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We are delighted to announce that our COBRA integrated amplifier has received the 'Best Buy Of The Year' award from HiFi Review magazine in Hong Kong. English excerpt translation can be found here: -


The English translation of Carsten Bussler's review over at of our Vindicator Silver and M2 Phono combination is now available!

TUESDAY 16th JUNE 2020

Carsten Bussler reviews our COBRA EL34 integrated amplifier for (German version, English translation to follow).


Chris Frankland has reviewed our MEISHU Phono Tonmiester in the April / June 2020 edition of HiFi Critic magazine, check out his thoughts here.

FRIDAY 29th MAY 2020

Håkon Rognlien has reviewed our DAC5 Special, check out his thoughts here.

THURSDAY 14th MAY 2020

In the latest edition of Image HiFi Magazine (issue 3/2020), Helmut Hack reviews our MEISHU Phono Silver Tonmeister 300B SET integrated amplifier. German version of the article, complete with beautiful photography courtesy of Rolf Winter, is available here.

Screenshot 2020-05-14 at 14.15.44.png

MONDAY 11th MAY 2020

Audio Note (UK): Peter Qvortrup & Darko Greguras on making digital sources sound like music.

Jeff Day interviews Peter and Darko over at


More info here 



We have a new non-magnetic resistor coming in the next 2 weeks. They are 2 watt, non-magnetic but rather than our usual Tantalum resistive layer we chose its sister (daughter material, if you study Greek Mythology) Niobium.


More info here 



'The Tube World Monthly' magazine in Hong Kong has made our MEISHU Phono Tonmeister Silver the cover star of the April 2020 edition, describing it as 'The King of 300B integrated amplifiers'.


View the cover here...


We are delighted to announce that two of our products have received 'SUPERIOR' awards from FIDELITY Magazine in Germany. Both our TOMEI Kensei 211 SET stereo power amplifier and our TT-Three have been honoured in there 2020 awards! 

TOMEI Kensei 



Fiedelity Magazine in Germany has reviewed our IZero integrated amplifier, CDZero Red Book CD player and RZero/II phonostage, here is the English version of the review: -

Fidelity Review (English version)


Fiedelity Magazine in Germany has reviewed our IZero integrated amplifier, CDZero Red Book CD player and RZero/II phonostage: -

Fidelity Review (German version)


Kari Nevalainen visited us at the factory in England and chatted with Peter Qvortrup about all things Audio Note, and much more besides. Check out his piece over at 'INNER' magazine: -

Not An Ordinary Resistor


We are delighted to announce that Audio Concept in Stockholm are our new distributors for Sweden: -

Audio Concept

Södra Agnegatan 29 (Kungsholmen)

11229 Stockholm


Tel: 08 6507250


email here


AV Showrooms have awarded our M10 Line Signature preamplifier a 'Product Of The Year Gold Sound' award!


The MEISHU Line Tonmeister has made the front cover of the December issue of HiFi Review in Hong Kong. Review to follow shortly, but here's the front cover...




M6Phono / TOMEI Kensei review!

Stefan Gawlick reviews our M6 Phono preamplifier and TOMEI Kensei 211 SET stereo power amplifier combination for Fidelity magazine in Germany. 

PDF of the article in English

PDF of the article in German


RZERO/II review!

Graeme Budd at has reviewed our most affordable stand alone phono stage: -

RZero/II Review


Audio Note (UK) 4300E / 300B valve released!

The wait is over! We have received the first batch of our new 4300E / 300B valves, produced in conjunction with PSVane, and they are sensational! Retail price is £800 per pair ex VAT, available directly from us or from our usual authorised dealers / distributors.


CDT-Four / DAC4.1x Balanced Review

The long established and dare we say renowned - famous even - Norwegian HiFi journalist Håkon Rognlien has long been the owner (and enjoyer) of our DAC4.1x Balanced. He has now written a review about this and our CDT-Four Red Book CD Transport. Immense thanks to Håkan for choosing and taking the time to review our products, and also for writing audio reviews that are both interesting and enjoyable. The article can be read here.


CDT-Six / Fifth Element award

We are delighted to announce that our CDT-Six / Sixth Force and Fifth Element / Fifth Force Red Book CD Transport and DAC combination has been awarded 'Product Of The Year' by the highly respected Hong Kong magazine 'HiFi Review'. Chinese language version of the article can be read here.

The Audio Note™ Standard Electrolytic Capacitors 


Even though these capacitors represent the starting level in our new range, we have found them to provide considerably better sound quality than any other currently available high voltage electrolytic capacitor, from any manufacturer. They achieve this excellent level of performance by combining a high quality electrolyte with the best available standard paper and a specially developed foil. The result is an electrolytic capacitor of exceptional quality and price, suitable for use in any high voltage power supply Audio application. 


