The system is set up in a cosy well laid out room measuring about 11 x 15 ft.

Have you ever wondered what doctors do when they get home, after a hard day's work of saving lives? Well this particular doctor, returns home to music via this wonderfully set up hifi system.

The Linn LP12, note the missing cone on the bottom right? Only three cones were used at 3 corners. That's a KI method of setting up an LP12!

Dr. Brian, is stationed on the Borneo side of Malaysia, which yours truly visited recently.

Dr. Brian is an ardent under study of Joseph Ki's(L/S3/5A guru, whose system was featured in our 1st March 2009 home visit titled "This Is Music!") method of hifi system setting up. Our dear Dr. has his own tweak up his sleeves too as you'll note later!

The Phonomena phono stage. Note the Walker cone footers used for damping the top panel.

The twin source set up, first of which an analog source is fronted by a Linn LP12 turn table fitted with Shure MXR-V15 MM cartridge, followed by a Phonomena phono stage to amplify the low level signal to pre amp acceptance level. Next on the digital front, a CEC TL-1 belt driven transport, feeds the P-1A Digital Correction Engine plus P-3A DAC made by Perpetual Technologies via co-ax cable. Both the Perpetual Technologies units are powered by Monolithic Sound P3 power supply unit.

The belt drive CEC TL-1 flag ship CD transport.

Perpetual Technologies P-1A and P-3A plus Monolithic Sound P3 power supply unit.

The pre amp is the centre piece of the system, and a original Marantz 7C tube pre amp is used. This is an American unit(and in mint condition!) that runs on an audio grade modified 240V-110V step down converter. The power amps are a pair of Antique Sound Labs AQ1006 - 845 (DT) tube mono blocks producing 22 watts. The speakers are the legendary Rogers LS3/5A Gold Tag, coupled to the matching Rogers AB1 bass extenders, and a REL Strata sub, hidden just behind the sofa seating position, for the ultimate low frequency rumble! Like the revered Jo Ki, Dr Brian also has a collection of the BBC designated LS 3/5A speakers.

The centre piece, an original Marantz 7C tube pre amp.

Antique Sound Labs AQ1006-845(DT) for that glorious tube sound.

I am so.... jealous that I hereby declare that these are truly greedy folks! I beg you folks, please don't deprive us newbies and other music lovers off the magic of LS3/5A, by amassing a larger and larger collection? Ha!Ha!

The highly prized Rogers Gold Tag, and parnering Rogers AB1 bass extenders( goes down to 55Hz only) set up with the KI method.

Did I digress? Just a little, my bad. The whole set up is housed in an acoustically treated room, which is very tastefully decorated. Now, folks, that's how you enjoy! Great sound, in a comfortable environment. All equipment sits on Tong Lee's version of Mana clones, and the cables used in the system are mostly custom DIYed supplied from the US. There are also a variety of cones utilised to fine tune the system sound too.

Dr.'s own tweak! Cables hanging on ceiling attached fishing lines, so that the cables do not touch the floor! A very practical alternative to the Shunyata Darkfield Elevators indeed!

The REL Srata sub woofer, takes care of the low rumbles placed directly behind the throne. However, you can't really tell there's a sub in the system! The bass seems to come integrated from the front stage, it leaves the listener wondering how on earth can the LS3/5A plus AB1 do that! How's that for an exceptionally well tuned sub? Remember, the lowest bass notes are more felt than heard.

The sound is immediate, lush, warm and some what controlled. However, all the virtues is not achieved at the expense of transparency. Those who say the Marantz 7 pre are not transparent enough, probably hasn't heard the real thing yet! as there are countless DIYed Marantz 7 clones out there, mostly getting close to that warmness, and some goes to the extent of over cooking it too, but can never achieve the same level of transparency of the original. The whole system seems to be set up for easy listening, with a very relaxed presentation, of an airy and laid back sound stage with dense imaging qualities. A great system to de-stress.

Another look at the glow of the 845 tube! Aren't they mesmerising?

I noted to the dear Dr. that inclusion of the Torus Power RM8A will bring his system performance to another level, as experienced and probably equally advocated by Jo Ki the man himself too.

Ya hear that Dr.? Ha!Ha!

Never mind me, just enjoy the music!

6 comments:

Capernaum Creative Solutions Inc. said...

Wow...I like IT!!!

Great Setup Dr. Brian! In such a short time, you have escalated to such a setup!

Wow...

Felix

Sting - not the english man in New York! said...

Panzer, the quality of the pictures are really sub standard for the great review, my friend. When you're not using flash (in that situation)the camera will set for slow shutter speed..so use the tripod instead of hands.

Panzer said...

Sting and all dear readers,

Please accept my most sincere appologies for my crappy photography skills. I hope to improve this aspect in the near future.

Finally I must appologised to Dr. Brian(the system owner)as well, as my photographs did not represent his system in it's true form.

Sze Ern said...

Hi Panzer,

I'm sure there are others more qualified to comment. But may I know what camera do you use? Is it an issue with low light (flash not bright enough, without flash picture is blur), or original image size too big for the blog and when resized the quality suffers?

Anyway for low light, I would strongly suggest the use of tripod. If its not too big a camera, a small and light one is handy to carry around and allows us to shoot with ambient light whilst maintaining sharpness. This is due to 2 things:
1. No camera shake
2. We can use a lower ISO speed which makes for sharper resolution

Keep up the good work. Please don't take this as an attack, but I hope its a constructive feedback.

br,
f8.

Panzer said...

Sze Ern,

A poorly taken picture lies for all to see. So no offence taken. I am one who will addmit to mistakes and can take responsible for it.

I use a 5 year old Casio Exilim camera. It's one of those point and shoot convieniently sized best used for travels camera. It's being dropped a few times, and understanderbly, the lense is a little "off" by now. When I bought it, I did not think I'd be using it much, or never had the faintest idea that I'll be contributing to this blog.

This poor boy is struggling to save up for a new Leica lense equiped Panasonic camera, but there so much hifi to tempt my hard earned cash away!

Just be patient while I sort things out. And finally, thanks for the feedback.

Sze Ern said...

Hi Panzer,

I personally only have film cameras (yawn, yawn) but my wife has both a Panasonic Lumix LX2 and a lower cost Canon Ixus 860. I must say the Panasonic's Leica lens is great but getting good results requires a fair bit of settings optimisation on the part of the user. A bit like a turntable which requires careful and skillful setting up to really shine, and shine it really does then.

The Ixus on the hand is great out of the box. Not much to tweak but quick to use and with consistently good images. I'd recommend the Ixus (any one of them) for those in the market for a compact digital. Its fuss free and reliably consistent.