December 31, 2012

Bye! Bye! 2012.

2012, NOT the end of the world as the Mayan's know it!

Time flies and but our hifi still ties, us to the music that is, our food for the soul. As the years goes by, we find our selves having less and lesser time for music appreciation. Music now days, it seems serves as a back ground sound to keep us from feeling alone.

I find that I get more music from the car stereo(radio stations), my computer(Internet radio), home radio, and iPhone(CD rips) rather than the hi-fidelity conduit of my hifi system. Perhaps I've been distract by my new toy, the AV system(very guilty), or perhaps spending more time at work(Nope!), family demands(a little), or may be I just need a little time off from hifi?

Regardless, 2012 has been another bountiful year for us all, with lot's a hifi/AV gear to play with, Jack was never a dull boy. I can't help when looking back, that this has been a bumper year for cable reviews! You know what they say about the hifi retail industry, when all you get are cable reviews, it just proves one thing, times are though! Logic is that when the going gets rough, audiophiles and consumers in general, tend to hold on to what they've got, what ever up grade plans get shelved. So retailers tend to focus on the next item most obsessed by audiophiles, which are cables and tweak accessories. Just like the auto industry, in though times, new cars are hard to move, as consumers hold off they purchase decisions for a year of two, at least until the economy looks more certain. In the mean time, the average motorist spends his/her extra cash on smaller items like a fancy Sat/Nav system, inch up the sports wheel and tyre, or have a fancy alarm system installed, just in case(some thief takes a fancy of the four wheels)! You get my drift.

Talking about cables, we end the year with a high note, thanks to my buddy Jo Ki of LS3/5A fame, who loaned me an experienced of his newest conquest, the all mighty Skogrand Mackarian 421 cables which are so... far ahead of the exotic cable pack, I counted my self one of the luckiest audiophile to have heard it before the end of days, if the Mayans were right! The cable market has a new world order!

Talking about a new world order and ending the year on a high, Odiosleuth got himself all wet over a CD/SACD player, which we all weren't too keen until now that is. The dCS Puccini is so mighty poisonous, that a warning should be printed on it's outer packaging "Audition at your own risk! May cause financial meltdown and domestic issue if one does not have enough antibody enzyme" Already one fella got bitten when smitten. Will the venomous dCS declare strike two???

So leave all the gloom and doom of 2012 behind, as we welcome 2013. There will be new excitement and fanfare to get us all wet too! Just watch this space and keep coming back.

December 28, 2012

Centre Circle Audio Year End Stock Clearence!

Centre Circle Audio Year End Stock Clearance Price List.

Centre Circle Audio is having their Year End Stock Clearance, based on the price list above. Some items listed are going for as much as 50% off usual retail price!

The silly X'mas season has never been this jolly(for audiophiles at least)!

If you see any of the above that catches your interest, hurry over to their Taman Tun showroom, or call Sky or Nelson at 03-77282686 for enquiries.

December 26, 2012

2 Is Better Than 1, Supra High Speed HDMI With Ethernet Cable.

Supra High Speed HDMI with Ethernet cables supports up 4k resolution display devices.

I managed to get the second review sample of the Supra High Speed HDMI cable, with a purpose to confirm if 2 cables(one from Blu-ray player to AV Receiver, and another from AV Receiver to display device) of the same quality, can really improve audio and visual performance?

The simple answer is YES!, using the same Tora! Tora! Tora! Blu-ray movie as reference, colour palette becomes richer, and skin tone healthier(but never too red). Most important difference is the black details and grey scale linearity improvements. Again on the dark scenes where Japanese Zero fighters were taking off from the flight deck of aircraft carriers, in the dawn of the morning, I could now see all the whole dark green plane with full details, and the wooden flight decks of the carrier. Details like wing flap positions, exhaust fumes from engine as the planes goes full throttle upon take off, is now clearly visible.  It's remarkable how much more one can see in the dark!

Another area I noticed a difference is the sound, which now gives vocals a more anchored stability, and the 5.1 chanel separation of panning surround effects that much more vivid. This adds a more immersing quality to movies. However, I do suspect the improvements in sound is more due to cable length, rather than the effect of a second cable, due to the second cable only delivers visual signal to display device, not sound. I requested a 1.5 meter length Supra High Speed HDMI cable this time as opposed to a 2 meter one earlier. In the process of connecting the cables, I had swapped the shorter cable to connect between Blu-ray player to AV Receiver and the longer one between AV Receiver to display device. Hence only the shorter cable was carrying both sound and visual signals, as opposed to the earlier longer cable used.

