I was visiting our southern neighbour, Singapore recently, and had Joamonte to thank for showing me to some of his hifi friends. I'll feature some of their systems here in the next few posting.
The Clear audio Stradivari mounted Master Solution turn table! I am begining to love those Clear audio analog rigs.
Goldmund phono stage sitting on an X-shape metal platform which was custom made by a friend.
This is the system of Mr Tan, whose equipment list looks like this. It starts Audiomecca Mephisto II.X CD player, but used as a transport feeding a Enlightened Audio Design(EAD) DAC, on the digital front. The analog rig consist of a Clear audio Stradivari cartridge mounted on a Master Solution turntable. The very low level signal then passes thru a Goldmund phono stage, to be amplified to line input level. A Jeff Rowland Consummate pre amp sits in the center of the system as source switch and volume control. The pre amp output is the routed to a Behringher pro electronic x-over to split the output to high pass and low pass to feed the respective Jeff Rowland mono block power amps(there are 2 pairs of mono block power amps in this system). Why so many power amps? Because it is required to feed an active speaker system. The Audio Artistry Beethoven is a 4 piece speaker system. With 2 open baffle panels to play the high passed mid range and high frequencies and a pair of matching sub woofers to reproduce the lowest of low passed notes. Mr Tan felt the highs of the system isn't extended enough, and has employed a pair of additional super tweeters, placed on top of the Beethoven's open baffles. I spotted some Cardas interconnects amongst the cables used in the system.
Audiomecca Mephisto II.X CD player, used as a transport.
The two piece Enlightened Audio Design DAC and power supply unit(bottom).
The whole system is located within a room measuring about 13 x 15 feet, which is well damped by thick curtains on three sides(no wonder Mr Tan feels there's not enough highs! he!he!).
The two piece Jeff Rowland Consummate pre amp and power supply(bottom).
The Behringer pro use electronic x-over, which Mr Tan favours over the original unit supplied by Audio Artistry for use with the Beethoven speaker system.
Listening to this system play large symphonic orchestra is a pleasurable experience. This is especially so, via the analog front end rig. The big tympani drums are realistically reproduced within the sound stage of the orchestra. The horns have that golden brassy tone, with just enough bite, yet ever so gentle on the ears. The system has grandness to it's portrayal of large orchestral symphonic works. It also excels at reproducing Chinese orchestra works. Instruments like the err hu, pei pa and gu zheng sounds rich, delicate and truth to timbre. The sound remains highly composed, even during the most dynamic of transients in the music play back.When playing female vocals like Tsai Ching(see, I am not the only one listening to her!), her emotions can still be felt. Many big systems just don't do that too well. May be it's that open baffle magic doing it's thing.
Pretty maids in a row, not! These are Jeff Rowland mono block muscle amps!
One side of the Beethoven with it's dedicated sub woofer(behind) in tow and the additional super tweeter on top.
I think Beethoven would approve of this system reproducing his symphonies in the grandest manner.