Audio Note | AZ-THREE | Specifications | Audio Note AZ-THREE Specifications

We declare under our sole responsibility that this product is in conformity
with the following standards or standardized documents:
BS EN 60065 in accordance with the regulations 73/23/EEC, 89/336/EEC
(from 1 January 1997)
CE 94
Peter Qvortrup,
Audio Note (UK) Limited
25 Montefiore Road
East Sussex
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1273 220 511
+44 (0)1273 731 498
This product must not be disposed of as normal household waste. To
prevent possible harm to the environment please separate the product
from other waste to ensure that it can be recycled in an environmentally
safe manner. Please contact your retailer or the appropriate local
government office for collection facilities.
Thank you for purchasing this Audio Note (UK) product. With the correct care it
should give you many years of pleasure and enjoyment.
Please take the time to read all of the information in this manual before connecting
your new component to an electrical supply or your system, to ensure both your
safety and satisfaction.
Please note that due to our desire to continually improve products, specifications are
subject to change without notice. Therefore it is important to refer to the manual that
is supplied with your product for the most accurate information; manuals downloaded
from our website or obtained from other sources may no longer fully apply to your
If you have any questions regarding the information contained within this document
or your new component, please feel free to contact us: -
Audio Note (UK) Limited
25 Montefiore Road
East Sussex
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1273 220 511
+44 (0)1273 731 498
The AZ-THREE is a floor standing, rear loaded, folded quasi parabolic horn design
with a rear facing mouth, and uses two drive units per cabinet. It is very efficient and
offers the amplifier an easy ʻloadʼ, making it highly suitable for our range of superior
quality, low powered valve amplifiers.
As a company, our main aim is to design and manufacture equipment that provides
the maximum sonic performance for the price, and to achieve this we use many
unconventional solutions. In our quest to deliver an affordable, compact, high
sensitivity, wide frequency response loudspeaker to suit ʻreal worldʼ rooms, we
reinvestigated and re-evaluated the main principles of rear loaded horn cabinet
design. This research, coupled with our expertise in driver, cabinet and crossover
development, has resulted in a loudspeaker that not only redefines the quality / price
relationship, but more importantly offers an emotionally engaging performance that is
quite in a class of its own.
If you examine the vast majority of conventional loudspeaker designs, you will
discover that they have very poor acoustic impedance characteristics, resulting in low
efficiency. In contrast, a correctly designed horn loaded system allows the acoustic
impedance to be optimized for the driver across several octaves, resulting in higher
efficiency and better dynamic power transfer from the amplifier.
However, horn designs are not without their challenges, and one of the greatest
problems is physical size. For a simple horn the lower cut-off frequency is directly
proportional to the effective diameter of the mouth; a cut-off frequency at - 3dB of
50Hz, would require a horn with a mouth area of 3.8 square meters.
Clearly unsuitable for most domestic purposes!
So, we had to find a method of reducing the size requirement whilst maintaining the
low frequency response. By re-configuring the size and shape of the rear horn flare,
the (increasingly capacitive) throat impedance is off-set to a point below the cut-off
frequency. This, combined with positioning the loudspeaker in close proximity to a
corner further reduces the radiation impedance, and effectively increases the bass
horn moth area by a factor of around x16 (x8 when placed against a rear wall), which
provides a substantial boost at low frequencies.
As with all Audio Note (UK) loudspeakers, no corners have been cut in terms of
component and driver quality despite the modest price of the AZ-THREE. Both the
woofer and tweeter are the high quality units found in the AN-E, and are combined
with a heavy-duty crossover featuring air core inductors, Audio Note (UK) silver
plated speaker terminals and Audio Note (UK) AN-D internal wiring.
Consistent performance is a major issue in loudspeaker design and unfortunately all
drive units vary slight from each other, even if they look the same and have the same
basic specification.
