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Børresen Acoustics 05 Silver Supreme Edition

04-27-2022 | By Dirk Sommer | Issue 120

While visiting Ansuz in August 2020, I was so captivated by the Børresen 05's elegant appearance alone that I instantly ordered a pair in the Silver Supreme Edition for a review. Now they finally happen to be in my listening room. But the way to it wasn't that easy, and furthermore, these dream speakers also give rise to a question of conscience.

I'm going to assume that those of you who have read the report on the entry-level model in Michael Børresen's 0-series, the 01 Silver Supreme Edition, (HERE) as well as the one on the Aavik phono stage developed by him (HERE), share the same extraordinary high expectations for the top-of-the-range model in his speaker series, and do not see the designation "dream speaker" in above introduction as an anticipation of the verdict in the concluding STATEMENT section. The fact that the 05 SSE—if I remember correctly—is the most expensive loudspeaker reviewed in Hifistatement to date, by the way, doesn't burden my conscience in any way. When dealing with components that reach or even extend the boundaries of the possible, the pecuniary expenditure can only play a subordinate role. As long as affordable components also find their way into our magazine, I have no problem with that—as already said before.

Plenty of membrane surface, elegantly packaged for living environments: the Børresen 05 Silver Supreme Edition.

Now, actually, should be following a detailed description of the—partly patented—technologies that are used in the Børresen 05 SSE. Also, while mentioning the exotic materials, such as lots of zirconium—at least in loudspeaker design—it would be wise to highlight the exceptional position of the 05 SSE. But on the one hand, the planar ribbon tweeter developed by Michael Børresen as well as his 11.5 centimeter bass/midrange driver have already been specified at length in the review of the 01 SSE (HERE), while in the article about the company visit to Aavik, Ansuz and Børresen (HERE) the manufacturing of the pure silver rings for the Silver Supreme Edition has extensively been captured in pictures. On the other hand, you will soon be able to listen to an interview here in which Michael Børresen gives an insight into his loudspeaker developments. Therefore, I shall limit myself to a rather brief technical description here.

The planar ribbon tweeter with its diaphragm mass of 0.01 grams is used in all models of Børresen's 0-series.

The Børresen 05 SSE is a two-and-a-half-way loudspeaker about 1.55 meters tall with a vented enclosure, whose three openings in order to ensure a noiseless air flow are each fitted with a metal diffuser, which is so characteristic for the appearance of the Danish loudspeakers. The upper end of the frequency band, as in all models of the 0-series, is in charge of the proprietarily manufactured planar ribbon tweeter—as known from the 01—with an efficiency of 94 decibels, which can be used from about 2.5 kilohertz upwards and does without a transformer. The moving mass of the Børresen tweeter is said to be only 0.01 grams. As good as the ribbon tweeter may be, what lets the speakers in Børresen's 0-series set out of the crowd are the bass/midrange drivers with their patented, completely iron-free motors. Thanks to four opposing neodymium-52 ring magnets and rings of pure copper in between, or pure silver in the case of the Silver Supreme Edition, Michael Børresen was able to reduce the inductance of the voice coil to less than 0.04 millihenry—not even a tenth of the value of conventional drivers. This is intended to benefit the excursion speed of the driver as well as its ability to reproduce detail and to ensure that it is an extremely easy load for the amplifier to drive, with only minor impedance fluctuation and phase rotation.

The housing behind the ribbon tweeter is vented. The aluminum application is a kind of trademark of the 0-series.

The 05 uses two bass/midrange drivers with a cone diameter of 11.5 centimeters and four bass/midrange equivalents with a diameter of 15.5 centimeters. The diaphragms consist of two layers of very thin carbon on either side of a four-millimeter-thick Nomex honeycomb core, and feature a very good stiffness-to-weight ratio. The pure silver rings of the six drivers together weigh about three kilograms. All Børresen speakers are conceived as two- or two-and-a-half-way designs. Michael Børresen has, of course, had experience with prototypes with more ways. But, it was only with the restriction to a maximum of two and a half ways that he could—as he revealed in the interview—achieve the desired seamless and completely homogeneous performance. The serial crossover, thanks to which the electric current is supposed to be phase-locked over the crossover's entire frequency range, certainly plays its role in this. Vacuum-impregnated coils are also being used in the 05. Here, however, the arrays of small, military-spec foil capacitors are biased. The speakers therefore come with the appropriate power supplies, but they are only the baseline to start from.

The bass/midrange driver with a cone diameter of 11.5 centimeters is used in all models of the 0 series.

