I attended the KLIAV Show on Friday, 24th July, which was the first day of the show. And here are some of the exhibitors featured on part one of my complete show report.

First up the Audio Note demo room, was serving some sweet, luscious vocals and very organic music in rather near field setting. Hifikaki's top 3 fav demo, citing musicality for top score. However, I have some reservations that this system is dedicated more towards simple, and smaller scale music.

Can you see how close we're sitting to the speakers! Top photo left bottom corner.

Next up is the Rave System demo room, home of Gryphon, Wilson Benesch and Weiss DAC. Music was pipe through an Apple laptop using loss less and WAV files amongst others. The Wilson Benesch Torus sub was on demo with the full carbon built C-60 Limited Edition floor standing speakers. The sound was refined, well balanced and the bass is room filling, in control, yet, no over hang despite the small demo room.

Weiss DAC and the Gryphon Diablo amp.
Note the Wilson Benesch C-60 speakers with the Torus sub in the back ground?

The rather transparent, if cool and analytical sounding mini Swedish Statement demo room, with the Baldelius Embla memory player as source, Saga pre amp and Ymer power amp powering Marten Bird speakers. This system's got so much more potential.

Center Circle Audio featured the rather low key Esoteric x-05 SACD/CD player, Pathos Logos intergrated amp and Amphion Argon2 speaker, said to be rather good sounding.
Esoteric, Pathos and Notingham Analog.
Amphion Argon2

Ong Radio demo-ed the full set McIntosh gear, with the latest XRT1 speakers alone, rumored to be costing a cool RM$160k. One of Hifikakis top 3 fav! He likes the thrilling dynamics and musical scale derived from the system.

The full big Mc set up! note the 1.2KW power amp's full bright panel meter?

Acoustic Arts demo-ed the Creek electronics with Epos speaker synergy to the max! The best real world budget system demo, anytime, anywhere! Total system cost excluding cables and accessories, less than RM$10k. This system did all the fundamental hifi things right and most of all, utterly musical and enjoyable to listen too. This proves you do not need big budget for good sound. The system however, had some help from the Walker Velociraptor Quantum PLC and all Straightwire cables, which together, cost more than the basic system!

The Creek/Epos synergy is real!
Hidden help! The Walker Audio Velociraptor PLC and the Straightwire Maestro II speaker cable.(silver jacket, just below the fore ground)

Woo Kee Hong had static displays, which is disappointing to say the least, but had the full Marantz and Denon range on display, including the 30th Anniversary KI Pearls, my dream SA7-S1 SACD/CD player and a very curious looking modern production of the Rogers Ls 3/5A, BBC mini monitor. The new production LS 3/5A cost a whooping RM$16K plus! My good friend Jo, whom has many, many pairs of the said speaker in his private collection, must be grinning from ear to ear! His investments in to the demure little speaker seems to be a better bet than the KLSE stock market.

My dream machine! Would Woo Kee Hong let my test drive this baby in the near future???
Jo Ki, lunch on you, my friend, your investments are paying off BIG time!

Asia Sound Equipment also choose the "Silence is Golden" route! Rega turn tables on all their full colour glory and irresistible price offer too! Also on offer is the full range of Xindak cables. Where are the Focal JM Lab speakers???
Xindak cables galore on offer!
Micheal and the colourful Rega turn tables. Where's the Utopia?

Perfect Hifi disappointed me when they choose to leave Audio Research on static display! Meaning, I did not get to hear the Reference 5 pre amp and CD8 Reference in action. However, they more than make up for it by showing the DCS Scarlatti 3 piece stack plus Pass Labs amplification and the very latest Wilson Sasha! My friend, Mr. Wilson Wong was drooling all over his next potential upgrade purchase! One word best describes this system's sound, smooth! Some say a little too smooth!
Wilson Wong, you can stop drooling now!
RM$250k worth of musicality???

Perfect Hifi also demo-ed a second system in the same room, the Accapella Musica Horns driven by some sweet Wavac 300B tube jobbies and Reimyo transport/DAC source.
Mickey ears!

