Sunday, December 27, 2009

What are you talking about

Many people talking about mid bass, mid high and etc but are they referring the same frequency that they are talking about?

To cut the confusion, here is the refer frequency range:


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Speaker Maintenance

Can you see how delicatel this person pamper the speaker. Actually there is story behind this.This actually happen while we are trying to “poison” a guy into ls3/5a. After letting the guy listen to 11 and 15 ohm black tag rogers. We just show the guy how to take care of ls3/5a.

A english lemon oil is the recommended to rub on the speaker cabinet. You can use other natural oil but it might further make your speaker darker especially walnut. This English lemon oil is not so oily compare to others and according to Bluesea:

1)Rub off any dust and then use a fine cloth and apply the oil to the cabinet.
2)After this rub it with your bare hand and this will let the speaker cabinet soak more.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Which power tube?Shuguang EL34B,Electro Harmonix EL34,Reissue MULLARD EL34,Reissue Gold Lion KT88,Treasures 6ca7-z,Ei KT90 ,Groove Tube EL34m , 6CA7

Shuguang EL34B
Electro Harmonix EL34
Reissue MULLARD EL34
Reissue Gold Lion KT88
Treasures 6ca7-z
Ei KT90 (Not in production)
Groove Tube EL34m , 6CA7(no longer listed on groove tube webpage).

First i have to say i have tested or listen to the above tube either in my own system, friends or in dealer system and not the result is not conclusive.
I would categories them under 2 batch distinctively by the origin of the tube.
I found even with the claim of different design I still find the sound characteristic is almost the same.
The first batch will be from China Shuguang that are more tonally pleasant but with bloated bass and sound “dirty” at the high.
This category of power tube is more suitable for small speaker or speaker with tight bass.In my system base on ls3/5a, i tends to favour this group.
This including the:
Treasures > GT 6CA7 = > GT EL34m(1ST BATCH)  => SHUGUANG EL34B

The second category will be from Russia.The sound is thin withn tight bass.Full range or big speaker tends to favour this group of power ube.
I also put the EI kt90 under this category as the sound is much closer to this category:

Ei   >    Gold Lion   =>   mullard   >     EH

>      BETTER

I found that more better i rank  is usually improve on the dynamic and sound less "dirty".
This might lead to improve imagimg , soundstage and etc.Tonality is usually the same even with the claim of different design.


Monday, November 30, 2009

Power tube saga.Treasures 6ca7-z,Gold lion reissue KT88,Ei KT90,GE 6550A

Power Tube.

Last week was a very interested week where 4 type of power tube been tested on Marantz 8b.To make this possible the bias is been modify to accomodate the 6550 and kt88 tube. The sequence tested is as follow;

TREASURE 6CA7-7, Shuguang celebrate make this to celebrate 50th anniversary.

Treasures 6ca7-z

Gold lion reissue KT88

Ei KT90

GE 6550A.

At that night I rank them as follow

1ST GE6550A

2ND Ei kt90

3rd treasures 6ca7-z and reissue kt88.(Both have their own sound characteristic that may appeal to different user)

As time is not permitted we have not tested the Sylvania and telefunken metal base EL34 that in the owner collection.

I still say NOS tube still rule.Even  Marantz 8b that been optimise for EL34 i still prefer  the NOS GE 6550A 

*More picture will be add later.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

To the rescue. Melody sp3

Melody sp3-To the rescue

I have listened to this amp many moons ago and did not give me much good impression. I ask for opinion regarding this amplifier  and all of them give me thumbs up .I still remember that night we have a shootout with marantz 8b, Diva bluesky, pilot sa232, and another cheap push pull el34 made in china amp. That night I rate the SP3 at the last place. I can only say this amp might need some more time to run in (Did you know how many rave review, especially by the HK magazine?)

So last night has been call to rescue it. At first listening the sound is not much different although a lot of goodie have been put in. The sound still sounds slow and dull.

The speaker cable or the interconnect alone already cost more than the amp. Beside wire, the fuse have been change to audiophile fuse (the price can buy normal fuse 300 pieces) and all the stock have been change .I saw  telefunken ecc83 and  6l6..The stock use 5881 tube.

