Friday, September 17, 2010

That Vintage Feel

We audiophiles like to listen to the music of our choice most of the time(some music lovers said more like the sound of audiophiles' choice and forgotten about the music!). How true could this be, depends if we are already practicing it without knowing it! So whenever I want a different diet of music I will make a choice as to where I will go listen for the evening if not I will remain at home and listen to my kind of music presentations the way I have chosen to live with, that is listen in my own 'hifi cave'!

So on 1 particular day, I choose to visit my good friend and hifi buddy I met on the 'net at the Star Forum a long time ago. The drive was an easy one, as he lives in the next neighbourhood of Cheras, just a short drive from Setapak, in Kuala Lumpur where we stay. When I first met him, he was into open baffle with Isophon single drivers and he has always sign off his chat in the forum as 'crossoverless', as the setup he had then hasn't any crossover circuitry at all! Then much later he moved into horn loaded fostrex speakers with external tweeters and still running with the 0.75w darling amplifier. Then he began signing off the chat sessions as 'crossoverleast'! I always thought it to be amusing way of slowly getting people to get used to his changes in his setup.

Just about less than 2 years ago, he made a dramatic change when he bought a 50 years old vintage Isophon speakers and shortly after being influenced by me with the use of subwoofers(I'm using multiple subwoofers), he bought a subwoofer to integrate with the pair of vintage speakers. Till date the integration of the main speakers and the 8" Audiopro 175w subwoofer has being a great success!

And of late I was to be in for more changes and surprises!!! He bought a QUAD 306 solid state amplifier which he and his friends thought it'a one of those amplifiers that sounded with much less solid state sounding characteristics. There were more surprises as soon as the integration of the subwoofer and main speakers was completed. I heard it several more times to know for sure it is!!! Though I was (still is) of the opinion that it's different kind of bass sound from that of a 10" subwoofer or a 12" subwoofer, different roll off point I reckoned and different drivers with their own inherent sizes driver sound with different behaviour and characteristic sound! Now his friends called him "crossallover"!!!!!

Then there he was test listening various different CDP used as transports into his diyed non oversampling DAC, that has gone thru several changes (of metamorphosis) including the use of different valve tubes and changes of premium parts and the addition of a buffer stage. There was this Pioneer dvd 310, the much rave about in the 'net, the Marantz 63(his resident CDT) and the vintage Philips CD 160 with the time tested CDM pro 2 mechanism. One thing I noticed haven't being changed, moved or displaced or replaced is a 'ferrite clock' design which I especially designed and made for his setup, it's a device for power conditioning making use of the electronic clock timing mechanism, to remove part of those uneasy to the ears type of electrical harmonics in the main power supply, if anyone wants something better than what I have mentioned, he has better get one of those megabuck power conditioners.

All in all, he has a not so expensive costing setup to suit his musical tastes and preferences which at the same time it's a system that many of his friends would like to come by for a listen, eventhough it may not be a setup they may want to have or live with in your own home!!! Again it comes down to personal preferences.I would agree with many of his friends that the system sounds musical(again it's so subjective that much arguments can go a long way) and enjoyable. So those looking for lots of bass to shake everything else in the room will probably want to come listen only once. However, those who are looking for 'lusty vocals' will come again and again!!!! Those who like to listen to soundstage will also come again and again!!! And those who are diehard hi end brand seekers will probably not even give a second thought about asking for a listen. We know what we are in for whenever we decide to go for a listen at some friends' place don't we?! We always do!


  1. this setup looks nice n tidy, wonder if it sounds alike :)

  2. It does! The images in the soundstage are pretty tidy! The bass is in the soundstage and not everywhere and does not cause every little objects in the room to vibrate and fall to the floor!

  3. 大红花轿人抬人。 :)

  4. Any visitor has to be extra careful while going into this room. The strong wind created from your long sleeve shirt can blow down this Vintage Speakers. These are endangered Isophon Speakers quite like Tasmanian Tiger.

