Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Kuala Lumpur International AV Show 2014

It was quite a challenging visit this year as it was during Ramadhan. It was the 6th day of fasting but I told myself, if the Algerian and Nigerian can fast while playing football in Brazil, what is there a few hours of walking around in a hotel venue listening to hifi :).

Arrived JW Marriott at noon and immediately I registered for the show and received the Commemorative CD ..... the 3rd edition now. Also included in the pack was the BHP RM5 petrol voucher. 

The first person and familiar face I met was the head honcho himself Mr. Dick Tan looking elegant in his suit. Being his usual very friendly self, we said our hellos and I congratulated him for his 21st year doing this show.

The first thing I noticed this year, there was  a full sized hifi set up right in front of the entrance. A pair of electrostatic speakers which I completely forgot to take note of the model. Not a good start for me heheheh.


                                  

    The usual bargains was available from Desa Home Theatre where 4K TV seems to be the theme. My newly acquired Samsung Curve TV was selling at RM19,999 (~USD 6,000) instead of RM 21,999 (~USD 6,100).

Wo Kee Hong displayed the latest Marantz streamer and network player. Tempting !!!        



Oh, I forgot about to mention about my visit objective this year.

  1. To try out and maybe purchase the Oppo Headphone Amp and Headphones
  2. Experience dual sub in Maxx Audio 2 in 1 home theatre and  2 channel set up
  3. Get an updated listening experience from HiFi Creations own model loudspeaker design and also Skogrand cables
  4. Participate in AV2day.com blind test
  5. Experience the new PMC twenty 26 speakers
  6. Try out the Chord Hugo portable DAC
  7. Buy LPs
I only have 5 hours to go around as I have to leave latest by 530 pm in order to break fast at 730 pm. So, I immediately went on my little expedition to meet my objectives. 


HiFi Creations lead by owner cum speaker designer Mr. Victor Pheh



Debut of his premier speaker design called Arpeggio Pensato driven by Thai's Magnet pre and power amp and CD player.

Skogrand cable in HiFi Creation presentation




I was extremely impressed by the shear bass that this unit can produce. Clean yet punchy with such analog like presentation. Looking at the size of this standmounts, I was at first skeptical as the room was not very large. But when played, there was no distortion at all. All clean, punchy and a very room filling sound. Very airy as if it was either a live recording or played from analog source. Have a listen on the sample below.




What made me more impressed and proud is that this is a Malaysian product, beautifully finished in glossy black. The unit will be made to order and customer will be able to choose their own personal colour and finishing. If I am not mistaken, the RRP is RM22,000 a pair with an introductory offer during the show at RM15,000. Kudos to Victor.... Malaysia Boleh!


Chord Hugo DAC by Centre Circle Audio



Centre Circle presented Hugo DAC with Pathos and also a headphone listening station using the Beyer T1 as reference.

I have always wanted to listen to this baby after reading all the reviews of its superior sound quality. I was not really interested in using this DAC for my main set up but more for headphones. And coincidentally Centre Circle is using the same T1 headphones as I am using at home. The source was a Parasound Cd player if I am not mistaken fed through a coaxial connection into the Hugo. Unfortunately, it didnt meet my expectation. Too laid back and didnt get the satisfaction that I usually get when I pair my T1 and Bryston headphone amp.

Maxx Audio 2 in 1 set up


                                       

Max did it again! He managed to squeeze in a very balanced 2 in 1 set up. Shear heart punching home theater and a melodic 2 channel music set up comprises of the newly arrived Audiophysics Avantera Plus speakers as front and also an Audiophysics centre speaker from the Classic series, 2 x SVS subs and also rear speakers, Exposure CD player, Odyssey pre and power and Denon AV amp.

The Avantera Plus was a pleasure to listen to but unfortunately, I didnt have the chance to experience dual sub. Max however have calibrated the subs to work nicely in the small room. No excessive booming but just nice for movies and concert blu ray.

Have a listen to this.






Maxx also had a mock sample of the Avantera Plus...showing all the internal components.

And of course.... the AP Classic In Wall for those with space constraint was also on display. I had these speakers in my house for a few hours a few months back. It was indeed an experience using this  speaker for home cinema duties. Lovely glass finish and sound too. Displayed here was with a dedicated stand that Maxx Audio will be able to provide if buyer is not interested to hang these babies on the wall.

Featured above is also the matching AP Classic centre speaker.


Exposure CDP

 Odyssey power amp

The Avantera Plus



LP Shopping

Time for a little bit of shopping. There were several rooms and stalls selling LPs at a bargain. some have very rare ones. This SRV boxset was a hit where several collectors have picked it up. Yours truly modestly got a few hehehehe






PMC twenty 26 at AV Designs




Fresh from the box... the 26 was only on static display :(. A bit disappointed but nevertheless, will visit the show room for some sweet sound.

 AV Designs head honcho James Tan and Tony Low decided to pair up the PMC Fact 12 with a full TAD set up instead of Bryston this year, saving the latter for their home theater set up.



The slim speakers just smiled at the big room and fill it up with music. Have a listen to this:




And for the home theater section.....



..... JVC e-shift 4K projector with a full Bryston home theatre set up....a set up that was quoted to be 'It could have been in your house'.....huuuuuwwaaaaa..... but its OK. One have to accept his or her space limitation.




Oppo Headphone amp and Headphones

So, not knowing who actually is the official distributor for this, I just went raoming around and voila I found a stall with this set up on demo...... and found out that CMY will be bringing in these babies in soon, tentatively mid July.

From a quick listening session to this pair.... It is in fact a must buy for headfis.... I am not to keen on the headphones purely because it comes in leather. It is just so darn hard to maintain the leather in our hot and humid climate. One of the reason I bought the T1 over the Audeze. So, the question now is that will the amp match my T1? I have requested Steve from CMY OU to inform me once a unit is made available in the show room. Apparently it will be sold at USD1099.


Picture courtesy of AV2day.com


Other room and set up





Various Thorens TT


Swedish Statement presented the humangous amp


Focal and Mcintosh.... Quite a good pair...





Maggies...


CMY Mission and Audiolab

CMY Dynaudio with Jeff Rowland and Clearaudio


Karan and ASI speakers...


Focal and Mcintosh


Devialet


ATC Speakers presented by Hi Way Laser







Now to check my objectives:

  1. To try out and maybe purchase the Oppo Headphone Amp and Headphones - DONE and impressed
  2. Experience dual sub in Maxx Audio 2 in 1 home theatre and  2 channel set up - partially DONE as did not experience the dual sub but LIKE the simple 2 in 1 set up
  3. Get an updated listening experience from HiFi Creations own model loudspeaker design and also Skogrand cables - DONE and impressed
  4. Participate in AV2day.com blind test - Visited at 515 pm....so it was already in the middle of a test....so unfortunately missed it... (I still believe my ears are not up for it hehehehe)
  5. Experience the new PMC twenty 26 speakers - partially DONE ...experienced visually not audio-ly?
  6. Try out the Chord Hugo portable DAC - DONE but disappointed
  7. Buy LPs - DONE and became a happy camper...




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