Upon arrival i start by reposition the speaker and later confirm the owner including overv setting the bias. I have to trust the owner as time is too short for me to check by myself.
Later I start tube rolling from the telefunken ecc83 to stock(printed melody) and later the 6922 and at last the 12au7.Nothing much progress and after discussion with FHwong we suspect there might be tube wrongly inserted.So a call been make back to china(no kidding) and confirmed everything is right in the place.

Later I replace the stock feet with 2 slab of stone and there is slight improvement but still not up to the par.

I bypass a regulator and directly plug to the wall plug.Emmm….still the same.

Now I suspect the wire. To save time another amplifier been send in replacing  the SP3

Ahhh…this is more like it. It’s time to let go this amplifier. Anyone interested?

BTW anyone have anymore suggestion on something I might miss out?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Time to say goodbye

Finally It’s time my buddy, KenC move back to West Malaysia. The first question I ask him is ‘What about your horn?, do you want to send it back?”

We started the horn together and mine is singing long ago.HA!HA!.

So we check it out and found that there is water in the horn for months and there is no water dripping and whatsoever.(This means your horn is solidly build:Ha!,KenC, next time you must treat me a meal.ok?)

Currently KenC is organizing a Clone Proac Response 2.5.You can check it out this tread in Lowyat forum:
Or you can try to get him from here

Proac Response 2.5 is using scanspeak 8513-tweeter and 8535 woofer.Wilson watt & puppy also use the  driver but reported been modify.

*I have not affiliate or interest on the above group buy.Please find more for yourself.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Crystal Cable , Crystal connect and Crystalspeak

Crystal cable crystalconnect interconnect 1 meter pair

Crystal cable crystalspeak speaker cable 2 meter pair.

A relatively new cable company that run by Gabi Van der kley from Holland. If you knew Siltech and this 2 company is closely related.

If you believe in small is beautiful and this is the cable that will suit you. Pack like a jewels using leather casing and my wife mistakenly thought I bring her jewels when she first saw this and later disappointedly found out it’s my new toys again.

The cable use gold/silver alloy as the central core conductor helically wrapped in a dual layer of ultra thin kapton foil as a shield and makes a silver colour in appearance.

I plug in the interconnect follow the direction of the ding ( a small clip with crystal logo) although the manufacture mention the cable is none directional.

The speaker cable is very unique that there a connector at the middle. You can either change spade, banana plug and length by pluging in different length of wire.

At first I plug in the piccolo crystalconnect interconnect and later together with the piccolo crystalspeak

speaker cable and found out both have a almost same characteristic.


The first thing I notice is a wider and deeper soundstage. Singer seems to be singing further back at the rear speaker. This make the positioning especially accompany musical instrument more spaces among them.

This cable exhibits a very low noise. Background become darker and makes detail much easier to pick up. The scale proportion is and I enjoy more especially realistic in size orchestra.

The bass is tight and shift lower. It is like comparing the bass characteristic of the kt88 tube with an el34 tube. I think this cable is more suited to a floor stander. The balance of the cable is smooth and neutral. Sometimes I feel it’s too analytical or shimmering .It’s like back in my 20’s where I tune my equalizer at a V shape where the bass and treble all the way up but the mid all the way down. This will make the sound of the string instrument lack the immediate attack. It also always present string instrument like guitar as secondary to the music. I can sense that system with strong mid range may benefit from this cable.

As I’m writing this, the cable is run in at around 50 hours from new and the sound is not yet stable. I am expecting the cable to further open up. The manufacturer recommends a longer time is needed to run in the cable.

Associate equipment

Amp;quad 606, quad II, Pioneer A400,Musical fidelity A1,
Pre;passive 100k, 250k, clone marantz 7, audionote 7

Speaker:Ls3/5a biwire LE + Foundation designer 2 stand

Cable:Zu, gryphon guideline mk2, vandenhul the first, wireworld silver eclipse, diy cable.


Rooms:9ft x 15 ft  x 10ft


Friday, November 13, 2009

KL International AV Show 2010

Just found out that KLIAV show 2010 will be held on 23, 24 and 25 July 2010.

See ya.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Semi automatic LP/Vinyl washing machine.

Mr.SS is just demo to me a new gadget. A cost effective vinyl washing machine with vacuum pump.There is 2 switch available.1 for rotate the LP and another is for the vacuum pump.

So the procedure is:

1)Put in the LP
2)Use the clamp and tighten the LP.This make sure the LP lable is water proof.
3)Manually brush and apply water/solution to the LP
4)Put the vacuum pump on and manually put in the noozle and voila it's done.