To re-confirm my suspicion, I did another test on my other DVD player and plasma TV rig, but only this time, with RM$25.00 generic HDMI cables of the same brand, but different lengths. I got the same result, where the shorter HDMI cable out performed the longer cable by some margin, enough to be easily notice able, even with lower resolution format and display device.

This proves that if one does not wish to spend big $$$ on HDMI cables, the best solution is to keep it as short as possible. By the way, the shorter, 1.5 meter Supra High Speed HDMI with Ethernet cable retails at RM$395.00 each. I am now Supra HDMI all way!

Supra products sold by A&L Audio Station, contact Yap(Wah Chai) at 03-79582884.

December 23, 2012

Clarity MP's New Showroom @ Amcorp Mall.

Clarity MP Sdn Bhd is pleased to announce the official opening of it's showroom in Petaling Jaya, at Lot L2-12, Amcorp Mall. This is Clarity's second location in PJ, after its flagship showroom at Jaya One. Clarity's new venue will showcase SpeakerCraft in-wall solutions, a suite of Mark Levinson And Lexicon electronics, in addition to Revel's marquee* Ultima Salon 2 loudspeakers.

Complementing these are SpeakerCraft's multi-zone music controls, as well as Rako's ambient lighting control system. Kindly see contacts listed below appointments.

Contact Persons:
Cliff - 0163631314
Terry - 0124733005

December 20, 2012

Sub Wars! SVS PC12-NSD vs SVS PB12-NSD.

SVS PC12-NSD standing tall, as tall as my Bose 301 Series II, mounted on 24 inch stands, as this picture shows.

Looking for a HT sub woofer with low end grunt, and guts to rock my gulis(marbles for our international readers) yet must not cost me an arm of a leg! Max Loh(the watch dog whisperer) of Maxx Audio put his hand up for the challenge. The confident guy somehow knew I was smitten by the SVS alpha sub PB13-Ultra when I last visited his showroom some time ago. I had a trouser flapping good time!(just to put it mildly). Max kindly suggested two models for us at Hifi-Unlimited to play with, in the form of SVS PC12-NSD(ported cylinder) and the PB12-NSD(ported box), both are the most afford able models on SVS product line up(until recently that is!). Being the sucker for something new, I opted to review the PC12-NSD, and let Odiosleuth have some fun with the other(his review of the SVS PB12-NSD sub was posted on this blog on 25th Nov 2012). It took a little while for me to write this because I was kinda busy at the time.

The 400Watt class D plate amp equipped with built in DSP.

When Max delivered the PC12-NSD to my door step, I was shocked by the size of the box, it was huge! Carrying the box from the transport in to my house was a two healthy men job. Upon un-boxing the sub, I marvelled at the build quality, which did not seem cheap at all. A knuckle rap at the sides of the cylinder showed the box to be not as dead as expected, but the whole she bang still feels solid enough for a few years of abuse. The cylinder is felt wrap at the sides and there's a raised platform to accommodate that 12 inch, down ward firing aluminium woofer cone. A single 4 inch up wards firring port is located at the top of the cylinder, covered by a removable steel mesh. The 400W rated class D plate amp with built in DSP is located at the side of the cylinder. The whole package looks intimidating indeed. I placed the SVS sub near the corner where my resident sub woofer has resided for years. All cables plugged in, Max proceeded to re-calibrate the Audessey EQ settings on my Denon AVR, ran a few test movies, and left when he was satisfied with the results. I took a further week or so to further refined the settings before I was happy enough to start doing proper evaluations.
The 12 inch woofer cone is down ward firing as shown here, the whole cylinder side wall is lined with felt material. The SVS badge also serves as a front facing indicator.