Wavac 300B amps.

I'll let you in on a little secret, these unassuming Sonus Faber Toy Tower speakers are one of the best RM$8.6k money can buy! They are simply stunning! My friend bought a pair at the show and was floored, the moment he hooked it up on Monday morning. I heard highly transparent qualities, well defined bass, warm mid range and a slightly sweet treble coming straight out of the box, from this very unassuming l'll package. Once the drivers runs in, you can bet it'll only get better with time.
This SF Toy Tower floored both my friend and me when he brought home! It's damm good!

The CMY flagship demo room, where Franck Tchang of Acoustic Systems held his presentation of the Resonator Cups. The flagship Dynaudio Confidence C4 speakers driven by top flight Jeff Rowland amplification are front runners to our readers choice top 3 fav demo poll!
The system has the help of the RGPC Isogray system (what out for Hifikaki's review coming soon!) and top range Siltech Royal series cables, plus not to mention, 11 of those tiny l'll resonator cups and other Acoustic Systems products.

The latest Jeff Rowland Criterion pre amp. Yummy!!!

More show reports to come, stay tuned!

I am a sucker for any thing Dave Brubeck, and Vocal Encounters is no exception. This remastered CD, sounds reasonably clean and have good audiophile definition. As with most recordings from the 50's and 60's, if your system is up to mark, the vocal presence is full in density and very palpable. There's still some analog tape hiss noticeable depending from track to track, but did not prevent me from enjoying the music, most importantly.

The tracks feature guest vocalist, like Carmen McRae, Louis Armstrong, Tony Bennet, Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, amongst other leading some of Dave's favourite jazz improvising compositions.

For me at least, Louis Armstrong and Carmen McRae were the most outstanding of the vocals blending in to Dave's compositions. Both voices have great texture and melodious nature.

My favourite tracks from this CD are:

Track 2, Summer Song

Track 3, My Melancholy Baby

Track 4, It's a Raggy Waltz

Track 5, The Real Ambassador

Track 6, My One Bad Habit

Track 7, Because All Men Are Brothers

Track 10, Cultural Exchange

Track 12, Ain't Misbahavin'

Track 13, They Say I Look Like God

Track 18, Take Five

If you're in to Jazz Vocals or just plain Dave Brubeck Quartet fan, this one's worth your exploration.

The Soulution 710 power amp and 720 pre amp kombi. Now on DEMO!

Folks, the long awaited Soulution amps are finally here and on demo at Audio Image. I heard fom the grape wine a kombi pair(that's what Soulution calls it's pre power pairs in German speaking Switzerland), arrived some time in May, but was sold even before I got to hear it a week later! Adrian says that pair was pre-booked by a customer.

The current pair on demo are the 710 power amp and the 720 pre amp kombi. Go audition before it's sold too!(things move pretty fast at Audio Image)

Soulution is sold by Audio Image, Tel: 03-79563077

Here's my top 3 favorite show babes at the KLIAV 2009. The Pioneer Twins, boy am I starting to feel like Hugh Heffner already???

I was in discussion with hifikaki yesterday, about our personal top 3 favourite demos at the just concluded KLIAV 2009. It turns out that we just couldn't agree with each other's top 3 choices.

To be fair I attended the show on Friday, 24th July, which is the first day, and almost all my listening impressions were formed on that day it self. Hifikaki attended the show on the Saturday, which is the second day of the show. Whilst I was also there on the second day, because I had missed out some photographs and some others had to be re-taken as I wasn't happy with them. I thought the overall sound quality of the show was better the second day round, based on the few systems I re-visited. This is normal, as the dealers were still busy tweaking in to the wee hours of the morning after every session of the first 2 days!

So being the curious fella, I want to know which are the top 3 favourite demos of our readers? Do they correspond with mine, or hifikaki's more? Or will the readers choice ultimately sideline both our preferences?

The sweet looking Sony girl next door. Hey! Did you guys remembered to ask for the Sony XA5400ES SACD/CP player?

