July 19, 2010

Big Boy's Toys. Pride Of Malaysia.


This is probably one of the top 3 systems in Malaysia.

This has gotta be one of the top systems in Malaysia, in fact if my audiophile market stats are correct, this is probably top 3! What's a million Ringgit or two? For G-Man, the owner of this system, it doesn't matter one bit. It's the cost no-object for pure sonic pleasures is the key agenda here.

I've known G-Man for a few years now, charting along with his many upgrade courses so far. G-Man has never allowed me to feature his system before, because he was never quite satisfied with the sonic result, despite the ever larger sum of hifi investment. But, tonight I guess we're all lucky because he is finally getting his sonic goods delivered, he is in a jolly mood and allowed me to share his toys with our readers.

This CD based system starts with a DCS Pucini SACD/CD player as source, which feeds the signals to a Goldmund Mimesis 32 Reference pre amp. The pre amplified signal is then sent to an electronic x-over (provided by the Wilson Audio Wamm speaker package), to split the signal in to high/low pass. The high passed signal then goes to a parametric EQ(also part of the Wilson Audio package) for feeding a pair of Goldmund Telos 600 power amps powering, the main Wamm speaker module. The low passed signal goes straight in to another pair of Telos 600 mono block power amps for amplifying the bass module of the Wamm speaker system.
The pride of the system. From front left: Marantz 9600 DVD player, for that occasional AV concert performance(believe me, that's top flight too!) Goldmund Mimesis 32 Reference pre amp, DCS Pucini SACD/CD player. From middle left: power supply unit for the Goldmund pre amp, Wilson Audio parametric EQ, and electronic x-over. Back row is all Goldmund Telos 600 mono block power amps.

A closer look at he Goldmund Mimesis 32 Reference pre amp.


DCS Pucini SACD/CD player, note those Harmonix Tunning Feet?


Wilson Audio supplied parametric EQ and electronic x-over.


Another look at those cool running Goldmunds.

Goldmund Telos 600, soon to make way for 2 pairs of Telos 1000!


System cables are a mix of MIT Oracle, Stereovox interconnects and MIT Oracle speaker cables. Power cords are custom made by a sifu based in Hong Kong(believe me, many million Ringgit systems are powered and link by this sifu's cables!). All the wooden equipment racks are custom ed by G-Man's furniture industry buddy, designed to work with Harmonix Tunning Feet sets. In fact, everything about this system screams super high end! Naturally, my great audio buddy, Wilson Wong would one day wish to grow up to be just like G-Man.Ha!Ha!
Custom hand made power cords from a Hong Kong based sifu, using only the best cable stock and high end Furutech carbon body connectors!

The dedicated 32 Amp power supply circuit, with breaker protection box.

G-Man has installed a dedicated 32 Amp power supply circuit in to his audio sanctuary, isolated from the rest of the power circuit of his mansion. Room treatment is minimal as G-Man has many tools at his disposal to suit tailor his system's sound to match the room, which measures about 23 x 35ft. Other than the above mentioned electronic x-over and parametric EQ, supplied by Wilson Audio, the Goldmund Mimesis also offers digital room correction function.
More custom made power cords!

External power supply boxes for the Wilson Audio Wamm supplied parametric EQ and electronic x-over.

The sound of this system is at once large scale(could be over whelming for those used to the comfort of mini monitors!),yet offering first rate subtle resolution, detail transparency, mind boggling transient response and dynamic shading, plus lastly, balls shaking bass performance to boot!

Tonality is a little on the "cool" side of neutral with silky refined high frequencies, un-coloured mid range and bass that is just solid, solid and did I just say solid? The staging and imaging is larger than life sized but not intimidatingly so(well, not to me at least). I find this system's linearity to be so progressive, that one can up the listening volume to concert like levels, with out any signs of strain. This system just cruises all the way, with what ever music it plays. I guess all those 2400Watts of Goldmund power helps too?

This is Odiosleuth's reference system, he confessed to me after the session.
The back view of the modular designed Wilson Audio Wamm speaker. There are 2 known pairs of these "statement" speakers in Malaysia. The pair you see here and I heard the other pair resides in Penang.


The 18 inch bass driver, in a large ported enclosure. Wilson Audio manufactured the Wamm for a record breaking 25 years, I was told the last pair was manufactured in year 2002. There are a total 53 pairs of Wilson Audio Wamm speakers in use world wide.

