Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Kronos - The Next TT Revolution In My Book























Every other hifi visits that I go to, I get to see various unique turntables. Each with its own merit and forte with regards to certain sound character and also the mechanism of the TT itself. AFO, Clearaudio, Thorens, Lenco, Dr. Feickert, Rega, Musical Fidelity, Linn etc...each of them carry a different experience. Owning a Clearaudio and Lenco (used to), I have grown accustomed to certain level of excitement in listening to TTs when I listen to a fellow audiophile TT set up. I am 'blessed' with a strong will of going back home and still feels that my set up is able to deliver the same satisfaction and at times, even more than these other TTs.

But on 24th October, I have experienced something different. An excitement that left quite an impression sonically of a very unique TT; built wise and sound quality. Thank you to Victor Pheh of HiFi Creations for his invite to a private listening session of the mighty Kronos. I also had the privilege to meet and chat with Kronos designer Mr. Louis Desjardins.  The first time I had listened to this TT was in 2015 KLIAV show back in the mid year. And it was already mind blowing at that time. Snippet from that show below:



Now, this write up is not a review. It is more of an experience sharing of a wonderful music listening day... delivered by a Kronos - The Next TT Revolution In My Book!























I will not bore you readers with the technical specs of this unique TT as the net is already full of technical spec reviews of it. It is a TT with the highest number of awards received at least for this year. But what mattered to me how it faired in providing the listening pleasure.

Maybe the one thing technical I will mention here is its dual platter system; with the bottom platter counter rotates. This is the heart behind this TT. This is claimed to eliminate the torsional forces. For full specs, please click here.

THE VENUE

This TT was nicely set up in a small cozy apartment, fully converted to be a dedicated listening venue. There are still some minor works to be done but relatively a very comfortable and sonically acceptable venue to do some critical listening. The Kronos was supported by Magnet amps, Nagra pre and Skogrand cables throughout. The power management was via Frank's Power Banks. Six of them if I am not mistaken!

THE LISTENING SESSION

The first few tracks were selected by the host and Louis. Coincidently enough I believe this first track was by Louis Armstrong. The vocal sent a chill to my spine. Such emotion that I can feel it to the core. The deep 'rough' voice of his was unmistakably very well delivered by the Kronos. The trumpet of his, was soooo melodious and energized yet still delivered an overall airy and lively ambience. On top of all that, I can hear layers of music presented throughout this track. From the soft 'background-ish' percussion to the centre stage of the vocals.



I have not listened to techno music for such a long time. And even that, my exposure to this music genre was limited to the music I heard during my clubbing era. Louis then played Doin' It Right by Daft Punk. Even though I am not really into this music genre, it really got me going. I literally got up and started to move my head to the rhythm and beat. Excellent extensive bass delivery. Looking at those huge towers you call speakers, I was expecting a hard hitting and physically in your face bass slam. But no. It was sweet bass I call it. Extended low end that wraps around you throughout. Nice!




One of the track that I requested was this Metallica's rendition of Lynyrd Skynard's classic Tuesday's Gone. I have purposely brought this LP along as I have yet to find one other set up that can deliver a heavier music genre especially metal. But yes, the Kronos delivered such a distinctive performance even for Metallica. Heck, if James Hetfield hears this, he might be setting up a Kronos in his home! Lars's drums on this track was presented in such detail that the dispersion of the snare and hi hat sound was very evident. Again, wind instrument, the harmonica in this song sounded very melodious with a level of sharpness that was just adequate to create the emotional harmonica solo. Detail and more details... thats what I can conclude from this track... and it was the highlight of the session for me.


THE CHIT CHAT

Louis is a very passionate man. Passionate for music. For the perfection of music delivery. Throughout the 3 hour session, he was moving around making sure everything was set up properly. To the question on where to start when building a system, he strongly believes in the source. Get the wrong source and your amps and speaker will not be able to deliver. He also have a preference on a tube phono stage for its sound. But the Kronos can deliver the same performance with other type of phono stage. High efficiency speakers is also good to be in a system. Technomusic seems to be Louis's interest and he is very passionate of it. However, I was surprised that he played the Metallica track at least three times :).

THE CONCLUSION

You want to listen to the black disc? Really listen? This is one TT to me delivers what the LP medium is intended to deliver. The science behind the dual platter spinning in opposite of each other, eliminating torsional forces means nothing if it cannot deliver the music to the audience. And this TT, my beloved readers, is the one TT that I personally feels have delivered the long awaited quality. I have heard various tweaks, mods, design have been introduced in the market with regards to suspension, stability, vibration elimination etc, but this gem, definitely delivers what it claims. This is one session that made me feel uneasy when I returned home and started listening to my set up again. It might be the whole she-bang of Kronos, Magnet, Nagra etc.... but I believe in garbage in garbage out... But in this case, the Kronos was definitely putting in top quality caviar into the system...

My set up is not necessarily expensive in this beautiful world of hifi in comparison with the high end set ups but I have always been contented that I have reached that level of satisfaction. Even coming back from listening to various set ups of friends and show rooms, I still am very happy with my set up. But this day, Kronos has put something in my conscience that I am missing something.

Thank you again HiFi Creations and Louis for a very entertaining session. Kronos is definitely a beauty in all aspect.

If anyone interested to audition, please call Victor on +6012 2962799

Look at the smiley faces below...




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