click here

wherein leo describes what "pop/audiophile crossover music" genre is, the kind that So Music is trying to do....

it would be great if we could do a pure analogue album like what leo did for pete teo...

ok, we are going to call it - "So Music", which actually rhymes with "soul music", which can actually mean "so very music". for the chinese name, we will give it a twist and call it "烧音乐"(shao yin yue), which means audiophile music, which can also mean "burning the music", to indicate passion...

for the logo, i am going to use back my beloved music exchange's porcupine so well liked by many people... kind of resurrection, sort of.


the more i delve into the project, the more i find it tough. it certainly cannot be achieved in a short time, that's why i am not putting a timeframe to it.

the good news is roger wang has agreed to work with us! he is excited by our concept and he sees the potential of this genre doing well. however, i won't use roger for all the tracks; i want variety; i want sparks flying.... they are many guitarists with supreme skills. jamie wilson is one i would consider too.

i also need to think of the album concept - it has to have commercial appeal, yet not gimmicky to frighten off genuine music lovers. for sure, i will steer clear of teresa teng or cai qin kind of stuff. i want modern chinese pop songs, sung by modern-sounding singers. most importantly, i want crossover appeal, meaning chinese music lovers can appreciate it, as well as audiophiles, even the english-educated ones.

i haven't thought a name for my music label yet. ultimately, this is not an one-off project. we wish to do many albums.

you wouldn't believe this? many of my audiophile friends are expressing interest to invest in my project!

they certainly believe in me :-)

this is going to be, to me at least, the most exciting serialized articles i have ever blogged. this audiophile cd project is brimming with excitement and challenges. i am gushing at the prospect of working with some really talented musicians and the making of a really really cool-sounding cd. you are lucky to get first-hand information in this blog :-)

in just two days, i have found a suitable producer, found my choice singers (regine and winnie ) and got in touch via email with leo fung, the charismatic hifi guru from HK. for the younger audiophiles among you, leo fung was the ultimate guru back in those flourishing days of hifi in late 80s/early 90s. leo has produced a couple of stunning drum works which have become best-sellers. more about leo's involvement in my later posts.

two of my friends, kc and ian, have already given their unequivocal vote of confidence for the two fabulous singers we shortlisted. regine, currently a recording artiste, has a sweet voice that can charm the birds out of the trees and make grown men cry, whereas my fave ms. winnie ho has the power and versatility that allow her to handle any song with finesse and class. malaysian audiopiles will be lucky to be the first batch of audiophiles to listen to their fantastic voices later.

plenty of work ahead. first, i am not sure what kind of musical style i want the singers to adopt. most "economical" way is to do what roger wang and mia palencia do with double take - a simple voice and a guitar. but this demands great artistry in arrangement and singer's capability to captivate lest it becomes bland and one-dimensional. but admittedly, it is also the easiest to record. i may want to do a jazz ensemble but that will be overly ambitious considering our modest budget and the musicians available locally.

as to the recording studio, i will leave it to my producer, jin liang. my last resort is to use roger's RAM studio in kk. roger's studio has been known to produce very warm and atmospheric sound. i am also considering asking keith yip (the HK head honcho of rock-in music label, which produces luminary works like susan wong) to do the recording for us but it would cost a bit considering that he is based in HK. most likely, i will let leo will do the mastering, provided he agrees.

next comes the song selections. i will have some say, together with my producer and the singers. winnie hasn't officially agreed to work on our project. i will be meeting up with her next week.

i guess that most exciting part for me is to see my fave singers flexing their vocal muscles in the recording studio. these are moments to-die-for.

the marketing of this album will also be interesting. i haven't really done up my marketing plan yet. i may look for some dealers to sponsor the album.

my producer will be away next month, leaving me alone to plan most of the work.

exciting times ahead; my adrenalin is charging.

and av xpress is coming out next week!

this is exciting - hunting down a stranger!

within one hour, i tracked down winnie ho, my dream singer for my project, with what else - google!

apparently, winnie has graduated from UK and guess what? you wouldn't believe this - she is staying in bandar utama!

am i dreaming or what?

this is incredible.

pure, understated and a thorough gem...winnie ho

as soon as i finished blogging the post on elisa chan, i got mighty inspired and i took the first step to realize my burning ambition to produce an audiophile cd, possibly malaysia's first... i took up my phone and started calling...i spoke to one of the top chinese pop producers in malaysia and he is interested too....

