wong tatt yew of audio note is the equivalent of harvey keital in pulp fiction




in pulp fiction - one of my all-time fave cult movies - vincent (john travolta) accidentally kills a black kid with his gun, in his car, and he needs to clean up his blood-stained car and disposing the corpse as quickly as possible. he finds harvey keitel, who plays winston wolfe, or better known as the wolf. the wolf is a cleaner about town. the wolf talks fast and thinks fast. his solutions are practical and somewhat obvious. unlike vincent (john travolta), you can argue with the wolf and not die in the process, but you can count on a nice verbal lashing. And there's no doubt that if the wolf really wanted to, he could probably make a quick phone call and have you killed. when vincent meets the wolf, with a face that's full of or worries and stress, the first thing that the wolf says to vincent is a cool "i solve problems".

every audiophile should have his problem-solvers like the wolf. in my case i have two. i don't even mind revealing who they are. in terms of solving ARC problems and general trouble-shooting, ah chee of audio art, ipoh, ranks top in malaysia. he also does a mean cable termination and soldering job, the best in the industry. the 2nd problem-solver i have is wong tatt yew, the boss of audio note malaysia. wong has a keen pair of ears and he is a problem-solver of the highest grade. he and his electrician are the subjects of this post.

the last time wong visited me was 3 years ago. it is not that he doesn't like to visit me, it is just that he hasn't got the time. with more than 20 years of hifi behind him, wong is the busiest and most business-savvy hifi dealer in town with non-stop phone calls all day long. because he is a good problem-solver, all his customers consults him all the times.

when wong listened to my system on thursday, he sat in my designer barcelona chair looking rather pensive. i knew something wasn't right. wong finally commented that the midrange is dirty and spiky, making it unbearable to listen long. he went on to inspect my system. first, i told him that my MK uk-made wall outlet has kind of loosen its grip due to my constant pulling in and out of the power cord connecting to shunyata PLC, to avoid lightning strike. so wong wanted me to replace it with his isoclean silver-plated duplex wall outlet. he also inspected my distribution board. to his horror, he found my ELCB and 3-phase fuse box totally unacceptable. they are malalysian made local brand. he wanted to replace it with HAGER, a german brand which he recommends to all his clients.

so he proceeded to replace my wall outlet to isoclean. the silver-plated isoclean wall outlet really looks classy at RM550 a pop. but not until i listened to the improvement, i wouldn't believe that RM550 can bring me this far. the sound immediately improved by 10-15%!

elated, i pressured wong to get his electrician to order the hager for my ELCB, fuse box and MCB (note: I am currently using ABL, also german made, for my MCB) . but knowing that local electrical shops don't carry ex-stock of these foreign audiophile-grade parts and that i have two major home visits on sunday, i wasn't confident that his electrician can deliver in such a short time. goh, wong's trusted electrician, promised me that he could come next day to look into my DB and make recommendations. but next day is already friday, i don't have the luxury of time!

on the same night, getting impatient, i called goh and offered to ferry him from his house to my house. audiophiles are crazy people, don't you know? we reached my house at 10:30pm. goh said if i wanted maximum performance, i really should consider hager for my ELCB, fuse box and MCB. but can we make it by sunday morning? goh promised to try his best to source it from every electrical shop in kl for the parts.

on friday, around 3pm, he sms-ed me with the text "got the parts, can i come now?". i was impressed. he is super efficient. he has to be, because he works with wong, one of the most effiicient dealer in malaysia. i was busy the whole day on friday so i asked him to come on saturday morning, which is today.

