November 30, 2009

The Swiss Army Knife of Digital Replay - Esoteric SA-50 Audio Player

I never came across any disc player with as many features as the Esoteric SA-50.

The Esoteric SA-50 is so choked full of features, like a swiss army knife, that I think it is the disc player that offers the best value for money in this regard. I think some would think that these features alone would have worth the price of admission, before even listening to the sound. :-)

Esoteric SA-50, built like a Lexus

Let's see what you can use it for - it is a disc player, taking care of CD & SACD (though it can't do DVD-A). In fact it is a few players in one, as its myriad upsampling and filter options offer subtle differences for you to tailor the sound to your liking. It is a DAC, one that can take digital input from multiple sources including a computer. It can even replace a pre-amp as it has a built-in volume control, provided you have only digital sources.

Technology wise, it uses a version of Esoteric's renowned drive mechanism, called VOSP. Almost every one would agree that no one makes a better drive than Esoteric. It comes with a 32-bit DAC, while many others are still boasting about 24-bit. It allows the user to upgrade it further by using an external word clock, Esoteric can supply one of their own.

Let's look at each feature in more details. First with its up-sampling options. For CD playback and digital input, i.e.,PCM digital audio, you can choose from 4 settings:
- ORG (original, no upsampling)
- 2Fs (32 / 44.1 / 48kHz signals are upconverted to 64 / 88.2 / 96 kHz)
- 4Fs (32 / 44.1 / 48 / 88.2 / 96kHz are upconverted to 128 / 176.4 and 192 kHz)
- DSD (PCM signal is converted to Direct Stream Digital, i.e., SACD format)

I played with these options for a few hours, and found that I preferred the DSD option the best, it sounded the smoothest among the lot, music had a nice flow and was highly coherent. It also sounded the most anologue among all four. ORG was the worst, you are really listening to coarse digital audio, it sounded rough and was really uncomfortable to my ears. 4Fs came in second, a big improvement from ORG but still sounded slightly digital to me. So, I used DSD exclusively for my listening sessions.

Strangely, for SACD (DSD) audio, the Esoteric SA-50 offers the user choices to play back at the native DSD format or converted it to PCM either at 88.2kHz / 32 bits (2Fs) or 176.4kHz / 32 bits (4Fs). I found that I also preferred the DSD setting.

Next up, the filter options. It has 2:
- FIR, which Esoteric says provide "a fuller, richer and deeper sound"
- S_DLY, which provides "an impluse response without pre-echo, natural attack and reverberation. This setting provides tonal quality that is closest to the original without enhancement". The "without pre-echo" words ticked me off, this is similar to the apodizing filter used in the new generation of Meridian's cd players and is also similar to the filter in my Ayre C-5xeMP at the 'measure' setting.

The S_DLY filter did sound more natural to me, the FIR filter slightly more dynamic. Listening to acoustic music, I'd choose the S_DLY filter, but for some music like rock, the FIR could provide just a tad more slam and excitement.

Next the outputs and inputs.

Analog outputs of the Esoteric SA-50

For analog output, the Esoteric SA-50 is basically a 2-channel machine. It offers a pair each of XLR (balanced) and RCA (single-ended) output. For digital output, it offers an optical and a coaxial output. Pretty much par for the course.

Digital inputs and outputs of the Esoteric SA-50

But many would not expect a disc player to have multiple inputs! They are all digital. There are an optical digital terminal, a coaxial RCA terminal and a USB port (v1.1 or higher). Now, you not only can listen to your silver discs, you can listen from your computer hard disc too!

Only a Japanese highend company can do all these, really. The feature list is simply amazing.

I am not done - I am yet to rave about its construction quality. The Esoteric SA-50 is simply impeccably built. The entire thing just exuded quality and class - reminded me of a Lexus. Everything - the disc tray, every button on the machine, the remote control, just worked and worked smoothly. Every moving part emitted nary a pip, no clunkiness, no excessive mechanical sound. And at 18kg, the SA-50 is even heavier than many integrated amps, some power amps, and almost all CD players that ever came into my place. Lastly, this thing came triple-boxed from the factory. Double I am used to, but for triple this was my first encounter. :-)

Ok, I have covered all the physical attributes of the Esoteric SA-50. So now let's sit down and listen to this jewel of a disc player.

