Category Archives: industry update

bad news for cd – an email from hong kong

The audiophile music market has been slowly shrinking here for the last 10 years or so.

But since the outbreak of the financial tsunami, the market suddenly worsened at a much accelerated pace. Now the economy is getting better but CD sales doesn't pick up at all. People are talking about digital download will replace CD. But the problem is when you sell one download, the paid download copy will be freely distributed to friends and then friends of friends of the one who actually pays.

Who will bother to fill in his or her name and credit card no. to download when his or her friend can share a free copy which is exactly the same as any paid download one? Some audiophile labels are starting to sell 24 bit 96k wave files via the net. I believe they are in fact killing themselves. The 24 bit 96k wave file are of course better sounding thanh the commercial CD. But how can they recoup the money they spend in a brand new production? Of course there is no question of recouping the investment if it is old master. But sooner or later, download sales of old master will exhaust. If these labels invest in new recordings, they will not be able to recoup.

So much for the bad news, a few days ago, I received a test pressing of the HQCD version of Susan Wong's first CD and it sounds really beautiful, much much better than the normal CD or XRCD. I hope HQCD might bring some excitement to the CD market.

Keith Yip, Rock In Music

Original Resource is desirable audio boutique 欲望:音响

yet another avenue for hifi

i was introduced to veteran hifi reviewer from the star newspaper, lam seng fatt, yesterday and he too has a blog called hifi avenue ...

since lam is a journalist, he brings the latest update from the local industry. of great interest to me is lam's interest on the hard disc players and its progress and evolution. readers who want to know more about this topic would definitely find great info from lam's blog.

so besides desirable audio, we now have hifi-unlimited and hifi-avenue! the more the merrier!

Original Resource is desirable audio boutique 欲望:音响

Anouncement: CMY Wants You!

Are you young, energetic, and have a passion for AV and music?

Do you like to twiddle in state of the art hifi and AV products all day, and get paid for doing so too? Sounds like too good to be true? CMY has a proposal for your consideration.

In an expansion drive, CMY Audio Visual seeks extra Retail Sales Staff to be based in one of their Petaling Jaya showrooms. They hope to get, young, energetic individuals, whom have a passion for all things AV and music, plus would like to seek a career in the retail industry.

Perks of the job includes:
1) Playing with hifi and AV products all day.
2) Sales commission applicable.
3) Experience the retail industry.

However, the job also requires you to:
1) Work long hours as shopping centers retail from 10am to 10pm daily.
2) Work on public holidays.

If you'd like to try out for a career in hifi retail experience, here's your chance to do so with an established market leader.

If interested, please call John at Tel no: 016-2861000

Original Resource is desirable audio boutique 欲望:音响

Aonuncement: CMY Invites, Presentation by Wilfried Ehrenholz.

I have being asked by CMY to invite all you Dynaudio fans out there to attend a presentation by Wilfried Ehrenholz , on Thursday, 3.00pm, 13th August 2009, at their Damansara Uptown Showroom(formerly known as the Naim center) in Petaling Jaya.

Even if you're just a little bit curious like me, please take the oppurtunity to hear what Mr Wilfried Ehrenholz, CEO of Dynaudio, and indusrty leader, has to say about his products and our hobby in general.

You may call CMY at 03-77272419 or 012-2873551(Chan) or 016-2861000(John) for RSVP.

You may also e-mail to [email protected] for RSVP.

So mark your calenders and make it a point to be there.

See ya all there!

Original Resource is desirable audio boutique 欲望:音响

Tea Time With Andy Duffield.

Andy Duffield(left), with my KLIAV show buddy Lin, the Terenganu PMC Club President(right). Lin has a pair of the original PMC LB1 and hopes to grab the pair of LB1 Signature out of AV Designs showroom soon! Readers eyeing the LB1 Signature better hurry before Lin grabs em! I guarantee the LB1 Siganture is a special breed indeed.

Andy Duffield is Sales Manager for PMC speakers. He came to the KLIAV accompanying the latest PMC PB1i and Fact 8 speakers on demo/display.

I had the opportunity to sip a cuppa with Andy during the show and learn more about the man, the company and the products.

Panzer: Hi! you've been to Malaysia before?

Andy: No, actually this is my first visit to Asia, after KLIAV, I'll be doing the Hong Kong and Taiwan shows next month. Any other Asian hifi events that I should be aware of?

Panzer: You should really check out the Guangzhou AV show in China, which is probably held during the later part of the year. It's possibly the largest event catering to the AV markets in the region.

Andy: O.K. I'll check with our partners in Hong Kong about that.

Panzer: So how did you get in the business of selling hifi speakers?

Andy: I've been working on the professional side of PMC for a long time, probably 8 years or so, very recently Peter(Peter Thomas, PMC founder and chief designer) had ask me to help out on the consumer side of things and so, here I am!

Panzer: Care to explain the latest rational behind the i series speakers? By the way i stands for "improved"?