but i need one singer to realize this album. she is very special to me. i am starting a hunt for her now. rumors has it that she is now studying music in UK...

winnie ho (何芸妮), the winner of astro talent quest (ATQ) 2000, is to me the best singer that the local chinese pop music scene has seen in the last decade. possessing a superstar stage persona and a delicate and yet powerful vocals, winnie never fails to thrill me everytime i hear her sing. after winning ATQ, winnie didn't pursue what is predicted of her - becoming a recording artiste. instead, she prefers to lead a less glamourous life of a piano teacher. she has never really stepped into the entertainment scene but yet people remember and cherish her. one might wonder why, with the vocal prowess of winnie, does she still need training.

winnie's voice has a way to penetrate into your innermost soul and stay there....i am deeply touched by such an ethereal and soulful voice which always manages to caress my soul, a jaded one that is a result of being bombarded by all those trashy mandopop and cantopop in the market.

winnie, you are my chosen one. please, let me get in touch with you.

gosh! it shows how long i haven't been in touch with mia palencia (she of the double take fame)! she had released her first malay single in september last year!

it sounds great to me. very ethereal; very unlike malay song. you can take a listen at:

better buy it before i get scolded by her for not supporting local artistes!

elisa (chan kit ling) had a memorable duet with leslie cheung in the early 80s. herself a diva of sorts, it has been a long while since she released a commercial cd.

i am asking my fellow blogger here to hunt it down in tiny dot.

i used to have this brilliant idea of starting a recording label that specializes in audiophile recordings for over-the-prime singers (elisa being one). i actually got started, i don't mind telling you here. i wanted to do an audiophile cover version of local diva sheila majid's songs and give it a jazzy, bossa arrangement. i engaged a very talented local producer, hardesh singh and the project did kick off well. we shortlisted some good local singers. but half way we found out that royalty for sheila's songs is way to high for us to stomach and WEA (warner) is too slow in responding to our requests for licensing permit. so the project was stalled and that was that. that was my closest bid to fame and fortune :-)

deep inside me, i wanted to own a recording label, never mind whether it is audiophile recordings or not. so please don't be suprised if i make it happen within the next couple of years. those who know me know that i am a creator. i can make things happen.

back to elisa's album, the cover is cool, isn't it?

How many times have you achieved that perfect balance? How many times have you achieved it, gone itchy and broken every balance you strived to achieve? What does it feels like to have such balance achieved, you may ask.

The answer is simple, you tend to buy a whole lot more CDs and brush away most, if not all of the time the urge to upgrade. That lasted me for 3 years and I kept on buying CDs and cherished every single moment I had with my setup. Over my many trips to HK, I was greeted with so many opportunities to get good bargains, but most of the time, I ended up lugging CDs back home. There was once I had to acquire an additional huge backpack just to bring my CDs back!

Then bonus day came and I started to get itchy with crazy thoughts running thru my mind. And so went the AQ DBS Panther, Harmonic Tech Magic Link interconnects and my lovely ProAc Reference 8. Then came AQ DBS Cheetah and ProAc Reference 8 Signature. A happy new family you may think but it proved otherwise!

This actually brought almost a halt to my musical enjoyment as I was trying and trying and trying to get that balance again. That brink point where you have ultimate resolution and yet still effortless in conveying intimacy, where a wee bit more would topple the whole thing and send you fleeing with bleeding ears.

Tremendous effort was put into getting that final balance. From sending the full family to medical checkup in our friendly neighborhood Oh Clinic, changing cables, switching sources to silly speaker placements. Nothing could get me that last drip of refinement. The sibilance just stuck out like a sore thumb, stubbornly refused to go away!

How I wish I could have an invisible acoustic sandpaper to just sand that away! My highs were gloriously beautiful; my lows were good given the sizes of the speakers and room; my mids were seductively communicative. Indeed, the setup handled audiophile approved CDs with aplomb. But it failed miserably with pop CDs, a trait I held in pride previously and was now gone.

This lasted until yesterday when I found my ultimate fix, working in such minute precision where more would kill the sound and less would render the fix useless. Personally, I hate to use cones and spikes below rigs. Many have got that hardening effects that might make you think you are getting more resolutions. Yes, the outlines of imaging snap in better focus but the musical flow would be hindered with strangulating results.