For the sake of not influencing our dear readers choices, I've temporarily decided to withheld posting both mine and hifikaki's top 3 favourite demos.

Readers whom attended the KLIAV 2009 show, are encouraged to post their top 3 favourite demos in the "Desirable Thoughts" section. I will tally the postings which is scheduled to end by midnight Friday, 31st July 2009. The compiled results will be reported along with the full show report, which will of course, disclose mine and hifikaki's top 3 favourite demos.

I feel this is an important exercise for both of us and you, our dear readers, whom may form purchase decisions based on our hifi products review. This way, our readers can measure their preferences, or at least know how far they are from ours.

Miss TAD, she's a photographer too! Note the camera? She took pictures of me too, and I hope I came out looking as good as she did here. Ha!Ha!

I look forward to your "Desirable" response, and as they say, let the fun begin!

In the mean time, savour my other top 3 favourite demos.

It's late and I am very tired! I've just spent more than eight and a half hours at the KLIAV 2009. With this post, I hope to bring some of the events and demo highlights, which I felt were worth some of your time, if you've not gone to see the show yet, and planing to do so within the next 2 days.

1) The Franck Tchang presentation hosted by CMY on the 4th floor was an entertaining 90 minutes well spent. Franck's presentation is at once humorous, spontaneous and informative about the topic of room treatment and his Acoustic Systems tuning cups!(what else do you think it would be?) It's very informal, workshop like and certainly fun presentation. Well worth you time to check it out, even if you're not convinced or never have an interest in Franck's designs. Whilst you're there, check out the latest Dynaudio and Jeff Rowland gears all strung up with Siltech Emperor cables!

2) The Swedish Statement room sounds awesome! With some very fancy and effective room tune devices supplied by our dear friend, Joamonte! The horrible hotel room acoustics at JW Marriot KL, yes even the larger rooms at the 4th floor all have what my show buddy aptly described, "a certain mid range honk!" Joamonte's effort pays off big time, as there's the least of the said residue "honk" in the overall sound. Kodus to Jomoante, and Swedish Statement.

3) The Ayre, TAD room in the 4th Floor. The sound is at once dynamic, highly transparent and easy on the ear. If you were there this late afternoon, when the hotel's power supply was spiking all the 4th Floor displays, it would've sounded horrible. I heard the system in the morning just before lunch time, it sounded very good indeed.

4) The Bryston & PMC room of AV Designs. Most of the time, the place was dark to accommodate the AV demo, but when the chance crept up, I heard the full Bryston system, consisting of the BCD-1, the BP-26 pre amp and the 7BSST mono blocks, powering the new PMC PB1i speaker, and it sounded very nicely pleasant indeed. The sound had a warmly balanced tonality, was reasonably dynamic sounding and had big sound stage and life sized imaging!

5) The Creek Evolution line electronics powering Epos speakers, all connected by Straightwire cables, demo room by Acoustic Arts on the 8th Floor. For what is a sub budget RM$10k system, it had a certain rightness to it's rich, warm sound. The PRAT factor was very good too. It did not have the dynamic range and sonic transparency of the bigger, more costly systems, but still it's pretty decent sound for a budget system.

I'll have to put in a disclaimer on the above statements, that are purely my preferences, and perhaps due to the erratic and spiking power supply in the hotel, plus poor room acoustics will play a role to determine what you'll hear there and then. Finally, your preferences need not necessarily be the same as mine!

And lastly, there will be no pictures just yet, which will be posted later with our full "KLIAV 2009 Show Reports" later.

I hope you'll enjoy the show as much as I did!

The KLIAV 2009 Show is going to start tomorrow. The event is not only for us audiophiles to gawk or listen at the latest and greatest gears only. We mostly take the oppurtunity to meet up old friends and perhaps gain new ones too, by working the audiophile social network.

Some of us would also take the oppurtunity to grab some of the hifi bargains on offer during the show, especially the last day!

And lastly, most of us will not go home empty handed from a hifi show, there's always an LP or CD at least, to tempt our hard earned $$$ somehow.

But most importantly, is remember to have fun!