You'd expect G-Man to be very satisfied by now, would you? Well, he is happy, but he tells me that there's two sonic qualities he wishes to improve upon. First, he feels an Emmlabs SACD/CD player would extract more resolution and musical warmth from those 5 inch silver disc. Next, he wants to have 4 x 1000W Goldmund mono blocks to power his system."Higher cruising altitude" the G-Man says!

They say money is like power, one can never have enough!
Some say, with money comes power, with more money comes more power!
I say, is this guy is a megalomaniac or what?

Ha!Ha!Ha!

17 comments:

Drubb said...

Hey G-man,
You are really filthy rich. But I won't hold that against you.
What I really like about your system ( and by inference, your personality ) is the utter orderliness and neatness that you have maintained in your dedicated hifi room. It's a real marvel how you managed to 'hide' your miles and miles of cablings and power cords so as not to be intrusive.
One can tell from the photos that Big E posted, that here is a clear-thinking man with great discipline in everything that he does.
But I feel a bit disappointed and despondent. For I truly feel that there is a big void in that wonderful room. All you need to make it complete now is an analogue setup; something like a Caliburn no less.
No I don't sell the stuff. But having heard it at the showroom, I truly believe that the Caliburn will be your icing on the cake......
I notice that both woofers are placed right at the corners. Did the Wilson guys place them there? Do these behemoths really need corner reinforcement to work well?

Sting - not the english man in New York! said...

Wow!..with those setup/money it must be sounded real good...

Big E said...

Drubb,

G-Man doesn't hang around here. But I'll certain pose your thoughts to him the next time I visit him.

HS said...

Drubb,

What were not mentioned are G-man's dedicated individual power supply high amp wiring and the two floors that the front speakers sit on are totally isolated from the rest of floor, ie if an elephant steps on the floor, the front speakers will not vibrate at all! I don't think there is another system in Malaysia with such isolation flooring.
G-man is not a fan of vinyl.
The location of the woofers was determined after years of tweaking. The bass is felt not heard! Best system that I have heard.

Drubb said...

Hi HS,
Thanks for the added info. I believe you indeed that G-man's system must be truly formidable. We all have our own reference sound which, once heard, will remain in our memories forever. The best sound I have heard to date, is the full glory of Genesis 1 speakers driven by Red Rose electronics/equaliser. Heard this about 12 years ago and none has surpassed or even come close. My pockets were not deep enough to afford that system but its memory lingers on. You guys are ever so lucky to get invited to G-man's place.
I am just as obsessive when it comes to the juice that drives my humble system. Of the 3-phase supply to my house, one whole phase is wired to my hifi/study room alone. As I understand it, each phase can supply 30 amps of current and these can even be upgradeable to a 60-amps setup after prior approval by Tenaga. I wonder how exactly G-man built his high-amp power supply. It should really be interesting to know for us, fellow obsessives.
I agree with you that bass should be felt rather than heard. This applies to deep/subterranean bass. But a plucked bass note should portray attack, body and decay as well. It is the initial attack or note-front that drives the whole musical tapestry and determines its pace and rhythm.
And this brings us to another interesting fact that some of us may not be aware of : that the optimal position of your speakers for best imaging, layering and soundstaging may not be the best position for bass response. I am sure the LS3/5a boys will attest to this. Even G-man's system proves this. This is also why we see several top speaker manufacturers build separate chassis ( plural chasses? )for their woofers. But of course, this is just part of the reason.
It's a pity that G-man doesn't do analog. But I suppose, to each his own poison does.

HS said...

Drubb,
My power supply is quite similar to G-man's. 100A incoming. Like yours, one phase is exclusively for HiFi at 63A. Separate Earth for HiFi. Each outlet is wired for 30A. Each outlet is dedicated to one component.

Drubb said...

Hi HS,
You are a kindred spirit indeed.
You are right about the separate earthing. Initially, I had problems with click artifacts every time a switch is flipped anywhere in the house even tho theoretically it should be isolated. A chat with my electrician revealed that my Blue phase was sharing the same earth bar at the DB. That has since been rectified.
I am curious though, as to how you get 100Amps incoming current.
I know having lots of headroom is great. But considering that most components come with 13/15 amp fuses anyway, and that power cables with Malaysian-type plugs also have such fuses, would 100 Amps not be an overkill? Anyway, that was just a passing thought in my mind as I am truly poorly informed about these matters. Some advice from you will be greatly appreciated.

HS said...

