while mulling over a cup of teh tarik, hifi kaki and i brought out the subject of forming a hifi club in malaysia (since the idea was mooted by one hifi dealer). though the discussion here is purely academic, i would share it you here what is exchanged between us.

first, we are going to call the club "hifi utopia", not because we like the jmlab speaker but as an oxymoron to celebrate the idiosyncracies of this hobby. hifi utopia may never happen but at least that's what the club strives to achieve. the club mascot would be a happy audiophile kissing a hose-sized interconnect. just joking ;-)

there are a couple of critical success factors for hifi utopia:

[1] the club must provide real benefits to the members. this can come in the form of equipment on-loan , such as the cable cooker for members' use (great idea that was), a loaner record-cleaner or interconnect/power cords/etc etc contributed by dealers for the sole usage of the club's members

[2] a real discount for members for purchase of goods from participating dealers

[3] regular experiential sharing in the form of forums, talks, seminars - and NOT house visits, please. the club would invite hifi luminaries (local or overseas) to share their knowledge on a particular domain. dealers can be the sponsors for such events.

[4] some well-to-do veteran/senior audiophiles to provide funding for the club. the president should be someone level-headed, respected widely and preferably rich, not a recalcitrant like maggielurva.

[5] a regular platform for dealers to showcase their latest products. the club can organize listening sessions in dealer's showroom (or some neutral place) where members can mingle (or bicker!) in a conducive environment. of course, refreshment and food would be provided by dealers.

other less effective forms of sharing which we are not too keen include:

[1] regular talk-cock-sing-song sessions. this has proven that it won't work in the malaysian context due to our over-inflated egos

[2] house visits. this again is a waste of time knowing how malaysians behave when they listen to other systems.

as far as membership goes, hifi kaki feels that it should be by invitation (extended by the dealers to their valued customers) whereas i feel that it should be open to all and sundry. a lot of newbies (e.g the bunch from low yatt forum) want to come into hifi but have no means to gain knowledge or access to good hifi. hifi utopia would be a good avenue and access path for this bunch of newbies.

these are the basic guidelines for hifi utopia. do you have more to add?

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

1. Consider collecting a small monthly or annual fee from members to ensure commitment.

2. Monthly or annual gathering with dinner and lucky draw.

3. Regional groups, north and south.

4. Sectionalize into analogue and digital groups.

5. Organize live concerst for members to attend to grow knowledge.

6. Set rules for behaviour.

More ro come.....

Kang said...

MaggieL,

I think it is high time really.

We should target the 'lowyat'kaki too.

km ng said...

Good idea except one - home visits.

Which audio club in the world ban home visits?

Have more faith in fellow Malaysians, especially your very own club members.

hifikaki said...

What I’d like to see in a hifi club:
- it should be a place, to borrow a chinese proverb, for the ‘blossoming of a hundred flowers’. No tube vs. solid state, analogue vs. digital, entry level vs. high end. The ‘vs.’ should be changed to ‘and’.

Since, I believe, there is no one system that can deliver the ‘absolute sound' all the time yet, so every approach, to me, has its legitimacy. Each one, in a sense, shows a different part of the sonic “elephant” (though some can show more than the others). So I would like to get exposed to all schools. :-)

- the relationship between the audiophiles and the hifi dealers is a symbiotic one. There can’t be one without the other. Therefore the activities of the club should encompass the interest of both. (I don’t know how this translate into the organization of the club though)

- this place is for fun....

Love to hear from readers who have real experience with a hifi club in their localities to share their experience here.

P.S., I like the atmosphere in lowyet.net's audiophile discussion forum a lot. :-)

Z said...

I was a member of the Bay are Audiophiles society,while in the States.

It was a lot of fun!!You do have hardcore members that even write booklets for newbies,but the club was the perfect place to start for newbies.

A lot of demoes of new equipments,new musics,deals etc..

having said that we should make this uniquely ours

non said...

I think Whatever it is ,the main theme is fun...

Once it start to be too rigid,It takes the fun out of the whole thing...


Secondly,It should be educational.People should be allowed to mingle informally...

the bay are audio society,of course is one of the most well known..

closer to home,we have the Jakarta audio society

m inuet said...

I think we should just start..

1st topics...MaggieLurva could explain his journey[slides?]of making the 2V1G...the trials and tribulations,the technical aspects{choosing the mikes,positioning,mastering,the story of Finalizing......]

ithink it would pique a lot of people's interest...

Ken said...

Hi All,

With respect to Hifikaki and Maggielurva, I'd be surprised this club work out.

During my years in hifi, I have seen and met many audiophiles. Each of them, esp those who has a reasonably expensive system and has dabbled in this hobby for a while, has their own set of beliefs. Nothing we say will make them change their mind. When you suggest something that is different from their beliefs, you will be frowned upon.

Personally I think it is a load of work setting up the club which would invariably end up nowhere. Better use the time to listen to hifi instead than to think of ways to impose rules on people who will not follow.

Sorry for thinking so negatively, YMMV.

Rgds

Neoh said...

Ken,

rather than be a place for arguments it could be the point of convergence.

to me ,it would also benefits the newer members who would need guidance

Anonymous said...

Veteran audiophiles will have their own beliefs and it is ok. Nothing wrong with that. Why try to change them?

It's good to have diverse beliefs and difference in opinion so that we can see both sides of the fence.

The local culture is such that we try to change people or try to get them on your side of the beliefs. This is where conflict arise.

We should learn to accept other peoples sound system and appreciate what they have set up.