As they become available, the Standard Audio Note (UK)™ Electrolytic Capacitors will be introduced in all Audio Note(UK)™ finished products from Level Zero through to the lower Level Three (the power supplies of the higher Level Three products along with the Silver and Silver Signature models will be equipped with the KAISEI electrolytic capacitors). 


A range of low voltage capacitors using the same materials and construction has also been developed, which allows us to offer a wide selection of competitively priced, high quality electrolytic capacitors under the Audio Note(UK)™ brand. 


See pictures below: 


Audio Note (UK) TT Three Turntable

Thanks to Fidelity Magazine and Cai Brockmann for a wonderful review of our exciting new Turntable.


Audio Note M9 RIAA phono stage Review

Thanks to Fred Crowder at


Audio Note (UK) TT Three Turntable

Thanks to Fidelity Magazine and Cai Brockmann for a wonderful review of our exciting new Turntable.

SUNDAY, 29 JULY 2018

Audio Note UK DAC 0.1x Review in Dagogo

Thanks to Richard Austen for taking the time to review our DAC


Product of the YEar Gold Award - Audio Note IO Ltd

We are delighted to announce that Terry and Peter over at AV Showrooms have honoured us with a 'Product Of The Year Gold Award' for our IO Limited cartridge!'


The latest issue of HiFi Critic is out now, and they've reviewed our DAC4.1x digital to analogue converter

We are extremely pleased to reveal that they have honoured it with an 'Excellence' award, writing: - 

"...The revised DAC 4.1x reminds me of the Grove-designed Tomei 211 integrated amplifier. The DAC and amplifier share a funky strand of sonic DNA that elevates both beyond the ordinary in the enjoyment of any and every kind of recorded material... It presents us with an opportunity to reconnect at a deeper level with the recorded material that we own, and to derive greater musical enjoyment and satisfaction from it. Audio Note (UK)’s DAC 4.1x Balanced is therefore a shoo-in for HIFICRITIC Audio Excellence status". 

Thanks to Kevin Fiske for taking the time to review our DAC, and to HiFi Critic for deciding to review it. 


On January 29, Andy Grove and I went on our annual “pilgrimage” to Japan for the 8th year in a row, why go to Japan every year you may ask? 


Those of you who follow our Facebook page will have seen a series of pictures, this being one, 

Sign showing entry road to Rubycon’s Headquarters, many a time have we passed here! 


Well, in our search over the past 20 years for sonically better materials we have, at considerable cost, travelled to specialist exhibitions all over the world, and visited manufacturers to try to find partners able and willing to work with us to investigate and develop processes that result in improved sonic performance, you see some of the results here, in the development done in close collaboration with Rubycon of the Audio Note™ range of Electrolytic capacitors, the hand wired KAISEI especially all of which are currently the premier electrolytic audio capacitor available or the highly specialised silver alloy used to make the non-magnetic Tantalum/Silver and the processes, sputter target depositing of resistive layer, the development of silver to silver welding for example, below is a picture of the sputter target machine used for our Tantalum resistors sitting at the back, Audio Note spent over $ 50,000.00 restoring this machine just to be able to hear whether sputter targeting produced a better sounding resistor or not, fortunately it did! 

Other developments include greatly improved core materials, the super permalloy and the 55% Nickel cores, both of which have been improved by studying and improving the heat treatment processes over and beyond what is possible with standard heat treatment processes, again a sizeable investment both in time and money. 

Now to news on the Black Gate replacements, basically work on developing the necessary carbonised paper is ongoing, so far the paper manufacturer has not been able to mass produce paper with the completely even distribution of the carbon particles that is necessary to be able to mass produce the Black Gate replacements, processes have improved over the past 4 – 5 years, but we are still some way from having solved this problem, the other problem relates to the manufacture, sadly not only had Rubycon decommissioned the older machines before we managed to get through to their technical department and start the process of restarting production, but Nippon Kodoshi, the original paper manufacturer, had also scrapped the machines that made the Black Gate separator paper, which is essentially what makes the Black Gate capacitor so very special, so we are essentially having to start from scratch and so far this has taken 6 years and from the discussions we had with Rubycon in January just gone it is going to take at least another year or perhaps two for the first Black Gate replacements to go into production, so don’t hold your breath! 

Old & Not Great News! 

On June 23, 2016 the UK voted to leave the European Union, as a result the British pound has been declining in value week on week against the Yen (and US$ and Euro), unfortunately we buy a lot of our specialised parts in these 3 currencies, well, all of them in fact, so unfortunately we had to raise our prices of all the electrolytic capacitors on September 1, 2016 to reflect the considerable increases in cost we are facing. 

However, since most of you will be buying in one of these three currencies there is not a real increase as such. 

