Wednesday, 23 September 2015

The End of The Revamp? Maybe...

After days of back breaking chores of shifting the set up from downstairs living room to upstairs hall, I have nearly reached to what I wanted as a combined set up between 2 channel music and 5.1 channel home theatre.
I have decided to maintain the following for my 2 channel set up:
1. MF M6i integrated amp
2. MF M6 DAC
3. MF M1 CDT
4. MF M1 ViNL
5. MF M1 CLiC (until I get a good price to let it go)
6. Clearaudio Concept TT
7. Oppo HA-1 headphone amp
8. Beyerdynamic T1 headphone
The only debate left is whether to maintain 2 different speakers ProAc and PMC in this combined set up.
My music (LP, MD, CD) and movies (BD, DVD) collection are now also in the same area except for CDs in which need to be shifted out from the jamming room to the hall.
My subwoofer also now found a new place... rear of the hall, thanks to the wireless system.
And last but not least... my 4TB NAS for music and movies over the network system.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Saturday Night Fever - The Musical

I do love going on a night of musical performance, may it be a concert or a play/theatre. So, when I heard about Saturday Night Fever was coming to town, I quickly booked two tickets for me and the wife.

Come 12th Sep, to mark the first day of my 2 weeks off from work, me and my wife headed towards Istana Budaya, Kuala Lumpur for the highly anticipated show. Heck, I even spun the OST LP in the morning to create the mood.

However, our night was spoilt by very bad acting of the lead role playing Tony. From his mumbling dialogue to exaggerating role of Tony (trying too hard to imitate John Travolta?) and being too flamboyant. To complete the misery was the fact that most of the casts were Asians e.g. Filipinos or Chinese. It did not create the American 70s atmosphere that I hoped for. I mean, I came to see the 70s America, not an Asian play. Its like watching Miss Saigon with Rita Wilson as the lead role. Uuuuurrghh!!!

Sorry.. but the show was lame. I had to watch the original movie again to restore my faith in how good and iconic the movie was. Not worth the amount I paid for the ticket.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Another Hi Fi Revamp - Part of The Growing Family Process

After 2 years having the spacious downstairs living room where I have hosted a few hi fi sessions with friends, it has come to another round of revamp requirement. Mainly due to my growing kids (all the running around between an 8, 5 and 3 years kids), the hi fi set up downstairs started to look 'bulky'. So, I have decided to to move up as many as possible hi fi gear I have and combine with my HT set up upstairs. A lot of my precious gave have been sacrificed and sold.
  • Bryston BHA-1
  • Lenco GL78 TT
  • AV Rack
  • SONY DVP S7000
  • Darbee
  • Lots of Interconnect and cable from VDH, QED, IXOS
  • Onkyo Integra TA 2600 tape deck
And the following... still under consideration whether to sell or not..
  • MF M1 PWR Power Amp
  • MF M1 CLiC streamer
  • MF M1 CDT
  • MF M6 DAC
  • ProAc vs PMC

However, we cannot live without music downstairs.... so now I am waiting anxiously for the Xount below.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Arcadia 1.0 Portable LP Player: A Passion Killer?

Recently, I read an article on 10 Best Portable LP player below GBP100 which one of them was Crosley. Most audiophiles will not agree to this kind of player, but not everyone can afford super duper turntable that costs a bomb. As far as I can recall, LP was introduced for music enjoyment and not for showing off one's wealth. Back in the days, LPs are played in kampung house, kenduri kahwin etc. My grandfather had one... my father had one.

When asked by my family what I wanted for my birthday, I thought of this Crosley unit, mainly to play LPs in my office. Unfortunately, I can't find any shop that stocks Crosley. I have seen other brands that replicated Crosley design and concept such as Makmal (famously sold by Rock Corner) and this Arcadia 1.0 sold by Dreams Studio.

A little bit about Dreams Studio. This shop was recently opened in Plaza Damas. Specialising in spoiling children and young at heart parents with its collection of Star Wars, Marvel etc figurines, this shop also offer selection of rare LPs, CDs and memoribilia. The Arcadia was among the items sold here. The shop also offers services to fix your warped LPs and also clean them. Owned by a passionate hobbyist, this shop is a cool place to hang out and get on of those rare items.


The unit is relatively light, meeting its purpose of portability. I opted for the Executive design in which the speakers are at the sides instead of in the front. Everything, as expected are plastic based material which made it a bit tricky to handle it with my wobbly hands. The briefcase itself was nicely finished with a cognac brown colour. Your really need to be gentle in handling the tone arm, taking off the protector from the cartridge, the lock to unlock the tonearm.

The unit is supplied with a USB cable and power adaptor. It basically runs at very low current and can also run straight off the USB cable powered from a laptop.


For a portable unit, it does come with quite a number of functions:
  • 33, 45 and 78 RPM selectable speed
  • Auto stop (at the end of the record and also when you move the tonearm to its rest)
  • Headphone Out
  • Aux In
  • EP adaptor
  • Stereo RCA out to connect to an amp
  • A pair of speakers with internal amp
  • 5V DC current input (power supply sold separately)
  • USB B to A to connect to a Windows/Mac based computers, comes with a mini CD for software and driver installation to convert vinyl tracks into digital files.
  • MM cartridge

I didn't go into serious listening as this unit was meant for background listening in the office. The first LP that I put on was The Beatles Tell Me Why and I Love Her EP. To my surprise, this unit can go quite loud without any cracking sound on the tiny built in speakers. It does sound quite harsh but at lower volume, it is relatively an acceptable sound given it comes out from a pair of tiny speakers on the side of the briefcase. This was on 45 RPM.

Then went in was one my favourite Tan Sri SM Salim's track Tak Seindah Wajah on 33 RPM. But I also connected the unit to my BOSE unit via the RCA stereo out. Of course, its then sounded wider and fuller with better substance to the music.

I particularly like the auto stop function. As oppose to my Lenco where the arm will pop up at the end of the last track, this unit just stop spinning. Also, when you want to change the LP side, just bring the arm back to its rest and the platter stops spinning for you to change the side safely. Just move the arm back on the track and the platter starts to spin again.

For RM510 (Executive model) or RM495 (black, blue and orange model), I would say it is quite reflective of the physical unit of the TT. However, I would say that it is still a handy and decent player for that low volume background music over dinner. However, if it was RM800, I might have a different view on this.


It might not be an audiophile unit, but it does deliver a nostalgic touch to the experience of listening to old LPs. It brings back memories of how the older generation in Malaysia enjoy music.

If spinning and basic listening is what you are looking for, do not hesitate to get one.

Dreams Studio currently have one last black unit at this price. If you are interested, head down to Plaza Damas soon.