Thursday, 24 December 2015

KOGA MALAYSIA Member HiFi Session #1

KOGA Audio is not just a newly established local hifi brand, but it is also a following where there are active KOGA Malaysia members group on Facebook and also a Whatsapp group. The members varies from newbies to the product designer himself to DIY-ers to veterans to musicians. A bunch of happy go lucky hifi and music enthusiasts gents (unfortunately no female members yet) that just speak hifi and music all day long.

After quite sometime of virtual reality interaction, yours truly suggested to have the very first hifi session within the members. Based on the principle of enjoying the music and mutual respect of each member's set up, a date and venue was set. On a Saturday, 19th December, the first session was conducted. Mr. Shaiful of Bandar Sri Permaisuri hosted the evening for initially a group of 7 people. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, only 3 of us managed to turn up.

The theme for the day was on digital music.

Mr. Shaiful's set up was a simple set up comprising:
  1. TDL RTL2 speakers
  2. Xiang Sheng tube/solid state pre amp
  3. Quantum power amp
  4. Nakamichi CDP
As there was a request to listen to hi res audio, I brought along my Musical Fidelity M1 CLiC streamer/DAC/pre amp and a thumbdrive loaded with FLAC files of 24 bit 44/88/96/192 music files. I also brought the QED uPlay bluetooth module where it is connoected to the CLiC via optical cable.

Shaiful also play flac files with a tablet as it source. Directly connected to the Xiang Sheng preamp via a 3.5 mm stereo plug to a pair of VDH RCA interconnects, his system reminded me how beautiful the sound from the TDLs can be. Low frequency was extended and fill up his hall. With a hard thumping and extended bass, it sounded very warm and natural at the same time. One can argue that TDL does not deliver the true transmission line philosophy but hey, it still sounded good. Partially I believe the tube pre out from Xiang Sheng helped a lot to provide that warm sound.

We then tried connecting the QED optical directly to the digital input of the Xiang Sheng but it sounded a bit rough. Reminded me of the BRIK Audio set I had before. We then connected it via the CLiC and the CLiC connected to the Xiang Sheng. The sound improved giving a bigger soundstage to the set up. From there on we were playing various tracks for about a few hours. Jazz tracks like Dave Brubeck and Del Paxton came out a few times where the piano sound was very upfront and the vocals were really mesmerizing on Ella and Louise tracks. We also played a few of hi res Metallica but all of us agreed to switch back to melodic music like jazz and ballad. Hi res metal seems a bit on the highs and we prefer warm and controlled low end.
It was definitely a fun evening where digital format was playing non stop and we didnt feel fatigue at all.

We hope to have more of these hifi sessions among the members to share their music and hifi passion and also knowledge. As for Shaiful's set up, it does proof that hifidelity enjoyment can still be achieved at minimal cost. His set up cost lest than RM2,000 (about USD500) yet it still sounded amazing. Kudos to him.

Thank you again Shaiful. We shall have another session with your newly acquired KOGA Aimez power amp.

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