Saturday, July 30, 2011

Kuala Lumpur International Audio Video Show 2011 @ JW Marriott Hotel (Room 8031)

For those of you who has yet to mark your attendance at this year's show, tomorrow is the last chance. Please don't miss it!!

Triangle Magellan Cello (Room 8031)
See you there!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hi Fi kaki gathering session a.k.a Friday Nite Party (Special)

At this time of the year, many enthusiasts are starting to anticipate the event of the year. Many of us are looking forward to listen to some of the finest hi-fi equipments money can buy and also to update ourselves with the latest toys in town. For those, who want to get a glimpse at those top models, this year's show is the one that should not be missed. I see that this year's show is being taken extremely seriously by the organizer and also the hi-fi community. The admin of hifi4sale forum ( has even set up a poll to enable fellow members to vote on the day and time for the teh tarik session. Kudos to you, Admin. We hope to see more people joining the fun of music listening.

The audio show fever has even caught up with the Seremban folks and some of them could hardly wait for the show. Therefore to warm things up a bit, we hitched a plan to hold our usual Friday Nite Party with a list of private collector's items in the 'menu'. However, the list of items grew so fast and much longer than we expected, we knew we are going to have lots of fun this time. To make things even better, our friend from KL also came to join us. I guess some might have read in local forums that it was indeed a Friday Nite Party Specials with our guest of honour, Jo Ki.

Careful planning was required to ensure everything runs smoothly and we set the stage one day before the party. We are absolutely grateful that one of us volunteered his equipments to run the show. The moment he loaded all his precious into my car, I felt extremely stressful when I started to think of those infamous potholes on our regular Malaysian roads. Nevertheless, I reached the destination safely with all things still in one piece. Unloaded all the equipments and set up the podium immediately. What a sigh of relief as those Foundation MkII stands ain't light at all.

Becareful of your back when you carry me!!
Up goes the pair of Chartwell LS3/5a onto the podium and straight away I know why Foundation is being preferred by my friend. The size matches so well for the speakers.

The Return of the Jedi
The moment has arrived and we started off by driving the Chartwell with the Audio Note OTO SE Signature while letting the Leak TL50+ to warm up quietly. After the dinner, our friend arrived with his precious Graaf pre-amp and immediately he dashed into the room and hook up the system with the pair of long awaited Tannoy Mini Autograph. I gotta say the Mids and Highs of the Tannoy is very impressive. Pop in the Triangle CD and go for the track with guitar solo and you will realize the Tannoy is doing some of its magic.

Gotta stick your face closer to the screen to check out the stuffs here
All of a sudden, Jo Ki said "I have brought my own pre-amp as stand by too." Well, without hesitate, he brought in the pre-amp. It's a small one and it is passive. Jo himself was very interested to know the true sound of the Leak TL50+ and the pre-amp is the optimum choice. We played the same song again and immediately we noticed the clarity has been brought to another level by the Cello Etude. It matches so well with the Leak TL50+ and also the Tannoy. We like the setup a lot that we nearly forgot about the other dishes in the 'menu'.
Humble little pre-amp
After more than an hour of listening, we swapped the speakers to the Rogers LS3/5a 60th Anniversary Special Edition. And straight away the difference is notable with much more lower frequencies compared to the Tannoy. However, the clarity of the guitar strings and also the airy vocal are not as pronounced as the Tannoy. But still, the Rogers hold some aces in terms of mid bass. Choose the right songs and the Rogers will entertain you for a long session throughout the night.

Nothing special but the back is very special indeed
Now, the long awaited combination which my friend labelled as "The Return of The Jedi" was ready and we placed the Chartwell on the Foundation. The Chartwell is quite different from the Rogers though they are both LS3/5a as this pair is a 15ohm. One will find the Chartwell more relaxed and has more clarity than the Rogers. We suspect the Rogers are still new after listening to the Chartwell. Jo Ki tried an experiment that we never thought of, exchange the grilles of the LS3/5as.

Full time whistle

To end the party, we had a brief listening of the Triangle speakers and it was also a preview of the system for the upcoming audio show. It was already 12 something after many rounds of extra time and it was time to blow the full time whistle. Everyone helped in dismantling the stage and packed up all the precious items before heading for supper. We are very happy to play host to all of you guys, especially Jo Ki who came all the way from KL to join us. Hopefully, we can have such occasion again in the near future. As for now, the party is over and we switch our attention to the upcoming KLIAV 2011 at JW Marriott Hotel next weekend.