I played CDs and some SACDs exclusively for my listening, no external inputs, as I did not have any.

I started with Shelby Lynne. The most prominent sound characteristic of the SA50 was so obvious before the first 5 minutes was up. It was SMOOTH, SMOOTH, SMOOTH... I declare this Esoteric as the smoothest sounding player that I have ever heard in my system. It was like hot-knife-cutting-through-butter smooth, the sonic texture was so creamy and fine. Where is the disjointed digital sound? Where are the digital artifacts? There was none to be found.

The Esoteric SA-50's treble was extended and airy, always non-offensive. The mid had natural body, vocal was slightly more 'youthful' than in my experience with a few other players, Ella Fitzgerald shedded a few pounds and Shelby Lynne was a couple of years younger. It is a different perspective, one that eschewed any heaviness in the sound. Bass was strong, deep, and well defined, though some other may outsmart the Esoteric SA-50 in terms of punchiness.

All in all, it is refinement to the fore, rubbish to the back for the Esoteric SA-50. It always dug up the beauty in the music to present. With my CDs, the Mozart symphonies and all vocal music came through beautifully. The Esoteric SA-50 never sounded hurried, it teased out all the musical strands and presented them to you in a natural way. I found that switching to the FIR filter could add a wee bit more rhythmic drive to the SA-50, but I also lost some naturalness. Well, the fact that you can fine tune is already a plus.

On George Winston's piano pieces, instead of highlighting the piano's attack, the SA-50 focused more on presenting the nuances and the decay of the notes, the acoustic space was also presented more clearly and more prominently. On my harder hitting stuff such as chinese drum music, you can probably find some others sounding more dynamic, but the SA-50 on its own was already no slouch, it was very good in fact. However, in one area the Esoteric SA-50 would be unbeatable, that was the portrayal of the different shadings and the spread-in-the-air quality of each drum beat.

The pricing of the Esoteric SA-50 has not been confirmed by Centre Circle Audio, I think it would be under the RM20k point. I'd stick my neck out and say that for the material value you get, it is really the best around.

That it sounded smooth, highly refined, and nice to listen to is the bonus.

ontact Centre Circle Audio, Ph: 03-77282686; Nelson Chia 012-2876807; Sky Wong 012-3371787

PMC's Fact Loudspeaker Range at AV Designs

For the last couple of weeks, you must have seen the panel ad of the new PMC loudspeakers, the fact 8, on the right hand panel of this blog. Now, you can see and listen to the real thing at AV Designs.

AV Designs held a launch for the new loudspeakers range from PMC, called 'fact', on Saturday 28/11/09. James of AV Designs had so kindly invited us, unfortunately Big E was held up by a business emergency, so yours truly here had all the pleasure of attending the event. Big E, you owe yourself a visit to AV Designs to listen to the fact 8. As you were so impressed by the OB1i from the same stable, the Fact 8 is not to be missed (better still, request the pair home for review! Oh, yes, you must!).

The fact 8 is the first model in the line and the only one for the time being. The fact 8 has a normal height and a slim front but is deep. For a dimension of 1030mm x 155mm x 380mm (HWD), and with the very excellent real wood veneer finishing (the tiger ebony version looked particularly fetching to me), they will not be out of place in any home decor. I also think that they are the most elegant looking pair of speakers to ever came out of PMC.

PMC quoted the following specifications:
Frequency response : 28Hz - 30kHz
Sensitivity : 88dB 1w 1m
Effective ATL (advanced transmission line length) : 3m
Impedance : 8 Ohms
Drive units : LF 2 x fact 140mm/5.5" precision drivers; HF 22mm high res SONOMEX soft dome ferro-fluid cooled
Input connectors : 2 pairs 4mm PMC Ag terminals (bi-wire or bi-amp)
Dimensions : H 1030mm+25mm spikes; W 155mm+80mm ingot feet; D 380mm+23mm Ag terminal
Weight : 20kg 44lbs.

