Audio Note Japan vs Audio Note UK--Comments?


Would very much appreciate hearing from anyone in the know.
swanlake
It's a very long story that's best left in the past. Don't want to get into the politics...Suffice it to say that Audio Note UK took liberties. The two companies are quite different in their design philosophies now.
I have Audio Note UK kit. I love it. AN Japan is better, harder to get, and much more expensive. For the politics, look on AA. THey got into it ad nauseum.
What I would like to know is how much difference in performance is there between same or similar models from the two different sources?
They mostly do not make the same models.
Just another tit-bit as I understand it: Audio Note originally started in Japan by Kondo-san but today, legally, Audio Note is the British company. The original Japanese company is not allowed to use "Audio Note" & has changed names to Kondo.

AFAIK, the model names & numbers are totally different. In all probability you have not heard of the AN Japan products as the ones usually referred to are the UK company's products - esp. the AN DACs & their SET tube amps.

The co. Kondo hand makes all its products & they are made in very small numbers, very expensive & set to much higher performance standards of music reproduction. I think that one of their flagship amps costs $60,000! You might have seen some of their MC step-ups xformers on A'gon, which usually sell for $3000. The AN UK equivalent sell for $500 (& maybe upto a $1000).

Not much info, I know but I hope it adds to your awareness of Kondo-san's company.
AN Japan is the original and has the main designer. AN UK is a broken branch off of AN Japan. AN Japan is far more limited production using far more exclusive parts. AN UK tries to clone AN Japan's designs, but uses different, lower cost parts. Different parts = different sounds. Lots of bad feelings between the two.
Vinylphile's response is ill informed and is referring to a situation that is at least 7 years old, today there is little difference in quality between the parts used by us and Mr. Kondo.

The main designer here is Andy Grove and has been since 1994, his competence speaks for itself.

We do not need to "clone" any of Mr. Kondo's designs everything we do is completely original from the ground up, as evidenced by our DACs, pre-amplifiers and turntables amongst others.
Peter Qvortrup
Vinylphile's response is ill informed and is referring to a situation that is at least 7 years old, today there is little difference in quality between the parts used by us and Mr. Kondo.

The main designer here is Andy Grove and has been since 1994, his competence speaks for itself.

We do not need to "clone" any of Mr. Kondo's designs everything we do is completely original from the ground up, as evidenced by our DACs, pre-amplifiers and turntables amongst others.
Peter Qvortrup
As I stated before, AN UK is great stuff. I have Soro SE Phono, CD2.1 cd player, AZ3 speakers, AN-L speaker wires, and tomorrow am ordering a pair of AN-J Spe speakers. I aspire to their higher level products, as my interests are primarily analog, and their equiptment shines here.

I would recommend it to anyone, and have repeatedly. The higher level DACS from AN UK are truly world class products if that is what you are in to, and can afford them. Hell, I think the Level 2 stuff is world class for the money!

Do your self a favor and give them an audition. DOn't worry about what some say about the "politics" of the two companies. In case you didn't know, Peter Qvortrup, the man in the thread above, is the Big Boss Man at AN UK. He has never failed to respond to one of my emails, and will help out HIMSELF if you have questions. WHat more can you ask for?

Joe
Vinylphile's response is ill informed and is referring to a situation that is at least 7 years old, today there is little difference in quality between the parts used by us and Mr. Kondo.

The main designer here is Andy Grove and has been since 1994, his competence speaks for itself.

We do not need to "clone" any of Mr. Kondo's designs everything we do is completely original from the ground up, as evidenced by our DACs, pre-amplifiers and turntables amongst others.
Peter Qvortrup
I would add that while a used Shinri (Audio Note Japan/Kondo SET stereo 300b amplifier) is on the top of my list if one can be found at a realistic price the UK stuff is simply great for the price points especially at the lower levels (0, 1, 2, and 3).

The SORO integrated amplifier has to be one of the better values on the market. It has the necessary power to drive most speakers, uses tubes that do not cost a small fortune and can be found easily, and is very reliable. Oh, it sounds damned good, too. Audio Note UK products from the 90s used are great valued; ie, like the DAC 1 (standard and Signature), Conqueror amps, and M1/M2 preamps.

I recently bought a new M1 Phono preamp from Nick Gown at Truesound (www.truesound.com). It was put together on special order right before last year's CES and is great when combined with the Audio Note Conqueror, DAC 1 Sig, and Audio Note Turntable 1/ARM2/Dynavector DV20x.

Kondo stuff is incredible. If you can find, and afford, a used original Ongaku you will be quite surprised at how powerful and great this thing sounds.

Carl
Do a search on AA for 'Dear friends of Audio Note Japan' to get the other side's version of the matter. Having worked in the U.K. for a Japanese audio company in the late '70s and being aware of the shenanigans that went on in the relatively small British audio industry, my money is on H. Kondo's version of events as being more representative of the truth that P. Qvortrup's.