I am sure many have heard about the Qi Cones, but I think I am one of the last few knowing it due to my ignorance to cones. I met Mr. Go the second week in SG, starting anew and without much to do. It was a casual outing and before I knew it, I was invited to his little music abode and discovered all these little cones with crystals lying around. That was how I got to know he was indeed the creator of Qi Cones.

After a couple of chats and meet ups, I suggested that I would like to have a go with his Qi Cones. These cones were not those crystal ones, but were meant for speakers with flat rounded tip. Heck, I’ll let the pictures describe the shape to you. So I was back in town and Mr. Go too was in town fixing, coincidently, my cousin’s setup. Or rather, got my cousin kick started.

So we met up and I was anticipating eagerly the cones! Upon close inspections, they felt so much like Shun Mook, albeit with rougher finishing and lighter in weight. Who cares about cosmetic when all it matters was whether it works or not!

Quickly, I removed all the silly stuff you wouldn’t want to know that I put between the speakers and the stands’ base plates. At first, I put them all pointing up with 2 behind and 1 in front. Upon initial listening, there was a slight tame down in the sibilance but not enough! So I switched the front ones pointing downwards, and further taming down happened! Being a gifted audiophile, I sort of got the drift. I switched the inner ones behind pointing downwards and the same results greeted me! So I switched all pointing downwards and voila, great resolution with no strangulating effects!

I stressed great importance in having ultimate transparency and effortlessness in emotional conveyance, too. Going without the cones, my setup was transparent. However, the balance was easily toppled with lesser pop CDs, piercing the ears with hardened sibilance. With the cones, it imbued certain darkness to the tops as well as the overall tones. It might be the added heft/richness in the lower regions or the slight attenuation from the extreme tops that caused such observation. But the most magical moment was when I was able to regain my splendid mids.

The once emotional liquidity and seducing wetness were all flowing effortlessly again. This was imperative to have to enjoy all my female pop divas’ CDs! With such short time, I quickly ran thru some familiar tracks and was smiling in approval. I was so glad that I am back on track again, to be able to not play only audiophile CDs, but really listen to what I like most. I don’t have to keep an audiophile approved setup with limited listening choices anymore!

For me, great sound was about how fast and effortless the energy was released/dissipated/emancipated from the speakers, the freedom of energy FLOW. Musical flow to be exact, failing so would get you a dull and lethargic sound. The cones passed with flying colors with no hindrance to the flow of musical energy. There’s neither hardening of outlines nor strangulating effects.

With just 1.5 hours on tap before my departure to SG, these were what I could observe. Bear in mind that these were in minute proportions and it was exactly the last ounce that perfectionists would crack their head for. If we have to, we would kill!

So, was there any ill-full effect on the overall sound? Frankly speaking, with just 1.5 hours on tap and focusing on the sibilance issue, I ain’t so sure yet. With speakers of this size, bass is still not one of my fortes. However, the observed added mid region richness/slight attenuation at the extreme top would definitely have to be investigated further. Although we are talking about minute variations, this could render certain opacity to the overall transparency.

To round up this initial impression, I have to say that the cones acted like mechanical switches where the tip was the direction where the energy was being dissipated, allowing only a one way channel to get rid of ailing vibration. It worked wonderfully, but I have to listen further to have a better gauge. As of now, it fixed my problem and I am happy!

Oh, I think Mr. Go is going to have his version of cable risers later! You have Shun Mook, we have Go Mook, which deserves worldwide exposures me think!

you will be suprised by how much we have improved in just one issue....

watch this space.


biasing is a piece of cake!

expensive magical bottles

it happens again - that i have lost my "peak" sound! i have been basking in the glory of the improved sound brought forth by my LS26. the honeymoon period came to an abrupt end.

a week ago, i detected that my sound has deteriorated - the mids thinned, the bloom and harmonic textures vanished - and generally not great sounding anymore. wearing my sherlock holmes hat, i went investigating using my well-documented checklist (entitled "when things go wrong"). from TNB supply, earth-grounding, to my interconnects and cables, i couldn't find anything amiss. so, the only suspect is my tubes.... but hey, wait a second, didn't i replace the svet winged-c 6550s only march last year? so i wasn't convinced it is tube problem. i listened for another week.