Say good things first and provide positive feedback. If necessary, provide suggestions on improvement in subtle ways.

Don't just shoot from the hip.

In any case, let's start of this club. There should be more positives than negatives in a club.

Anonymous said...

Ken has some valid concerns, may be we should start 'small'. Umm.. like organise a gathering among regular reader-writer of this blog, just a simple gathering chit chat/teh tarik/yam char so that we can put a-face-to-the-name. Everyone bring 3 favorate records/cds to share the music...

Then we see how is the outcome, if its gain momentum then consider setting up a club. If even this simple meeting we face problems then better forget about the idea for the time being.

I like the hobby but I start to hate the politics in the hobby.

Regards,

LIm

yam said...

The jakarta and bangkok Hi-Fi society is fairly active.

the jakarta chapter even sells on Audiogon for its members...

It would certainly give better exposure to Hi-Fi in Malaysia.not only will we attract newbies ,but there are quite a seizable portion of deep -pocketed audiophiles that buy abroad{especially in tiny dot]

Shar said...

Ken,

maybe with the audiophile club ,you could meet someone sweet like me :]1[:...

The key is "exchange of ideas' not imposing...The best source for hi-fi knowledge for me ,are my friends..

Ken said...

Hi All,

I am all for it if everyone is open-minded about it. It is just that I have been in hifi long enough to know that it is not going to be easy.

I have joined numerous hifi group but the outcome is almost always the same. Even in a group where all the members supposed to like a cult hifi item argued on points so trivial it is laughable.

Anyway, this new group could be something different?

Rgds.

Anonymous said...

My past experience in the local car audio clubs ended up exactly where Ken has pointed!

In the Malaysian context, rich egos need to be stroked! Lesser common men are just mules.

Sorry to pour cold water on the idea but I just had one too many bad clubs.

cheah said...

How come the Clubs like kanchil,Smart,MYVi owners are doing very well...

Maybe audiophiles are too diverse ?

fafafion said...

I see a lot of Naysayers;probably once bitten twice shy...


I think ,at least for me,I look at desirable audio boutique as a sort of Malaysian Hifi club.

And from what has been written,both by the Reviewers and the rest,I have been extremely impressed.

Certainly better than Echoloft IMO[in term of contents and manners],More Hi-end than audiogon forums{to much stuff on entry level] and not far From Audio Asylum..

The topics choosen by MaggieLurva is always exciting and everytime I open the page ,there is always something to learn....

fafafion said...

Hey, i Even tried to publicize this blog on Audiogon!!I go under the same name everywhere....

Chew said...

Ken,

You think the people in the clubs will be like those in Echoloft forum??Then we can just forget it

Ken said...

Dear All,

Like I said earlier, I have joined a few hifi clubs and everyone of them end up the same way, with members arguing over minor things.

The Desirable Audio Boutique blogspot is the most open so far because Maggielurva is doing a good job to controlling the topic of discussion.

YMMV.

Anonymous said...

Clubs like Kancil, Smart and Myvi owners club do well because they are all talking about the same thing and passion. But if you look at the Toyota vs Honda discussion then you have a war of words.

So should the club break into smaller clubs that focus on specific brands like MBL, ARC, Audionote etc?

Whatever it is, don't let negativity stop the club. Be optimistic.

KK said...

Very good point anonymous..

Toyota vs Honda,wow that would be really interesting.perharps they wear bullet proof vests???

Anonymous said...

fafafion,
Just looking at your posts in Echoloft and the response to them already suggests that you (there are many like you) think your opinion is the only opinion that counts. "Mp3 is noise" - LOL tell that to the millions who own such devices. So you also won't get very far in hifi utopia.

There are many people who own very expensive systems who are humble and polite and smile away comments. There are just as many who get upset and start banning people from visiting them because they "know nothing" or have "budget systems" because the truth hurts.

So can I suggest also a qualification (sorry many won't like this) but your system must cost at least RM30K (or higher) to be a member. You can visit but only comment if asked to do so. Comment behind the host's back means expulsion.

Why do I feel I don't need to join this club. ;D

Anonymous said...

Wah, some more got financial qualification of 30k system before can join. Like this the poor or budget hifi people will forever remain hifi people and cannot become audiophile lah.

Ok, ok so maybe there is hifi club for 0-30k and then the 30k above club.

Don't do like this lah. Let the poor like me get to listen to expensive system lah. I promise not to make negative comments but only sing praises.

There is no bad system, only bad ears.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Echoloft was very nice, cordial place to hang out a few years back! But as usual, the place got very popular and became what it is today. Too pupolar for it's own good. Just like the previous audio clubs that I experienced.

I personally know some of the senoirs from the early days of Echoloft and they are really nice, helpfull guys.

GCK said...

Hi Maggie, having a Civic 8th gen club or Myvi or City club will do well because they have one thing in common ie the car model that they own. That is their passion.
But hifi club is bound for failure in Bolehland. Some of the factors already mentioned. There is no common thing that will bind the members together. It is too diverse and bound to have arguments like it or not.
I suggest to create a club like Music Lover club instead if ever you want to spend a lot of time on it. The common thing that will bind member together is Music appreaciation.

fafafion said...

Anonymous,

In my defense ,I was just replying to their insults.I didn't realized that is the hot menu at the moment...

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

thanks for the various feedback!

i guess i will sleep on the idea until "hifi 916" happens ;-)

for those outside malaysia, 916, or 16th of september was supposedly the day that the opposition would overthrow the present government.