Thursday, 28 November 2013

When Music is A Passion: PMC SE Series

PMC’s Head of Sales Mike Picanza, was recently in Malaysia to have a meet and greet session with a few local hifi audiophiles and to talk about PMC SE series loudspeaker. The session was held on Thursday 28th Nov in AV Designs in Kuala Lumpur.

First of all, its always an exciting experience to be able to meet and chat with hifi companies reps from overseas as we get to hear first hand of any of their latest plans and designs. And this excitement just got better after chatting with Mike Picanza. Listening to his past experience working with several hifi companies, I could feel how passionate he is when it comes to hifi designs. And mind you... this is not because Mike impressed me with a sales pitch, but more on his approach and understanding of what music listeners want.

And this kind of experience with hifi companies reps was made possible by AV Designs.... so a BIG THANK YOU to James Tan and Tony Low for organising this (and of course for the wonderful dinner in Serai)

Mike's presentation mainly  was about the improvements in the SE versions from the Classic range. Not to say Classic was not a good speakers. But its also practical to based on an already established and prooven design and just refine it more.

Some of the major design changes are:

1. Internal bracing of the cabinet
2. Solid aluminium dome midrange  
3. New waveform guide for the treble

Can you spot the difference between Classic and SE?

PMC have also bought a mansion turn homely office in Bedfordshire which will also include dedicated hifi and home cinema listening rooms and an anechoic chamber. They will be moving to this place in 2014.... and there might be an invitation for local enthusiasts to a PMC summer party to celebrate the move.

And for this year's KLIAV show, PMC and AV Designs are thinking of offering something different for the event attendees.... Wait for it OK?

More pictures from PMC facebook

Saturday, 23 November 2013

RHA MA750: My 2013 Choice of IEM


When I was first contacted by RHA to review this unit about 3 weeks ago, I have to say that I have not heard of the name RHA.  So, I googled it and saw a few pictures and reports of RHA participation in audio shows. And its based in Scotland. After a quick read through of the company's portfolio, I really did not know what to expect of its sound characteristics.

RHA is a specialist British headphone company which takes true-to-life audio reproduction and long lasting quality as their core values. More read up of their range, I came across their mid range MA600i model which offers 'aircraft grade aluminium'. Got me a bit excited to really sample their unit. To my surprise, RHA decided to send me their top end model MA750 instead which made me even more excited. MA750 is relatively the same as their MA750i model but without the iPhone talk-through function. This model however is a stainless steel unit as oppose to the aircraft grade aluminium.

After a few emails, the MA750 sample unit arrived at my door step within 4 days of its being dispatched from Scotland. This made me feel more confident of RHA services which also offer delivery for those that opt for online purchase.


Impressive packaging. Some marketing thoughts have been put into the packaging design which was fully secured and yet wasy enough to un-box the unit. Truth be told, Apple can learn a thing or two from RHA with regards to packaging. I truly dislike how Apple package their products. 

I didnt actually bother to check the content at the beginning as I just took out the IEM unit and plug it into my iPhone 5. First track played was Iron Maiden's Can I Play With Madness... (Yes... I was  in a frenzy mood and needed some adrenalin flowing).. And the MA750 really got my juice flowing... 

This IEM delivered a very clean and natural sounding character. BUt at the same time, the low end frequency sounded full and bold. Mcbrain's awesome drumming was really revealing and the MA750 delivers this with high precision. Only after this track, I started to explore whats inside the packaging :)


  1. The MA750 IEM itself
  2. Leather pouch
  3. Nine (9) different ear tips, locked into a neat metal plate. Comes with dual density silicone, double flange silicone and memory foam ear tips.
  4. Manual
  5. Cable Clip

I particularly like the material of the cable used. Its somehow manage to avoid cable entanglement even without having a clip. The cable is steel reinforced, oxy-free and comes with a gold plated connection.

The stainless steel housing gives it a sleek and luxurious look and its already pre-contoured with the cable to go around the ear.

This IEM is a noise isolating unit. Using RHA's aerophonic (TM) design, it was contructed from individual machined stainless steel componets.

Top notch built quality at this price range.


I used this unit DAILY..... yes DAILY for a straight 3 weeks. Thats how much the first impression impact is. The listening session was done via iPhone 5 and Musical Fidelity M1 HPA headphone amp.

Tracks chosen are as below. All of which are 48kHz 320 kbps MP3 files:

  1. Can I Play With Madness - Iron Maiden
  2. The Pink Panther Theme - Henry Mancini
  3. Perfidia - Andrea Bocelli
  4. Siboh Kitak Nangis - Zee Avi
  5. My Hero - Foo Fighters

Isolation Quality: I find the double flange tip provides me the most comfortable experience with the best isolation level.

As mentioned earlier, Can I Play With Madness.... was indeed madness :). Bruce's vocals was full of energy and although the drums was really evident, it did no overshadow the heavy guitar solos and riffs. The MA750 presented the song with such high level of detail but still clean and balanced. No issues of bloated bass or high pitch treble.

Now, very recently, I got more serious in listening to Mancini's work. So The Pink Panther theme is a perfect track to test this IEM. And yes, it got me more excited with the legend's musical arrangement. All the wind instrument on this track was presented in a very bold but relaxing tone. The percussion also was very bold but was never exhausting even with the high pitch ride cymbal playing. Using the wrong IEM for this track can make this track sound loud and tiring to the ears due to the way the percussion and trumpet were recorded.

Perfidia... although its about one partner deceiving another, it is still such a beautiful tune. The classical guitar solo on this track sounded very lively with the right amount warmth injected from the MA750. And Andrea's vocal was presented in his most melodious tone but still as uplifting as his other tracks.