The back panel, click on photo to enlarge, note the two tiny switches above the speaker terminals for tailoring the HF and LF

The fact 8 has also a unique feature rarely available in loudspeakers, it has a pair of switches just above the speaker terminals for the owner to tailor the HF and LF response to your room, allowing it to work optimally in a wider range of environment. The adjustments available are +2dB and -2db to the high frequency, and -3dB and -6dB to the low frequency.

For all the goodies in these beauties, they will set you back RM29,500 (list price) for a pair.

At the launch, the Fact 8 was driven by a complete set of Bryston electronics and Wireworld cables. True to its monitor pedigree, the Fact 8 sounded very even, clean and detailed. Despite the relatively small drivers, it was not bass shy. They also sounded open and the soundstage that they could throw up was big and 3-dimensional. All in all, a positive first impression.

The main demo area of AV Design was a really big space, and was open on the right side of the speakers, I believe the fact 8 would do even better in a dedicated room. That's why Big E got to request for a review pair to listen in his room. :-)

To listen to the PMC fact 8, contact AV Designs, Ph:03-21712828

November 29, 2009

An Ode To Utopia.

The view from the throne, note the night stars just visible on the top portion of wall? It extends to all over the ceiling too.

I travelled to the southern tip of Malaysia and met up with a few like minded enthusiast. I'd like to call this system a blast from the past, as it comprises of mostly 90's vintage gear. This time round, we'd work our way back from the JM Lab Ligne' Utopia speakers. Power amp is Krell KSA 300S. Pre amp is Krell KRC-HR. This system has two sources, analog and digital. The analog front is a Kenwood turn table from the 80's vintage, mounted with Denon D103R cartridge. Phono stage is the popular Phonomena model. Digital source used is Marantz SA14 SACD/CD player.

Krell KSA300S power amp.

Krell KCR-HR pre amp.

Marantz SA14 SACD/CD player. The only new millennium equipment here.

Kenwood turn table from the vintage 80's.

The Phonomena phono stage. See those silver braided interconnects on the left? There are Ah Siang's handy DIY work, very nice!

All equipments(except power amp) sits on sand boxes plus various degrees of isolation solutions employed. Speaker cables are the very expensive MIT oracle V.4, and the owner Ah Siang, recently replaced all his exotic NBS interconnects with DIY efforts of his own. They are too many different types of powers cords involved. A Works AVR is used for power conditioning, and incoming voltage regulator.

MIT Oracle V.4 speaker cables. They cost more than my speakers!

Work AVR transformer based voltage regulator.

An assortment of room acoustic treatment employed. Note the speaker and cup like device? They are additional resonators! Just joking, I've no idea what they're for.

Rear wall diffuser treatment. Curtains make good absorption treatment too.

The system is set in to a room measuring roughly 15 x 24ft. The listening environment is decorated with lots of reflective night stars on the ceiling, as Ah Siang is a darkened room listener, creating an illusion of the open night sky inside the room. The room has also been acoustically treated to a fair degree.

A closer look at the JM Lab Ligne' Utopia speakers. Note the plexi rail and white tow ropes just below the speakers? They're to allow Ah Siang to position the speakers by ingeniously manipulating the tow ropes from the throne, so that the speakers can slide towards the front and back for fine tuning!

As coming from a big system, the sound scale is big, with warmish tonality. Bass dives deep and have great slam impact. The JM Lab Ligne' Utopia speakers reminds me of it's closeness to the qualities of the bigger Grand Utopia I heard before. The mids are fluid and have great presence. As it's tweeters is non BE, the high frequency extension is somewhat slightly curtailed. This could be seen as a good thing as Ah Siang listens to mostly 70's Taiwanese recordings via LPs, Teresa Teng comes to mind here. Most of Ah Siangs CDs is made up of mostly Chinese and audiophile music.

A closer look of the speaker from the back, the Oracle V.4 speaker cable network box sits on it's own dedicated stands.