Many loudspeaker manufacturerʼs will tell you that they provide “computer matched”
crossovers, and whilst this may be true in one sense (each crossover may have been
matched to have the exact same capacitance, inductance and resistance) this
essentially “passive” method does not adequately take into consideration the
mechanical and acoustic variance present in the drive units themselves, where
minute differences in acoustic behaviour will result in quite substantial differences in
performance and sound.
Therefore, to obtain the best possible combination of drivers and crossovers, we have
developed a dynamic matching process. This ensures that each loudspeaker in a
stereo pair matches a ʻmaster curveʼ, and also its partner.
Another much overlooked area of acoustics is the material choice for the drivers. It is
vitally important that the sound and characteristics of an individual drive unit are
complimentary to those of its chosen partner, so that when an instrument is
reproduced by both drive units (which is almost always the case), the upper range
does not sound detached from the lower range and visa versa. This is an aspect of
performance that cannot be measured by even the most sophisticated test
equipment; it can ONLY be judged by listening.
It has become very fashionable to use all manner of exotic materials (beryllium,
diamond, carbon fibre, ceramics etc.) as cone materials in modern drivers, mainly
because it gives the impression that the manufacturer in question is making great
strides in their research into better sounding speakers.
The sad fact is none of these materials work as intended, as they all have their own
distinct sonic signature. No instrument manufacturer in their right mind would dream
of making a trumpet from carbon fibre or Beryllium for example, or a cello or violin
from aluminium or plastic (not if they were serious anyway!), so no matter how the
crossover is designed, this sonic signature will be present when the speaker
reproduces music. It may be less obvious and audible with some types of music, but
ultimately the chosen material will always imprint some of its own signature on
whatever sound is reproduced.
We at Audio Note are keenly aware of this and have deliberately chosen drive units
whose sonic signatures are as closely matched as possible. This has led us to favour
good, old fashioned paper for the woofer cone and impregnated silk for the dome
tweeter. These materials, when matched correctly, marry the low and high
frequencies seamlessly, providing the best level of performance possible in the real
world of acoustics.
Please take care when unpacking your AZ-THREE loudspeakers. Choose a clean,
clear location to unpack them. Before attempting to unpack or lift the loudspeakers,
check the weight and if necessary use more than one person so that they can be
moved safely and easily.
We recommend that you retain and carefully store all of the original packing
materials, in case transportation / shipping is required at a later date.
Once unpacked, locate the 8 threaded spikes and locking nuts.
Add a locking nut to each spike.
Screw the spike / nut assemblies into the four threaded bolt holes located in the base
of each loudspeaker. Adjust the spikes so that each loudspeaker stands roughly level
once placed on a flat surface. Final leveling can be carried out once a suitable
position offering the most acceptable bass and stereo presentation has been found.
Select a suitable location for the loudspeakers. This should be a dry, dust free and
level area, preferably shielded from direct sunlight and free from vibration. Also
ensure that the location is stable and capable of carrying the weight of the
The rear ported enclosure of the AZ-THREE has been designed to be placed close to
room boundaries (where the bass performance is augmented significantly by the
additional reinforcement from the nearby walls).
Some experimentation is advised when choosing a suitable location to obtain the best
performance ʻin roomʼ. All rooms are different, both physically and more importantly
acoustically, so there are no definitive rules regarding loudspeaker positioning.
However, we generally recommend placing the loudspeakers in corners or at least
against a solid rear wall; this is the best ʻstarting pointʼ to work from. If bass
performance is too strong, slowly move the loudspeakers further into the room,
making sure that the distance between the rear and side walls remains the same for
both loudspeakers.
If there is a noticeable ʻholeʼ in the middle of the two loudspeakers, producing a
pronounced ʻleft / rightʼ effect, move them closer together in small increments, until a
solid, central presentation is achieved.
You may also find a degree of ʻtoe-inʼ to be appropriate; angle the loudspeakers so
that both front faces are visible and pointing directly towards the main listening
position. A few degrees of movement in either direction – revealing more or less of
the cabinet sidewalls when viewed from the listening position – may also be
Once a suitable position offering the most acceptable bass and stereo presentation
has been found, make sure the loudspeakers are level and securely positioned. The
use of a spirit level for accurate levelling is advised.