Through this IEM, Siboh Kitak Nangis gave me the emotion of how beautiful my nation's music and lyrics can be. The soundstaging on this track was well presented by the MA750. Zee Avi's vocal was very crisp and emotional with the beautiful sound of ukulele and double bass overhanging behind her, as if I was listening to her live performance. 

When it comes to heavy and complicated music, I always listen to My Hero. And yet again, the MA750 had no issues to deliver such a high level quality music reproduction. The drums on this track was presented with such detail and definition. The heavy bass drum gave me the urge to start banging along on my Yamaha DTXplorer drum set. And that what I did. Grohl's high strung vocal was also the highlight of this IEM. No fatigueness experienced even with such a high screeching vocals. All well balanced.


As the title suggest, this is my 2013 choice of IEM. Yes, its November... but I doubt I would get to listen to another pair in this next month that can compete with the MA750. I have actually listened to a few this year in the likes of Shure, Senns, MF although may not be reflected in my blog.

If you need clean, natural, balanced sound with good noise isolation, please audition this IEM. It is not for those who are looking for heavy bass boom. Not a Beats definitely but it does give enough to make you want to shake your head in excitement. And at this price range, its definitely can be a good Christmas present....:). Go on then.... put a smile on the face of your loved ones....

Do visit for their full model range and specifically for this unit, click here

I was also informed that there are a few other products in their plan, to supplement their existing high quality product.

A BIG THANK YOU to RHA for the review sample. 

For those interested to purchase one, you can order it from Amazon:

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

RHA MA750 IEM: Sneak Preview

For those wondering what I received from Scotland last week, its actually one of RHA's IEM offering...the MA750...

Been using it  for nearly a week now....a review of this will come out soon.

Feast your eyes on ths pics first....

Thursday, 7 November 2013

PMC FACT 12 Launch - Live from AV Designs


On Thursday, 7th Nov marked another successful launch day for AVDesigns where the famous PMC Fact 12 was officially launched in Malaysia. The word official....sounds like a ribbon cutting ceremony right? Far from that actually .... It was actually a fun and informal launch event graced by many of James Tan and Tony Low friends and family, past (...and future?) customers, local hifi critics/reviewers, and guru.

The event started at 3 pm....but yours truly...due to work commitment could only be there at 5 pm... And i stayed on till 7 pm... By the time I arrived, the 'usual suspects' are already there enjoying the big sound from the Fact. There was  Dick Tan, Jo Ki, Eric, uncle Peter, Mark, Willy, Tang and soon after that Felix as well.

So, first thing first... A BIG THANK YOU to AV Designs for the invite and most importantly for the hospitality...


The Fact 12 was driven by a full Bryston set up and wired by WyWires. :

1. BP 17 pre amp
2. 4BSST2 power amp
3. BDP-2 with built in SSD media player/streamer
4. BDA-2 DAC

Three words to describe the first 5 minutes listening to these speakers: BIG, CRISP, CLEAN
Why? on my fellow readers...


2 hours of listening .... And I was entertained by the big, room filling sound from such a slim speaker. The speakers delivered such a powerful performance in which the low ends was very controlled and tight and yet still sounded quite subtle and warm to my ears. I guess I have to attribute this to the ATL feature of the speaker. Small drivers but can easily match any bass heavy 'normal' sized speakers.

Bear in mind that this pair was designed with the following dimensions and drive units:


H 1110mm (43.7”) + 25mm spikes 

W 168mm (6.1”) + 100mm (3.2”) ingot feet 

D 420mm (14.9”) + 23mm (0.9”) Ag terminals

Drive Units:

LF 2 x fact 140mm (5.5”)

MF 1 x fact 50mm (2.0”), 

HF 1 x fact 19mm (0.75”)

However, what impresses me most was the mids and highs. I have always known that PMC speakers have no issues in delivering the bass, but to balance this with the mid and high notes, not all speaker manufacturers can do what PMC does in such a slim design.

Several tracks that was played on that day includes some high pitched vocals and guitar and trumpet works. Not familiar with the tracks but the chosen tracks were good musically and recording wise. I had the concern of getting fatigued if the mids and highs are ear pinching. But to my surprise, the vocals and guitar and trumpet works were soooooo gentle to my ears but still sounded convincing. The bass did not overshadow them at all, in fact the mids and highs compliment the authoritive bass with such a crispy sounding environment. It delivers that emotional connection from the music to my soul.

And put this two together, the overall presentation was clean and no-nonsense delivery of music was achieved. At first, I thought that James and Tony used the tuning function below but I was informed that the setting used was flat and it was just that the speakers have been fully run in. The tuning switch (the 2 switches above the top speaker terminal) will allow the listener to increase/reduce the decibel of the high and low frequency by 1 to 2 decibels. It may be useful to cure some of the basic acoustic issues for a given room. But, on that day, the speaker delivered its potential without the need of any tuning,

Various music genres was played and the Fact 12 will just keep on rocking and entertaining. But for me personally, jazz and rock was the best. I also believe, vocals heavy music such as in the likes of Andrea  Bocelli will benefit most from these speakers.

The event ended (at least for me) at 7 pm. Leaving the shop was hard as the rest was still enjoying the continuous music being put on by James and Jo Ki.

PMC owners and fans out there, do go and demo the Fact 12. You owe it to your ears to experience such a well designed speakers.

Do contact James Tan (016 3280237) or Tony Low (012 2330771) to arrange a demo. Their outlet is located on Mezzanine floow, Bangunan Rohas Perkasa, Jalan P. Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Thanks Poslaju and DHL

Guess what came in the mail today all the way from Scotland?

How Does She Do It?

Album after album....consistency in music and recording quality... How does Avril continuously to produce good albums?

Well spent money on this album.