The sound stage is wide and perception of depth is good. I do however feel that with better sources, Ah Siang may take the overall sonic performance up another notch or two. As with all systems, the status is always WIP(work in progress). Ah Siang is already talking about his plans to further refine and up grade the system! However, he is not letting the cat out of the bag yet. Let's see what happens next.

November 27, 2009

Audio Physic Cardeas Arrives. Only At Audio Image.

Audio Physic Cardeas. The real deal looks a whole lot more stunning than this picture suggest.

Audio Physic recently replaced the Caldera model with the Cardeas for their 2010 line up. Until the arrival of the Kronos replacement which has also been recently discontinued, the Cardeas will temporarily hold the flag ship status for now, if that sort of thing is important to you. This is probably the most quietly anticipated speaker arrival for any Audio Physic fan, like me. When I saw it in the flesh yesterday at Audio Image, I was awed by it's build quality. As Adrian had just un-boxed the speaker the previous day, it was still in the burning in process. However, the sound quality was already showing lots of potential to be unleashed.

This is a high tech speaker, with many attention to detail built in for great sound tuning. First, the front baffle is all aluminium, in keeping with today's modern high end speaker design trend. The wooden body is typical in Audio Physic shaped, by being slim fronted, side firing 10 inch woofers and a rounded rump with isolated speaker binding post. The special part is the way the drivers are mounted. From casual observation, it would seem similar to the Magico V2(also on demo now in Audio Image!), however, upon closer inspection, all drivers are suspended mount, sandwiched between the front baffle and an internal structure. This feature keeps the HHCT tweeter and HHCM mid range drivers totally isolated, from unwanted boxy sonic colouration's.

Please call Adrian, at Audio Image, tel no. 03-79563077 for an audition appointment.

November 24, 2009

Steppin' Up! Krell S-300i Integrated Amp.

The new Krell S-300i integrated amp. Kinddy stuff? Think again!

Kenny of Hi-Way Laser took out a Krell box, identified by the shipping label on the top right hand side of the box. Oh Wow! I thought I'd be in for a treat, it must be the Krell Evolution pre amp. Kenny then asked, "would you like to review the new S-300i integrated amp from Krell?". I thought to my self, "Oh no, I don't wanna do integrated amp, that's kinddy stuff" Odiosleuth gave me that "don't look at me look". I then said to Kenny, O.K. lah! , which I later found out how foolish it was, of me to think about the latest batch of integrated amps that way.
The chunky all aluminium remote hand set. No back lighting though.

But then,I did it out of curiosity, that many in the online forums that I read are in the opinion that the latest entry level Krell cannot sonically match the older KAV-400xi integrated amp, which was made in the USA. The new Krell S-300i proudly wears it's made in China tag but does say design by Krell USA at the back panel. Apparently this is the first of possibly of many to come from Krell that would be made in China.
Country of manufacture clearly stated here on this back panel, you'll have to squint your eyes to spot it. He!He!......

I opened the double layered shipping box, and was immediately impressed with the weighty feel, nearly 20kgs of aluminium and metal. I did not like the plain Jane grey powder coated top plate finishing, but that does nothing to affect the sound, or functionality.The front panel is beautifully finished in luxurious satin, thank fully. Built quality seems to be pretty substantial and have that made to last feel. A peek inside the ventilation slots reveal a big, big transformer up front, just behind the fascia plate. This is followed by the pre-amp section directly behind the rear panel for the shortest signal path and two power amp modules at both sides. All board parts are surface mounted and seeming of high quality. Important point, country of manufacture aside, Krell maintained very high standards of quality in the parts that matters most. The sound!
The excellently built internals, larger heat sinks would be better for punishing music.

The remote is also built to the same quality standards as the rest of the amp. This Krell also accepts an Apple I-pod as input, a quality interface cable is provided, but why is the socket located in the back panel? I would rather it be in front for easy plugging and unplugging of the I-pod. I did not have an I-pod to test the input or interface unfortunately. There's also a single pair of XLR input, followed by other RCA inputs. A pair of WBT style speaker cable binding post is offered, which is easy and convenient to use.

