May 2, 2010

Wilson's Dilemma?

The system's main source, a highly modified Linn LP12 with a Clearaudio Da Vince cartridge mounted to the Eminent Technologies ET2 tone arm.

The ET2 tone arm's air pump, filter and pressure control.

The system set up in an acoustically treated room built to nearly "Golden Ratio" proportions.

The main equipment rack. Top from left, DIYed solid state full balanced phono stage, Linn LP12. Bottom from left, ARC Ref 3, Naim CD5X.

The recently acquired ARC Ref 3 line stage.

Wilson Sophia speaker. Any idea why our friend is called Wilson?

The Ayre MX-R mono block pair being put thru it's places by Wilson, note his ol' skool Conrad Johnson Premier 1 power amp in the middle.

Another look at the Linn LP12.

The Naim CD5X for back ground music use only!

Wilson Wong is a hifi ol' timer. He's the type who has seen and heard most, if not all. He's also a great DIYer to boot. He generously helps me out in my DIY projects. He builds some of the most impressive DIY gears, and is especially proud of his own handiwork.

Many do not understand this man, and they always call him the Mercedes Benz driver using "celup"(re threaded) tyres, due to Wilson's combination of top class speaker and power amp(Wilson Sophia & Conrad Johnson) combo, but using his home built pre amp and phono stage. His main source, the Linn LP12 is highly modified too, attached with a linear tracking tone arm by Eminent Technologies ET2 with a Clearaudio Da Vinci cartridge mounted. His digital source is mainly for back ground music purposes and he sees no tangible benefits in further investing on a high end CD player, hence he had kept his trusty ol' Naim CD5X for the job.

Signal cables are all JPS Super Conductor series, except Nordost Blue Heaven is used for his CD player. Power cords are supplied by Cardas and PS Audio, with an Audioprism Quietline for power line conditioning duties. I guess lately, all those "celup" tyre jokes are starting to get on his nerves(or I think he has the intention to go the full balance, XLR system route perhaps?), and declared his intention to upgrade his system so it's made up of all top flight equipment list.

So what appeals to a man who has almost seen and heard all hifi has to offer? He had recently acquired a pre-owned Audio Research Reference 3 pre amp and was looking for a top dog phono stage to match. Wilson listens to mostly ol skool Jazz and orchestral plus chamber style Classical music.

Last week, he came to my place as I was joy riding the Ayre MX-R mono blocks in my system. In his usual brash style, he said that my system ain't doing the Ayre justice and I should bring them over to his place to really see what they can do.(Having know this guy pretty well, that means I liked what I heard, and would like to try this please?) I negotiated for him to guest write a review of the Ayre and he must let us know if he intends on purchasing it.(don't worry, this guy has plenty of $ and can certainly afford it!) Ha! Ha!

So I thought I show you readers about his system, tell you a little about his musical diet(in the context of his review to come) to see if you can help Wilson make up his mind, or even speculate if he'll end up buying the Ayre MX-R mono block pair. In the mean time, we wait for his review to come in a few days time.

----------------------------------------------

Added by Odiosleuth on 5/5/2010:
The following are the translation of PuchongWong's comments written in Chinese and edited version of his writeup on the Ayre MX-R, referring back too to his original Chinese version that he sent me :-) (hope I am successful still in keeping his colourful style! Have fun reading) :

PuchongWong said on May 3, 2010, 7:51PM:
"I am so moved, I am crying now. Our most famous audio reviewer in the whole Malaysia, my Big Guru, did so much for me so that I would leave the Diy clan, but I am a man of limited means, I am happy enough to listen to equipment at such lofty level even if only for a while. Thank you, Big Guru."

PuchongWong said on May 3, 2010, 10:49PM:
"One day a master knew that I tested the Ayre Power Amp MXR. So he asked me how's it.

I couldn't wait to tell him that when I was listening to Track 11 of Patricia Barber's "Cafe Blue", when the vocal came on, I went "wow.......".The voice was so magnetic that it drew you in, piano was lively, the high hats and cymbals sounded free and extended, not too sharp to the ears, the bass drum was firm with excellent definition, cello had great tonality and was rendered clearly, violin sounded silky and its tone was glamorous. Tonality 9.9, Sound quality 9.9, Dynamics 9.8, Value for Money 9....

Before I managed to finish what I wanted to say, that master asked " Wouldn't it then be the best piece of equipment in the world?? How can it be that it does not have any weak points?? How much hifi equipment have you heard before??" I didn't dare to answer him. I thought silently, maybe it's true that I have not heard enough, and that those who liked Krell might not like Ayre and vice versa.

One day I dreamt that Ayre's boss said, "Now that I'm rich, I want to clear my MXR stock...." Wow! I was so happy! Suddenly, I heard a sharp voice calling, "Wake up! What's the time now?! Don't you need to go to work?! Don't you need to eat?!" Damn.... it was only a dream.... Do you hear my wish, Mr. Charles Hansen??


5 comments:

mikelau.2 said...

Hi Wilson,

Wa...liau, Congratulations to you my friend. A really super system you got there now. Your Wilsons must be singing now eh ?
But me bit perplexed. How can you be in dilemma ? unless....sound 'not sooo good' and you paid for it ? heh heh
Waiting for your writeup..anxiously.

PuchongWong said...

我感动到流泪了,我们马来西业顶顶大名的音响评论家大师大力帮忙把我脱离Diy族但我的能力有限能短暂听到名机就很满足了谢谢大师。

PuchongWong said...

One day a master knew that I tested the Ayre Power Amp MXR. So he asked me how's it. I can't wait to tell him that when I was listening to the 11th song of Patricia Barber Cafe Blue, when the voice of the lady came out: "yee~" sounds like a magnet was attracting you towards it, piano was lively, sasha sounds free, not too sharp to the ear, Bass drum was firm, cello was clear enough, violin was awesome, sound colour 9.9, sound quality 9.9, power 9.8, value 9.... Before I managed to finish what I wanted to say, that master asked " Wouldn't it be the best machine in the world?? Doesn't it have any weak points?? How many machines have you heard before??" This time, I don't dare to answer him. I thought silently, maybe it's true that I heard too few machines and that those who likes Krell might not like Ayre and vice versa. One day I dreamnt that Ayre's boss said:" Now that I'm rich, I want to clear my MXR stock...." Wow! So happy! Suddenly I heard the sharp voice saying "Wake up! What's the time now?! You don't need to work?! Don't you need to eat?! Aiya.... It was only a dream.... Can you here this, boss of Ayre??

mikelau.2 said...

Hi Wilson,

From the way you sound I get the feeling that you will continue to drive your mercedes with tyre chelup ? Sum tink long sum wear aah ?

mikelau.2 said...

Big E,

Is there an Ayre essay writing competition on ? heh heh