This machine only cost him around USD$350.00. (USD$1.00 = RM3.50).

I have heard complain saying that the automatic type may sometimes spill water over the LP lable. So using this machine may avoid this.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Turntable world

Here is Mr.SS turntable.Not only this but another 2 turntable not in the picture.
It's like enter into another world when i visit this system.

Another view.A few DIY tube phono stage.Can listen to MC, MM and different turntable anytime.I feel i want to surrender after looking at the setup.

Yes, the Dave brubeck, Time out album is spinning.

This is the 2nd Garrard 301 grease bearing that i listen before with original arm.The first Garrard 301 grease bearing is with SME 3012.
Look!This is where the most exciting moment of the album. The kick drum in time out song, KUMMM,  KUMM... still lingering in my head


Thursday, October 29, 2009


Twin Diode SE amp. Only 6W.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


When you saw these 3 brands, everybody will start to think about shoes. Did you know that speaker stand spike also need a shoe?
Hence I  call this SSSS (speaker stand spike shoe).
Normally cost around a few ringgit per piece(if not mistaken I bought it around rm5.00 per piece) and you need 8 pieces for your stand.
 I have own this long ago but I lost 1 but finally found out from  my Aladdin cave floor(store room).

8 Happy reunion

This type of shoes is normally make out of brass. This shoe is replacing the 1 cent coin that I have used for a few years in my Foundation designer II stand.

Now these 1 cents is not enough to buy sweets.

So the did the SSSS offer any improvement?
Yes, a highly recommended tweak and 1 of the most cost effective upgrade that I have made to my system. I heard there seems to be a better foundation music been layout.Sorry i really don't know how to write it down.
Improvement is not just from the low but extend to the mid.I can't hear much changes from the high.Maybe i didn't pay much attention.
The imaging is more prominent and better separation too.

Beside better sonically I also find it make the stand much easier to move. As the spike sit at the groove of the SSSS, it will move together by sliding together with th stand.

So please go now and buy yourself the SSSS if you did not use it yet.


Monday, October 26, 2009

New parts new parts arrived. My hands is itchy.This is for my...enough for a pair.Sorry no prize for guessing.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Harbeth HLP3ES

Harbeth, an old school that work closely with BBC in it’s heyday. Now it come up with some innovative feature like super tune structure abd the radial driver. Run by Alan Shaw and he mention he use his daughter to voice his speaker. This is a good marketing as at least I still remember after all these years.

The original HLp3 is originally design to replace what is lack by the ls3/5a.It said to have improved upon on the dynamic, extension, high and low. HLP3ES is the second generation and even more improvement is expected. I have checked in a 1997 magazine and it stated a suggested price of GB$799 and a ls3/5a price at GB$699. It stated the HLP3ES as sound “Make beautiful music in a unflappable fashion, with a superbly unforced sense of scale.” The specification stated as 83 db, 120 watt, 6 ohm and dimension as 30 x 18 x 20 cm.

I listen to this speaker after the B&W 801 s3.
Upon listening there is more high in quantity. However the high lack the refinement that I used to be. This is unfair as this speaker may still some time to run in. Female voice is singing like the nose been cover up. Male voice is singing more “man” than I used to be. Bass is good but it really need a better stand. This speaker can handle much louder compare with ls3/5a. And again this speaker need more time to cook. I will come and to listen again later.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The forgotten king 2 Second encounter,B&W 801 matrix s3

It’s more than 2 weeks and it time to visit this ‘king”(B&W 801 MATRIX s3) again. Yes,sound much better compare to last time.I can hear an integration between mid bass and the mid. I don’t feel the bass is lag behind from the rest. Although as a whole I still feel the music is presented slower than I used to be.