Here's hoping for a productive KLIAV show to all participating dealers and friends, and a for us visitors, to have a great time.

Be there or be square!

The Marten Coltrane Supreme with the Baldelius Ymer power amp.

Folks, do watch out for the ultra high end gears on demo at the Swedish Statement room at the KLIAV 2009!

I was told that the flagship Coltrane Supreme speakers would be on demo, powered by possibly, no less than 2 pairs of Vitus Audio SM-101 class A mono blocks and SL-010 pre amp.

Vitus Audio SM-101 class A mono blocks.

Also likely to be on demo is the Bladelius Embla CD/Memory player and the Vitus Audio SCD-010 CD player.

Bladelius Embla CD/Memory player.

Vitus Audio SCD-010 CD player, it's a top loader too!

Don't miss the chance to audition this superbly ultra high end set up!

The full Bryston set up. Factory matched synergy can be found here!

This is the last instalment of the "Living with Bryston" series of articles. With the insertion of the Bryston BCD-1 CD player in to the system, now, consisting of the BP-26 pre amp and 4BSST2 power amp pumping my Audio Physic Spark speakers. The Torus Power RM8A does whole system power supply services here as usual, and cables consist of my usual JPS Inwall, AOR Ref 3 and PS Audio Power Plus power cord. Inter connects are my usual Audioquest Sky and Cardas Golden Presence XLRs and the speaker cable this time round is a pair of latest Siltech G7 330L Classic series(review to come).

With the Bryston BCD-1 CD player in the system, replacing my trusty Marantz CD7. The synergy of the full Bryston system is finally materialised. To start with, noise floor is exceedingly low, no hiss or what so ever is heard coming out of the tweeters at idle on normal listening volume. I find the Bryston BCD-1's tonal balance to be very business like neutral, compared to the much warmer balanced Marantz CD7. There's no euphonic mid range bloom, bass is amongst the tightest and goes extends much lower comparatively. The highs may seem a bit forward at first, but on closer analysis, it's rather extended, and non smearing or splashy. Like the Bryston BP-26 pre amp, I also noticed a similar slight high lighting of the high mids, whilst this may seemingly make the vocal's mouth seemed more "in focus" and smaller, I did find it somethimes bordering on sharpness, especially when playing with Chinese audiophile CDs with lots of recorded vocal sibilance(usually female voices). I must stress however, that this is the Bryston's signature truthfulness at work here! Since the full Bryston experience, and amongst the high end gears featured here lately, there seems to be different versions of neutrality, even if they can all be "technically" considered neutral!
From the top. The Bryston BCD-1 and BP-26 pre amp plus the cosmetically matching MPS-2 power supply unit.

The full Bryston set up majors on macro, micro dynamics and bass slam. The pace is always on cue, never hurried nor slowed down. Piano tracks showcases attack, sustain and decay elements clearly. While sound stage is more than full width of my listening room, and some what deep, there's also a typical solid state like dryness, i.e. lack of audiophile "air" within the sound stage, thus never quite fully convincing, or 3D enough in presentation.

However, all the above sonic signature were improved, with the addition of the Elite Acoustic MSI levitating isolation devices(see my last review of them, last week). The mid range now have a little bloom to help further flesh out the vocalist body and density. The slightly dry sound stage, now has "air" separating each instrument within the sound stage, making the layering and stage depth perception more convincing. The musical flows more freely than before. The tweak bring's the full Bryston system closer in audio performance to the 3 times more expensive Bladelius system recently auditioned.

Brothers in arms! The Bryston 4BSST2 with the Torus Power RM8A in the back.

If there's a particular Bryston piece of the three that I, particularly felt carried more performance weight would be the 4BSST2 power amp. I think that if one should build a high end system around it, even with upgrades to the rest of the system, be it source, pre amp or speakers, the 4BSST2 would still remain very much relevant, without calling too much attention to it's limits. In short the 4BSST2 punches way above it's product price range.

The CD tray on the BCD-1 really needs to be improved upon. Note, product warranty is only 5 years for the CDP.

