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Børresen X3

06.10.2023 // Finn Corvin Gallowsky

The woofers are designed without dust caps
The woofers are designed without dust caps

However, enthusiasm isn’t going to be enough here, the X3s have to be moved into the listening room with full use of physical strength. There, I first position them on my usual speaker places. Due to the elongated design of the speakers, the rear side of the cabinet comes absurdly close to the rear wall. My personal conclusion to be drawn at this point is that this can't work at all. But it does. Of course, the lows are rather salient, but by no means squashy or uncontrolled. Despite their closer proximity to the rear wall, the X3s behave very much like my own speakers. But it’s going to get even more absurd. Along the first test tracks, the soundstage already appears airy and holographic, but the feeling is beginning to grow that the distance between the Børresen speakers should be chosen even larger to make them reach their full potential. Consequently, I push them as far as at all possible to the side walls and thus directly into the corners of my room. And surprisingly, the speakers acknowledge this with an even more open, three-dimensional soundstage. In addition, it is still necessary to experiment further by changing the inward angle of the speakers. A closer look into the instruction manual reveals that the speakers are already positioned according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. The imagined lines originating orthogonally from the baffles should run over the listener's shoulder and meet about one meter behind the head. Only the inner flanks of the speakers should remain visible. After running through a bit of trial and error, I reach the conclusion that in my listening room I prefer a slightly more angled-in version. Therefore, being able to see the first millimeters behind the baffle’s rounded edge, I merely can guess the inner flanks of the speakers. Due to the short listening distance, the speakers still aim at a point behind my ears, but not pointing directly at them. However, their hotspot is now less than a meter away from my head. All in all, the speaker placement is more than unusual. It’s closer to the walls on all sides than I've ever positioned a speaker before, but it doesn't seem to bother the X3s in any way. On the contrary, they seem to feel really comfortable now.

The massive structure of the driver speaks for itself
The massive structure of the driver speaks for itself

Recently I came across the song "Coup D'etat" from Level 42’s album World Machine, leaving the impression as particularly well-produced pop music, while listening to it over an inappropriately used KRK studio monitor during some soldering work. It seems to me to be a suitable opening track for testing the X3. I get started, of course, without any EQ adjustment of the speakers to my room. Before thinking about anything else, I make the observation that the X3s without question offer the highest groove factor of any speakers having visited my listening room to date. They whip out the song with such playfulness, ease and dense energy as if it were a trifle. The various layers of the mix with clearly positioned snare and hi-hat, outward-stretched percussion elements, Mark King's characteristic bass playing and various synths are presented on a wide soundstage in an enormously airy, light-footed manner with a great tensional relationship to each other. Individual sound sources are reproduced with a generous individual expansion, as would be expected from a speaker of this scale. The individual instruments seem somewhat less sharp and selective, but they create an extremely attractive three-dimensionality. Since the instruments close ranks due to their individually greater extension, it stands to reason that the greatest possible distance between the speakers leads to the most convincing result. The musical events seem to rather take place in the listening room than being only reproduced as an image. The depth of the stage is very good, but still quite a significant bit away from the imaginary opening in my room’s rear wall that I sometimes imagine when listening to the Børresen 05 SSE in Dirk Sommer's listening room. Nevertheless I feel directly involved in the musical happening and less like in a concert room as a somewhat distant listener. However, both the size of the listening room and the listening distance have an effect on these impressions, but I think it is more than fair to state that a Børresen 05 produces a more impressive depth of stage than an X3 - apart from the connected audio system, of course.

A simple but perfectly adequate single-wiring terminal has been implemented
A simple but perfectly adequate single-wiring terminal has been implemented

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