The tables below show the new prices, as the Pound keeps its slow slide in value, I unfortunately expect another price increase before the end of 2017. 

Introduction to The Electrolytic Capacitor Range 

In September 2014 we started releasing our new range of exclusively designed and manufactured electrolytic capacitors. We have a close working relationship with Rubycon in Japan which is allowing us to experiment with different materials and manufacturing methods, this is proving crucial in helping us understand the sonic properties of different materials and then develop the best sounding electrolytic audio capacitors possible, culminating in the development of the replacements for the famous Black Gate capacitors, once the various issues mentioned above have been worked out satisfactorily. 

The first types to be made available are the standard ‘Audio Note (UK)™ Electrolytic Audio Capacitor’, which were closely followed in October 2014 by the ‘Audio Note(UK)™ KAISEI Audio Capacitor, the AN KAISEI will be available in a standard polarised and a premium bi-polar or non-polarised version. 

Overall we will build as complete an audio capacitor range for each quality level as practical starting initially with values to primarily needed make our own finished products, but also to allow DIY customers to improve their own designs with either the Audio Note™ Standard, Audio Note™ KAISEI polar and Audio Note™ KAISEI bi-polar/non-polarized, and eventually the Audio Note™ Black Gate replacement range, which should also be available in polarised and bi-polar versions. 

The Audio Note™ KAISEI Audio Quality Electrolytic Capacitors 

The Audio Note™ KAISEI range has been developed over the past 4 years in collaboration with the engineering team at Rubycon (of Black Gate fame). Whilst working on our top of the line Black Gate replacements (which are still work in progress awaiting solutions to the problems in earlier parts of this document) we realised that it would be possible to put together a range of more affordable electrolytic capacitors that use all of the same materials as these supreme components (the same special electrolyte, foil and construction quality) apart from the hyper expensive and extremely difficult to produce Graphite impregnated paper, so the only difference between the KAISEI capacitors and the forthcoming Black Gate replacements is that the paper is not graphite impregnated in the KAISEI, otherwise they are essentially the same. 


The first Audio Note™ KAISEI range has been available since late September – early October 2014 and started with the following 4 values, we will add a 220uF/500 volt version late 2015 plus bi-polar versions of the 22uF, 50uF and 100uF, so the entire range of KAISEI capacitors will be available in both polarised and non-polarised (bi-polar). 

Pictured above are the first of what will become a wide range of KAISEI low voltage capacitors, they will all come in two versions, standard polarized and bi-polar, the bi-polar being the premium versions sonically and of course in terms of price. 

We have expanded the KAISEI polar and bi-polar ranges as quickly as possible, one, because the polarised versions replace the low voltage versions of the Cerafine and the Silmic in our own products, as we can no longer get in all the values we need and, two, because both the KAISEI versions sound far better than either the Cerafine and Silmic they will be replaced as we get the KAISEI values needed in stock, three, the KAISEI non-polarised versions can successfully replace some of the old Black Gate capacitors but re-voicing our higher level products using a mix of non-magnetic resistors and other parts. 


Forthcoming Audio Note™ Black Gate Replacements 

The latest news is that we still have not solved the problem with the carbon impregnated paper, so whilst some progress has been made Rubycon are unable to mass produce the Black Gate replacement at the time of writing, sample production is possible and we have received samples of the WKz equivalent 100uF/500 volt and are in the process of running them in before listening to them seriously, all listening tests clearly show that, as expected, the samples are clearly of comparable quality to the original WKz Black Gate, although somewhat different tonality which is to be expected given that the paper is noy exactly the same as before. 


More to follow 

It is perhaps pertinent to clarify the situation surrounding the Black Gate capacitors, Rubycon has not made these since 2006 and they are therefore not available, I should warn you that there are LOTs of fakes around, it is comparatively easy to make fake Black Gates, all it requires is a printed sleeve that looks like an original Black Gate, so except from one or two outlets who stocked up before they were discontinued most Black Gate capacitors offered on eBay, Alibaba and other auction sites are fakes, especially those coming from sellers in in South East Asia, so be very weary of “cheap” “genuine” Black Gates on offer from places like China, HK, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore etc. they are most likely fakes. 


For the past 8 years Audio Note™ has been working with Rubycon to design and make Audio Note™ branded Black Gate replacements, these will not be exact copies of Black Gates as such, but they will represent what we consider to be a further development of the Black Gate technology, primarily through improved materials but also by combinations of materials with the main focus on sound quality rather than purely measured performance, I think it is important to stress the fact that we at Audio Note™ still consider the Black Gate the finest sounding electrolytic capacitor ever made and we are therefore keen to reinstate and hopefully improve upon this level of quality before our internal stock of original Black Gates run out.


That is really all there is to say at this time. 

PQ 10.06.2018

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