: the Danes are so much into the Tesla inverted coil technology and noise reduction that even the speaker’s crossovers incorporate active cancellation. This requires a separate power supply for each speaker to energize the active Tesla coils. Fascinating.

Børresen X3 speaker in the final manufacturing state.

The final act of wizardry

On our second day, after lunch, we ended up in the main listening room of Audio Group Denmark for a final demonstration. And we had yet to learn what Lars had in store for us. I remember now Lars’s faint smile when we entered the room. Three power cables were aligned on the carpet in front of us. We sat down, and the magic show started. The difference between those three cables laid in the connector housing. Not in connector contacts and not in conductors themselves or in the topology used. Every cable was identical to each other except for the Schuko connector housing. We looked at each other in disbelief. We are supposed to test aluminum, copper, and titanium connector housings. We expected some of the Lars magic, but not something like this. Can we really hear a difference?

But Lars was undeterred in his way and connected the first aluminum housing cable. It was good; the sound character was impressive, and there was nothing to brag about. Lars, with his eyes on the tablet, searched for music. Another moment of relaxation in the pure musical atmosphere made me close my eyes and enjoy. I was dreaming already about the perfect flow of the music when it stopped. I opened my eyes, and a new cable had already been replaced in the system, Lars explained to us that the new one had pure copper housing. He started the same track and, tapping his foot to the rhythm of the music, looked at us, smiling.

The sorcery was probably in the look he gave us; it should have been a sort of reality manipulation combined with the mind-controlling technique. I have no other explanation. The sound was more organic, sensibly more powerful, and dynamically expansive. It wasn’t a tiny difference, at all. It was such a profound change that even a hardcore skeptic would become a believer. To check my sanity, I searched for my friend Sandu’s gaze. He showed me the exact figure of disbelief with his eyes wide open. I just started to laugh as this was the only thing left to do in the strangeness of the situation. I was still in the denial phase.

Let’s stop briefly and put it in the proper perspective. Lars totally knows what he is doing in his expertly executed presentations, and he loves to surprise the audience in the most formidable ways. He relied not on magic tricks, but on the system’s performance from their main listening room. It was the best of what Audio Group Denmark has to offer, and in fact, we realized later that this was not a power cable demonstration only; it was a demonstration of the staggering revealing characteristics of that system. Fully packed with the new Aavik SD-880 streamer & DAC, C-880 preamplifier, I-880 power amplifier, Børresen M3 stunning loudspeakers, and a bunch of Ansuz D-TC Supreme cables, this system was an incredible appearance priced accordingly. Now that we have lifted the fog of uncertainty, we can continue with the latest power cable tests.

The third one with the titanium housing was fixed in the system. As a final triumph, Lars played the same track initially and then changed it to something even more relevant. The changes were dramatic, with the sound so much more tangible, textured, spatially grand, and instantaneous. I thought momentarily that it was impossible to hear Lars asking again “Can it get any better?”. It should have been ridiculous. And I was so wrong! Of course, it can always be better with these guys… The speakers we just listened to were “only” the M3s. Lars still had another card in his pocket, the newly presented at the Munchen High-End Show 2023, the flagship Børresen M6!

Just look at my partner and dear friend Sandu posing with the latest and greatest from Audio Group Denmark. If this is not a truly happy guy, I do not know who is. I suppose he dreamed about this from the moment he saw the packages, those huge crates ready for departure to some angels from heaven.

Sandu with his newest encounter – the M6 music-making beasts.

But hold your horses. Lars had another plan prepared, and I am glad he did it like that. We started the roundup with the Z series, the bookshelves Z1 Cryo Edition. An incredible balance of refinement, punch, detail, and openness. This is an absolute recommendation for budget-conscious ones, small spaces, and genuine music lovers. Nothing to regret, I can assure you.

Next, I am still emotional when I am thinking about it. The 0 series, again, the bookshelves Børresen 01. Damn! That was the absolute sweet spot for me. I am not dreaming of giant beasts, and after I heard the Silver Supreme Edition, I am ready to give up a part of my soul for a chance to listen to these incredible wonders at my place. If anyone is interested in buying a soul, just let me know. Hearing such a spectacular and complete sound from a beautifully crafted small package like that was quite unbelievable. The speed, refinement, texture, detail, punch, and, above all, openness and naturalness were out of this world for me. Sure, the larger beasts sounded even wider, punchier, and grander… but for me, the incredible sound performance of the 0 series combined with their appearance and design was everything I wanted from this world. Such a beautiful dream…

I even said to Lars: 
– These Silver Supreme 01 are staging better than anything you have in store. These are the marvels of the sound openness and grandeur. It could be better than the larger ones. Isn’t it?” 

