PLACE: Somewhere in Malaysia
TIME: Sometime in Oct O8

SECURE SMS 057/369-2A

Cables run-in and cooked.
Power OK.
Can come listen.
Sunday Nov 2, 12:00 hrs.
Come alone.



This would set the mood of this report.

When M summoned you, you have to respond without question if you want to Die Another Day.

Therefore, on the appointed day, I jumped into my T5 wagon (my Aston DBS was loaned to Ethan Hunt, you know, that other not so famous guy), did a fast Lewis Hamilton on the streets, and exactly at 12:00 hours, I was at M's residence, On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

"What would you like to listen?" M asked.

"Something pink. Shaken, not stirred." I replied.

"It's too early to drink!" M retorted.

"Oh, anything on your playlist then," I answered. Actually, I wanted to listen to Pink Martini but M didn't catch it.

I sat on M's designer chair and M proceeded to play some Chinese but mainly English numbers on his system.

"What do you think of the sound?" M asked.

"I would give it a D,D,D and an E," I answered.

Before you guys are shocked of The Living Daylights, thinking D,D,D and E are the colourful marks on your student report cards days....

No, they are not!

D, D, D and E stand for Detailed, Delicate, Dimensional and Emotional.

Detailed like you can hear more into the DNA of the music; like having a GoldenEye to look into the intricacies of a Pollock painting.

Delicate like you can feel the shimmer of the drummer's gentle brush strokes on the cymbals; like Octopussy in her silk lingerie on her soft skin For Your Eyes Only, sending shimmers and chills down your body.

Dimensional like you have fullness out of emptiness in the music images and space (hope not too zen to understand); like The World Is Not Enough in the soundstaging capabilities.

And, the best for last.

Emotional like the singers and musicians are expressively singing/playing out of the fullness of their hearts to you; like Tomorrow Never Dies to lift your spirits up if you are feeling down or sad.

Okay, I know you will think of this next in your train of thoughts.

Any areas to Goldfinger M's system?

Well, M is The Man With The Golden Gun, eer, Ear and since You Only Live Twice (and I don't mind dying once for the sake of music), here it goes.

The system sounded a bit like you are driving with the hand-brake slightly engaged - the music felt like running against the wind, the highs and lows not fully bloomed yet. M explained he has just changed his ELCB, fuse box and MCB only yesterday and they are running-in now.

Also, I would have preferred more power, attack and slam on the macro scale in the mid-bass and bass areas. But, then again, I was spoilt by the Thunderball (lots of thunder and cast iron balls) Wadia 581/Naim 500 & SL2 system I heard just 14 hours ago.

Since my last visit, M's system has leaped to a much high stage (pun intended) after he reloaded it with his top gun Stage cables and upgraded his A/C supply.

M's sound is a Quantum Of Solace for anyone who has ears for good sound and fine music.

His D, D, D and E have the Licence To Kill any system on the planet.

My congratulations to you, M.

maggielurva's reply:

km, have you considered writing a book or changing your career to a fiction writer? marvelous piece you have there!

luck is definitely not on your side as after you left, our LS3/5a guru came, and the sound suddenly took a turn for the better (guess the ELCB breaks-in quite fast) and he had an enjoyable 2.5 hours session. you know him, he wouldn't stay for a minute longer if he isn't enjoying himself. i will dedicate a post to mr. LS3/5a next.

note to readers:
this will be a last review on my system, lest people think that i am bragging or over-promoting my system.


hafiz said...

we from what i have observed from his post before km ng is not easy to please..............and he seems to know his stuff too...

so for him to give the ddde , i could imagine how good your system must be..

cassy piece km ng,keep the flag flying

Anonymous said...

Its the paragraph that says: "The system sounded..." that I feel most unconfortable with.
Prehaps you should die another day.

liong said...

Main people review of your system, it gives ggie,

I do not think there is anything wrong in getting different[credible] people to review your give a lot take from different perspective jmho

hark said...

It is after all about your adventure in Hi-Fi..

I do not think there is anything wrong in getting different 'ears' to evaluate your system,especiallly when you keep discovering so many fine writers in the process

Damien said...

Km Ng,

what an entertaining piece..

Now back to serious business;what do you thnk has contributed to "M' system's improvement since you heard them last??

You seem to have a critical sets of ears ,so i trust you...

CB Liu said...


1} what do you think of The Stage 3 Gryphon in Ml'system context?

2] Any thoughts on the Audiodharma cable cooker??

