It was supposed to be just a cordial chat with Maggielurva about contributing to his blog and AVXpress, but instead it turned into a hifi epiphany for me. It was an experience that shook me to the core as far as hifi is conerned (ok, a bit dramatic here 'lah', but honestly that was how I felt). From the first track played, I had goosebumps aplenty, and throughout the listening session, I was grinning ear to ear like a silly kid. Maggielurva was the witness, he was there too. The object of desire in this case was none other than his own hifi system. You see, I was lucky enough to be invited for a listen at his place after our chat.

He played me a lot of vocal music that night, as vocal music is the easiest way to evaluate a system since everyone is familiar with the human voice. The palpability and the realism of the vocal, the sheen and richness in the treble, the layering of the soundstage, and, most importantly, the musical enjoyment that this system conjured up would be forever etched in my memory. What galled me was that I probably have the same level of investment (read:$$$) in my setup compared to his (except on cables :-) ), but I could not equal this kind of performance level.

I sure have a lot more to learn. This level of system performance is now my aspiration, which I expect to strive long and hard to approach, let alone achieve, with my current setup in the months to come. And he said the electricity quality issue he faced meant that his system was only performing at around 80% (I shudder to think how 100% will sound like, but he promised to invite me to listen again when that day comes).

Maggielurva was also kind enough to give me a sneak preview of his 2V1G CD. What I can say is that all the hype is true. Whether you are an audiophile or a music lover, you ought to do yourself a favour, get a copy when it comes out. I'm putting my money where my mouth is, I have pre-ordered 5 copies from him to share with my family and friends. The musical arrangement was tasteful and varied, the guitar playing was excellent, and the singers' performance exceeded that from many of the current crop of HK and Taiwanese pop singers. I can’t wait to get a copy to play on my own system.

The greatest regret of the night for me was that I did not take any photos (damn!), but here is one from maggielurva's older post of his system. Tasty!


lyle said...

Not bad for a first review.
Good luck and it is good to know that maggielurva is the person that we thought he is....

BTW what do you think make his system so good?

ricardo said...

Really that good huh?

You are sur it isn't the Ecstasy that Maggielurva spike your drink With?Just kidding!!!

anyway good to know that whn Maggie recommend something he is not bullshitting};{

aboon said...

22.o4.08 your first review....good number!!!!you will bring a lot of luck to this blog!!!!

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

wah, hifikaki, your really know how to exaggerate, you sure you weren't smoking something? ;-)

ok, now you officially get the job as av xpress' reviewer ;-)

jag said...

Hifi kaki,

I think you have been enchanted by the sound of the speakers....It isalways like that with first time listener of maggies.....

but the beast need pure,clean power like no other speakers....that is why i had to give up on mine and move on to[regretabbly]to more forgiving horn speakers...looking at the set up[look like Audio research preamp and amp to me}you probably heard vocals reproductions at its best...

liow said...

why don't you post up your system?

hifikaki said...

Thanks for all your encouragement and responses!

I asked maggielurva about his secret recipe that made his system sounded so good too, he said it was the synergy of all the components (aiya, standard answer lah).

Of course, his component matching must have been excellent, but I suspect jag might have a point too, that was the first time I really sat down and listened to a pair of maggies and they did blow me away.

Another contributing factor might be the acoustic space - maggielurva's listening area was big enough for the speakers to 'breathe', and you could see that he had spent time tuning it, with curtain, carpet and some diffusor/absorbers at the corners.

My listening space in contrast is a bit too small for my system (9'x 12'), and the sound is a bit conjested (but I might get a bigger space in a few months' time, hehe)

Or maybe his secret weapon was his silver cables??!

Why doesn't maggielurva come out and tell us himself? maggielurva, over to you :-).

Hi Liow,
My system as follows:
CD: Copland CDA822
Pre: Pass Labs X2.5
Power: Pass Labs XA60
Speakers: Egglestonworks The Nine
Power conditioner: Shunyata Hydra 8 + python alpha
Interconnects: JPS Superconductor 2 and FX xlr
Speaker cable: Transparent Ultra

2V1G said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

hifi kaki,
i think the majority of the readers here have had enough of me blowing my own trumpet, why don't you take over the center stage and tell us your story? like how and why you choose pass labs, eggleston etc etc? like how you have a family to take care of and still can play hifi?

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
liow said...

Hifi kaki,
Quite an impressive set up.
I find the Copland CD to be very musical and quite deep in the Bass.

Not a bad match IMO

Michael Ng said...

Welcome aboard hifikaki dude!!

I know what maggielurva's secret is, but you'll have to strap me on an electric chair to get the answers. Perhaps I can give a hint?!

Ken said...

Hi Hifikaki,

Hope to get a chance to hear your system.

audioexplorer said...

Audio Research and Magnepan always create magic together.

hifikaki said...

Ok boss, I'd try to tell some of my hifi history in the coming postings.

How to have a family and still play hifi?
Firstly, you must have a very tolerant wife. :-)
Secondly, you must have the 'wrong' priorities in life, like not changing car every 3-5 years, the depreciation you save would get you the pass labs amps (my current and previous cars are all 10 years old!) :-)