And if there's one thing I think can be improved upon within the full Bryston system, it would be the BCD-1's CD tray! For a player costing RM$11.9k, the said CD tray slides in and out with so much mechanical free play and noise, that I would feel , it's out of place compared to the ownership pride that comes with the rest of the Bryston gear.

The useful BCD-1 remote.

And lastly the BCD-1's all aluminium remote deserves a special mention, the feel is good in the hands, and when listening in the dark, a first press on any button triggers the "cool" green back lighting, whilst the buttons are just of the right size for my big fat fingers! The remote also controls the BP-26 pre amp's basic volume and mute functions, which is handy in an all Bryston system context.

Presto! The night back lighting on the remote. Cool!

I must stress that sonic performance wise, the full Bryston experience is indeed very much greater than the sum of it's very decent parts. Now, that's synergy matched from the factory!

I'll miss returning this full Bryston set to AV Designs for the KLIAV demo. However, I think you should drop by AV Designs booth to check out the full Bryston system on demo, with the 7BSST mono blocks, driving the latest PMC PB1i speakers. Whilst you're there, do check out their outrageously high quality AV installs too.

The PMC PB1i speakers on demo at KLIAV 2009.

And lastly, I wish to thank James, for enriching my audio journey.

Centre Circle Audio will be exhibiting with the many trusty brands in its stable.

The electronics will include Esoteric - very likely the X-05, sibling to Panzer's favourite X-03; Pathos - famous for their hybrid equipment, such as the to-be-displayed Logos, one of my my fave integrated amp; and loudspeakers from Amphion - the Argon2 Anniversary. The system will be strung together with cables from JPS Labs and Purist Audio Design. Powerline conditioners from Isotek will also make their appearance.

Let's see whether Centre Circle Audio's choice of a more real-world, honest-to-goodness system will captivate you!

Acoustic treatment products from Auralex will also be on display, both in Centre Circle Audio's main room and at a booth set up by its sister company, Acoustic Innovations.

Alas, I was told that the new Egglestonworks speaker models would be arriving too late for the show. CCA is also close to sealing the distributorship for a new electronics line. There will probably be a private launch event when these arrive on our shores.

CMY Audio & Visual is inviting those who are curious(like me), or interested to know more about the Acoustic System Resonators to attend a presentation by Franck Tchang, the designer and founder of Acoustic System Resonators product.

Please feel free to attend any one of the presentation scheduled on the 24th and 25th July.

1st Show 12.30pm - 1.30pm

2nd Show 2.30pm - 3.30pm

3rd Show 4.30pm - 5.30pm

See ya!

The new Wilson Audio Shasha in Canary Yellow.

Now, we already know that Perfect Hi Fi will certainly be a feature at the KLIAV 2009 show, being one of the biggest hifi distributors in the country. But what we did not know is their planned goodies at the exhibition!

First up, Wilson Audio's new Watt Puppy 8 successor, the Shasha will be on show.

Next up is the latest Audio Research Reference 5 line stage pre amp(apparently, all the ARC Ref 5 pre amp allocated stocks for Malaysia has been temporarily sold out, and there's a waiting list for it if you want to buy one today!), and the Reference 8 CD player!, along the rest of the ARC range.

Finally, the Pass Labs local representation issue has been settled, with Perfect Hi Fi exhibiting the latest XP series pre amps and the not so new X-600.5 mono blocks.

Pass Labs XP-10 pre amp.

Pass Labs XP-20 pre amp, Hifikaki's dream may soon come true on this one!

Pass Labs X-600.5 mono blocks.

Other usual Perfect Hi Fi brands like Transparent cables, Sonus Faber speakers and Audio Analogue tube electronics will be making an appearance too.

By the way, Andy, the young energetic boss of Perfect Hi Fi tells me they've just landed Nordost cables and power products as part of their growing stable of brands. Though he's are not sure if the stocks will arrive in time for the show.

Congrats to Perfect Hi Fi!

This KLIAV 2009 show is indeed getting more exciting than I previously thought.