  5. I'm really scared.

  6. Dunno how suck the sound for this single su"ck" system compare to to the multi su"ck"s. Better? Or even more suck?

  7. In the light scarce time, why not do things you are happy with? Why read write-ups which trigger the hatred in you? "suck" here "suck" there.....

  8. Hi Anon, if u think subwoofer or subwoofers for that matters 'sucks' did u arrive at this.?..............could it be...........

    1. You have listened to many setups with sub and u know for sure sub sucks!

    2. You have tried to integrate sub in your own system and u have failed!

    3. You've not heard a setup where the sub (1 sub)really well integrated with the main speakers.

    4. You've being to the KLIA2010 recently, and have heard the few systems there utilising 1 sub, a pair of subs and more than 2 subs. You think ALL the setups with sub/subs sucks big time!

    So which are u? 1 or more of them above or all of the above. We would understand your situation better if you care to tell us more! Just insisting sub/subs sucks will not do u or any readers any good returns.

  9. Unker,
    I have heard some good sounding systems with one sub or stereo subs.

    But for more than 2 subs system, connection/tuning/measurement for the system will be very critical. Or else, you multisubs system will sound multisucks or very suck.

    Mind to share your opnion on:
    1) Sub quantity: How many subs are needed for a 2 channels stereo audio system? Why?

    2) Connection: How did you connect all your subs?

    3) Phase shift/delay: How you manage the phase shift created by each subs in your room? All subs are in phase? Any measurement?

    From your answers, roughly I can imagine how good/suck your system sound.

  10. As I said, 大红花轿人抬人。

    Today you praise my system, tomorrow I will praise yours back.

    That's the game play in audio circle. : )

  11. I have heard setups with just 1 sub, a pair of identical sub units, 3 subs(1 active & 2 passives, 4 subs(all identical units), 3 pairs identical units. These systems sound slightly different from each other, nonetheless listenable. May not be your idea of 'sucks'! All different ways of wiring up, the finer details are kept to themselves mostly. I would do the same.

    I cannot change anyway u may want to think, U have decided in the 1st place. So if it makes u any happier, no need for u to analyse just take it as 'sucks'!

  12. Unker,

    Dun bluff to other's system. Back to the topic. Why I think your system suck.

    What/how I think is based on what you said in public/audio forum. Your high profile sometimes make ppl feel antipathy.

    Sometimes keep you mouth shut may make ppl more respect you. Talking nonsense without get shooting only possible in mamak store/kopi tiam with those audiophiles whoknow nothing about audio/music/electronic/acoustic.

    Just 2 cents from me.

  13. Marantz CD63 and Philips CD 160 with the time tested CDM pro 2 mechanism???
    Sure bo?
    Is CDM Pro 2 or CDM2 only?
    The reviewer seems like blur blur....

    Old unker can some more design ferite clock using electronic clock timing mechanism, to remove part of those uneasy to the ears type of electrical harmonics in the main power supply.....

    What theories is based on?
    What electronic clock using?
    How many ppm clock utilized?

  14. The happy souls in audio circles are the ones who enjoys listen to their own setups, and do visits and listen to others' setup.

  15. Again, 大红花轿人抬人。
    One of the happy things in audio circle could be today I praise your system by writing/saying some nonsense (like the above so called review) and waiting for you to praise mine back with some bullshit.

    Then, both are happy and satisfy to think that they have most greatest sound system in the world.

  16. Unker never ever straight forward answer other's questions.

    Always out of topic.

    He dunno how to answer?
    He dunno how to continue bullshit to cover his own bullshit?
    He has no answer?
    He never admit he has written something wrong or confusing?

  17. And You are the vigilante out to correct what you think is wrong la............?

  18. Right or wrong is depended on the question we posted and the answers we provided.

    You always shun the questions. Never answer even one.

  19. Regret if u feel this way. I don't give important information to any person i can't put a face to, especially not on the internet. Those who visit me, I not only disclosed, i even show and tell session of the details.