a week passed, the sound is still lacking. i couldn't stand it anymore. so i reluctantly took out my spare set of svets which i bought in july last year, ready to replace with the old tubes. as i was pulling out the tubes one by one, i noticed most of them have already gone "botak", that the mercury top has thinned to such extent that there is no longer a thick coverage of silvery layer on top! my goodness, i cried.

the new tubes took about an hour to sound stable after the biasing but do they sound glorious! i definitely can tell what is a "normal" sound and what is a "weakened" sound!

i am scratching my head now. do the new production svets winged-c really have such a short OPTIMAL shelf life? (the keyword here is "OPTIMAL" which i estimated to be 1,000 hours) or is my hearing that good to detect even the slightest of deterioration? i know of people playing power tubes for years.

whatever, it scares the hell of me. this is the shortest lifespan of power tubes i have ever experienced in my entire life. the 16 pieces of 6550s cost me RM2,000. divided by 12 months, it costs me RM167 a month for pure aural bliss! this is frighteningly expensive "road tax"!

everything comes with a price, i console myself. being a perfectionist audiophile is definitely not easy.

audiomatic has been appointed by local distributor v&v as the dealer for shunyata power distribution products.

audiomatic is located at 1st floor of amcorp mall. interested parties can call eugene (012-3222698) for an audition.

i will be loaning from eugene the hydra 4 for comparison with my richard gray 600S. stay tuned for the results!

dear mr.johnson,

this is my 2nd time writing to you, in my 20 years as a supporter of audio research. the first time, i wrote to you back in 1990 to inform you about the serious parallel import issue in singapore and i was flabbergasted that i got a personal reply from you. now 17 years later, i would like to inform you about the decline of quality and consistency in your current product line.

for the record, i have owned legendary ARC products such as the classic 30, classic 60, classic 120, LS1, LS2B, LS25MkII and now LS26. except for the LS26, which i bought two months ago, none, absolutely NONE of them gave me any problems that i could ever remember. they were all so reliable and robust. the proud record is broken when i have your supposedly revolutionary preamp LS26. in two months' time, it broke down once and the computer memory/data constantly corrupts resulting in the need to "reboot". the first problem was caused by the small transformer that controls the remote control that failed to operate due to a bad solder. the 2nd problem is more irritating - why is that it always needs to be "rebooted" in order to get back a "clean" state? my technician, the best in my country, is not too impressed with the fact that there are so many china-made parts in the LS26. it is obvious that, ARC, like many other US brands that are facing competition, has to resort to china in order to cut cost and remain competitive.

such inconsistency is highly alarming to a premier brand like audio research that builds its reputation on high-end sound that is reliable.

i urge you and your team to be wary of such repercussions and possible damage to your reputation in the long-term. while it won't stop me from buying ARC products, it will prompt me to compare with other competitive products that is more reliable on my next upgrade.

if only ARC can improve on its reliability then it would continue to be a force in the high-end.

announcing the arrival of A&L audio station at amcorp mall! at the point of writing, A&L has officially opened and we are already seeing some followers frequenting the place!

it is exciting to know that amcorp has become the hifi centre of pj, with more than 6 specialist audio shops congregating under one roof. it currently houses audiomatic, acoustique systems, av synergy, tivoli audio, metro audio and audio synthesis.

visitors to amcorp would be able to tell you how busy the place is over the weekend when the flea market is in full force. for audiophiles, apart from visiting hifi shops, another reason to visit amcorp over the weekend is because of the many LP (Records) sellers at the flea market. at the last count, there are close to 10 of them!

A&L, the big brother of hifi, carries pedigree brands like audioquest, MBL, densen, ps audio and many more. anchoring the shop will be wah chai (mr yap), the ever nice and decent showroom manager that has many years of experience in hifi.

pop over to amcorp over the weekend and you won't be disappointed.

there is a saying - "don't cross sword with the media", meaning don't "play play" with the media cos they can do great damage to you and your products.

there used to be a time when hifi was well-covered by the english media. i am talking about at least 7-8 years ago. we had perfect pitch (sun newspaper) and audiofile (the star newspaper) competing neck to neck in a fun and healthy manner. perfect pitch was technical and serious whereas audiofile was fun and a bit frivolous. audiophiles then had a field day reading both publications. slowly we witnessed the demise of both in the late 90s/early 2000. well, audiofile did not really die but they changed direction. recently, i heard rumours that audiofile intends to focus on hifi again. that is heartening.

