What does this cute li'll pooch has to do with hifi? Let me introduce, for this li'll pooch named Fluffy, must be one of the most qualified audiophile dog in Malaysia, and if not, the world! Fluffy's owner is called "the hifi KING" amongst audiophile circles in his home town in Borneo island. And yes, he's a very good friend of Dr. Brian too. Like Dr. Brian, Philip(hifi King's name) also has and extensive collection of LS3/5A BBC style monitors, some old style Tannoy Yorkminsters, a few pairs of Apogee panel speakers and JBL 43xx type studio monitors plus many other interesting audio bits and pieces all over his home.
Jadis Orchestra with KT88 tube mono block power amp(where's the other side?) and Musical Fidelity A1 classic class A integrated amp spotted!
An extra pair of vintage Marantz 9B mono blocks, just in case! An Onkyo AV processor amp seen too.
Big Apogee, small Apogee! I think the big one's a Diva and the small one's a Stage.
You see Fluffy accompanies Philip on every night's listening session for hours, from start to finish! Fluffy sits on his own dedicated rocking chair, right next to Philip's very own hifi throne!
Hands Up! The Clear audio Master Reference awaiting play.
Denon D103R cartridge, with just 0.25mv output, you better need a high gain, low noise phono stage.
Philip's main, and currently plugged in hifi system consist of the following gears. The twin source system is digitally fronted by a Jadis JD 3 CD player. A Clear audio Master Reference turntable, mounted with tangential tracking arm and a Denon D103R cartridge representing the analog front. A mighty fine looking Koetsu cartridge just arrived the day I visited and will certainly be fitted soon. The signal from the MC cartridge is sent to a Herron Audio phono stage.
The Clear audio Master Reference "In Play!"
Herron Audio phono stage.
As with Dr. Brian, Philip is a big fan of the Marantz 7 pre amp, however, this is a limited edition re-issued unit made in year 1999. The signal coming out of the pre amp is then split by an electronic cross over, supplied for used with the top dog Maggie 20.1 planar speakers. The high frequency ribbons are powered by a pair of vintage Marantz 9B mono block power while the bass panels are power by a pair of Krell mono blocks rated for 600 watts!
Marantz 7 re-issue circa 1999.
Marantz 9B mono block power for the Maggie's ribbon.
600W Krell mono block power for the Maggie's bass panel.
I see many exotic cables connecting the system, including some MIT MA series! All equipment sits on dedicated audio grade shelves. The shelves then sit on sand boxes for the ultimate isolation/damping solution! Various Qi and Walker cones are used to tweak the system too. Clean power is supplied to the front end components via 2 units of Nordost Thor PLCs. The audio room measures roughly 25 x 38 ft. A very big room indeed!
Magnaplanar MG 20.1 top of the range planar speakers. It looks a whole lot bigger in real life!
2 units of Nordost Thor PLCs supplying clean power to front end.
I truly love the sound of this big boy system! It's got life size scale to sound stage and imaging presentation. When Tsai Ching sings, she's standing right there before you, backing musical instruments like double bass and piano panning to the left and right, plus drum set behind her, making it all very convincing! There's no need to resort to the imagination, every CD, or LP played, more so LP is truly life like, accompanied by that lightly honeyed golden tonal colour. High frequencies has that fade in to thin air decay quality, mids are dense, rich and full bodied and the bass control is just so very effortless! The bass extends really low too. Now who says Maggies are bass shy?
Note the sand boxes??? Can you recognise the Convergent Audio Technologies SL1 in the center?
In the areas of macro and more so, micro dynamics this system let's the listener feel each life size guitar and double bass note pluck and hands/fingers moving across fret boards, all so very clearly presented in the most organic fashion. I bet the post listening experience of this system will likely result in perspective altering of mind set. I don't know how much more convincing high end audio needs to get for you?
Ahh..... the system to Sonic Nirvana???
For me however, just a chance to listen to this system is worth paying "a KING's ransom!" I think secretly, Fluffy agrees with me, you lucky dog!
Again I apologise for the poor photography outcome! Please believe me when I said that I've tried to get better results. I really did tried.