The remote can program many functions which are displayed on a blue lighted panel, which is dim able by various programmable steps. There are just too many functions to list here, but I am sure if you readers are interested, a visit to Hi-Way Laser will have Kenny showing you all the nitty gritties.
The back panel action.

I was playing with the already impressive PMC OB1i speakers, powered by the 75W Pass Aleph 0 mono blocks. This time my Marantz CD7, not working, I used Odiosleuth's loaner Copland CDA-822 as CD source, by passing my regular Pass X2.5 pre amp with a pair of 4m long Cardas Golden Presence XLR interconnect, plugged direct in to the Krell's XLR input. Speaker cables are my very fine Siltech Classic Anniversary Series 330L. With the 150W @ 8 ohms rated Krell powering the PMCs, the sound took on a more dynamic character. I noticed the similarly smooth highs as with the Pass Aleph. The mids on the Krell seemed a little leaner somewhat, but I guess when compared to the Aleph, all else seems leaner by comparison. The bass took on a more powerful stance. The Krell kept the bass notes like a Rottweiler on a tight leash. Note to note up right bass transfers were clean and very articulate. Kick drums had a powerful "kick" to it. If you've heard the musical term "the bass propels the music forward", this Krell does it!This is one area where the Pass Aleph 0 is beaten by comparison.

The sound stage is as wide and as deep as the Pass Aleph, only shortfall being the layers within the sound field seems less distinct by comparison. Imaging properties is nearly as solid and dense as the Aleph 0. I would however, mark down hall/studio spatial and ambient cues just very slightly compared to the Aleph.

The Krell integrated amp will play all musical genre, be it pop/rock, jazz or classical with confidence, always sounding in control and up to task. When the Krell resided in my system, together with the PMC OB1i speakers, I've never heard the Musik Wie Von Einem Anderen Stern CD, by Manger sounding so powerful before, especially the killer last drum percussion track 15, called Jazz Variants. Many smaller systems just fail to reproduce the impact of those big dynamic drum beats. This is the forte' of bigger systems, yet in my room, and the context of the system in review, the Krell S-300i sails through the entire track effortlessly, powering the "big boy" PMCs with great control and authority.
This is an excellent test CD. I especially like track 2, which is a radio broadcast play, much like our Rediffusion, except the dialogues are in German! Track 15, is a well known system killer.

For two weeks, I played the most dynamically and transient challenging music in my collection, in order to try and find out the Krell's seemingly bottomless limits. I found that the amp runs very hot, but never shown any signs of distress by the way of playing music with distortion. I finally came across this track that tripped the Krell. The last track of The Greatest Hits of Arrested Development, an unplug "live" version of People Everyday finally showed up the Krell's limitations. This is one killer track, with it's low level but highly dynamic recording, will make one keep turning the volume up. I went all the way to near concert levels because I wanna feel the kick drums, and that attacking bass guitar notes pounding my chest! However, almost 4 minutes plus in to the song, I heard the bass guitar notes distorting and proceeded to turn the volume down. I then felt the frying hot heat sinks on the amp's top plate. I switched off the amp, for a few minutes, allowing it to cool down. I re-started to play music again soon after that. No problems at all.
This is a surprising difficult test. The last track show up the last of the Krell's bottomless power reserves.

The Krell's volume control operating range is from 1-150 steps and responds linearly. I was playing at 112 volume level with People Everyday when the amp started to protest. Trust me, that is mighty loud, and will probably damage your hearing.

Another look at the all powerful Krel S-300i.

I later proceeded to hook up my Audio Physic Spark speakers to the Krell. The more efficient and tonally neutral Spark seems always nervous and edgy by comparison to the PMC. I did used 3 pcs of the large Cardas Myrtle Wood Cuboids under the Krell and that seem to reduced some of the said leanness and made the partnership a better one. No fault of the Krell though, I just felt it better matched the PMCs than the Audio Physics.