Adjust the spikes in the base of each loudspeaker, making sure that all four are
contacting with the floor and that the enclosure does not ʻrockʼ or ʻwobbleʼ.
If the loudspeakers are positioned on a carpeted floor, make sure that each spike
thoroughly pierces the carpet and makes contact with the solid floor surface beneath.
Lock the spike in position with the lower locking nut. ʻFinger tightʼ is usually enough,
but feel free to use an appropriately sized spanner / wrench to lock the nuts in place.
If you experience any difficulty positioning your AZ-THREE satisfactorily, please
consult your Audio Note (UK) Dealer, who will be happy to assist you. Alternatively,
please contact us directly.
As we design all our speakers to be primarily used with good valve amplification the
AZ-THREE will always perform at its best when partnered with a suitably composed
Audio Note (UK) system.
However, it will also give good results when partnered with a wider range of valve and
transistor amplifiers.
Choose loudspeaker cables that are long enough to comfortably reach from your
amplifier to the AZ-THREE without stretching or pulling tightly; it is always better to
have a loudspeaker cable that is too long rather than too short!
On the rear of each loudspeaker are two pairs of binding posts.
Viewed vertically, the two on the LEFT are for HIGH FREQUENCY (HF).
The two on the RIGHT are for LOW FREQUENCY (LF).
Each binding post is colour coded either RED or BLACK.
The RED binding posts (top two) connect to the RED / POSITIVE (often marked ʻ+ʼ)
loudspeaker outputs on your amplifier.
The BLACK binding posts (bottom two) connect to the BLACK / NEGATIVE (often
marked ʻ-ʻ) loudspeaker outputs on your amplifier.
On the rear of your amplifier, identify the loudspeaker output terminals; they should
be labeled ʻLEFTʼ and “RIGHTʼ.
Facing your amplifier and loudspeakers, connect the left loudspeaker to the ʻLEFTʼ
loudspeaker outputs on your amplifier, and the right loudspeaker to the ʻRIGHTʼ
loudspeaker outputs on your amplifier.
If your amplifier is equipped with multiple loudspeaker output terminals, consult the
manual for the unit to ascertain the appropriate connection regime.
The facility to split the crossover of the AZ-THREE allows the speakers to be
operated in a bi-wired or bi-amplified mode. The crossovers are split by removing the
connecting links between the HF and LF terminals on the rear of the speaker.
This involves running two sets of cables to the rear of each
speaker, so that the Low Frequency (LF) section of the
crossover is fed by one set and the High Frequency (HF)
section by the other. Both sets of cables are attached together
to the corresponding pair of terminals on the back of the
We strongly recommend bi-wiring the AZ-THREE
with a suitable loudspeaker cable from the
Audio Note (UK) range.
This involves using two stereo or four mono power amplifiers
to drive the loudspeakers. If you intend to ʻbi-ampʼ the
AZ-THREE, please consult your amplifiers manual(s) for the
appropriate connection regime.
If you are in any way uncertain as to the correct method of connection for your
amplifier or loudspeakers, please consult your Audio Note (UK) dealer.
Special Note – Make sure that all connections are tight and clean. For
best results use good quality loudspeaker cables. Although it is
perfectly acceptable to use cables manufactured by other companies,
for best results and performance, we recommend our own Audio Note
(UK) range of interconnects and loudspeaker cables. For further
information, please consult your nearest Audio Note (UK) dealer, or
alternatively please feel free to contact us directly.
Once all the connections are completed and checked, ensure that the volume control
for your amplifier is at the minimum setting. Connect your amplifier to the mains
supply, and make sure all source components are switched on BEFORE the
amplifier; to protect your AZ-THREE loudspeakers from damage, always make sure
the amplifier is the LAST piece of equipment to be switched on and the FIRST to be
switched off.