3] Has the changes been significant in Maggie's system since you last listened there?

sorry ,so many though questions

aziz said...

who is this guru you are talking about maggie/

I didn't know that there is LS3/5a guru in Malaysia?!Interesting...

Ridzwan said...

Critical or not I do have a lot of respect for mr KM Ng.He critisizes in a constructive way , and to get his endorsement speak a lot of MaggieLurva's System..

What i am curious is How ML achieve that in a relatively 'simpler' set up ..

km ng said...


Glad you enjoyed my piece of writing spiced up with Bond movies tie-ins. Watch this blog for more unconventional hifi pieces from me - coming soon on your computer screen.

Anon of 12:20 AM,

Dunno what you're uncomfortable with but I don't listen with A View To A Kill on any system.


Agreed. Any man created thing must stand scrutiny to be credible.


Well said. Hifi is a beautiful adventure in the discovery of good music and sounds.


Thanks for the compliment.

Since my last visit, if I remembered correctly, M has upgraded his I/Cs to the costly Stage III ASP Gryphon, added the Shunyata Hydra power conditioner and upgraded his A/C supply...and added a piece of SM mpingo disc on the front wall to crystallize the vocals.

I think its the sum of the added parts working harmoniously with each other and with the rest of the system that gives the magic touch.

CB Liu,

1) Great. Wish I can afford it.

2) Haven't heard pre and post cooking so unable to comment.

3) Yes. From memory, the most significant change are in the highs - more natural and organic that are not decapitated from the body like a Picasso painting; the tonal balance more compleat with more bloom in the mid-bass; and, more D,D,D & E per my report.


If you are in Malaysia and have been to the KLIAV shows, Jo Ki has set up his LS3/5a system 4 times over the last 5 years for show viewing and listening on a non-commercial basis.

Jo's LS3/5a system is one system you should listen for the sake of music.



I'm critical in a constructive way. But sometimes in an exclusive all-male high testosterone passion game called hifi, the consequences can be rather explosive. So it may be better to keep quiet.

M did a lot of hard work to his system like on his A/C supply for instance.

Panzer said...

KM, Well done. I've always enjoyed your writings. Do keep it up.

Anonymous said...

km ng

care to share your system setup with us?

Anonymous said...

my gwad... how M system sounded has now otomatically become secondary. your write up is more entertaining!

hifikaki said...


What a fun piece!

I must be the only one left who has not heard maggielurva's system post cable cooker. Hmm...must make a date asap. :-)

jimmy said...

if it's weekend anytime next week, i would like to tag along... ok ka?

km ng said...



You write and listen very well too.

Anon of 10:02 PM

After a 3 year hiatus, I'm rebuilding my system. I've fixed the roof leak, repainted my music room and now doing some rearranging of components.

I'm still caught in the audio jurassic age, playing only 12" black discs, CDless and MP3 clueless.

The main actors in my system are Clearaudio, Ensemble, BAT and Lyra. The supporting actors are from Promitheus, Monitor Audio, Audio Physics and Yamamura. Shun Mook, RoomTune, Harmonix, Qi Cones, BDR and some DIY stuffs provide the stunts.

The sounds are quite forgettable and even the house lizards have moved out.

M's cables cost alone can "tapau" (package, take away) half of my system cost.

Anon of 11:17 PM

Thanks for the compliment. I'll try to do better.


All thanks to M's system which viagra-ised my creative juices.

You should revisit M's system soon.

jimmy said...

should i now call you fleming ng or bond ng? :p

hifikaki said...


will call you when i am ready to make my move :-)

jimmy said...

thanks alot...

or just simply james... ;)

km ng said...


Since my bod is too sexy for my system (think of those 6-pack guys at 300), almost any name can.

Except this one.


Sorry, M. :)

Anonymous said...


How about a review of KM's system? I am sure it would as good as his colourful writing.

Anonymous said...

KM only talks about people's system but never his own. Kind of fishy if you ask me.

km ng said...

Anon of 10:18 AM,

If M is to review my system after re-setup, I think he would give me a D,D,D and E too.


Dark, Dense, Dull and Edgy.

Anon of 9:25 PM,

Think you may have an overdose of sashimi.

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

thanks for the feedback.

i have already got complaints that i am "hard-selling" my system, so i guess i shall stop here ;-)

i think what i am happy is that this blog is creating a very congenial hifi community, be it virtual or real, and people are nicer to each other in their exchanges.

that should be the way and that is what hifi is all about.

jimmy said...

km, you left out "in one" after the 6 on purpose?