Drubb,
The cheapest and most effective upgrade is to change the TNB incoming fuse, located at the meter, to a good quality 100A fuse. By pass your 13 Amp fuse, as your component will have its own fuse or use US plug which does not have a fuse. The latter is better. Fuses restrict current flow. Upgrade your component fuse to the best you could afford. With all these changes you will have a new system!

Drubb said...

Hi HS
Thank you for your wonderful advice. Will follow 100 pc. I wish I had bought some of the Furutech fuses at the show.

Big E said...

Hi!

I share HS's 100amp TNB meter fuse change experience. At about RM$600, inclusive of high quality UK made fuse holder, and 100amp(a big as 8AWG) cabling from the TNB splitter to fuse holder, then to TNB meter and lastly all the way to DB box. I also upgraded the MCB in the DB box to my audio cave with 32amps European branded one.

My hifi never sounded the same! My terrace house only has single phase power supply!

The best RM$800 spent. I also had my house star grounded with 12awg solid core ground cables.

HS said...

ahaaa.... Earthing is an interesting subject. Here is my RM0.02 take.
The main function of earthing is to prevent electric shock. A sizeable wire is requied to send the leaked current to the ELCB to trip the electricity supply. This does not really help to improve sonic quality unless you have a very good quality earth cable. EMI and RF are in KHz to GHz and also in mAmp or mV and it is not easy to remove these nasties as the energy of these is too small to really excite the atoms in large cable. Think turntable cartridge wire size.
I have tried both 16 AWG solid core cable and 20+ AWG multi strand cable for earthing and found the latter to be superior sonically.
It is either preventing potential electrical shock or a step nearer to Audio Nivarna, an Audiophile' s choice!

Big E said...

HS,

Not disputing your findings in any way. But I only use the heavier gauge cable due to the advice of my electrical engineer friend who said the earth drain wire can be smaller, but should not deviate too far from the other 2 core that is Live & Neutral.

Safety is the main issue, but the side benifit of a well grounded house is that audio back ground noise is reduced to some extent too.

HS said...

Big E,
Yes, it is always better to be safe than to be sorry:)
One of the Hong Kong HiFi gurus, whom I respect, is of the view that out of the 3 power cord wires, Live, Neutral and Earth, the Earth wire has the most effect, sonically.

Drubb said...

Hi HS,
As I understand, the bigger the AWG number, the smaller is the diameter of the wire. So, when you said that 20 AWG multistrand is superior to a solid core 16 AWG, then we can take it that the total cross- sectional area of the mutiple 20 AWG wires is bigger than the single 16 AWG?
You also mentioned the term 'star grounding'. Will appreciate if you could elaborate a bit on this terminology.
My electrician claimed he had used a size 10 AWG solid core wire for my earthing which terminates with a one-inch wide, solid copper bar buried 10 feet into the ground. If there is any way I can improve on this I will surely do.
Obsession, obsession.

HS said...

Drubb,
I am sorry for not articulating well enough. I meant that I used a single earth wire of higher than AWG 20 to replace the normal size Earth wire. Yes it is frightening! It was meant to get rid of the RF and EMI noise. Big E mentioned star grounding but I can elaborate. Essentially star grounding is collecting all your individual component earth wires directly to a single point then connecting from there to the earth itself. It is very common to see the 3 power supply wires being looped from one electrical socket to the next, done this way to save cost. In this case the earthing current travels from one component to the next before being grounded. Star earth, therefore provides for a more direct grounding.
Once you have ridden off RF and EMI noise, your sound stage will open up, quieter background and also you will hear fine details not present before.

Drubb said...

Hi HS,
There is no problem with your articulation. The problem is with my own slow grasp of these matters and trying to figure out how Ohm's Law fits into all of this.
I understand now, what I read elsewhere before, that some crazy audiophiles even lift their earth for the sake of better sound.
I suppose, your tiny earth wire would behave almost like no wire at all, given its very high resistance. And if you say that it drains away RF and EMI more effectively than a bigger wire, then maybe there is something more than Ohm's Law that is at work here. For sure I will need a big leap of faith to follow suit; but I am game enough to try. I think.
Your description of 'star grounding' is very clear indeed. I will check to see if my electrician has done this for me.
Many thanks for your interesting info.

Big E said...

Drubb,

I did mentioned star ground, and HS has done a splendid job of explaining in detail to you.

Great sharing guys! This is what good hifi days(and buddies) are made of!