He laughed at me: 
– Largest, you say? I’ll show you the largest. I’ll show you grand. Just wait for it!

And he was right. He repeated my foolish assumption every time we stepped up the scale, and I deserved it. But, Lars, if you read this, I swear my soul is still under the spell of the 01 Silver Supreme Edition. Those touched me the most. And you cannot reply just now, so this time, I have the final word. From all of my heart, thank you for that experience!

We continued with the M3 and M6 incredible machinery. Yes, everything became a vast, enormous sound stage with more impact, and the music became bigger every time. And yes, Lars, you were absolutely right; it sounded even better than any live event could ever be. While others are bragging about stereotypes like “it sounds like the artist intended” or “you will feel that you are at a live event,” Audio Group Denmark has already passed that imaginary line. Forget about the live event… It is better from the human and social perspective or just for seeing the artist in the flesh; otherwise, AGD can already bring a better sound to your home. It’s better than “artist intended” or any stadium or large hall could offer. It is beyond any life representation on a large scale.

It was a tour de force until the last second. It was an incredible demonstration of excellence, cutting-edge technology, beauty, and emotion. It was like we lived a whole life in just a few hours. I cried on a few songs; I was sad and happy; I laughed; I was excited and energized; I have been through all of this like an incredible roller coaster of emotions. It was a truly magnificent representation directed by an incredible magician. Lars was a perfect host, with a majestic act put on stage for us.

The Børresen lineup from AGD grand listening room.

“We have to be better”

We heard that a lot. It was a stern determination repeated and strengthened by this affirmation. Audio Group Denmark has to be better in this highly competitive market. They have to prove every time that they are better today and even so much better tomorrow in a market dominated by the American giants or European holdings, conglomerates of a more significant number of brands. AGD is aiming to the top, and to conquer that, they have to be not just better, they have to be The Best!

They need to have control over every piece of equipment; they need to replicate and apply all of that innovation and technology everywhere in the audio chain. They have to produce every piece of equipment in-house. They have to make it available to a larger audience and demonstrate that all purity of the sound is not reserved only for the richest among us. They have to prove that all that magic is attainable and reliable. And until now, they have succeeded. But do not forget that the past does not guarantee future success. Every day is a new beginning; I have never encountered that passion and dedication elsewhere.

“We just scratched the surface.”

Indeed. I think Audio Group Denmark showed us just a glimpse of what is to come. The accelerated technology innovation combined with AI and the massive shift in the manufacturing processes will bring a lot of fantastic novelties, some of which we cannot even dream of. The ground is already set for what is to come. AGD has already left behind the common ideas and old technologies. They already follow a new dream; they are on a future path. 

Cutting-edge innovation in materials technology, new alloys, incredible noise-canceling methods, and extreme manufacturing processes are already present in the Audio Group Denmark’s portfolio. The passion, care, and desire to democratize all this innovation and bring it closer to more people will prove the real value of innovation for the future. I am confident that all the strong dedication to improve and achieve will make a real difference. AGD is here to stay, to be the best, day after day.

Thank you!

The Nordic winds no longer ruffle our Eastern European beards, the aches from countless shoulder taps have subsided, and the lingering flavor of the most exquisite gin & tonic has faded into the past, but our cherished memories remain as fresh and vivid as if they were yesterday. We are overjoyed that you will share these unforgettable moments with us and that this article will forever reside on this website, a testament to our extraordinary experiences in Aalborg. We are eternally grateful for the warm hospitality and divine treatment we received from our hosts, and we eagerly anticipate sharing our meticulously documented reviews with you, whether they be in-depth evaluations of the X-series loudspeakers gracing our test benches, an Axxess Forte all-in-one, a power distributor, or an Ethernet switch. Only Odin knows what the future holds.

Catalin Cristescu

I’m a Graphic/UI designer, user experience specialist, a tech addict, an enthusiastic entrepreneur and last but not least – a passionate music lover. I love art in any shape or form, transforming my music collection into an essential part of my entire life. I’m not your typical hardcode audiophile, but it’s still the dominant hobby that drives me forward.

Related Articles

Back to top button