  20. 大红花轿人抬人san,
    Sorry, I could not understand the word "suck" that you try hard to describe a system. Can I hear from you to use simple Minglish.
    I may be able to answer some "suck" questions if you dun "suck".
    The wrong word used here does not carry any weight. I prefered simple Minglish. A matured man like you would have gone through thru an U education, used many, many, money sent to you by your parents, and the result is...
    Seriously, my level of Minglish is only Form 3.

  21. Unker,
    Dun try to shun the questions.

    Those questions (how many subs should use, way of connection, phase shift handling) are very fundamental in audio knowledge.

    Is it very important information to make you dare not to reveal? Or you worried ppl will laugh at it?

    To answer or not to answer? That's depended on you.
    To be respected or not to be respected? That's depended on how you respect other questions.

  22. Nobody owes u anything. This is a diary entry aka blog.

  23. 大红花轿人抬人san,
    If all these multi-sub are " ...very fundamental..."
    These are the areas which I am also very interested to learn from you.
    Hopefully you are able to make clear what you wish to discuss. If you could list out those intereting terms like 'phase shift handling ...'
    I would probably think you did some homework as well.
    You don have to shout at the other end of the road thinking that this make you a hero.
    Sorry if I have hurt you because of Form 3 level of Minglish.

  24. I would love to response to No-Face-No-Name individual with No-NAME-No-Face status... but I find it really kurang ajar...
    Fault finding is easy... Cari pasal only ma, no need to die wan... Thirsty drink water...
    I can pick any word in the NO-FACE-NO-NAME comments & spin into 2 dozens arguments easily... but what for what shouting at air????
    Unker Vic & CrossOverleast may have a different theory to achieve audio paradise, many can disagree. Remember Variety is the Spice of Life... (ASTRO SLOGAN) & we need to respect & agree to disagreement.

    PS, No-Face-No-Name got something right... in this hobby, 大红花轿人抬人 happens routinely... That is being 客氣。 Are you thought to rage war with you host every time?

    BUT many a time, abused...

    If you want to discuss multi-sub or multi-suck ore even multy F@#K oso can, I'm all too happy to participate, but please la... have some basic courtesy to adhere to good (at the least reasonable) social etique...
    As you said, "To be respected or not to be respected? That's depended on how you
    respect other questions."
    Please tell me how to respect you or even take your words seriously???

  25. Not you praise me I praise you lah! But sharing similar/same judging critera. If audiophiles continue to cheat each other for audio bliss, all these guys are pathetic indeed!

  26. Somehow I remembered that in my younger days, a 3year old boy liked to hit another boy's head hard and run to bushes, hidden himself there laughing with hand over the mouth. He enjoyed every moment seeing his victim suffering with the pain.
    He stricks again when the time is right.
    Eventually, parents of the victim had not choice but to shower his parents with "Mo Ka Kau".
    Don't worry, these nice flowers "Mo Ka Kau" is not going hurt anyone and it grows very well in a small village near the hill.
    My Form 3 level Minglish does not mean to hurt anyone, and it allow me to make mistakes.

  27. Anonymous may start out rude in the first place but his latter post does have his point. Learning from people and mistakes are the key point of improvement.

    I reckon that people should refrain from spreading hatred further. Why not come out to have a come of coffee, see for ourselves the setup that have been made and suggest how things can be further improved?

  28. Good suggestion! Let's meet for cuppa!

  29. Hi Anon,
    "Talking nonsense without get shooting only possible in mamak store/kopi tiam with those audiophiles whoknow nothing about audio/music/electronic/acoustic"

    I am the 1 who always talk nosense, so i think you are addressing this to me.


    1)have a look at my modify cd player.

    Feel free to comment.

    2)Please comment on diy speaker that i use.

    3)Feel free to comment on any tube amp that i use.

    4)Please comment on the room acoustic.

    Do recommend me a system(OR YOUR OWN SYSTEM) that you think that sound good.