Priced at RM$11,888.00, the Krell S-300i can be a very attractive proposition for those steppin' up in to high end from the Audiolabs, Creeks or Mission Cyrus, just to name a few. It gives them a big dosh of that high end taste to come, especially when partnered with warmer sounding speakers and sources. It's also suitable for those whom have done the high end up grade merry go round, and now just wanna settle down with some "basic" quality musical playback system. For me though, I could almost live with the Krell S-300i integrated. I said "almost" because for me at least, that would also mean buying a pair of PMCs to suit!

Lastly, I did not find out if the Krell S-300i was as good as the older KAV-400xi, as I did not have a sample of the later to compare. But I am very sure the newer S-300i is certainly no lesser of an amp, if probably not better, based on my experiences with it.
Krell sold by Hi-Way Laser, contact Kenny, tel no: 019-2813399.

November 23, 2009

STOP PRESS! CMY Audio & Visual Updates.

The Ultimate Dynaudio!

Folks, the much awaited Dynaudio Consequence Ultimate speakers has arrived to CMY Damansara Utama branch in Petaling Jaya. It has been set up for demo with partenring Jeff Rowland Criterion pre and 312 power amps. Cables used are Siltech Royal Signature series.

The flagship of Metronome Technologie, CD5 Signature. It's made in France.

The bigger suprise is that the set up is fronted by the tube based Metronome Technologie CD5 Signature front end. This is a system to be heard to behold!

In fact, almost the whole range of CD players from Metronome Technologie of France, is available for demo in all CMY outlets.

Please call Chan, tel no: 03-77272419 for an apointment to audition.

Lastly, I wish to congratulate John Yew and CMY team for securing Metronome Technologie, another high end brand to their stables.

November 22, 2009

One More From the Fairy Family - Siltech Classic Anniversary SPX-300 G7 Powercord

Both Big E and myself had had some very enjoyable experience with Siltech's Classic Anniversary range a couple of months ago. We came away extremely impressed with its loudspeaker cables range, the 330L, 550L and 770L. Big E called them his 'fairy sisters', remember that one? :-) That article was done so well by Big E that Siltech references to it with a link from their website's home page. Now, Big E listens to the seductive fairy sing in front of him every day. You see, he bought the 330L to be his reference.

Being duly impressed so, we shall continue to check out the Siltech range. Here, we go into Siltech's Classic Anniversary powercord offering, the Siltech SPX-300 comes in with a list price of RM3,980 for 1.5m.

The Siltech SPX-300 is very well constructed, having the same high quality feel in its connection, its sheath, and the coolest design feature of all, in the Classic Anniversary range, the metal 'clamp' (looks like stainless steel to me) at one end of the cord. Holding it in your hand, you can feel that it is heavy, heavier than many other companies' offerings. The weight is attributable probably to the amount of metal in it and the clamp. Siltech says that the powercord is made of silver coated OFC (oxygen free copper).

Unlike the loudspeaker cables, which are very flexible, the body of the SPX-300 is stiff. It can be bent but does not hold its shape easily. This made the routing of this cable more difficult than others, so you probably want to consider having some free space behind your equipment.

I tried the Siltech SPX-300 on the Ayre C-5xeMP universal player. The powercord came burnt-in (a label on the cord mentioned that it was burnt in by ProBurn). However, I still found that it sounded best after 1 full day of continuous use.

The Siltech SPX-300 is so obviously cut from the same Siltech cloth. It offers the same beauty of sound that I heard in the loudspeaker cables (more of that later). When I first heard the powercord in my system, the thought that kept recurring in my head was, "Quiet, this is really quiet." Yes, the first prominent contribution of the Siltech SPX-300 was the noise-less background that it brought to the game. Music was played on a jet black canvas and the space between the players was just simply dark.

There was also excellent definition and separation of the sonic images. In 'The Linden' (second track) on Youn Sun Nah's 'Voyage' album, there was a shaker playing midway through the track (around 2:00), moving across the sound stage and front to back. I never heard this effect so clearly before the Siltech SPX-300, I could, not only hear each shake clearly now, but also 'see' its movement around the stage.