B&W use this tweak too, normally we put at the side but B&W put it below the tweeter.
This speaker can really handle mid. The midrange flow effortlessly. My only complain is the speaker should have more authority. It still lack the majestic sound of a big speaker. This system moving on the right track and I feel there will be more to come.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rogers 11 Ohm

In HiFi world, rarely anyone does not know about Rogers LS3/5A. I wonder whether LS3/5A makes Rogers famous or vise-versa. I thought I will not acquire Rogers 11 Ohm after fall in love with 15 ohmer until I saw these pair with Ebony veneer. They are not really perfect conditions but nice sounding! Dating with Wong's Rosewood 11 Ohm would be interesting.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Philips CDM4 Laser Head (3)

Philips 的CD系统构造合理、质量上乘,是目前世界各大音响厂商和电脑商采用率最高的一个系统。从编号来看,Philips 的CDM系统发展到现在共有12个型号,较早期的CDM-3、CDM-4和CDM-9在目前一些顶级机种中最为常见。在Philips的CDM系统中,从CDM-1到CDM-9都是用摇臂循迹的方式进行单光束读取信号。早期的Philips CDM-1、CDM-3结构相当科学,大名鼎鼎的Krell MD-2/10、Studer A730、Luxman D-500等Hi-End机就使用了它。CDM系统发展到CDM-4后,由于所有的线路都可作调整,兼容性好,结构得到进一步简化。CDM-4还有另一种使用铝铸底盘的称为"Pro"高级型的产品,世界上许多顶级的音响生产厂家纷纷将它用到自己的Hi-End机之中,一时间CDM-4似乎成了高档和靓声CD机的标志,它最成功的例子就是用在被誉为CD机王的Mark Levinson No .31中。在CDM-4之后,Philips又推出了另一个结构更为简洁、可以将可调线路固定化、同样也大受欢迎并被许多高档CD机所采用的CDM-9转盘系统,法国一代名品GOLDMUND Mimesis 36 PlusA就使用了CDM-9 Pro。
FH Wong

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Infected! By h1f1 virus (5) Express lane-PCB/Kit

PCB/ Kit set

Many people fail to start diy mainly due to they did not take the first step. You don’t have to start like me. If I were to start again definitely I will start with PCB/KIT SET.

When buying a PCB/Kit set actually it offers numerous of advantages:

1) Actually we are buying others expertise

The person who make it is more experiance  than us.(We are still green at that time)

2) Proven

The product normally been tested and function properly.I talking product from reputable seller.
In Malaysia, i only know Yeo from

3) Morale boaster.

It very fast to complete a kit set. You will feel the pinch if you have invested a lot of resources and later found out it is a failure. This is demorale especially for beginner and might quit diy.

I have completed this line pre amp base on CONVERGENT AUDIO TECHNOLOGY. I would say this pre is a much complex(4 tube) design but i have finished it around an hours.The question i am more concern is it don't hummm...yeah!

4)Suitable for complex circuit.

Another power supply base on Matisse Reference pre also finished in less than an hour.(Sorry i have desolder some of the parts for other project

So don’t stop.Many people have stop after the kit/pcb is build up.

Learn from the PCB.Use back engineer approach. Learn how they design the layout and the connection. Many thing can be learn from there. From here you may proceed further to do point to point/scratch

However there are several things you must know. The performance/sound is much restricted by the pcb(Sorry guy I like point to point).Pcb is not meant to be solder and desolder for many times. So testing out components/parts may not be viable. Different components have different size and the pcb might not be able to fit the size.

Please avoid SMD type of kit unless it is been soldered.I still remember i encourage a buddy to buy Kit but later he show me a Kit with SMD.

All i can do is open wide my eye and look at him.You know who you are.Now i still laugh when i think of it.
But i think he learn how to pay through paypal.Hahaha!
Solder Smd type require smaller  tip for the solder gun and i still can't do it nowsaday.So don't ask me about this.


Saturday, October 10, 2009



Old picture during house keeping last year!


Today 10/10/2009 is officially launched.So tell your friends, wife, or anyone.So now let cheers


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Infected! By h1f1 virus (4) Now everyone can Diy

This "play hifi or being play by hifi period" have keep me happy for around 10 years.Naturally I moved back to east Malaysia where I meet a person that have completely change my direction in hi fi. Its Shamsul, I meet him in Kota kinabalu where I’m on work. He highly recommends me the “DARLING Amplifier”.

I still remember I  ask him this question before decided to build the darling amplifier. What amplifier did you posses, Shamsul say I still have a Rogers E-40 and a Jadis Orchestra that put in the closet.(At that time every magazine is uuhhh-ahhhh about this 2 amplifier) OK~! That’s the answer that I want. I'm determined to build a Darling amplifier but I’m zero in electronic.

Shamsul say if you can’t make it sing just take it here I will “kautim” (solve) for you. He also helps me to source all the parts. The only technical question I ever ask him is”How to count the tube socket leg number”.