i must tell you this about goh. he is not only an audiophile-grade electrician, he is also a seasoned audiophile! he completed installing my ELCB, fuse box and MCB in less than two hours' time. time to listen. wow, another 5% improvement! the background is so much queiter now, the mids are much sweeter and the overall gain has gone down. (note: this is a good sign when your gain seems to go down but you still get the same details and dynamics as before. which goes to show the previous sound with higher gain contains a lot of noise)

so the hager MCB has replaced the ABL MCB. the hager is rated 4,500KVa but my existing ABL is rated 10,000kVA. i called ah chee to ask for his opinion. he thinks the ABL should be better than hager because of the higher kVa. so goh decided to A/B the two MCBs. the differences are day and night! the ABL has higher gain, much more noise, rougher mids. the hager has lesser gain but very controlled dynamics and sweeter mids. it was very apparent which is better. the hager, even with its 4,500kVA rating beats the ABL. both retail for only RM40 a pop. goh has ordered a hager 10,000KVa also to compare it with the 4,500Kva but it will be next week before the stock arrives.

by now, my system, after a total expenditure of only RM1,100, has improved close to 15-20%. can you not be impressed by this quantum of improvement when the total outlay is so little?

this experience humbles me again. wong is such a brillaint audiophile who always imparts critical knowledge to his customers and friends alike. if it is not because of him, my system would forever be compromised. this is the perfect example of inviting the right people to listen to your system. you have so much to gain. i actually jested with him in my sms - "bro, you are so good that as a term of our long-lasting and valuable friendship, you are obligated to pay me a visit every quarter to inspect my system".

i can't praise enough of goh, the audiophile grade electrician who could solve my problems in the shortest possible of time. yes, this is his number 012-2597329. you owe it to yourself to invite him to your house and check your DB and advise you on generally power supply issues. i have said enough of the importance of power supply to your hifi system in this blog. you must never take it for granted.

the sound is so brilliant now. and to think that the ELCB & MCB would further break-in in the next few days, i shudder in great anticipation.

every audiophile must have a winston wolfe for their hifi because simply, he solves problems ever so efficiently.


24 comments:

km ng said...

I wish our local politicians can honestly say this.

But first, they create the problem; then, try to "solve" it by making it worse and in the meantime, tra la la, make big $$$ out of it.

We need a Mr Wolfe to clean out all the real wolves in town.

Ricardo said...

As they say, Every chain in the hi fi system is important,and yes just like you,changing the 'fuse box' and receptacles brought a lot of improvements that are more than subtle.

Personally,I moved from Isotek receptacle to another HK based comp[any call SINE.

Having said that,the hager are widely used in the hospital and gas and oil indusry to protect very sensitive curcuit.Trust the Germans to come with such winners.

fafafion said...

Klockner Moeller is my own preferance for all things switches,and I choose Oyaide for the receptacles...

Certainly make a world of difference.

Neal said...

Klockner Moeller,HAGER, and Siemens make the best in term of switches and relay boxes...

As far as receptacles are concerned , the brand is not as important as 2 factors that you should consider:

1] material made-preferable solid brass without any trace of nickel at all.it is the Nickel coating that 'kill' the sound.

2]resonont control.This is achieved with good housing for the receptacles.Plastic should probably be the last in your list.

Personally ,all things being equal OYAIDE, SINE and FURUTECH seems to be leading the pack. seems

liew said...

Another hand for SINE receptacles .

ben said...

the other thing that could lift the performance of your saystem is to lift the ground in the pc and configure a star grounding system

most of the noise are transmitted via the ground. your electrician can advise you on how to do this

Alex Bharne said...

Nowadays ,if a friend ever ask me how to get involve in the hobby,the first advise I give them is to install a ded.curcuit.

I too prefer the Siemens relay systems,They are widely used in Nanotechnology lab that demand absolute perfections..

If you use hubbel Hospital grade receptacles{which is most popular] make sure to ask for 'MRI' grade outlet.this is the absolute best..


I have also find out that the performance of the outlet is best achieved when it is 'hidden' from the standing wave.i hide mine behind a Mondo basss trap

Anonymous said...

You need to be a little less generous with your percentages when in comes to improvements. I also now wonder about Panzer's review of your system when someone else thinks your system is not a good as what Panzer and you thought it was. If you cry Wolf too many times people notice.