    But before you answer this please let me know how long you have been dabble in hifi.


  30. Part I
    Dear Unker Vic.

    First of all, thanks for your introduction to all of us about Mr Koo single sub (2.1) system. Based on your writings (Part I & Part II), I believe it should be a very good sound system.

    Since Mr Koo may be a low profile audiophile, we may lost the chance to get know to his well-tuned system if without your writing.

    Due to your high reputation among KL audiophiles, I learned to know that you are a very experienced and respected audiophile in Malaysia. I should say you are an expert or master in multi subs (2.x) audio system among Malaysia audiophiles.

    I am glad to have a chance to learn something from you after reading your writing.

    1) Since Unker Vic and Mr Koo both are using sub(s) in the audio system and some more Unker Vic is so familiar with Mr Koo's system. Let's take Unker Vic's system as reference, may I know how Mr Koo's system sounds compare to yours? What is his system strong points and weaknesses compare to your multi subs system?

  31. Part II
    2) Based on what I know, for more than 2 subs system, the connection/tuning/measurement could be very critical and complicated. Below are my few questions about number of subs used, the way of connection and how we deal with each subs' phase shift:

    a) Sub quantity: According to your know how, how many subs are needed or best for a 2 channels stereo audio system? Is there any theory background behind? What are the limitations/constraints for single sub and stereo subs?

    b) Connection: How do you connect all your subs?

    - Is it your CDP has multi outputs? In this case, how you control the subs' volume?

    - Is it your integrated/pre amp has multi pre-outputs? Normally hard to find CDP/pre/integrated amp come with more than 2 pre-outputs.

    - Is it you connect all your subs parallel with your stereo speakers? In this case, do you consider the speaker/subs loading effect to your amp? The more subs you parallel with your speaker, the lower the speaker/subs impedance. As a result the speaker impedance will be shifted and the sound characteristic will change.

    c) Phase shift/delay: All subs you used are same brand and same model? How you manage the phase shift created by each subs in your room? How you make sure all subs are in phase? By any measurement?

    As we know, any signal pass through an amplifier circuit and speaker driver, the output signal will not be in phase with the input signal.

    The phase shift will be even more trouble when all your subs are not from the same brand and models.

    Some more, the placement of the subs and the room acoustic will create some more phase shift.

    How do you consider/manage with all these phase shifts?

  32. Part III
    3) Is Marantz CD63 and Philips CD 160 using the time tested CDM Pro 2 mechanism? Or is just old CDM2? I am not trying to offence you but just to clarify the fact. It is good for you to make some correction if there are some misleading information in your writing.

    4) I am very interested and respect on your ferrite clock design which could remove some power supply harmonic noises. May I know how it functions? What is the concept or principle? I know it may involve some confidential information or know how, so very brief explanation will do.

    You may not answer my questions due to I post my comments with anonymous. So, I would like to introduce myself, I am Keith from Johor but most of the time I am in Sg.

    Hope to get your reply soon.

  33. Thanks to Mr Hasegawa.
    Let's wait for Unker Vic reply.

    From: Keith

  34. Hi ,

    Since u need as simple answer here it is,
    Vic , correct me if i'm wrong,

    1)Koo - pro- musical, soundstage.

    Vic- pro -dynamic,bass
    cons- soundstage,balance

    2)Either low level or high level.
    Left to left , right to right.


    3)As you know we are not professional writter.You need to clarify this by asking the manufacturer.


    Now my turn:
    1)How you know your speaker/equipment is not out of phase?

    2)What system and friends is so good and not pathetic that know all the music/equipment/system?I need to hang out with them.