I stare at the schematic 3 days (no kidding) even it is just a simple circuit.

After all the preparation Darling amplifier is sing when power up without any hum(Maybe I’m lucky ,it even sing with many cold joint) and i recheck 5 time before dare to power it up. This is the sweetest sound I have ever heard.

A multimeter and soldering is all you need to build a tube amplifier


Monday, October 5, 2009

work in process

'You win again' LP from Bee Gees.. oh yah.

Hai guys, this is my first post here. First of all congrates and thanks to Kenneth for taking the innitiative starting a new blog with a 'different concept' for exposing hifi friends' journey. I am Wan from Sarawak. Kind of a stubborn guy but finally complete something i'd longing for, the oh mighty Lenco tt source. Actually the process of building this Lenco based project took me long years. Total of 2 failure and only now shown in picture is successful.
How difficult is difficult to start vinyl? It can be very simple; replace your cd with a tt, that is all u need to do.
Cartrige is expensive and don't last forever- your valued Mullard or GEC is not for display too.
vinyl is expensive!! - your super recorded cd is not cheap too.
I don't have a phono!! - then don't spend too much on your dac!!!
tt is expensive!! - 2nd hand Rega P3 only less then 1.5k with great
cart, great deal, great sound. What cd can u buy at
that price?
Well, that is my opinion and how i start into tt. Cheers!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

我的 Rogers LS3/5a 历程

呢度耐唔耐有人谈论L S3/5A,相信钟爱呢对喇叭仔的同好数量不少。不如由我牵个头,霸番过地盘讲LS3/5A。识多些朋友,交流经验,人生美事也。LS3/5A并非完美,有缺点,但我对吨Q几年,钟爱程度一直有增无减,可能烧过笼,烧坏脑,依家搅到屋企有17对,两年前搅埋古董胆机。令度我不能自拔,欲罢不能,欲仙欲死........
我不讳言当初是受音响杂志的影响购入第一对Rogers仔,17年前,购自旺角音响,呢对Rogers仔背皮贴住15ohm招纸,若干年之后先知坅Y11ohm,价钱3760大洋。首先各位可否分享点解拣葲S3/5A 陪大家度过开心或唔开心的日子呢?

以上是好友姜兄于 2003 年 6 月 7 日在 香港 Revieww33 LS3/5A 同好会的创会词,有感 3/5 仔近年日益珍贵,回归中国大陆也越来越多,致价值日益升高;小弟年青时对 3/5 仔一见钟情,奈何当时身旡分文,消费不起,只有望梅止渴的份儿。

直 至 1998 年一次逛商场时又给我碰到有3/5仔的踪跡,价钱是港币 5,500 当时觉得机不可失,便马上把它买了下来,后来才知此 3/5 仔是 11 欧的,记得当时用石机,用单端 845 胆机推它都不好声,心灰意冷,心想 3/5 仔亦不过如 此,如是者过了好几年,在一次买卖3/5仔的交收中认识了姜兄,時为 2003 年,在他家中聆听 Leak + 3/5 仔的驚为天人表现后,从此便踏上一发不可收拾的 3/5 仔搜集之路,最多時也有 15 对之多,其中的苦与乐,在此拋砖引玉,望各同好也一同分享。

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The forgotten king,B&W 801 matrix s3

B&W 801 S3

B&w is no stranger of making quality speaker. Abbey road studio use a lot of b&w speaker especially the flagship model like the 8o1 series to mix classical music.

A pair of 801 series 3 has been maul to my buddy room and it’s time to listen to this king again. Previously this king was the flagship model of B&W but later replace by the nautilus and now the diamond series.

The associate gear for the night was Jadis JA80, Clone MFA pre and Mark Levinson Dac and transport in a medium size room. The speaker is standing on the original puck

Upon listening the impression i get is very clean, calm and gentle character. Music seems to be slow down, giving more time to enjoy the music. Mid is transparent and with sparkle high but the main problem seems to be the bass. There not much mid bass with very loose low bass and lag behind the excel mid and high. I heard some very weird sound emitting from the bass. The sound is more compose when we crank out loud
There is some uniqueness.The circle area is actually hollow.I heard mid low emit from there.We try a torch light buit cannot see anything as the light can't go through the cloth.

Maybe the power amplifier need more juice. We should give more time for my buddy as the speaker is only landed on his room 2 weeks ago.

Long live the king!.