August 24, 2010

10 Qs For Franck Tchang, Of Acoustic System International.

Franck Tchang of Acoustic System International.

I like talking to Franck Tchang of Acoustic System International. You can say that he's the guy who is the life of a party! I find him at once witty and humorous, which makes him an enjoyable company, which ever way you look at it.

He likes KLIAV a lot too, and this is the 2nd time he's back for the show. He also promised to bring something big for next year's show too! Now I am dying with anticipation. Can anyone wait till next year to find out? If you can't, then read on!

Big E: Welcome back to KLIAV, back so soon? You like it here in Kuala Lumpur?

FT: Yes, I like this show a lot, so many friendly faces and good friends. Kuala Lumpur is one of the friendliest cities to be in.

Big E: I knew you're coming again, and before I speak to you again, I browsed your pages. I see that you now make speakers too. Tell us a bit about the Tango speakers please?

FT: I first made the Tango speakers for my self until some of my dealers wanted it, after they heard it in my place. These speakers uses high quality drivers to start, which allows me to use an all first order slope design passive x-over for gentle roll off and frequency hand over between the drivers. But the most important innovation of the speaker is in the cabinet. I do not brace the cabinet! I allow the cabinet to remain un damped too. There's nothing inside the box, except 2 well placed ports connecting between the internal speaker chamber and 3 resonator cups built in within the cabinet.

Big E: The box is un braced and un damped? That would mean the box will resonate with the music, much like some of those ol' skool BBC designs?

FT: Yeah! Most speaker designers come over a have a look, then they said "this can't work". But I am not most designer! I am using a complex mathematics formula to keep the box pressurised to a certain level, via the earlier mentioned port between internal chambers, which are carefully calculated to allow a small amount of air thru the chambers and eventually out of the box, via it's bass port. That keeps the speaker cabinet pressurised during music play back and the cabinet resonances are cancelled out by the built in resonators. It's all very scientific.
The impressive looking Tango speakers! Will we get to hear them on the next KLIAV 2011?

Big E: Just like Aperiodic Enclosures? I had used those for my car audio sub woofers previously!

FT: Yes, the idea is similar but the mathematics are far more complex, as the Tango speakers covers nearly the full range of frequencies, where else your sub woofers only cover an octave of frequency range. Who knows, I'll probably bring a pair of Tangos for the next KLIAV show! Ha!Ha!

Big E: Now that you have mentioned it, I can't wait to hear the Tango speakers next year. Tell us what else are you working on currently?

FT: I am working on a bigger Tango speaker, called the Super Tango! It's a special order for a client who has a pair of Tangos and now wants to upgrade to a bigger sound. Once that project is finished, I am thinking about going in to amplifiers too, but as of now, nothing is set in stone.

Big E: Are you aware that there now many resonator cup copies and look alike available in the market today?

FT: Yes, I know. Let me tell you, 10 years ago, I was the only fella doing resonator cup demos in the CES show. Everyone avoided me like I am some sort of a nut case! Over the years, people realised that my products have been very successful in the market, then I start seeing variations of resonators. Today I see all kinds of resonators in the high end audio market, some look a little like my designs, others just a plain carbon copy! But I can tell you none of them are as effective in treating rooms as the original A.S.I. ones. That is no salesman talk, you're welcome to try and compare between the original and the copies. You make up your mind, you'll know what you hear. It's that easy.

Big E: You seemed happy that people are copying your products?

FT: I see it like this, if others copy my products, that means I am very successful, after all who wants to copy a loser?

Big E: You're always seeing things from a positive view, I like that! How's the current financial turmoil in Europe effecting your business?

FT: You know what? Many reported loss of sales, but A.S.I. has had business growth of over 50% compared to the previous year. I am struggling to cope with orders!

Big E: Which products is driving that growth specifically?

FT: Our Liveline cables of course! In the past, I only had orders in the numbers of 10 pairs per shipment. This has recently increased to numbers of 100 pairs per shipment. Our Liveline cables are doing extremely well in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Russia! Our cables offer great performance for a low entry value. They have been proven in the market place to displace even reference grade cables from Taralabs, MIT Oracle, Transparent and Audioquest, just to name a few.

Big E: I noticed the Liveline cables have solid silver return core vs solid copper positive core. Any reason for that?

FT: As you may already know, the signal speed travelling along the silver core is always faster than the copper core. That results in high speed response of the cable. Music comes alive when a cable is fast enough to deliver the transient response in the shortest time. My Liveline cables cannot be copied for a simple reason, that our metallurgy is different from all other cables out there. Another reason why others do not make copies of Liveline cables is because they are relatively affordable, so the profit margin is less for some else to copy. If profit be the motivator of copies, then the logic would be to copy the most expensive ones!

Big E: Just like all those brands you have mentioned earlier?

FT: Exactly!

Franck doing another resonator cup demo in the CMY Audio & Visual room. CMY's always friendly & hard working Manager, Chan is seen helping out behind!

Franck was due for another resonator cup demo session at the main CMY Audio & Visual room, which I followed to attend. I always find his demos fun, lively and enjoyable. Till then, I look forward to hear the juicy looking Tango speakers at next year's KLIAV. Fingers crossed!

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