Bedding In
While we fully expect your AZ-THREE loudspeakers to
produce beautiful music, they may not do so from the first
moment out of the box. Donʼt be alarmed; this is perfectly
Dynamic loudspeakers have a running in period, during which
time the drive units “loosen up”. During this period, the sound
may be somewhat dry, bright and constricted. As the
suspension and cone materials of both drive units “softens up”,
the fullness of the bass and the smoothness of the treble will
start to emerge and the true sound of the AZ-THREE will be
We expect the AZ-THREE to have a running in period of
around 100 hours, which for the average listener will take about
a month, based on three hours of listening per day. This period
can however vary considerably due to factors such as music
types, listening volume and type of amplification used. (Loud
heavy metal or Mahler symphonies are especially effective!)
If the rest of your system is of commensurate quality, you may
notice that when you havenʼt played your AZ-THREE for a
week or longer, they seem to experience a lesser version of
this running-in process again. Everything will be completely
back to normal within 5 to 10 hours.
No special maintenance is required for your AZ-THREE
loudspeakers. Use a soft, clean lint free cloth to remove any
surface marks from the cabinets. For finger marks / grease,
use a soft, clean lint free cloth, very lightly moistened with a
solution of warm water and mild detergent. Do not use any
alcohol or solvent based cleaning products, as they may
damage the finish of the cabinet.
Under no circumstances should you attempt to clean the
drive units of your loudspeaker.
Playing some loud music will displace any dust that has
collected on the drive units!
6 Ohms
94dB for 1 Watt at 1 meter
40Hz to 20Khz, +/- 6dB in room
7 Watts RMS per channel
125 Watts (unclipped)
RMS per channel Peak
8” paper cone,
foam surround bass driver
1” polyamide dome tweeter
24 KG
27 KG
1000mm (h) x 280mm (w) x 320mm (d)
per loudspeaker
1050mm (h) x 330mm (w) x 380mm (d)
per loudspeaker
Due to Audio Note (UK)ʼs ongoing
research and development program,
specifications are subject to change
without notice.
Audio Note (UK) warrants this product to be free from defects in materials and
workmanship for two years from the original date of purchase from an appointed
Audio Note (UK) dealer, and agrees to covers the cost of parts and associated labour
required to correct such defects, subject to terms & conditions.
This Warranty is offered to the first purchaser only.
If the product fails in normal domestic use and during the Warranty period due to the
above described faults or defects, Audio Note (UK) will, at its discretion, repair or
replace the item free of charge within a reasonable time once it has been returned to
Audio Note (UK) or an appointed Audio Note (UK) dealer or service engineer.
Audio Note (UK) is not liable for any shipping charges incurred whilst transporting the
product to or from Audio Note (UK) or an appointed Audio Note (UK) dealer or
service engineer, should the item require service or repair during or after the
Warranty period.
If the product must be shipped, please use the original packaging materials and
include a copy of the original sales receipt along with a note explaining, in as much
detail as possible, the problems you are experiencing with the unit.
Only use a reputable Courier Service or Shipping Agent, and ensure that your
product is insured during transit.
Any servicing, repairs or modifications not authorized by Audio Note (UK), or
carried out by persons other than appointed Audio Note (UK) service
engineers will invalidate any warranty.
This Warranty does NOT cover: Damage sustained whilst in the possession of a shipping agent, retailer or consumer
and not caused as a direct result of defects in materials or workmanship.
Damage caused by normal wear and tear.
Damage or defects caused by abnormal or unreasonable use.
Damage caused by accident, acts of nature, misuse or neglect.
Damage caused by a failure to follow the operating and installation instructions
supplied with the product.
Damage caused by improper or careless cleaning.
Audio Note (UK) reserves the right to refuse warranty for any component of which
the serial number has been removed, defaced or tampered with.
If in the future your Audio Note (UK) product
requires servicing, or if you require technical support
or have any questions regarding this or any of our
other products, please contact your local Audio Note
(UK) dealer.
Alternatively, please feel free to contact us directly: -!
Audio Note (UK) Limited
25 Montefiore Road
East Sussex
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1273 220 511
+44 (0)1273 731 498
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