guan tan, kk, me and master ken

today was a gloomy day for master ken and i. we are the hosts for two returning malaysian audiophiles from HK.

four of us met up for CNY lunch in 1-utama, followed by two separate listening sessions. what was expected to be a great aural session turned out to be grossly disappointing one as TNB (local power company) was acting up again. murphy's law strikes at the most inappropriate time. the electricity was awful this afternoon.

as a host, i normally don't pay much attention to the music as i handle the job of selecting which cds to play. but facial expressions from my guests from HK told me that they were not impressed at all. in fact, i started to sense something amiss when my guest played the "jazz at the pawnshop" cd. as you know, this is a very analogue sounding cd. but in my system today, it sounded awfully digital. my two guests were too polite to comment on my system so they chose to remain silent. i took over the listening spot, moments before they started to leave, and my god! the sound was thin and shrilly. it happens to me again and again, every time i conduct demo to my guests. the vagaries of electricity, sigh!

so there you go, demo blues that dent the ego of the host. i was baffled as to why TNB's supply was bad this afternoon. perhaps a lot of people have not started work and stayed at home?

we left for master ken's house. lightning strikes twice on the same day. his sound was equally pathetic - thin and hollow. i was too embarrassed to even hint to ken. i switched to reading the newspapers. ken looked apologetic but didn't know what happen to his system except that TNB did some electrical work to his apartment earlier in the morning.

at roughly one hour after he switched on his system, the sound came alive, much to our surprise. apparently, the locally-made powertrans was off the whole morning and it needed some time to warm up. can any demo be worse-timed than this?


but master ken was raving non-stop on teddy robin's audiophile CD as it kicks plenty of ass with his ATC. he blasted the volume way past 11 o'clock on his ARC LS5 preamp and i could see him reaching instant orgasm aurally. i have told you readers that this cd needs to be played on a 300-watter solid state system with dynamic cone speaker and ken's system is exactly what the doctor ordered. the midbass of the ATC has plenty of torque and swing; it was so fun to play at excessively loud volume.

we then discussed about different kind of bass and the importance of having good bass. ken likes my maggie's bass cos he thinks the bass is very tactile, tuneful and goes very low, the only shortfall being the midbass, which is traditionally never the maggie's strenghts. on the other hand, the ATC's has plenty of midbass torque but it is not as tuneful nor tactile as the maggie's bass. it is amazing that we could agree on something so politically conflicting. great minds think alike or fools seldom differ? ;-)

i lamented to ken that my HK guests didn't manage to listen to my system in its normal condition and instead they ended up getting a negative impression. ken consoled me in his typical no-nonsense style, "at least, i knew how good your system can sound cos i have heard it just 2 weeks ago", he said matter-of-factly.

that statement from ken is enough to made my otherwise gloomy day into a day full of renewed hopes.

one day, i am going to document the do's and dont's of conducting demo to your friends and you all better heed my advice ;-)

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maggie,

Where did you get this Teddy Robbins CD?

After seeing so much about it here, I went to Victoria and a few other music stores but none are even aware who Teddy Robbins is? Let alone stock his CDs!

I personally have favourable impression of Teddy Robbins in the eighties, when he used to jam with Sam Hui and some other artist of the day back then. It would be nice to catch up with him again musically.

canto fanatics said...

i got it from yesasia.com

watch out also for Teresa Carpio, she is working on album based on her fav hits

canto fanatics said...

sorry is that Ken from one bolehland hi-fi mailing list. we emailed each other during the early 2000s

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

hi canto,
yes, it must be the same straight-talking, honest-to-goodness ken ;-) i bought the last teresa's cd, not bad but recording is so-so.

hi anonymous,
this is a absolutely must-have cd for 2007. but please don't apply if you have a puny system that can't rock cos the dynamics (the drummer is a blast!!!) in the cd is awesome ;-) ken blasted it way beyond 100db in his system today and he was in cloud nine!

you can get it in adelphi's new disc village or roxy music. someone had asked me to do a bulk order for the readers here but i don't have the time. if you buy a few cds, it is worth it to buy from yes asia online site cos you can save on shipping.

hafiz said...

Maggie ..

I feel sorry for you.I think It is time to take matter into your own hands and get RIchard gray power Vault....It is not cheap...but it save you the curses you throw on TNB ,especially if you listen in on Sunday night...

Jack said...

Agree with Hafiz I installed mine abt 2 months ago[got them directly myself] and you get real consistency in the sound .I love my free time ,which I don't have a lot but when I listen to my music I want the system to shine through...

Anonymous said...

I think probably you switched off your system when you went back to Ipoh.:

And your system being all tube -based certainly was more sensitive than Ken..

anyway it is nice to know that there has been o good positive exchange of ideas between M'sian and HK ese audiophiles..

bin said...

Cheer up

jim said...

sorry about your predicament.....

I normally start byremoving all the cables and cleaning them with CAIG contact cleaner and conditions all the PC ,cables and connectors with CAIG contact enhancers..

Next I make sure the cablings are properly aligned..

I then ALWAYS clean the cd lens with MILTY Lens cleaner and demagnitized the system with XLO/RR cd demag..

Then only i proceeded with the rest of the tweaking and start listening..I feel with the above you would be less succeptible to poor quality power....just my 2 cents

acheah said...

wah all very hansome.....

Anonymous said...

This means the Teddy Robbins CD is not available in Boleh Land?

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

not yet. try to order from interglobal. google their contact. they are located in wangsa maju.

guan said...

I'm a bit late chipping in but no need to feel dismayed, Les. KK and I thoroughly enjoyed your hospitality and it was great to catch up with Ken. I was again in awe of Ken's listening ability as he pointed out reflections and soundstage features!

Your system actually sounded really good on the first track you played but the sound became increasingly edgy and thin. I now understand why you say that AC quality is an issue.