Wednesday, 25 March 2015

2015 KLIAV Show Media Launch

The media launch and press conference for the annual Kuala Lumpur International AV show was held today at JW Marriott hotel in Bukit Bintang. 

Mr. Dick Tan, head honcho of 3DotEvent, mentioned that this year's show tag line is Big Sound Equals to Big Picture. Referring to the latest AV craze of Dolby ATMOS will be featured by some of the exhibitors.

Despite the uncertainty of how GST will truly impact the show, the exhibitors were still enthusiastic about the year's show. At the time of press conference, there were only 3 more rooms left to be filled up.

The usual local hifi and headfi distributors, the crew from Malay Mail and AV2day chief were all present. 

  • James Tan and Tony Low of AV Designs
  • Maxx Loh of Maxx Audio
  • Joseph Ki whom is back this year with his system
  • John Yew of CMY
  • Yuheng of Jaben
  • Willy Low of AV2day.com among others
  • David Low of Audio Art
  • ..... and a new entry this year..
  • Mr. Adnan Ahmad of KOGA Audio... founder and designer of the Pentha, D'Bomb and Aimez amplification. Another local hifi designer and manufacturer after the debut of HiFi Creations last year which showcased the Arpeggio Pensato speakers.
There was also a lucky draw during the launching where selected BD titles were given away plus BD players and headphones.

For this year show, there will also be the 4th Commemorative CD given for free for paying attendees of the show.

Mr. Dick Tan will also be arranging for a couple hifi talks and seminar for this event.

KLIAV show will be held on 3rd to 5th July in JW Marriott. Be there or be square.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

KOGA Audio d'Bomb Power Amp - Solidly Soulful





The KOGA Audio d'Bomb is not really new to me. The first time I had the pleasure to listen to its 'nakedness' was sometime in 2014 during the audiophile gathering of a few members of our FB group What Are You Listening To Right Now? Group. Refer to the pictures above, the d'Bomb was fully tested my with ProAc D18. All the attendees was well pleased with the power amp. Don't be fooled by its look. Mounted on a wooden box and looks like it was built overnight. The sound was so big and airy that it was hard for us to go back to my main set up.

Nevertheless, this was the unit that triggered the designer to kick off KOGA Audio & Electronics. After much support and recommendation of the group members of KOGAM, the Aimez hybrid power amp and Pentha pre-amp came out to be the first and second line up of its products. This d'Bomb was then costume-ized with proper casing and mounting.

THE SETUP

After the session with KOGA Aimez Hybrid Power Amp, I have decided to go for a similar set up of my own system:
  • Musical Fidelity M1 CDT - CD Player
  • Dell laptop - CAS
  • Musical Fidelity M6 DAC
  • KOGA Pentha pre amp
  • KOGA d'Bomb Power Amp
  • Speaker Cable - Siltech Classic Anniversary 330L
  • Interconnects - Siltech AES/EBU digital cable, Siltech RCA 


FIRST IMPRESSION

It started off to sound quite thin in the first few minutes of the unit being hooked up to my system. However, the underwhelming feeling changed when I put on a track from the KOGA sampler CD. Sound was forceful and solid in many ways.  A burst of enery was injected in comparison to the Aimez model.



SPECIFICATION

The unit came in a similar sized black matte casing of the Aimez although it is slightly heavier than the Aimez. The front fascia just comes with a sexy blue lit power button which matches well with the rest of my set up. The rear is equipped with input a pair of gold plated RCA input for connecting to a pre amp (recommended to be with Pentha) and a 2 pairs of speaker binding post that can take standard banana plugs. It also comes with a standard 3 pin plug power cable. The basic specs:
  • Freq response 10-30kHz
  • Input impedance 50kOhm
  • Output impedance 4-8 ohm
  • Built-in speaker protection
  • Full discrete Class AB amplifier.
  • High current output.
  • 40 watts RMS per channel
TEST TRACKS
  • Angin Kencang (Live Piano Version) - Noh Salleh (MP3 - 256 kbps)
  • Widuri - Broery Marantika (CD)
  • You Were Always On My Mind - Willie Nelson (CD)
  • The Last Goodbye - Billy Boyd (MP3 - 256 kbps)
  • Gabriele's Oboe - Ennio Morricone (MP3 - 256 kbps)
  • All Outta Angst - NOFX (CD)
THE SESSION

Angin Kencang is my new obsession ever since the release of the LP version a few weeks back. The live piano version became my first choice as it sounded superb on LP. Big and spacious but when played the iTunes version, it lost all the excitement and big airy sound. But with the addition of the d'Bomb, the big and spacious sound was back. Each note of piano was fully extended, providing a deep and detail presentation and the huskiness of Noh's vocal was extremely emotional. The d'Bomb injected such a lively atmosphere to this song that it felt that I was indeed in a live concert. The high strung sound of the piano was really high pitched but it was far from sounding irritating. Perfectly delivered.



Playing an oldie song by Broery entitled Widuri, reminded me what music was all about - Emotion. This was my late mum's favourite song. Listening to this reminded me how she was cuddling me while listening to this song with my late father on his turntable. Broery's vocal was vibrating illustriously giving such a deep and bold presentation. Sound staging was big and elevated more compared to Aimez. The  saxophone sounded extended .. filling up the hall with such poise and authority but in a very ballad way. The musical body sounded very bold and solid.