WOW! WOW! WOW! That's my first reaction once Max left me to my own devices. The sort of abyss deep, tidal wave flowing towards me kind of bass response is what I got, when it's decoded in to the 5.1 sound track of the movies. And the best movie to illustrate this point is Battleship, an alien invading earth classic story, with a bit of a naval tactic twist worked in to the plot, showing off those awesome destructive powers of those modern American navy destroyers. With lots of sea combat scenes, involving a sound track of deep bass to convey the flowing form of water in huge volumes, the SVS PC12-NSD conveys that energy flow with sheer realism, adding much excitement to the effects laden spectacular. Now, there's no need to mention about those explosion scenes involving those high powered weapons sling shot on to those American destroyers by those alien crafts, causing the whole ship to break up bow first then sinking. Also highlighting the capabilities of the SVS sub is that moment the grand ol' USS Missouri battleship opens up her main turret guns, with sheer fire power which is un-real.
The 4 inch port fires upwards, the metal mesh grille is remove able.

It took me a short while to fine tune the setting for the SVS sub woofer. Too high a level and the sub over whelms the main speakers, too high a low pass and the mid bass muddles the main and centre speakers. Then there's phase to dial in for seamless blending of the sub woofer in to the rest of the sound field, which a old adage still applies, subs must ultimately be felt more than heard, and great subs do just that when set up well. The SVS PC12-NSD has remarkable ability to fill my open family lounge space with full even depth bass that's highly believe able, from any position one is seated. Now the only area which I could mark down the PC12-NSD is bass impact, when compared to other conventional ported box designs, seemed a little lacking. There seems to be a slight softening of the projectile slam, followed by tailing low frequency echo of the tube of the USS Missouri battleship turret guns opening fire.
Battleship, one of the most anticipated action sci-fi movie this year. I have to credit Peter Berg, the Director for not making the aliens look like some sort of over sized "sotong"(squid) and have more human like features. What I didn't like was the idea that the highly advance space craft used by the aliens could only hop around in water and not glide over it more efficiently? By the way, Rihanna does O.K. too in her acting debut.

Battleship USS Missouri firing her main turret guns, it's quite remarkable that the grand ol' dame WWII veteran(and a few original crew too) could still start her engines and sail effortless with combat effectiveness intact! I know, it most probably CG working it's miracle here! 

Hang on, didn't I promised a sub war earlier on? I didn't forget of course. After Odiosleuth had his fun, the SVS PB12-NSD came to my place for a 2nd tour of duty. Max again came to set the sub up for me, and left it with me once his was satisfied with the performance. The PB12-NSD's box isn't as intimidating as the huge up right standing bass tube. It's got the same woofer cone, port design and DSP equipped plate amp. It's the same basic design building blocks with a different enclosure. The PB12-NSD is a conventional ported box design, and will have performance characteristics more in kind of a regular sub. Am I wrong to assume here?
As promised, an all out SVS sub war!

Again, the build quality is sensible for the price, rather than lavishly solid. I think the SVS subs will still give years of problem free enjoyment if cared for. The only thing I didn't quite like about the PB12-NSD is that heavy but flimsy semi circle design metal grille with four plastic stubs to grip and plug in to the sub cabinet. The weight of the metal grille eventually becomes too much for the four plastic stubs to hold on to, causing the grille off when those deep bass rumbles get too much to handle. No problems with that, A slight bending of the grille fixed the issue.
SVS PB12-NSD with grille removed.

With the same movie used as benchmark, I clearly felt the PB12-NSD didn't extend as low down as the PC12-NSD, and the bass distribution was less even across the family lounge. However, what PB12-NSD loses out, it more than claws back brownie points by being easier to integrate withe my Bose 301 Series II main speakers. Compared to the PC12-NSD, the ported box gave more lower mid bass details, like in scenes where the 50 calibre gun clocks and spits the spent casings as it fires. I guess the height of the up right standing bass tube design was blocking off, or it's felt lined body was absorbing some of the direct/reflect sounds of the Bose main speakers, where else the port box sits just below the main speakers. The PB12-NSD also has the edge when it comes to slam bang, where the same scene of the USS Missouri firing her main turret guns is concerned. I could clearly feel the impact as the projectile leaves the gun tube. With other high impact action Blu-rays disc, such as The Dark Knight(part of the Christopher Nolan Batman Trilogy), the SVS PB12-NSD never failed to convey the darkness and hopelessness of life in Gotham City via the movie's sound track. The Batmobile vs armoured car chase scene has a mix of various powerful engine roar, road rumble, guns shooting and crashes all going at once, and the ported SVS box never fazed one bit. Best of all, there are still some trouser flapping experience(remnants of the PB13-Ultra) still available with the PB12-NSD, which was not so obvious with the PC12-NSD.
Note the same plate amp, same 12 inch aluminium cone driver too, but different box concept.