Andy: Yes, i is for "improved" indeed! The i series upgrades happened mainly because as we gear up to comply with the newly regulated RoHS program(for those whom do not know, RoHS is a set of strict environmentally friendly guidelines, which all electronics sold within EC must comply to) , effectively enforced within the EC this year. With that objective, Peter set out the re-evaluate every component in the speaker manufacturing line to ensure compliance. Whilst at it our previous driver supplier, Vifa had moved their manufacturing operation out of Europe, which makes it less convenient for them to supply us the drivers that are custom ed to meet PMC specs, which are subjected to very tight tolerances in specifications. So we looked around and found SEAS, which is a reputable speaker driver manufacturer of the highest quality in Europe. The i series tweeter are built by SEAS to meet our very exact specifications.

Panzer: Ahh......SEAS!, I know their drivers sonic character very well. They tend to sound very clean, articulate but at the same time so..... analytical too!, which is not what I'd like in my hifi sound reproduction. However, my brief experience with the PMC GB1i speakers in my own system revealed the sonic character of a different kind. The high frequencies were still articulate, detailed, clean, and if I may add somewhat a little sweet too, which is good.

Andy: Exactly!, we do not take just any standard, off the shelf SEAS driver and plonk them in to a PMC box, whilst the drivers cosmetically and physically look similar, some of the materials used, like the voice coil windings, and the dome fabric process is somewhat different from the standard SEAS drivers. Which explains the difference you've heard between the standard SEAS tweeter and a PMC spec SEAS manufactured tweeter. They are made differently and therefore will sound different!

Panzer: What sort of a L/R tolerance in decibel spec does PMC applies to it consumer speaker lines?

Andy: Our in coming QC procedure makes sure each and every component that goes in to our speakers are checked to ensure they meet very tight tolerances in the 1st place, like for example, all our capacitors are 10% and our resistors are 1% spec, for use in the speaker's crossovers. The drivers are matched to very close tolerances before final speaker assembly. Peter personally listens to every pair of speakers manufactured, compared to the final R&D approved test pair, before they are boxed and shipped out of the factory.

Panzer: I heard that Peter has a huge collection of all the British speakers ever made worthy of vintage status?

Andy: Not only that, Peter has a museum in the PMC factory that is a collection of every speaker model that PMC was ever manufactured! It's usually the last pair of the production line.

Panzer: So, what hifi system do you have at home?

Andy: I've been privileged to work at PMC, where we are allowed to take speakers and amps from the R&D for home trials and report our findings. I personally do have a pair of the original PMC GB1s at home. They are powered by an old integrated amplifier and sourced by a Linn turntable.

Panzer: No Bryston amps for your own system?(PMC distributes Bryston electronics in the UK, just in case our readers didn't know)

Andy: Ohh... that too, I get to bring back various Bryston gears back home to evaluate. So there's really no hurry for me to purchase one right away, but if I really wanna upgrade my home audio system, when my kids are a little more grown up, I'd certainly be going with Bryston amps.

Panzer: PMC uses Bryston amps in their powered monitors and speakers too right?

Andy: Well, yes, we do get amplifier modules from Bryston for our powered monitors and speakers. Peter then strips away all the un-necessary bits off the modules, like the protection and non-audio related circuits, and in the process, he usually beefs up the power supply section too! The end result really does sound very different from a standard Bryston amp. That's why we call them "Bryston by PMC" amplifiers.

Panzer: Why launch PMC LB1 Signature re-issued in Tiger Eye wood finish, so soon after the original LB1 model just ended it's run about a year or two ago?

Andy: I am not really sure about the details of LB1 model, it was discontinued as I took on my present position. However, I do know that the PMC LB1 has had a very long production history and in some markets like Hong Kong and Japan, we keep getting request for them still. In response, Peter has incorporated our latest improvements in to the LB1 and uses parts ultra tight tolerances, plus that special Tiger Eye wood finish which is unique, finally each pair is especially match for L/R chanels. Peter performs all the QC and signs off on every "Signature" speaker himself, hence the designation.

Panzer: Well, thanks for spending tea time with me.

Andy: It's very nice to have met you too.

With that I concluded my quick chat with Andy Duffield of PMC speakers UK. Thanks to James of AV designs, for making the arrangements possible.

Original Resource is desirable audio boutique 欲望:音响

Koffee With Franck Tchang.

That's Franck and his resonator products in the back ground wall.

I noticed many hifi brand ambassadors came to attend the KLIAV 2009 show along with their products. I spotted representatives for McIntosh, Jeff Linn for Telos, Hans Ole' Vitus for Vitus Audio, Justin Cohen for Sooloos Meridian, Andy Duffield of PMC(which I had tea time with, story to come) and Franck Tchang of Acoustic Systems. Some have also mentioned that a Japanese representative for Kondo came to set up the demo system, but I did not see him on demo when I attended the said room.

With the 2 days I attended the KLIAV show, I only managed to chat with 2 of the personalities over a cuppa, courtesy of the exhibitor's time and suitable arrangements. I did briefly chat with Justin of Sooloos Meridian, but that wasn't something I could post here about, not without his approval anyway.

