The first 3 items are hifi gear that conceivably could be put together as a high end music system – a digital source with volume control, a stereo power amplifier and a pair of loudspeakers.
1. dCS Puccini SACD/CD player. RM 73,625. A&L Audio Station
3. TAD Compact Reference Loudspeakers. RM148,000 with matching stands. AV Designs
I own a pair of TAD CR-1. This is more raving of the TAD-CR1 from me. If you think it is unbecoming behaviour for an owner to rave about his own stuff, then just take it from me that the TAD-CR1 are one of the great loudspeakers out there currently and skip to the next section. :-)
The TAD-CR1 has been with me for one whole year now. I count myself a very happy and satisfied owner. After experiencing firsthand what they can do, they will stay with me for a long long time if not forever. You may think that after paying for something as costly as this, the owner will always say such a thing. Who would want to think that he has made a mistake, right? However, we know how us audiophiles could have the little devil in us giving us second thought, some time after the deal is done. We would get that niggling thought whether we had made the right choice, may be brand XXX or YYY would have been a better decision, may be I should have gone for the other model, may be….
I came across and listened to a number of great loudspeakers throughout the past year. Fortunately, that niggling thought never surfaced in me. I am not saying that the TAD-CR1 sounds better. No, every one of those great loudspeakers has its strengths. However, for me the TAD-CR1 comes across as a more balanced and complete package. The TAD-CR1 is worthy to be ranked as one of the best loudspeakers available today, regardless of size and price.
It may be futile for me to describe the character of the TAD-CR1. Probably I should just fall back to the statement made by Alan Sircom in his HiFi+ review of the TAD-CR1 – “This is actually one of the hardest loudspeakers to describe in sonic terms, because you end up thinking about things in terms of what other loudspeakers do wrong. When it comes to describing what this does right, it pretty much does all of it right”. (You can read the full review article here -> http://www.avdesigns.com.my/Reviews.html?cat_id=7, the second article down)
One thing that the TAD-CR1 does exceptionally right is its accuracy of timbre. Listening to vocals and piano through them was educational – I’d play some simple vocal recordings (such as Rickie Lee Jones’ ‘Pop Pop’ or the second 2V1G album) while having a few friends in my listening room. Striking up a conversation, it was uncanny for me how the timbre of the reproduced vocal sounded so similar to the live conversation. Solo piano music too was conveyed with the full harmonic richness of that instrument, it sounded similar in timbre compared to the live one my children played in the living room (just that the quality of playing on the recording was much better, but of course).
The TAD-CR1 is a transparent and honest instrument, it faithfully conveys what the other components in the system feed to them. They could sound lean / voluptuous, laid back / dynamic, aggressive / refined, exquisite / bold, boring / exciting , as I played around with equipment combination, cabling, tweaks, acoustic treatments, etc.. When I thought I caught some characteristics of the TAD-CR1, something came along, and the sonic character changed.
Usually, the loudspeaker is the bottleneck of a system, it is the most uneven and most coloured component. With the TAD-CR1, the reverse is true. I’ll honestly say that the TAD-CR1 outclassed every thing else in my current system. I have not explored the TAD-CR1’s full capability. From now onwards, my upgrade path will focus on allowing the TAD-CR1 to convey the following – An even bigger scale (they are already sounding as big as a pair of midsize floorstanders now), better control at loud passages, even greater resolution, greater soundscape density, more refinement, while retaining speed, impact and balance. I know the TAD-CR1 can do all these, because I have heard them doing these with different equipment that came through my place throughout the year.
The better the equipment you partner them with, the better the TAD-CR1 will sound. They are amazing.
4. SVS PB12-NSD Powered Subwoofer. RM 3,499. Maxx Audio
Recommending the SVS PB12-NSD is a no brainer. At the asking price, you get a lot of subwoofer, in terms of material and of performance.
If you are looking for a subwoofer for your home theatre and have the required space to house one, the SVS PB12-NSD is a must-audition at this price point. This SVS is equally adept at conveying the rumbles and the subtleties.