Weeks before the two huge flight cases with the 05 SSE speakers arrived in Gröbenzell, Morton Thyrrested, who, among other things is the sales representative for the German-speaking countries, had put a PowerBox D-TC SUPREME and a Mainz D2 on their way. This is Ansuz' best external power supply, which provides the 14 volts needed by the 05, and is the third best model in their row of current power cables. Also included were Speakz D-TC SUPREME speaker cables, as all the cables commonly used in my listening room are terminated with spades. Børresen speakers are basically fitted with jacks for banana plugs only, since the Danes consider these to be by far the best connection variant available. Of course, Morton Thyrrested, who also operates an 05 SSE at home and had raved to me about its capabilities especially in combination with the coupling elements from Zikonium, the Darks Z2S, had also thought of supplying two corresponding sets of feet. The fact that the "accessories" mentioned above push the price of the test objects distinctly upwards, should only be mentioned in passing...

No less than four of these 15.5-centimeter bass/midrange drivers treat the 05 to an unshakeable bass foundation.

Talking of upwards: When the two flight cases arrived, their appearance made me expect anything but good to happen. Because of the six large carrier rollers under each case, it was impossible to maneuver them into the elevator, which would have made transporting them from the ground floor to the second floor much easier. The last resort was to hire a moving company to get the two cases to the third floor. Freed from their packaging, the 05, weighing 75 kilograms each, were then quite easy to move, as I experienced when they had to vacate their space for a couple of weeks during the testing of the enormously high-efficient and euphonious sounding Soundspace System Robin.

For the first setup of the 05 SSE in my listening room, the two main shareholders of Upper Level ApS, under whose umbrella Aavik Acoustics, Ansuz Acoustics, and Børresen Acoustics join forces, Lars Christensen and Michael Børresen, made their way to Gröbenzell. I made them aware, of course, of the floor markings for the approved set-up positions, but then I rather took care of making fresh tea. When I returned, I was amazed when noticing the listening room to appear much larger with the rather tall 05 SSE than before, with the not insignificantly more delicate looking Goebel Epoque Aeon Fine. The solution to the riddle was that the two had simply ignored the markings. Although the baffles of the 05s roughly came to match the same stereo basis line, which had proven to be ideal in my listening room over the years, the Børresens were now unusually close to the side walls of the room. At the back, the distance between the wall and the side of the speaker was just 25 centimeters, while at the front it was almost 43 centimeters. As a result, the transducers were strongly angled inwards, aiming at the right and left shoulder of an imaginary person sitting on the listening chair. Visually, this was convincing straight away. The view of the back wall of the room was virtually unobstructed by the speakers: The study appeared airy and open.

The large bass/midrange driver as in dismounted condition: Between the two neodymium rings, the one made of pure silver is clearly visible.

The first tones, however, did not win me over for this setup variant. For me, the performance lacked of too much bass and the necessary accuracy in imaging—but that didn't worry Lars Christensen and Michael Børresen in the least. The previously burnt-in speakers would rather need an hour to acclimatize after transport, and besides that, the speaker cables had not yet been able to accumulate a single hour of operation either. So we treated the cables and the speakers to an hour of music, and ourselves to Bavarian sausages, sweet mustard and pretzels. After that, the system already sounded much more pleasant—oh no, the author isn't a fan of wheat beer at noon. When the two Danes then added eight Darks Z2S feet (HERE) to their speakers, the lows forfeited none of their energy, but gained extremely in definition. However, the most impressive thing about the 05 SSEs and their unusual placement was the size and depth of the imaginary soundstage. I never lived up to such a great acoustic encounter of the cinematic kind in my listening room before.

The housings for the bass/midrange drivers come also vented. The aluminum profiles are intended to ensure a noiseless airflow.

But for Lars Christensen and Michael Børresen this seemed to be a matter of course, and they remarked almost casually that a lot more euphony was possible with the tweaks Ansuz had up their sleeve. To prove their point, they then plugged first one and then a second Sparkz Harmonizer TC2 into the power strip that previously powered my two Velodyne DD+ 10s, plus an Acoustic Revive RR-77, and then the Schumann Wave Frequency Generator, and the Ansuz PowerBox. The positive effect of the plugs acting in parallel with the audio components was immediately audible thanks to the 05's immense joy for detail and high resolution capabilities. The sonic image became even more fluent and supple, without sacrificing the excellent rendering of transients and fine detailing of Børresen's top-of-the-line model. The now rich, but certainly not fat, low frequency response made the use of the Velodynes dispensable. Yes, I know that the beneficial impact of the subwoofers is by no means limited to the bass range. But it was also the transient response, the transparency, and the precise imaging of the 05 SSEs that made the author perfectly happy. By the way, only one of my two listening chairs was available at that time, since the second one was just being reupholstered.

