Sunday, 12 July 2015

El Hefe's Personal Awards for KLIAV 2015

This may not be What Hi FI Awards, but I really enjoy this year's show. Despite of physical economic situation, most of the exhibitors put  lot of effort to make good set ups. Its only fair to give thanks to all exhibitors.

Most Consistent In Performance Year After Year

PMC Fact 12 and Bryston source and amplification by AV Designs

It was rather a simple set up with Bryston B135 SST2 Integrated Amplifier, BDP-2 music player, BDA-2 DAC and BOT-1 Optical Transport. All hooked with Wywires cables. AV Designs managed to create quite a laid back but impactful set up in a moderately sized and open venue. Clean and detailed sound with subtle bass response.

Their full Bryston home theatre speaker set up was also very involving. They showcased a similar series that I experienced in their show room but now with Bryston ceiling speakers as well instead of PMC wafers.


Most Unique Design/Set Up

I have seen small ones, old ones, new ones, huge ones.... but never have I have seen a very stable and unique design such as the Kronos Sparta Turntable.

HiFi Creation set up two rooms for this show and both rooms feature Kronos turntable. At first glance, I thought it was a 2 in 1 TT.... only upon close look, then I realised its a 2 platter system with the bottom platter is moving counter clockwise. And upon further look, even the whole unit itself was heavily engineered where stability and isolation from vibration were among the commonly known issues for a TT design that Kronos have excelled to overcome.

Sound quality of the whole set up with Kronos, Magnet amplification, Skorgrand cables, Frank Power Bank, diffusers and Victor's own excellent bass thumping locally designed and built speakers, it was rather a very big and bold sound with lots of character.  


The Sexiest-To-Die-For

Devialet 200 and Franco Serblin Accordo speakers not only look so sexy but the sound quality surpasses a lot of minimalist systems. Very refined yet delivers substantial details and bass impact especially for relatively small speakers. I really enjoyed the shear sonic performance from this set up.

The Devialet 200 (if I remember correctly) amp is quite a character as it does bring out a lot of detail through the Accordo speakers. WTL Trading from Melaka have managed to set up these gems with optimum performance in mind. Now I wonder how this set up will sound in a more audio friendly environment.

Also thank you to their staff that explained to me the features of the amp and also the unique Accordo design.


Most Innovative and Compact ATMOS

Maxx Audio did it again this year. Even with a relatively small room to showcase an ATMOS set up, they did a marvelous job especially with their custom made 'ceiling' speakers stand. As the hotel did not allow to punch holes in the ceiling, Max came out with dedicated speaker stands as high as the ceiling. And with the dual SVS sub and Prime set up, the experience of ATMOS can be lived and breathed in this room. The demo disc was also perfect to compare between 5.2 channel and 5.2.4 ATMOS channel. 


Most Surprising Performer

SoulNote system from Japan, brought in by Audio Art from Ipoh. Very clean design, delivering crisp sound with enough low end impact. Very affordable audiophile set up. The biggest surprise was the 10 watter monitor amp is the force behind the performance of the set up on that day.


Endless-Spoil-For-Choice Set Ups

This award must be given to 'newcomer' to the show Stars Pickers with their spoil for choice headphones, IEMs and headphone amps. I believe this is the first year they joined the show eventhough they have been operating for nearly 2 years if I am not mistaken. Started off in Kepong before they move to their current shop in Kota Damansara. I personally like the Audeze EL8. Was heavily contemplating to get one on that day especially with the discount but I have to be patient. Their list of headphones ranges from Oppo to Audeze to Hifiman and many more. 


The Most Majestic

To my eyes, the Naim Statement carries its name as it intended to. Standing tall alongside the giant Dynaudio speakers, it was definitely making a statement to deliver a mighty view and sound. One could not resist but to step in into this showroom.


Survival of the Flattest

No, I am not referring to TVs. I am referring to flat speakers by nature but delivering fat and big sound. This award was a tie. Both Spatial and Clarisys provided an involving performance from their set ups. Spatial is smaller by size but is not shy to deliver a bold low end even with its open rear concept. Clarisys also deliver an astnonishing big sound and the clarity from them, makes you wonder how the whole set up works.


Most Awaited Product

Leben amplifiers are quite unique inn physical design and sound characteristics. I only know of one person who uses Leben locally. The one and only Sting as how he is known in the local hifi scene. Listening to his setup makes me wonder which company will bring these babies into Malaysia. And sure enough, this year Leben was showcased and very soon, according to Isaac, a local show room will be established.


Things That Should Have Been

Another awaited product debut is the home grown KOGA Audio. A newcomer with its own suite of amplifiers was supposed to be an exhibitor but due to a conflicting work schedule, the designer decided to postpone its official debut to 2016.


The Grand Award

El Hefe's most prestigious award goes to.........

Every exhibitor, press force, attendees, technical speakers, sponsors and of course Mr. Dick Tan and 3DotEvent company for another lively show.

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