So I start having Koffee with Franck Tchang.

Panzer: You're Asian, yet your company is established in France, why and how it become so?

Franck: I am Vietnamese by birth, by my 2nd birthday, my family moved to the United States where I grew up. I returned to Asia post graduate to work in Taiwan and Japan for a few years before finally moving on to Europe, where I finally choose and settled in Paris, France.

Panzer: Why Paris, France?

Franck: I enjoy the Parisian life style, it's a vibrant city that makes my creative juices flow. I do my audio stuff by day, and play music by night.

Panzer: You mean play in a band for gigs?

Franck: Yeah! absolutely.

Panzer: What instrument do your play?

Franck: I play the electric and acoustic guitar.

Panzer: So you actually used your "live" musical performance to benchmark your products and hifi?

Franck: Yes, there's no substitute for "live" music! We can only try to get closer somewhat in the reproduction of the musical event captured on a recording, by neutralising the room effect on your audio system.

Panzer: So your Resonator room tuning cups are inspired that way?

Franck: Yes, very much so.

Panzer: I understand from what I read, most room treatment devices need a certain minimum surface area vis a vis room area to work effectively. Your Resonator cups are so..... small, tiny even, by comparison! So how does it work?

Franck: I agree and you're right that when it comes to traditional room treatment methods, you need big surfaces to work effectively, and that always bring troubles to family harmony, if you know what I mean?

Panzer: The lady in the house doesn't agree with the home decor appearance of traditional room treatment?

Franck: Exactly, so that led me to think un-conventionally. I needed to do something discreet yet effective for the application. I looked around scientifically and physically, then realised that by using density to replace surface area volume, I actually could make a more effective room treatment device.

Panzer: Huh??? Care to elaborate?

Franck: You see, the Resonator cups come in various grades, the most cost effective being the basic resonator cup to the most expensive being the platinum resonator cup. The difference is in the materials used as indicated by the product name, and in between two just mentioned, there's the silver and gold resonator cups available too.

Panzer: How does the material used to make the resonator cups have a difference to the end result?

Franck: You see, the basic resonator is made of brass(Franck hands me a brass cup sample, after a quick look and feel, he takes the brass cup back and drops it on the glass surfaced table a couple of times) hear that? (as the cup dropping on the table produces a ringing chime like tone) Now (Franck hands me a platinum cup to look and feel). How did that compared to the earlier brass cup?

Panzer: It feels heavier and somewhat more substantial.

Franck: Exactly, you see, the different metals used to make the cups all have different density and weight for the exact same shape! (Franck now drops the platinum cup on the glass table surface for a couple of times) You hear that? Do you hear the difference in the ringing tone?

Panzer: The platinum cup seems to ring with much more clarity and possibly at a higher pitch and frequency level too.

Franck: That's right! That's a result of the different metals used. The platinum, is a purer,and higher density metal, in comparison to the basic brass cup. Hence the different response and effects different areas of the audio band frequency wise.

Panzer: WOW! That's really some clever science behind the resonator cups! Thanks for expanding my mind.

Franck: (finishes his cuppa) Time's up! I gotta get beck to work, there's another round of presentation to start in a few minutes.

Panzer: Good bye!

Franck: Bye! and we must meet up again soon.(He gets up and rushes back in to the hotel)

I personally find Franck to be a humorous fella and hugely entertaining, not to mention, enlightening at the same time. I thoroughly enjoyed spending my koffee time with him.

Well if you had missed his presentation during the KLIAV, let's hope the good guys at CMY does bring him back again sometime soon.

Original Resource is desirable audio boutique 欲望:音响

Get Your Soulution At Audio Image.

The Soulution 710 power amp and 720 pre amp kombi. Now on DEMO!

Folks, the long awaited Soulution amps are finally here and on demo at Audio Image. I heard fom the grape wine a kombi pair(that's what Soulution calls it's pre power pairs in German speaking Switzerland), arrived some time in May, but was sold even before I got to hear it a week later! Adrian says that pair was pre-booked by a customer.

The current pair on demo are the 710 power amp and the 720 pre amp kombi. Go audition before it's sold too!(things move pretty fast at Audio Image)

Soulution is sold by Audio Image, Tel: 03-79563077

Original Resource is desirable audio boutique 欲望:音响

Swedish Statement At KLIAV 2009.

The Marten Coltrane Supreme with the Baldelius Ymer power amp.

Folks, do watch out for the ultra high end gears on demo at the Swedish Statement room at the KLIAV 2009!

I was told that the flagship Coltrane Supreme speakers would be on demo, powered by possibly, no less than 2 pairs of Vitus Audio SM-101 class A mono blocks and SL-010 pre amp.

Vitus Audio SM-101 class A mono blocks.

Also likely to be on demo is the Bladelius Embla CD/Memory player and the Vitus Audio SCD-010 CD player.

Bladelius Embla CD/Memory player.

Vitus Audio SCD-010 CD player, it's a top loader too!

Don't miss the chance to audition this superbly ultra high end set up!

Original Resource is desirable audio boutique 欲望:音响