In a way I was kinda surprised that even though both subs performed well in most areas, there remains a priority of choice when it comes to certain sonic parameters, even for both subs that retails at RM$3,499.00/each. Does one favour deep, even spread, flowing bass performance? Or does on prefer an easier to set up sub woofer with more impact slam bang? I think that really depends a lot on system integration, matching, room acoustics, system tuning optimization and lastly one's sonic preference with practical considerations in mind.
The SVS PB12-NSD in it's current resting place. Note my old 10 inch Velodyne VX-10 sub woofer just hiding behind it. 

For me, the PC12-NSD in it's special up right standing tube design is at once it's attractiveness, and Achilles heel. In the context of my system, it couldn't sonically match the Bose 301 series II as seamlessly as the PB12-NSD. On the WAF(Wife Acceptance Factor) side of things, the PC12-NSD was just far too visible in my family lounge, because it stood just as tall as my main speakers on 24 inch stands. The PB12-NSD is in fact far more subtle in proportions(if similar in cubic box volume) and easier to blend in to the corner of my family lounge. Those were the main factors contributing to my choice to make the PB12-NSD my new sub reference for HT. I would've liked it to go just a few Hz lower, but I guess that will require the use of SVS PB12-Ultra perhaps? Max and SVS certainly doesn't think so. Max reckons the PB12 Ultra would overwhelm my main speakers, and SVS's Merlin service on their website, used to provide sub woofer matching services to one's main speaker. Merlin reckons the PB12-NSD is the perfect match for my Bose 301 series II speakers. After an extended review period spanning more than 6 weeks, I think I can agree with both Max and SVS Merlin's logic. Deal done!

SVS Sound products sold by Maxx Audio and appointed dealers nation wide, contact Max Loh at 017-6778820 for full details.

December 17, 2012

A&L Audio Station Gets On With dCS!

The demo system comprised of a pair of Dali loud speakers, a pair of  VTL tube mono blocks and the dCS Vivaldi CD transport(from top shelf), DAC, Up Sampler and Master Clock. Pre amp is not required as the DAC outputs 6V max, capable of driving power amps direct. Cabling by Tara Labs.

We attended the dCS Vivaldi ultimate digital source launch party at the A&LAudio Station show room in Bangsar Village II Shopping Center over the weekend, and while at it, we also took the opportunity to do a dealer focus too. The show room, located on the 2nd floor, houses separate AV and hifi demo areas.

On hand to demo and pitch the RM$350k(OMG!) dCS Vivaldi system is non other than Raveen Bawa, who is Export Sales Manager for the company. The dCS Vivaldi is the ultimate digital source front end for luxury or super high end audio systems. Raveen was keen to state that while the 4 box Vivaldi is the new dCS flagship, it does not supersede the Scarlatti, which is also a 4 box digital system. Also on display is the dCS Pucinni, the entry level range of the company. A Debussy DAC for entry level computer audio is also featured. The point here is that entry level for dCS products here will still cost a whole lot more than a used car your money can buy!
Raveen Bawa explaining the finer key design points of  the patented RingDAC topology on the proprietary PCB board(one of the finest quality board I've seen on an audio equipment!) 

Besides enjoying the pristine sound quality of the dCS Vivaldi system, we walked around the showroom and took some pictures to share with you the A&L Audio Station show room.
Show casing the now flag ship cable brand of A&L Audio Station, Tara Labs.

Shelves of AV and hifi equipment of display, featuring brands like Pioneer, Marantz, Denon, Yamaha, PS Audio and Densen.

Speakers row, Dali and PSB on display.

Lifestyle hifi for the 'hip & happening' Bangsar crowd.

Geneva iPod docks finds it's spot in hifi retail.

Mr Lim, just one of the friendly faces at A&L Audio Station Bangsar Village. The other being Mr CT Seong, but he was camera shy, and we could find him with the cam in hand! 

The show room facade of the A&L Audio Station in Bangsar Village II Shopping Center.

As usual, I could not let Raveen leave without throwing him juicy 10Qs about dCS, the company, people and the products.

Stay tune for the 10Qs session to come soon.

December 14, 2012

Why(these) Wires? Wywire Silver AES/EBU Digital Cable.

The Wywires Silver AES/EBU digital cable came in basic zip bag packaging.