being in the media myself, i see a great responsibility in "resuscitating" this industry that has declined substantially compared to the heydays of the mid-90s. hifi magazines in HK, taiwan are so influential that they can make or break a product. HK mags, in particular, are very good in sensationalizing products, which is a good thing if you ask me, never mind that a lot of them are cheer-leading literature.

i am a newbie in publishing. i am good in listening, biasing my tubes, positioning speakers but i really am new in managing a magazine. all i know is i can't do a TAS or stereophile equivalent in malaysia, not that i am capable of it in the first place. i don't think there is a place for a "hardcore" hifi magazines anymore. those days are long gone. on the other hand, i don't know what the mass readers want today. (note: the keyword here is "mass". TAS and stereophile are not mass).

i am slowing climbing the rope to see what malaysian readers want. i will keep changing and reshaping until i find something palatable and acceptable to the malaysian readers. in fact, this issue of av xpress is a great leap forward in terms of contents and positioning.

i am hoping that one day - in the not-to-distant future - people will regard av xpress as the "audio vox" of malaysian hifi.

it is still a long, long way but do not underestimate the power of media.

"superman" - great album by gary cao ge

when i first interviewed gary chow (cao ge) back in 1999, i could never imagine that a guy with his physique and looks could possibly make it. i don't mean to disrespect his considerable talents, but in chinese music industry, good looks are prerequisite, regardless of the amount of talents you have. i remembered the interview vividly - gary came to my 2nd hand cd shop (music exchange) one afternoon, dressed in t-shirt and jeans and i was like "OMG, this guy is so ordinary!". so i almost wrote him off.

i am seldom wrong in singling out the stars of tomorrow in the chinese music industry. but in gary's case, i am dead wrong, embarassingly wrong. i ought to be hanged for the crime i committed in writing off gary as a potential star 8 years ago.

fast forward 8 years and i picked up - for the first time - gary's sophomore album entitled "superman". my, was i suprised by how much he has improved and matured and changed! i am listening to a first-class R&B singer from malaysia who has made in big in taiwan just the last 2 years! gary's voice graces the R&B tunes with so much finesse and style, massaging the tunes with the experience of a seasoned R&B and soul singer. i am so impressed.

and here's it - my apology to gary: i am glad you have finally made it. you are another singer who has made malaysia proud.

ipod integration to hi-fi is key

while persuading cheeky yong, the intellectual hifi reviewer for the once-famous and once-indispensable perfect pitch publication (a pull-out of the sun newspaper) to come out from "retirement" to write for av xpress, we discussed many issues concerning the fall of hifi (and high-end audio) and the rise of the ipod generation.

cheeky said if he was to write, he would concentrate on thought-provoking issues such as "is it possible to make ipod, MP3, MP4 high-fidelity?", "for hi-fi to revive and survive, it must cater to the needs of the ipod generation" etc etc.

thought-provoking indeed. many of you would have realized that people who play high-end audio are mostly financially stable men over 40 years-old and frankly with most of them above 50 years-old. it is an ageing community and a miserably tiny one no less. practically, no 30 year-olds or under 30 year-olds today can afford high-end, save for a few blessed ones like my fellow blogger here. which means, there won't be newcomers to this hobby in the near future. can you imagine what would happen in 20 years' time? we dare not even look into our crystal ball and predict what would happen but some things are for sure - the ipods would stay and probably evolve into a high-res media; that music lovers would go for convenience, portability and volume of songs one can carry; that music lovers would look for integration of their ipods with analog devices such as tube amps.... the future is indeed colourful!

the worst of times is also the best of times. the faster the audio industry embrace this eventual outcome the better. what would happen to high-end audio then? i think high-end audio would be so niche and exclusive that that it would remain the purview of the rich and famous, more for the reason of status symbol than anything else.

with that exciting outlook, i am awaiting the return of cheeky yong with bated breath.

av xpress issue #2 will hit the street in the last week of april (barring unforseen circumstances)! the delay is caused by a mini revamp, arising from dealers' feedback.

we are confident that you will be pleasantly suprised to see the new look and contents.

the following changes have taken place:

1) widened distribution network
we have appointed, vishal, the biggest magazine distributor in malaysia, to distribute av xpress nationwide. vishal has more than 2,500 agents in malaysia, including those in east malaysia. in doing so, the magazine now costs a nominal price of RM2.00. RM1.50 will go to the distributor and sub-agents, this is just to incentivise them, as av xpress does not intend to make money from the magazine sales at this point in time.

