he is eloquent and charismatic; he is knowledgeable without being arrogant; he is extremely passionate and articulate; he is poetic in his hifi adjectives - he is a true
guru
.

i owned a LS3/5a in 1991. i was in singapore then. i bought this tiny speaker from atlas hifi for SGD800. it was an 11ohm version. i partnered it with various amps, including electrocompanient and aragon 4004 (memories, memories, for those who started their hifi in the 80s!) but not until i upgraded to ARC classic 30 + LS1 combo, i would never know what's the fuss about this bbc monitor. the partnership was a magical one. there's something hard to describe about the midrange of LS3/5a that had me hooked for hours. voices just seem right with this speaker. i had countless hours of good music and this chapter in my hif journey remains cherishable till today.

to write another paragraph describing the virtues of the famed bbc monitor would be superfluous in this column. if you don't know what's the fuss about, then google all you can and do your homework first. better still, listen to one.

in fact, if you know mr. k, the personality profiled here, he would probably tell you the same thing "do your homework first" albeit in a amiable manner that is reflective of what a true gentleman he is. it is not his style to be offensive to novice and the less experienced.

mr.k owns 26 pairs of LS3/5a, at the last count (i was told by a confidante of his) and yet he doesn't seem like stopping his investment anytime soon. weak in the presence of beauty, as the song goes. a male's passion in collection is never fully understood until you become a collector yourself.

in the early days before i got to know mr.k, i used to think that this man must be nutty and cultish to the extreme. but as the years went by, my impression of this man grew from neutral, to positive and now, extremely impressed.

admirers of mr. k (there are tons of them out there), who are enamoured by his system (which to me is a miniature gem in all sense of the word) may not appreciate the technicality of his doctrines and beliefs but as you venture deep into the hobby, you would then realize all that he advocates make sense. in my case, since i started producing music, i become fully aware of some of the things that mr.k has all along been advocating.

to me, what impressed me most is his indepth knowledge in music reproduction, sound engineering, room acoustics and music appreciation of the highest order. there are very very few audiophiles that i know whom i consider as possessing all these qualities at the same time; mr.k is a rarity.

mr.k has probably listened to more systems than i could ever dream of. he gets invitations all the tiimes because audiophiles want to know his opinion on their systems, which speaks volume of his credibility and reputation.

to me, mr. k is a hifi poet. you have to listen to his adjectives when he speaks. some examples here:

on the quality of high frequencies - "highs must extend to infinity and then just vaporize in the air ...".

on the organicity of music - "when the music ends, everything must subside, as in the thinning of air, bloom and finally comes a complete silence. only in a good system, you can hear all these remarkable qualities".

on the importance of homogeneous recording - "when you serve fast food, make sure all the food are homogeneous. if you suddenly add a salad, it will be at odds with the rest of the dishes. that's the problem with most recordings".

on audiophile's constant self-denial when facinig criticisms - "good sound is universal. you can't say just because you like it that way, it should sound that way and you don't care whether others like it or not. this is the major problem with audiophiles in malaysia".

there are many many more of such eloquent qoutes that had me clapping in delight. but one thing for sure, this man knows his stuff damn well. don't ever challenge him if you don't have your substance and facts ready.

as i gain a deeper understanding of my hifi and the making of audiophile recording, my admiration for mr.k grows exponentially. he is not your ordinary joe (pun intended). this man eats and breathes hifi; he makes hifi an art form; he is the best ambassaador of hifi if ever there's such an award in malaysia.

every audiophile guru has his detractors. mr.k, i am sure, does have his fair share of non-believers. but my message to these people is simply - unless you have the mettle, knowledge, substance, indepth experience, charisma and strength of character - you can't convince me that you are better than mr.k.

11 comments:

km ng said...

M, a very good write-up on K.

K is the Q of hifi - he has all the little gadgets and tricks to make the sound better.

He's Q with ears.

2 things happen instantly when K moves the cones by 1mm below the equipment.

Zap! The sound will be transformed. Plonk! Your jaw will drop on the floor.

And this is only the appetiser!

P.S. Most unfortunate Q is not in the latest Bond movie.

Anonymous said...

Sounds familiar, think should be the same guy on this diva website

http://www.divaaudio.com/diva/divaqicones.html

Anonymous said...

The Diva guy has been in hi-fi scene for long long time, quite a respected person indeed.

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

guys,

mr.k is a malaysian! ;-)

jimmy said...

met him twice; but did not have much chance to really to get to know him, unfortunately.

Panzer said...

Mr K. is one of the very, very few people who visits me each time and can give very clear specific guides on how to futher enchance my system's performance.

I am indebted to him in no small part.

And Mr K's system can be a benchmark or sorts for the music lovers/ audiophiles in us.

Anonymous said...

The guru here is Jo Ki.

kiarch said...

*Blush!*...

If KM Ng has not alert me, I would not have known what Maggielurva has written something which I am totally underserved.

Please, I am no guru, just an ordinary guy on the street.

It is my greatest pleasure to have given the opportunity to listened to Maggielurva's system, a system deserves to be heard!

All those quotes (I am still wondering how he could remember these that comes out from normal conversations) were said not without 'inspiration' coming from his system. I am pleased with what I heard and it has been a rejuvenating and refreshing afternoon.

kiarch said...

Panzer, I do apologise if I have been too out-spoken, which I didn't mean to.

To Jimmy, I am sorry that I could not recall our meetings. But if you would allow, I would like to pay you a special visit.

KK said...

kiarch,

What would be the best way to get in Touch with you..?Would you consider an all-paid-for trip overseas?

kiarch said...

Hi KK, you could email me directly (kiarch@yahoo.com). If time permits, I would consider overseas trip for this nice hobby, gladly with pleasure of course.