There seems to be 3 sure fire ways cables are marketed now a days. First and most profitable route, is to offer state of the art performance, with just as "SOTA" retail price to match. The next is to offer the best audio performance to price value ratio in the budget sector. The last way may well require the most delicate balance of offering true high end audio performance accompanied by a fair retail price that reflects it's quality and intended market positioning. I think Wywires  are attempting this very delicate balancing act. They are not exactly a new brand in high end circles, but they now have an official retailer in Malaysia, in the form of AV Designs. Wywires gained fame by winning "Best Sound Of Shows" at various audio and hifi shows, in partnership mostly with TAD electronics and speakers. Now, in my book, if any cable is good enough for the TAD partnership, it certainly won't be short on audio quality performance, as we'd already know how super transparent the TAD electronics and speakers can be, and would certainly expose the weakling in their midst.

The Silver range is Wywire's intermediate range, as there's an entry level Blue range below and the more expensive Gold Signature range above. I'd also like to caution that the Blue range ain't necessary cheap, or the Gold Signature range super expensive either. All I can say is that Wywire's pricing are refreshingly sensibly priced to reflect their audio performance levels. How many cable companies can resist from pricing gluttony now days? Since we are on the subject of pricing, the Wywires Silver AES/EBU(also available as co-axial) Digital cable retails for RM$2,355.00/each.
Terminated on both ends with Xhadow XLR plugs. The Xhadow plugs does not have the usual clip lock like on the industry standard Neutrik, but they do grip the panel sockets very tightly. 

The Wywires are refreshingly built lightly too, with non-flashy dull grey braiding and terminated at both ends with the superb locking Xhadow XLR plugs. There's very little form that does no function. This philosophy extends to the packing too, as all one gets is a QC Authentication Card and the cable it self inside a clear plastic zip bag.

I plugged the Wywires Silver in between my Bryston BDP/BDA-1 digital media player & DAC combo, in place of my usual reference, the 3 times more expensive JPS Aluminata AES/EBU digital cable. Now as all things high end in audio, the JPS does not represent a 3X gain in sound quality, compared to the Wywires. Instead, I find that the Wywires silver is a cable that's nearly as capable, if not ultimately, the JPS is still the superior cable, in the context of my system. Why so if you asked?

Well let's get a few issues out of the way, the Wywires present a tad more forward(not to be mistaken for immediacy) sound staging properties compared to the JPS. I found it's highs slightly less liquid, like as if the last ounce of moisture around the high hats and cymbals have evaporated. Having said that, the Wywires are still harmonically rich, with woody decays and reverbs from string instruments like piano, violin and cello being well reproduced. Playing one of my recent favourite CD rip tittled Hit Man, featuring David Foster & Friends is a good example. I could hear deep in to the sound stage of the concert, and the bass response of the Wywires Silver is punchy and propulsive, with deeply satisfying solidness, very few cables can match. The tonal quality of the Wywires certainly fall in to the neutral band and the level of transparency is high, if only the JPS Aluminata is more transparent, only because it could reproduce the most minor of musical details, and make them easily discernible. Not that those details are not there on the Wywires, you just need to listen more intently for them.

The other areas such as noise floor, transient and dynamic response are a strong suit of the Wywires and seemed to rival the JPS, which seems unfair, only because the later is 3X more expensive. Like I said, high end audio at this point had crossed the threshold point of diminishing returns. It's not rather if the Wywires Silver can rival the JPS Aluminata, but rather how close in audio performance the former can get at one third the investment, and the answer is probably as smart an answer as a no brainer as one can get!
This is the first Hit Man concert, featuring David Foster & Friends, available on Blu-ray and DVD plus CD combo. It's a great concert recording, with great visual colours and details on HD and the CD of the concert is just as well recorded too. the package offers great entertainment value.

While listening to the David Foster & Friends CD, which features so many excellent artist, but I most remembered Catherine MacPhee doing The Prayer, a duet with Andrea Boceilli, I got goose bumps when they're both doing their fortissimo towards the end of the performance. On this performance, Catherine not only served as eye candy, but the sexy lady can certainly open her lungs and sing her heart out, at times eclipsing the highly rated Andrea Boceilli(as pictured below). Like I always said, if any hifi equipment can give it's listeners goose bumps and be emotionally engaged by the music playing, then it's a worthy component or consideration, at any price.