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

anonymous at 7:32pm
did you ever for a moment think of the fact that different ppl have different standards? what is good to me (and panzer) may not be good for wong, who listens to hundreds and thousands of systems as part of his job.

why should i need to cry wolf? the sole purpose of this post is to tell readers that "there's another taller mountain out there" and that we should all learn from better audiophiles.

kim said...

fully agree with maggielurva here....

The day we think our system is perfect ,that is the beggining of our downfall....and start to become bitter when something new comes out

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

i forgot to add, wong came at 6pm, the cutoff time for "good electricity" (my own definition, of course), a time when people return home for dinner and shower etc etc.

if you are long time follower of this blog, you would know i have AC problems at night.

so wong could have listened to my system when the AC is slightly compromised. of course, with the new ELCB and MCB installed, i am hoping that the AC problem can be reduced, tho' impossible to be completed resolved. this i shall report in due course.

Thome said...

There is absolutely no doubt that superior breakers ,AC lines Receptacles etc play an enormous role in warding of unwanted noise from A/C line.

Why do you think the hospitals, oil and gas industry, Nanotech,Nuclear facilities etc goes to great length to use dedicated hi grade breaker,fuse ,high purity wall wire,specially constructed receptacles etc? because it makes a difference.the more transparent your system,the more audible the results would be..


What surprise me is why it has taken Audiophiles so long to use them?

loh said...

Ml,

Why not try the Isoclean Breaker Box?

Liong said...

Didn't know Isoclean and SINE are available in Malaysia....where are the dealers hiding?

A lot of Us actually has ordered these Items from US.

As you know, both of these brands are considered better than the Overrated OYAIDE.In the US each brand is represented by amongst the best importer there,,...www.tmhaudio.com

Anonymous said...

Sine and Isoclean are HK brands, only dealers in disguise will say they order from US

Curious George said...

Just checked out www.tmhaudio.com
out of curiosity since it was mentioned that it was the best US importer.
Sure or not, carrying old out-of-date brands like Bow Technologies and Manger systems which nobody writes about at all currently since they have nothing new.
Won't be surprised if it was really someone from that shop that posted to advertise themselves

Anonymous said...

ML,

Can you describe your system's improvement rather than just %

liong said...

bow system and manger considered out of date?well i beg to differ!!!!

Curious George said...

Of course, they are obscure has-been brands that have seen better days 10 years ago. Nothing changed much then,otherswise please state what's so technologically new and so terrific about these 2 brands that haven't been mentioned since 10 years ago. Meanwhile I found out that tmhaudio used to carry Wavac, Metronome, Vitus in their heydays, but do not know what happened, all this more high-end brands seems to have deserted them in recent years. If they are a top US audiophile company, then it must have been many years ago, but now, they must be resting on their laurels and becoming obsolete and irrevelant, sliding into mediocrity with 2nd and 3rd tier brands. Of course only the affiliated with vested interests will differ from my opinion

Shaun said...

Curious George,

I have no vested interest in Tmhaudio,nor have i ever heard of them until reading this post,but I hap[pen to be an owner of Manger which I purchased in Germany Quite recently .

Suffice to say that it is one of the most underrated Speaker in Hi-fi....Just go to their website ,or better still have a listen to one yourself before you start accusing people and make yourself look ignorant in the process...


Unfortunately, most people get impressed wirth 'hot' products,the perfect example at the moment is Magico loudspeaker.As you all know, the designer is no engineer,but a cartoonist from Israel.have a listen to the Magico mini and compare them to ANY MANGER[whichI have done] and you will be amazed how easy it is to fool people.

liong said...

anonymous.

Yes I know they are from H.K., but a lot of my friends got their Isoclean stuff from Vd audio in US

Anonymous said...

liong,

the sine dealer in Malaysia is CJ audio at The Mall.

Curious George said...

"Suffice to say that it is one of the most underrated Speaker in Hi-fi"
Well, you said it yourself. To survive in such gloomy times, it will be more viable to be be selling the most hottest speaker in town rather than stocking the the most underrated speaker in hifi that are so difficult to sell.
A good brand is one that sells easily, and not given the cold shoulder by the market despite being around for more than a decade.

liong said...

Sorry It should type VH audio