Audio Gold For Lucky Men: MY 25 Hi-Fi Malaysia Group
A prosperous two day trip to Kuala Lumpur brings an earful of delights worth millions of dollars.
started innocently. Those who live within New England, USA, know about the
months-long -17F winter combined with well over 18 feet of annual snowfall
during the winter months. After many years enduring this annual situation, it
was time for Heather and I to journey to Singapore for a few months.
The warm 85F days followed by perfect 73F nights are a blissful welcome to the
chilling alternative back home. Being on holiday, for me,
is a slowdown by working only 9 hours a day instead of the normal 16. My
father is the same way, so perhaps it is a genetic trait being a Rochlin.
After about a week here in Singapore I received a message within Enjoy the Music.com's Facebook page
suggesting that I should visit KL.
For those unfamiliar, KL is short for Kuala
Lumpur (Malaysia) and flying there is a fast hopper flight from Singapore; and
good round trip airfare can be had for $200 per couple. Since I, nor my wife,
have been to KL it was literally four days later and we were landing at Kuala
Lumpur airport to meet the MY 25 Hi-Fi Malaysia group. Our very kind host,
Frankie Voon, met us at the airport and was ready to fill our days with
delight to hear not 1, not 3, not 6, but 7 incredible audio systems! Liang
Chee Seng (group leader), Joseph Ki, Hock Hoo Gan, C.C Ngoo, Y.W Wong, Gary Leong, HS Yoong, Dr Wong, Dr Albert, Dr Ng and T E Tan were ready
for our visit, but were we ready for all the magical music, great gear, fantastic food and friendship that was about to come our way? Little did
Heather and I realize we were about to embark on a most excellent journey
filled with rare, and legendary, audio exotica. I can only hope my impressions
and shared feelings here provide you, the reader, 15% of what unfolded. Each
system was exemplary and unique. In many ways, each audio system was a mirror
of the owner's personality (we'll get more into that later). From the
ultra-rare exotica to historic and legendary gear was awaiting us! And so my
friends I present to you the most extraordinary two days in Kuala Lumpur this
side of driving a Formula 1 car on the stunning and challenging Sepang
Before I get going about the sound of each
system, you should also know that each listening room during our trip to KL
was carefully treated with a variety of acoustic tuning devices. Some were
commercially available, yet at other times were custom designed and handmade
specifically for the listening space. It appears the guys in KL are very
smart, and thus do not fall prey to the typical unscientific 'snake oil'
as used in other countries. In fact one system featured heavy use of 60-cent
each ceramic high tension wire stands. Whilst I highly agree it is good to
keep one's cables off the ground, as air is an excellent dielectric, these
60-cent each solution was far and away a smart investment. Since many of the
gentlemen here in KL were technically-minded, they find true
solutions to problems at common sense pricing.
Consulting Mr. Tan And His
Proof that being an I.T. guy has
benefits far beyond just computing.
first stop was with Mr. T E Tan, who is an I.T. consultant, to hear his system
with Pass Labs amplification, TAD speakers, JPS Labs cables... plus our host
Frankie Voon's Frank Power Bank PB-15000Ws power conditioner. After taking
our shoes off at the front doorway, which one customarily does before entering
a home, Heather and I were brought into an impressive room filled with
high-end audio gear. Moments later Jennifer Warnes' voice filled with room
nicely. My ears first focused on the excellent lower midrange to bass
frequencies. They were very highly defined and we should note that it took
them three years to get the room acoustics to where they are today. As you can
see from the photos, there has been much attention to get the very critical
room/speaker interface correct. As many of you know, if this important part is
not correct, then perhaps even the very best digital room correction software
can only try to be employed as a Band-Aid, as it were, to make things 'right'.
Dynamically, this system is very bold yet with proper weight and heft. If
delicacy is called for, such as smaller dynamics, then it was naturally
presented with ease. During a drum track the dynamics were fast, clean and
effortless. There was not a hint of any stress or strain. You could easily
hear the tuning of the drum heads as the harmonics changed after the initial
strike to the decay. In fact I could clearly discern how one of the drums'
head was a touch out of tune (read: when a single drum lug is tighter or
looser than the others, you can hear a slightly out of tune harmonics that is
especially apparent during dynamic decay after initial strike). Most
impressive! Audio was CD-based, which we should understand that the physical
CD format is still quite popular here in Asia.
Owner: Mr. T E Tan
TAD D600 SACD/CD player
Pass Labs XP20 preamp
Pass Labs XA160.5 monoblocks
TAD CR1 loudspeakers
Shunyata Hydra 8 power conditioner
Frank Power Bank PB-15000Ws power conditioner
Audioquest the Sky interconnects
JPS Labs Superconductor 2 interconnects
JPS Labs Superconductor 3 speaker cables
Shunyata Python and Taipan Helix Alpha powercords
ABL SURSUM Cryo MCB 50 Amp
Room 15'W x 22'D x 9.5'H
Music Track List
1. And so it goes. Jennifer Warnes/The Well
2. Alternate Three. Clark Terry-Freddie Hubbard-Dizzy Gillespie etc/The
3. Don't cry for me, Argentina. Danny Wright/Black and White
4. Canon in 'D'. Danny Wright/Black and White
5. Alone Together. Chet Baker/Chet
6. Poem of Chinese Drum. Yim Hok Man/Poems of Thunder - The Master Chinese Percussionist
7. Bach Partita #3 Preludio. Itzhak Perlman/ The Art of Itzhak Perlman
8. Dance of the Tumblers, Rimsky Korsakov. Eiji Oue - Minnesota Orchestra/Tutti Orchestral Samplerf
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