Catherine MacPhee performing The Prayer, a duet with Andrea Boceilli. I never took her seriously as a singer until after this performance!

I know for certain, that Odiosleuth is considering the Wywires range of cables for himself, as he now has the full range of Wywires Gold Signature cables in his evaluation. They cover power cords, interconnects and speaker cables. Now what makes the Gold Signature range so special? They all have Jack Bybee's rather controversial Quantum Purifiers attached.

As if I've not been tempted enough, the good guys at AV Designs has decided to up the ante, and thrown me the unltimate challenge, in the form of the Wywire Gold Signature AES/EBU digital cable, which in pricing terms are more than equal to my reference digital cable. 

Stay on for another digital cable battle!

Wywires is sold by AV Designs, contact James or Tony at 03-21712828.

December 11, 2012

New Batch of Swans Arrives at Centre Circle Audio

We were informed that the second shipment of Swan loudspeakers had just arrived at Centre Circle Audio's showroom. Pay them a visit if you missed out on them earlier.

Check out this link for the models available ->

Contact Nelson or Sky at Centre Circle Audio 03-77282686 for an audition.

December 7, 2012

One of the Best Wilson Audio Systems...

This is, in my opinion, one of the best sounding mid-size Wilson Audio (Sophia, Watt/Puppy, Sasha) based systems that I ever had the pleasure to listen to.

This system caressed vocals like no other Wilson systems I have experienced. Voices were creamy, sultry, seductive - these are adjectives more commonly applied to a tube based system, but in this case they are appropriate for this pair of Sophia 2, from a marque which is more famous for its impactful and dynamic sound. On our Saturday afternoon visit, the owner Kenneth told us that vocal was his favorite genre and the system definitely reflected the owner's tasteful selection of music.

I have great respect and admiration for Wilson Audio loudspeakers, every one of them could produce so much sound, in terms of extension and details. However, they require capable partners to properly work with and control them, otherwise they might become like a pair of bucking bronchos wrecking havoc to the sound. To get them to reward you with their best, the owner must be more than competent. In this regard, Kenneth had done a fine job, as reflected in his amplifier selection (Pass Labs XA160 monoblocks) and his work on the room's acoustic treatments. The end result was like cruising in a big performance car, smooth, comfortable and with a lot of power on tap.

Let's take a look at the system:
There were 2 digital frontends in this system, the first was an Esoteric SA60 CD/SACD player...

The second was a CAS, with a MacBook (not shown) feeding red book and high res bitstreams to a M2Tech DAC

 The M2Tech power supply, sitting on top of a Isotek power conditioner. High quality powercords from JPS, Shunyata and Siltech were used

ModWright LS36.5 tube linestage

Pass Labs XA160 monoblocks

 Wilson Audio Sophia Series II
Auralex acoustic treatments on the side wall and the ceiling

One extraordinary feature of this system was the addition of a pair of subwoofers to the main speakers. These are sealed subs from Rythmik audio, model F12. According to Max Loh of Maxx Audio, the local distributor of Rythmik, the use of 2 smaller size subs, instead of a big one, allowed easier integration to the main system, as each sub can be tuned separately to cater to the differing acoustic characteristics at different sides of the room. A sealed sub, rather than a ported one, would also have less issue with overhang, such that the bass will not lag behind the main system. Still, Max said that it took him long hours of work and measurement onsite to get the integration right, and he agreed with the owner that if he couldn't get it right there was no deal - now that is dedication for you. Since the subwoofers were now permanent residents in Kenneth's system, you can guess what the verdict was. The work did not stop there though, Max mentioned that he had some more acoustic treatment work to do with the room to improve the bass definition even further.

Rhythmik F12 subwoofer pair sitting behind the main speakers

In a quick A/B listening test (switching the subwoofers on and off) during our visit, we could hear the subwoofers extending the bass response in room, but more beneficially they expanded the scale of the sound. The system sounded bigger with the subwoofers on, the soundstage expanded and subtle atmospheric cues became clearer.

We thank Kenneth for his hospitality. It was an ear-opening listening session.

December 3, 2012

Super Supra. Supra High Speed HDMI With Ethernet Cable.

Supra High Speed HDMI With Ethernet cable.