After the day's exertion, we turned towards Lars Kristensen's second hobby, to which Michael Børresen wouldn't say no either: gin and tonic. This time it happened to be an X-Gin with bits of crushed cocoa beans and, to the dismay of any real gin connoisseur, Schweppes Dry Tonic Water. Nevertheless, this combination proved to be extremely harmonious.

The feet of the 05 SSE are height adjustable and come prepared to accept Darkz decoupling elements.

The next morning we moved a pair of seats into the study and let ourselves be spoiled by the sound of the 05 SSE. Since for all involved it seemed needless to further adjust the speaker positions, I left my seat to Michael Børresen, took place near the Studer A80, and played a few pieces from tape—some familiar, and some own recordings. The 05's developer particularly liked how colorful, defined, and powerful the low end of the tape recordings sounded over his creations, which other sources usually fall short of. With the good feeling in mind to have brought the 05 SSEs to perform optimally in my room, we then soon made our way to the airport.

In the evening, I raved about the test objects in play to my wife. Unexpectedly, she could not share my euphoria in the least. Eventually, we switched seats. In the mobile rocking chair next to the—currently only—listening chair, one only got a bland set-off of the impressive sonic image that could be savored in the central position. Tonally, everything was in order, even the resolution was convincing, but the musicians seemed to be grouped exclusively around one speaker only—not even a trace of the previously impressive three-dimensional soundstage remained. It didn't either help to position the chair's armrests left and right of the imaginary center line of the room. Now it wasn't possible to enjoy the music on either of the two seats on that extremely high level with which the 05 SSEs had previously delighted the person sitting in the central listening position. When sitting alone in front of the Børresens, they made you revel in music and almost completely forget about any sort of hi-fi criteria.

The crossover is located behind the lower bass/midrange driver.

Nevertheless, I should attempt to draw up a brief description of the sonic outcome. Only the Goebel Aeon, whose bending wave driver reproduces the range from 160 to over 30,000 Hertz, had previously played so homogeneously and seamlessly in my listening room. The 05 SSEs definitely stand up to these also in terms of transient reproduction and speed. In addition, the Børresen flooded the room with perfectly proportioned low-frequency energy. And that is by no means a matter of course in my room: The upper bass range always seemed a bit too light, no matter on which high level the speakers performed in other disciplines. Already with the LumenWhite DiamondLight I longed for a bit more warmth in this frequency band, while the Goebels could do a touch better here as well. I don't know what the reason is, but with the Børresens there are no disturbing first reflections in spite of their placement close to the side walls, and they also compensate for the room-related frequency dip quite naturally. They seem to be largely immune to the influences of their surroundings. But all this is far surpassed by the large, precise and three-dimensional sonic image the 05 SSE is capable to display: This is absolutely amazing!

To be seen here is the terminal with the banana sockets and the input for the bias voltage of the crossover capacitors.

What gets me worried, however, is the fact that the Børresens only allowed one centrally seated person to enjoy music to the fullest. So I called Lars Kristensen, seeking for advice. He tells me that he knows about the effect, as there are probably only a few speakers around that need to be so focused on the listening position as the 05 SSE. But this has never caused criticism on the part of his customers. He instead endorses being courageous for egoism. And this leads us to the matter of conscience—even if the 05 SSE is pecuniary out of reach, do I want to live with a loudspeaker that allows only me alone to listen to music as never before, without being able to share the experience with manufacturers and distributors who present their products in my listening room? And, at least as equally important to me: Do I really want to give up mutual listening experiences with my spouse for a few percent more of sound quality? Where does courageous egoism end and audiophile autism begin?

It quickly became apparent to me that I could not limit my involvement with the Børresen speakers to two weeks, as planned, and that I had to start looking for a setup in which the 05 SSEs are able to demonstrate their capabilities to two people as well. In doing so, I made it back towards the proven speaker positions again, although losing too much size in the imaging for my taste. So I moved the Børresens a bit closer to the side walls again. With a minimum distance of about 60 centimeters and a slight angle to the two listening positions, a compromise was found that was acceptable to me. The armrest of my chair, however, now does stick out a little beyond the imaginary center line of the room: That much egoism I might be allowed. Because even on the neighbor seat, the exceptional performance of the 05 SSE becomes largely accessible.

The standard power supply unit, resting on Ansuz' PowerBox D-TC SUPREME.

I deliberately wrote about a compromise, as Lars Kristensen—naturally—knows his speakers inside out. The current set-up of the Børresens lets one give up a shade of intensity during powerful impulses by at the same time diminishing the dimensions of the imaginary stage a bit. But I can easily get over that, since the 05 SSEs still have plenty to offer in these disciplines—or in other words, plenty more than 99 percent of all other loudspeakers. Besides that, it doesn't take a huge effort to move the Børresens from one marked position to another and readjust the feet to then fully enjoy the benefits of the Børresen as a part-time autist!