2) limited free copies in record shops
by distributing av xpress in record shops, we are afraid we may not hit the target audience (i.e. buyers) so we are going to limit the number of free copies in rock corner, tower records and victoria music. it is still available for free but you have to be early.

3) addition of a new section called "audio gadgets"
as av xpress aims to promote all forms of audio to the mass market, we have included a new section focusing on audio gadgets - ipods, zune, MP3 etc etc. this will appeal to those younger readers with wide-ranging interests.

4) addition of a bilingual (chinese) section
yes, we know (read and write) chinese too! these articles in chinese should appeal to the chinese literate readers among you, especially those from ipoh, jb and penang.

5) addition of a new section called "new products"
many readers and dealers have asked for this section to display the latest and hottest products that hit the shelves. yes, we are listening!

6) a new format
as we have promised, we will keep improving! the new format is refreshing and easy to read. we are sure that you will like it.

please inform your friends - especially those from inter-state and east malaysia - that av xpress will hit the bookstores and newsagents end of this month! if possible, please forward this link to them.

please support av xpress and the local audio industry!

radiohead's ok computer - one of the all-time-best rock albums

i just had an long interview/chat with nick chua, malaysia's youngest audio designer (the article of which will appear in this issue of av xpress) and it turned out that we share many common views on audiophilia.

we feel that many audiophiles today don't listen to music anymore, instead they concentrate on sound. me included, i am guilty of that over the past 2 years during which i worked so hard to optimize my sound. as a result, i used too many audiophile-approved discs to fine-tune my system. it can get tiring after a while, listening to the same old boring music.

deep inside, like nick, i like 90s indie/rock bands like new order, smashing pumpkins and radiohead, to name but just a few. years of fulfilling life as an hardcore audiophile has killed my passion for rock music because most of them don't sound good in a typical system set up for diana krall, jacintha or carol kidd - if you get my drift.

so when i reached home tonight, i have the sudden urge to dig out my radiohead collection and listen thru my oh-so-pretty-sounding system, never mind that it doesn't have the rawness and grunt that it should have. in fact, everything is so beautified and unreal - that's not really how radiohead should sound! but do i care? no, not at all; because the music moves me; because i can connect with the music!

the way i organize my cds (i have over 1,000 cds) in my cd cabinet is such that all my rock/indie cds are buried inside the inner part of the cabinet, never get the chance to see the light of the day! so, i haven't played them for years.

tonight, i decided to swap all those audiophile cds i have been playing for the last 2 years with all the rock/indie cds that were buried inside. i have hundreds of them and i see bands like lemonheads, suede, new order, teenage fanclub, u2, REM, radiohead and many other successful and significant bands of the 90s.

now that my system is tip-top, i want to listen to more music, the kind with angst, pathos, emotions and soul.

musically rejuvenated, yeah!

i have heard many success stories with shunyata hydra products, yet i can't lay my hands on one because the local dealer is not very keen on loaners.

its latest hydra called the v-ray, again piques my interest not the least because it is a passive device. my love for passive conditioning devices stems from the fact that my system has a lot of brilliance in the highs and upper-mids, using active in-series devices would very likely mask out/dull this brilliance.

at more than twice the price of the richard gray 600s, v-ray should even be better than the richard gray.

if you know anyone who owns one and is willing to loan for a couple of days, do let me know. if the owner doesn't like me blogging about it, it is ok.

out goes powertrans...

as soon as i finished blogging the previous post "under critical evaluation", i realize how sensitive and political the result of my evaluation would be. the product is from my dealer-cum-friend; a lot of my audiophile friends use it; and most importantly powertrans is a tested product highly embraced by malaysian audiophiles.

so, let's cut to the chase - in the greater interest of diplomacy and political correctness, i would just say that powertrans isn't for me. maybe i am just too fussy and cocky :-)

however, do bear in mind that it is entirely my view, my experience obtained from testing it in my system. your mileage may vary greatly.

so, please don't flame me. i am a nice guy.