The SPX-300 also sounded very open at the top, and there was a certain sweetness in the highs too, just like the loudspeaker cables in the same range (though I have to say that the latter's effect was more pronounced). This character was, quite honestly, beguiling and addictive. The mids were beautiful too, it was articulate and rendered with finesse. The bottom was not particularly strong, but was confident and well controlled, more importantly it was balanced with the rest of the spectrum.

Another positive attribute I can't emphasize enough is its very good details and clarity. There was no soft lens to render anything with too much of a romantic hue (there was little if any ajinomoto in the sound, so to speak :-) ). Image edges were well defined and this clarity unveiled a new layer of details from the CD medium. Each image has its own acoustic space - a corollary from the quiet background which I touched on earlier.

I heartily recommend anyone looking for an excellent powercord to audition the Siltech Classic Anniversary SPX-300 powercord. See if you are also susceptible to the fairy's charms. :-)

Siltech is carried by CMY Audio & Visual, contact John, tel: 03-21439206

November 21, 2009

Vinyl Nirvana In Jaya One. Nova Hifi (formerly known as Valve & Vinyl).

Jaya One commercial center is fast becoming the alternative hifi mecca in Petaling Jaya. After Music By Design and Audio Perfectionist, Nova Hifi has recently settled in, whilst the Experts Group has just opened a show room there too(more on that later).

If you intend to vinyl shop, please bring more $$$! There are just too many good tittles to be had!

Nova Hifi, situated on 1st floor Block D of Jaya One, is run by Lai and Ng, both hifi stalwarts whom have over the years sold many, many top high end audio systems(some costing millions of RM$) in Malaysia.

Turntables display galore!

Odioslueth's fav! Shunyata Cables and Hydra Power Conditioners sold here.

First up Nova Hifi is probably still the best place to find and buy new vinyl in Malaysia! They have a huge collection of current "new" reissues, classic mandarin & canto "pop", plus lots of ever green and new releases in their collections.

The super high end Reimyo digital playback stack, consist of a top loading transport, DAC and PSU.

Another look at the superbly finished Reimyo CD transport.

Who can have vinyl without turntables? Nova Hifi also sells Avid and Nottingham Analogue turntables from the U.K. They can also do "special orders" of any other high end models or brands that you fancy. And with turn tables also comes cartridges, which includes ZYX and Lyra. Other analogue accessories are available here too.

Full range of KEF speaker on display here.

The accesories display cabinet, note some very special audiophile grade JVC K2 CDs on the lower decks. They even have some mono Artoru Toscannini recordings too.

Nova Hifi also displays the full KEF speaker range, Rouge Audio tube amps, Reimyo and Zanden Electronics. They also sell Enacom bits, Shunyata cables and power conditioners and Harmonix cable and tuning feet products.

Some of the quality "pre owned" gears on display.

Harmonix tuning feet sets.

Nova Hifi also has a great variety of quality "pre owned" high end gears on display too. Going the "pre owned" route to high end is certainly worth considering for the savings to be had.

A great place to hang out for the high end aspiring newbie and the vinyl junkie in you.

Contact Ng at 016-3202049 for an appointment.

November 18, 2009

CEC Now In Music By Design.

The new CEC AMP53 is an integrated amp and has 2 balanced input, which is really useful if you've more than one source.
A long time favourite amongst audiophiles, are those belt driven CEC CD players. They are now in Music By Design, located in 1st Floor, Block J, Jaya One commercial building in Petaling Jaya.
The latest top loading CEC TL53 Z CD player, like the AMP 53, it is shoe box sized.
On demo now are the latest products like TL53 CD player and AMP 53 set. They are obviously design with each other in mind as a set, but are sold separately. The design is typical shoe box sized(remember those Mission Cyrus amps)?, but they projected big, warm and smooth sound at the showroom, when partnered with Vienna Acoustics Mozart Grand speakers.
Vienna Acoustics Mozart Grand speakers, a great companion to the CEC pair above. Do check the full range of Vienna Acoustics at Music By Design, they are absolutely gorgeously built.
You can also check out the latest CEC TL 51XR CD player which is highly affordable too.

The "ever green" CEC TL51, in it's latest XR guise.
Do call Simon Choy, at 03-79541882 for an appointment to avoid disappointment.