Last in the menu

Monday, July 4, 2011

Hi Fi kaki gathering session a.k.a Friday Nite Party (Part 2)

The whole lot of us commented in the previous session that Triangle should be tried with tube amps. It was repeated many times and everyone actually wanted to prove a point. Okay. The very next day, I was at my friend's shop chit chatting with the old timers and suddenly my eyes caught a cute little tube amp sitting on top of a hifi rack. Ah.. It's a Single-Ended power amplifier. Without wasting much time, I asked my friend if I can give it a go with Triangles. "Yes. Of course." was the straight answer. There we go, stuffing the little amp into the packing box. Gosh!! This thing weighs a ton. Off we go and headed straight back to Seremban.   

I wasted no time and sent out messages to inform the rest about the latest amp in town. They were all shocked about the seriousness of having a tube amp with Triangle as they just commented about it the night before. Oh yeah!! Here we go. Another round of Friday Nite Party was set and this time we have a Japanese tube amp by the name of Acoustic Masterpiece M-101 in our menu. Well, I think not many of us here actually came across this brand. So, I will touch a bit on the brand first.

Acoustic Masterpiece is actually a sister company of the famous Japanese hi-end tube amp manufacturer, Air Tight. The M-101 uses 2x KT-88 and 2x 12AX7 together with 2 very expensive Tamara transformers. Checking on the specs, one will get to know that the output is only 8 watt. At the front faceplate are two tiny knobs which function as the attenuators. It is very solidly and well built.

Air Tight's Acoustic Masterpiece M-101
Friday night is here and guess what? The rest of the gang brought along their prized pre-amps this time. One of them said "the more, the merrier!!" That night looked as though it was forever young as we had an extended menu. We had the following:
Graaf WFB TWO pre-amp
The Fisher
DIY Matisse
All the trio, one Italian, one American and one Malaysian, sounded different with distinguishable characteristics straight away. There is one with smooth sounding, more balance between music and vocal, one with music tonality but with less focus, less details and one with very fine details but less tonality. So, I guess some of you might have known which is which as it was also a subject in one of the local hi-fi forums. It's great to have sessions like this where we can get to compare each pre-amps side-by-side. There's no right or wrong, no winners, no losers but everyone who was there that night was happy to have their listening experiences enriched further.  

Without much notice, it was already close to 12.30am and it was time to bring the curtains down on the pre-amp shootout night. Thanks everyone in making this happen. Hope you guys are reading this!! Cheers..

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Hi Fi kaki gathering session a.k.a Friday Nite Party (Part 1)

The Friday working hours are over and the weekend beckons. It is also the time when some of the audiophiles become active in a town located approx. 56km south of Kuala Lumpur. It all started as a casual gathering for music lovers but has since transformed into a weekly affair in a small town called Seremban. When the listening duration extends longer every single time, a move to a new 'base' was inevitable. We have since found a new 'base' for these sessions.

The 1st session kicked off with some of the members bringing the prized speakers along to find out the difference in terms of sound characteristics, strengths and weaknesses as well. The list of speakers are Triangle Genese Trio, KEF LS3/5a & Sonus faber Concertino.
The listening session went on till midnite coupled with laughters. At the same time, each members brought along their favourite CDs and we got the opportunity to know some great albums. be continued with more sessions (& with photos)

Audiophiles Gathering : Audio Note OTO SE Signature

For our gathering 1st July, we had the opportunity to audition the very rare Audio Note OTO SE Signature tube amp.

The kind owner lend us for our gathering. With such a fine tube amp, we must not let it go to waste.

Equipment list :
CDP : Exposure 3010s2
Speaker cables : Ultralink Platinum MK II Ambiance
Loudspeakers :
1. Triangle Trio
2. Chartwell LS3/5A (yes, you read it right)

Attendee: 7 ppl with some bringing their own CDs

Started off with Trio. Beautiful vocal indeed from this OTO SE. In fact, it is very captivating. Smooth and warm vocal. Very good soundstage and imaging. It is quite forward sounding. Now, I know why many of Mr Oh's friends are being smitten by it including himself. Forward sounding with great depth and soundstage imaging. Only downside is the bass which lacked dynamic. Could not ask for more for a 10W tube amp.

Swapped Chartwell LS3/5A. Again, our prediction does come true. The OTO SE Signature struggled to drive Chartwell. Fearing that we might inflict any 'wound' as well as 'hurting' Unc Jo's love, we decided to stop playing Chartwell after just one song. The OTO SE only has 8ohm and 4ohm selection. With its odd 11ohm and very low sensitivity, many amps would take a beating be it ss amp or tube amp.