But I won't get to do that for the time being, as the seat next to me is often occupied not only during the musical aperitif hours. Among others, my colleagues Dave Marras Grünwalds and Roland Dietl did not miss the opportunity to experience the Børresens. After all, when does one ever come across the occasion to listen to speakers of this class other than at trade shows? My colleague Roland Dietl knows my system quite well, and was impressed how differentiated and stably positioned the precisely outlined instruments were. He was convinced about not having heard anything better in my room so far. As you can already see from this example, I fortunately had enough time alone and in company in getting to know the Børresens very well.

The Speakz D-TC SUPREME speaker cable not only serves as a conveyor of the music signal but also as a carrier of the voltage from the PowerBox to the speaker.

While I started out playing the familiar test tracks every now and then without ever being disappointed, it was much more exciting to (re)discover new and forgotten music thereafter. For example, the 05 SSEs made Kit Downes' album Obsidian a very special experience by offering an extensive indulgence in organ sounds in a huge room. Even Kiyoto Fujiwara's very superficial demonstration of his virtuosity on the double bass on an otherwise sparsely orchestrated version of the "Concierto De Aranjuez" got lifted by the Børresens to a bearable level due to their rich portfolio of tonal colors. True acoustic delicacies, on the other hand, turned out to be Tord Gustavsen's ECM albums, most notably The Ground in its 96kHz version. But whichever of your favorite discs, files, or tapes you might choose, I am convinced that the 05 SSEs will not disappoint you—no matter if you want to listen to them alone or in twos!


The Børresen 05 SSEs with their unique, completely iron-less drivers are the best sounding speakers that ever came to perform in my listening room. So what does their elegant appearance and perfect workmanship still matter then? For me, the top-of-the-line Børresen transducers mark the cutting edge in loudspeaker technology. This is State of the Art!


  • Turntable: Brinkmann LaGrange with tube power supply
  • Tonearms: Einstein The Tonearm 12", Thales Symplicity II
  • Cartridges: Transrotor Tamino, Lyra Olympos
  • Phono preamp: Einstein The Turntable's Choice (balanced)
  • NAS: Melco N1Z/2EX-H60 with external AudiaZ linear power supply, WDMyCloud
  • Streamer: Auralic G2.1 with 2TB SSD
  • Up-sampler: Chord Electronics Hugo M-Scaler with Ferrum Hypsos
  • D/A converter: Chord Electronics DAVE with linear power supply
  • LAN switch:  Ansuz PowerSwitch D-TC Supreme
  • Tape recorder: Studer A80
  • Preamp: Audio Exklusiv P7
  • Power amp: Einstein The Poweramp
  • Loudspeaker: Goebel Epoque Aeon Fine
  • Subwoofer:  Velodyne Digital Drive Plus 10 (2x)
  • Cables: Goebel High End Lacorde Statement, Audioquest Dragon HC, Tornado (HC) and Dragon Bi-Wiring and Fog Lifters, Swiss Cables, ForceLines, Ansuz Digitalz D-TC Supreme, Speakz D-TC SUPREME and Mainz D2
  • Accessories: AHP sound module IV G, Audioquest Niagara 5000 and 1200, Synergistic Research Active Ground Block SE, HMS wall sockets, Blockaudio C-Lock Lite, Acapella bases, Acoustic System Feet and Resonators, Artesania Audio Exoteryc, SSC Big Magic Base, finite elemente Carbofibre° HD, Harmonix Room Tuning Disks, Audio Exklusiv Silentplugs, Arya Audio Revopods, Waversa Isolator-EXT-1 (3x), ADOT media converter (2x) with Keces P3 and SBooster BOTW P&P Eco MKII, Singlemode Duplex optical fibre cable, Ansuz Sparkz.


  • Børresen Acoustics 05 Silver Supreme Edition
  • Frequency response: 25Hz-50kHz
  • Efficiency: 90dB/1W
  • Impedance: >5 Ω
  • Recommended amplifier power: >50W
  • Tweeter: Børresen planar ribbon tweeter
  • Bass/midrange: 2x Børresen patented iron-free bass/midrange driver, 11.5cm diameter, 4x Børresen patented iron-free bass/midrange driver, 15.5cm diameter
  • Finish: Walnut veneer
  • Dimensions (W/H/D): 30,5/155/58cm
  • Weight: 75kg
  • Price: 166,670 euros (05 Silver Supreme Edition); 3,400 euros for the (Darks Z2S) x8

Børresen Acoustics

Rebslagervej 4, 9000 Aalborg



All photographs courtesy of the manufacturers.