  35. Hi Keith,
    Nice to know you. Ya, I like your comments this time round. Open up a myriad of opportunity for constructive discussion without bad manners & vulgarity.
    Phase shift is a heavily discussed/argued subject for a long time in local & Singapore audiophile circle but really no one actually conducted any scientific measurements to support their theory, mostly base on pure theoritical assumption, intuitive gut feeling & hence perceived results... This way, it will never come to any constructive conclusion.
    I've not visited unker vic's set up but from his emphasis on styrofoam diffuse/absorber rig, (no many actually treat room acoustic seriously which I feel is wrong not to) I have doubt over the effectiveness of unker vic's rig but it will have effect in altering the room acoustic characteristics as any extra mass & flat surfaces will contribute to room acoustic signature.
    I could imagine it would had altered/shifted the room acoustic characteristic.
    This will make his room very different to most untreated rooms...
    Multi-sub... Another active subject... There are no substitute for power when it comes to bass dynamic... Big power meant big $$$, one can use a single 2MW subwoofer if they can afford to build a 20MW power station in his basement or parallel up many small subs to make up the power. Like everything in life, there is always time to make rational compromise... Surely the shortfall you mention might be real but how many can afford a perfect system? Or can hear the difference??? Or should I ask: is there a perfect system?
    Look at it in a constructive angle...
    unker vic's multi sub proof that there are no substitute for power when it comes to bass dynamics
    Koo's set up proof that the 1st watt is the most luscious & sweetest sound you can get as advertised but you really need more power for bass...

    Surely there are short falls, lets see what works in other's system & avoid serious downfall in our own...

    PS, yes, the Marantz & Phillips are CDM2, I have both of them stow away in my treasure junk...

    I remember this phrase
    "The teacher will come when you are ready"
    "Opening a close door, review many more closed doors..."

  36. Hi Tinkerer, thxs for the explanation on the CDP mechanism. I did check with Koo today. You guys are right about the mechanism used. Apologies for the error in the writeup.

    Yes, Bass is a very expensive sound to have in one's setup, it cost alot, coupled with the heartache of getting them sound right! And lots of controversy as to what constitute the right bass sound! Different listeners will have variously different idea &/or perceptions of bass sound, that's where arguments arise! Exactly, how much of bass is enough, what causes bass booms, any physical damage to humans if exposed to low hz over a period of time, etc. etc.?,

    Room treatments may or may not remove/ reduce some or all of the signature sound of the room. However if one cares to make a google on how room treatments could bring back some hearing perceptions to much senior listeners or enable some sound to be more readily heard or perceived, there will be plenty of suggestions depending on the purpose of the room. Some younger listeners do not find a need for room treatments as some hearing perceptions are compensated by the brain, but not so efficiently dealt with as we age more gracefully into our '60s.......... ;-p

  37. Huh.... it seems like some comments have been deleted....

  38. Kenneth.
    But before you answer this please let me know how long you have been dabble in hifi...((stupid question you had asked here.))



  39. Mr Arrogant, Knowledgable and experienced Anonymous,

    Do you know knowledge and experience is not everything in Hifi?
    With the knowledge and experience you have, do you dare to guarantee that your hifi setup sounding the best? and prove to everyone? ....I doubt that.
    Have you ever asked your "very experienced and knowledgable but Arrogant" self whether you are "highly" respected by audiophiles or normal people?
    Audiophile without morale and humble virtue is like human without soul, or worst, wild beast.

  40. Mr Kennenth you claims you don’t have any experience at dealing with this.....

    But you are very good in Condemning and criticizing people setup during house visit. talking all nonsense though you are a very great Sifu in hifi industries.

    you are just a good SKL (SIN KA LAN) anyway.

  41. Hi no-name-no-face-no-guts-SIN_KA_LAN,
    you expect people to lie to you so that you will feel great when you ask for their opinion? or tell one's honest opinion when you ask???

    Go continue eating more salt.

    don't forget to go pay a doctor to check your hearing ability, I suspect you ears are too old to hear anything...

  42. don't waste time dealing with terrorists but extinguish terrorism

    simply put, the more efforts one puts in with hope to domesticate terrorism alas more frustrated he will be!

    my way to deal with terrorists is F 'em no time!

  43. No_Name Anonymous. Why so quiet, no reply? scared already ah ?