August 26, 2011

10 Qs For Franck Tchang Of Acoustic System International.

It's always a pleasure to talk to Franck Tchang. He's always chirpy and is a burst of energy away, but you'll never quite know when it happens, however it's almost guaranteed that it will. Let's see what's he been up to lately:

Big E: Franck, welcome back! How's you year been?

FT: Like always, BUSY!

Big E: What's your latest project?

FT: I've been expanding my product range, which now includes a Grand mono power amp and wait! My most out standing product to date, a Live Line pre amp! He switches on his iphone to log on the net where he showed me this picture below:

Big E: Wow! It's a two piece preamp, but I am not sure if I should say this, but it's looks kinda reminds me of a Goldmund?

FT: Goldmund??? Ha! Ha! Ha!......... Any resemblance to "that" brand is purely coincidental! Most modern day pre amp will nearly always have two knobs and a display in between right?

Big E: O.K. then, styling aside, tell me why this is your most outstanding product to date?

FT: Actually, this pre amp and it's matching power amp is the collaboration effort with a buddy of mine, whose work is designing and manufacturing precision medical instruments. Hifi is his hobby, and he became very excited when I told him I wanted him to help me design amplifiers. Basically, he's in to the technical bits, like circuitry, parts selection and specifications. I am just the "Golden Ear" in this project. At every developmental stage, the pre and power amp has been brought to me for listening trials, and he'll tweak the circuitry based on my feedback. For me, the transient response must be instantaneous, and it's output impedance is only 30 ohms, which makes it easy to match any power amp out in the market today. The voltage swing of the pre amp is 18V RMS, giving virtually live like dynamics swing of "live" music. The pre amp also has the lowest of measured THD in to the widest of bandwidth. The sound of the Live Line pre amp is quite like nothing you've heard in the high end market today, it's very special!

Big E: Tell us a bit more about the Grand mono power amp, is it class A biased?

FT: I don't really care if it's class A, A/B or D. What's important is how it sounds. The Grand monos are design to drive the most demanding of speaker loads with a damping factor of 10,000 from 20Hz to 20kHz! It delivers 2400W @ 8ohms, and will double it's output when down to 2 ohms. It's signal to noise ratio is 120dB to cater to the wide band width requirements of today's hi-rez music sources.

Big E: When do I get to hear it, the pre/power amps?

FT: When CMY Audio & Visual orders them for the Malaysian market, which they will! For more information, go to

Big E: Speaking of hi-rez files played on CAS(Computer Audio System), what's your opinion on them?

FT: Computer audio definitely sounds good with the right hi-rez music files. I am more in favour of native hi-rez than up sampled hi-rez, only because I believe that you can't get something out of nothing! A 16 bit file is still 16 bit in resolution, no matter how much up sampling you apply.

Big E: Now that DSP room correction is gaining popularity, do you think there's a future for mechanical or physical room tune products?

FT: Well......., over the years, DSP room correction has come..... gone....... come....... gone...... coming....... again??? Who knows if this is just another false start, like the few previous times! I tell you a dirty little industrial secret, did you know that some of those manufacturers who include DSP room correction features in their amps and processors also used my resonance tuning cups(hidden of course!), in their CES and Munich High End Show demo rooms? Now, what does that tell you?

Big E: Enlighten me please, why you think DSP room correction doesn't work?

FT: Acoustics and sound is physics, which you can't fix electronically. Frequency response is smooth in transition(much like a sine wave) and when you start chopping off parts of the peaks or dips, you not only get a saw tooth like response, much like a digital sine wave, you also get timing and phase errors. It is only thru resonance tuning, where the excess bass energy converted or shelved up wards in frequency to decay away as controlled resonance is most effective, because it does not induce timing or phase errors in the process. Remember that resonance is an energy that can only be effectively transferred mechanically.

Big E: How is the high end audio market in Europe at the moment?

FT: It's actually quite depressing in Europe at the moment. The Germans are about the only ones left spending money on high end audio at this time. The French and British are mostly nibbling on the entry and mid level products. The only bright spot in the high end audio market at this point in time is Russia and Asia! That's why you see so many brand principals spending their summer holidays here, in KLIAV 2011. Ha! Ha!

John(of CMY Audio & Visual) reminded Franck that is was time for his next resonance cup tuning demo session and it was back to work for the man! As for me, I have another person to talk to, stay tune for another 10Qs session!


Capernaum Creative Solutions Inc. said...

Wow...2400watts rms @ 8 ohms!?! That is quite some power... 18v rms on the

The DSP guys will beg to differ....

Interesting product. Would love to have a listen. :-)

rui calado said...

i know very well this amps and the pre amp, and it´s the best sounding amps i ever heard,realy amazing products.