Willie's rendition of You Were Always On My Mind is where this d'Bomb shined. I thought the Aimez already deliver all the gem from this track. Boy I was wrong. d'Bomb provided even a more detailed and expressive nature of this track. Layer after layer of emotion was presented  where there was a clear cohesiveness between Willie's vocal and all other musical instrument to make up that overall tonal balance. 

The Last Goodbye was another track that can show what d'Bomb can do to your system and justify the speakers you have.  Very open sound but details of the music was not lost nor dispersed at all. The overall presentation of this track mellowed towards subtle yet forceful.As the music builds up towards the last stage, d'Bomb continues to control the the honesty of any tracks fed through it. 

  

The track of Gabriele's Oboe, was sooooo soul touching. It is just flowing through air as it wraps your emotion and mind towards this masterpiece. Each wind instrument was telling a story via this d'Bomb. I cant help but to question my understanding about wattage. This is a 40 watter that does not show any sign of stress to drive my D18s. And it does not need me to crank up the volume beyond 10 am  to get a decent presentation. Most of this review was done in a moderate level of volume but the details that this d'Bomb can give is simply astonishing..

Now something for the bass. NOFX's All Outta Angst provides a mixture of solid bass drum, trumpet and back stroke guitar The trumpet intro was really smack in your face authoritativeness. Once the drums came in, every single kick pedal sound was delivered with a solid and full sound. Fat Mike's vocal was with great intonation as oppose his usual flat and lazy singing method. d'Bomb can handle some serious bass works with ease.

THE VERDICT

KOGA d'Bomb is indeed much more than its smaller brother Aimez in many ways. But it should not be compared between them as each unit caters for specific listeners preference. KOGA d'Bomb deserves to be partnered with medium to high sensitivity speakers. Spacious and big sound staging, authoritativeness, solid bass with no dispersion or sound loss, tonally balanced are just some of its strength.  If you can go for that extra dough, I fully recommend this model. It is priced at about RM800 ~USD 250. Listeners who would their system to sound big and yet full of detail, you owe it to yourself to audition this unit.

KOGA Audio can be contacted via email koga.audio@gmail.com 

And.... they are proud to announce that they will be participating in this year's KLIAV show between 3rd to 5th of July.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

HeadFi Community Service

A new-ish headfi outlet was broken into recently. If anyone encounter people trying to sell high end headfi items at ridiculously low price, please contact the Willy.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

KOGA Audio D'Bomb Is In Da House


Aimez's big brother is with me now for review. Cant wait to hook it up.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Malaysia Entertainment History! .... Puteri Gunung Ledang & Noh Salleh


This week in Malaysia, there were 2 exciting releases:
1. Puteri Gunung Ledang 10th Year Anniversary Limited Edition Bluray Boxset... first bluray for a Malaysian movie. Encoded with 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio and remastered picture quality for high def.
2. Noh Salleh's long awaited LP. Pressed in Germany in 45 RPM. Excellent sound quality.
Watch out for the review soon.

A very fine blu ray box set release for this legendary Malaysian movie. Kudos to Datin Seri Tiara and her team for all the hard work making this movie 10 years ago and also for the high quality remastering of the audio and visual of this movie into this blu ray masterpiece.

The packaging alone was also of high quality design. Complete with high density photos of some of the scenes, an audio CD and also a simple booklet. Outer packaging is also classy.

Picture quality is of the finest I have seen so far for local movies. The colours came out vivid and realistic. It was difficult to spot any CGI graphics unless you focus and try to look for one. Every single detail on people's face expression was very clear and refine. Yes, I was having the Darbee on, but even when I turn it off, it was still better than any other local movies I have experienced with. 

Audio quality was with 5.1 DTS HD MASTER AUDIO. The result of the remastering into this was mesmerising. Often enough the rear channel managed to create an atmosphere on top of Gunung Ledang with the birds chirping etc. As I was using my front height speaker to produce 7.1 channel, the scene at the waterfall where Hang Tuah met his love, a very big soundstage was created with the front height speakers producing a waterfall effect covering my front wall.

However, the LFE could have been enhanced more. The one or two scenes with explosions when Hang Tuah was fighting with the King of Majapahit mano et mano, the mastering did not manage to give the vibration that I usually enjoy from my SVS subwoofer.

Dialogue on the centre channel was crystal clear and mixed well with the front left and right channel and also the front height.



Overall, it was  good buy as this movie is just not classy, but with this high quality production of bluray, the other local movie makers should take the cue from Datin Seri and produce more of this high quality movies.





In my record, Noh Salleh is the 3rd Malaysian artist that have jumped onto the LP production bandwagon. First was Zee Avi, then Aizat and then comes Noh.

Although this mini album was released a few months back, Noh's decision to issue the album in LP was good one. And he did not deprive his fans from having a high quality in sound and made on this LP. Pressed in Germany I was told, Noh decided to issue it in 45 RPM mode.

Sound quality is at par as per some of my audiophile quality. If I was to give a name, it might be as comparable to MoFi.

Kudos to Noh and his team for producing such high quality LP....and music for that fact.

Next month... Sil Khannaz LP to reviewed. 

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

The Legendary Puteri Gunung Ledang Now On Bluray

One of the most successful local movies.... now available on Bluray... and an option for boxset as well.

Will be receiving mine latest by 9th March.

For those interested to purchase, please contact Alice:

Alice Thomas (Ms.)

Enfiniti Vision Media Sdn. Bhd.
No.28-2, Jalan PJU 5/20D,
Pusat Perdagangan Kota Damansara,
Kota Damansara PJU 5,
47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

T: +603.6142.9877
F: +603.6142.7978
M:+6012.712 2425