Many folks(especially the tech brigade) are in the opinion that HDMI do not make an iota of difference when it comes to picture quality. As for sound quality, a plausible "maybe" is the usual answer. Hence when the good guys at A&L Audio Station ask me to review the latest range of Supra High Speed HDMI with Ethernet cable, I was thinking about the tough "job" ahead. I mean if I plug the cable and see/hear no difference, the cable would have to be returned, and no review will be written, i.e. time(a precious commodity now days) wasted. Thankfully, and rather unexpectedly, this is NOT the case.
The rather basic blister pack packaging, which means more value for performance.

The 2m length review sample of Supra HDMI cable came in basic blister pack and the item it self does not look very fancy either(which is good, because audiophiles have a misplaced impression that thick, heavy cables are best! Not the case with HDMI cables, because thick, heavy and stiff HDMI cables have been known to break at the termination point after some time, or worse still, rip out the HDMI jack from your display device, from repeated plug in/outs!). Hence light weight, shielded and nimble HDMI cables are best for the job of transmitting audio and visual signals. I proceeded to plug the Supra HDMI cable between my Pioneer BDP-140 Blu-ray player to my Denon AVR 1612 AV receiver.
This 1970 release is more historically accurate and balanced version of the events leading up to the attack of Pearl Harbour, which started the Pacific War. Comparing to the latest movie by Micheal Bay tittled Pearl Harbour simply, has more fictional elements in the plot, and ends with the success of 1942 Doolittle Tokyo raid, which is the start of the war tides turning towards America's favour in the Pacific Theater.

The opening scene of Tora! Tora! Tora! The re-mastering for Blu-ray release is worth another view for it's pristine restored picture quality. Colour tone is beautiful and accurate at once.

From the very first disc, the re-mastered for Blu-ray Tora! Tora! Tora! I was immediately blown away by the opening scene, as pictured above, where a boat load of Japanese Imperial Navy sailors, all parading in their white uniforms. I noticed that all their uniforms had varying shades of white(some yellowish, some grayish, some slightly bluish and some just plain whiter than others, just like in those laundry detergent advertisements!), from one sailor to another. As I had just finished the very same movie just a few hours ago with my regular reference cable, a Chord Super Shield HDMI in place. My memory of the movie is still fresh, therefore was surprised by the detail colour tone portrayal of the different levels of whiteness on the navy uniforms. Another scene from the very same movie that showcased the Supra's talents were the Zero fighters take off from aircraft carrier at dawn, en-route for the Pearl Harbour attack. Some of the early take off scenes were rather dark, and the dark coloured Zero fighters couldn't stand out from the deck of the carriers when viewing with the Chord cable. However, with the Supra HDMI, I could make out a whole lot of dark details of the Zero fighter, as it takes off from the carrier, including it's darker shadows beneath the wings, reflected from the deck.  Such is the Supra's prowess when handling dark image details.

So far, so good, I also noticed better depth portrayal in the scenes where planes are flying with the sky as it's back drop. Human flesh tone is entirely realistic, be it Negros, Caucasian or Asian types. Whilst I only used Tora! Tora! Tora! as a reference illustration, I noticed nearly the same detailed improvements on both ends of the grey scale linearity spectrum on every movie I watched. I found myself pulling out old movies after old movies, just to have a go on what was missing previously. I became an obsessive videophile, all because the Supra High Speed HDMI cable allowed me to do so easily. Again, even my family members who are not normally not too bothered about such things noticed so, that they asked me not to return the Supra cable, since it's relatively affordable, priced at RM$406.00/2M length.     
The insides of the Supra High Speed HDMI With Ethernet cable.

The Supra High Speed HDMI(ver 1.4) With Ethernet supports 3D pictures and resolutions up to 4k on specification. I am now enjoying my movie pictures more effortlessly, but what about the sound? I am happy to report that this HDMI cable likes to rock! With soundtracks that feature rock music, like those from The A-Team and Battleship, I not only enjoyed the picture, but the slamming sound quality as well. Bass seems to dive an octave deeper, and the sub-woofer seemingly working harder than usual to rumble my sofa too.  This is my new HDMI reference cable, and it's so..... good in performance yet affordable in price, that I am beginning to wonder if having the second Supra High Speed HDMI cable from the Denon AV receiver to my Samsung plasma display is gonna yield further picture quality gains? Stay tuned to find out as I request for a second sample to see if two is indeed better than one!

Supra is sold by A&L Audio Station, contact Yap(Wah Chai) at 03-79582884.