I was counting the minute on Friday 3rd May to finish off my half day work day so that I can hit off to The Gardens hotel for this unique launch event. Unique because its not just one kit that is being the centre of attraction but a number of it. I personally was focusing on 4 main items (with no order of preference):
1. TechDAS Air Force One turntable
2. Genesis 2.2jr Speakers
3. Frank Voon Powerbank
4. Tombo Audio tweaking products
....and its not just another hifi dealer trying to showcase products...Its full of knowledge and experience sharing and 'hifi' friendly people. Plus...its not done in a hifi shop...it was set up on the executive lounge of the hotel on top floor (29th floor)
I arrived at about 10 mins to 3 pm...Was immediately greeted by the good man TK Han from RAVE Systems...and was first introduced to Gary Koh (Genesis maestro). He was already started to showcase the Genesis 2.2jr, so I opted to listen to the speakers first.
So, first and foremost ...a BIG CONGRATULATION is in order to the whole RAVE team especially TK Han, Edwin and Agnes Tan and the invited speakers...Gary Koh, Frank Voon, Vattana Prastenasung and Hideaki Nishikawa. The event was set up professionally (they also had a 'press' package with hi res photos of products!!!) but yet, feedback I hear from a few guests was that it was a relaxing but informative event.
Genesis 2.2jr Speakers
Before I attended this, I have been reading about the features of this speaker and the one that struck me most was its ability to provide a' blanket' of sweet spot rather than listener have to find that one special spot to get the best performance. So, the first thing I did in the first 15 minutes was sitting/standing at different parts of the room. And YES.. The 'first impression' feeling was literally the same regardless at which spot I was. One may argue that it might because it was playing loud. Nope.....it was playing at moderate volume but the effect of livelines and soundstaging can be experience from different spots in the room.
My first 10 mins listening this monstrous but elegant tower speaker made me realise how important the right setting and listening atmosphere is to a system. Playing Joe Cocker on TechDAS Air Force One TT gave me an impression that these speakers were design to deliver what and how the music is intended to be listened to.
I would summarise this speaker to be a one of a kind design which delivers music transparency, coherence and one of a few truthful speakers. Among the tracks that was played that I was familiar with was Miles Davis rendition of Time After Time. And I never heard this track as I heard it through this speakers.
There was a mixture of source used to showcase this speaker both from the TechDAS TT and also CAS. And it needed serious focus to differentiate between them.
Gary Koh High Resolution Talk
One of the highlight for me at least was this talk by Gary in which was really informative and unbias between analogue and digital source. Withe several examples, Gary showed how important a good quality recording and pressing is.
Sample A: A tune recorded at 24 bit 44.1 kHz and mastered from 7 mic recording into 2.
Sound was full of warm and natural bass. Alive.
Sample B: The same tune pressed onto a CD at 16 bit 44.1 kHz.
There was bloated bass...a bit muddled...slightly compressed...however a bit more extended but not involving.
It was actually easy enough to differentiate between them especially that Gary mentioned the 2 different quality before hand....so indirectly, people was already looking for a better sound in the 24 bit.
The best part came next.
Sample C: A wonderful piece which I could not recall the track.
All the audience agreed that it was so involving, emotional, alive track....and of course everyone said yes when Gary mentioned that it was a 24 bit 192 kHz recoding....
NNNNOOOTTT.... it was actually MP3. Lots of people were stunned.
The message is of course.... A good quality recording is vital but also the transfer made to the CD/vinyl.
He also mentioned that amongst his principle in speaker design includes the focus on low end frequency as thats where the emotion of music usually comes from. Also,he makes sure everything is coherence and his design does not break the coherence of music. Even the speaker is blocked, you wont experience the soundstage collapse.
I wish I had more time to listen to these speakers. But of course a 2 hour session was also a great experience especially when you have someone like Gary engaging with the guests.
And a sample of how it sounds: