Sunday, 26 June 2016

Musical Fidelity M3S CD Player - A Decent Upgrade From Entry Level

As I went to visit Tony of LTB Enterprise, the long time MF distributor in Malaysia, I finally got the confirmation that he is retiring and has given up his distributorship of Musical Fidelity in Malaysia. A&L Audio Station is the newly appointed distributor. Nevertheless, Tony still has a heap stock of MF products including this M3S CD player. As I am in the mood of upgrading my M1 CDT, I requested for a home demo of this unit from Tony. Thanks Tony.

And of course.... I needed another CD player to compare it with.... so the discontinued M6 CD player tagged along home!


Musical Fidelity maintains their high standard of packaging of their hifi products. The unit came wrapped in a soft velvet bag which gave it a luxurious feel. Not too mention that it also comes with a pair of white gloves.


This is a 2 in 1 CD player and digital hub as it also offers 3 digital inputs:
  • 1 x RCA coaxial (32 - 192 kbps, 16 to 24 bit PCM) 
  • 1 x optical (32 to 96, 16 to 24 bit PCM)
  • 1 x USB 'B' (Asynchronous data stream up to 24 bit/96kHz)
The DAC is a 24 bit Delta Sigma (bit stream) dual differential 8x sampling. If you fancy to connect to even higher spec DAC, this unit also offer 3 outputs:
  • 1 x RCA stereo to connect direct to amplifier
  • 1 x RCA coaxial
  • 1 x optical
It weighs about 6 kg unpacked and the dimensions are 440 x 100 x 380 mm (W x H x D)


Straight out of the box, the M3S sounded quite lively, surprisingly. It can be a harsh on the top side of frequency but it delivered quite a big soundstage that the harshness seems to be a minor shortfall. Putting on One Fine Day, the vocal was definitely the main highlight. It sounded bold and deep; just right for this type of lounge jazz. The bass is also another highlight for this first impression. It did not sound muddled at which in return, my expectation that the bass will sound even more enveloping once this player has run in properly.

Sampler 2 - Local Jazz

Recently, there was a resurgence of CD reissues of 80s and 90s local scene, one of which is Malaysian diva, Anita Sarawak. People have been skeptical of the quality of these reissues as it is selling between RM15 to RM20 (USD 4 to 5).  First of all, these new reissues is equipped with CD Text. The M3S display is clear enough for someone to read it about 6 to 7 feet far. This track Cintamu Muzik Di Hatiku. The bass goes quite deep and extended. Can be intimidating at times. The unique deep and bold vocal of Anita is well presented by this unit. The strength can be felt. The high is slightly overshadowed by the bass but it is sweet enough to give the overall reproduction a good ambience and big soundstage.

Sampler 3 = Percussion

Now with this famous test track on percussion, the M3S unit really delivers a punch to my system. It injects certain aggressiveness into this track with its huge sound stage. The sound dispersion of each hit of the traditional drums fills up the hall with a very lively ambiance. Its really free flowing of musical representation of the track. The highs on this track was delivered with a sufficient clarity and sweet sound. 

Sampler 4 - Vocal

Now, similar to the first impression, I find vocal is on of the key strength of this M3S model. Willie's vocal sounded very emotional which I do believe this player reproduction of the sound plays an important aspect of this. It really sent me a powerful vibe that the emotion flows fluidly from Willie.The overall sound on this track also provided a big soundstage which seems to be another trademark of this M3S design.

Sampler 5 - MD Replay

This is the first time that I am reviewing a CD player cum digital hub. Since my reference MDS JA20 ES MD player have always been fed into a separate DAC deck, I had to try connecting the MD Deck to this M3S unit via the coaxial input. Playing this track 'High' by Lighthouse Family, it sounded kind of harsh in the beginning and the bass is a little bit bloated as oppose to when I connect to my M6 DAC. The bass is a bit too mechanical sounding to me. 

  1. MF M3S CD player to MF M6i amp using Siltech Classic Anniversary RCA IC
  2. Sony MDS JA 20 ES MD player to M3S using Cambridge Audio coaxial cable
  3. MF M6i amp to ProAC D18 using Siltech 330 L Classic Anniversary speaker cable

As a standalone CD player, this Musical Fidelity M3S CD player excels in delivering a huge soundstage with sweet and luscious highs. For the low end notes, it can dig quite deep and provided a god bass extension to my set up. Unfortunately, I am not really convinced with its function as an external DAC to other digital equipment. The liveliness is somehow was taken away from the MD replay as oppose to when I use the M6 DAC. If you are looking at a decent upgrade from an entry level CD player, this would be a good choice to audition it.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Samsung SUHD TV Is Here In Malaysia

On Thursday 2nd June 2016,  marked the official launch of Samsung new SUHD TV line up in Malaysia. Set in the PETRONAS Twin Towers, it marked a symbolic message from Samsung that their new line up is a symbol of the peak of current technologies in the AV sector.

I was lucky to be among the first in Malaysia to experience this new line up by Samsung. Being an early adopter of previous models (first LED and first UHD Curve TV) when it was launched in 2009 and 2014 respectively, I could not miss this chance to see the new line up.

The event kicked off at about 230 pm with the opening remark by the President of Samsung Malaysia Electronics, Mr. Lee Sang Hoon where he mentioned some of Samsung excellent key milestone in providing technologies after technologies to the TV sets in our home

This was followed by Mr Jimmy Tan, Head of Consumer Electronics Business who explains further about Quantum Dot and HDR technologies being applied in this new line up.

“In the ever-changing climate, Samsung has always been about providing the ultimate experience in picture quality for our consumers, and that is how we came to create our new line of SUHD TVs. It is for our consumers that we focus our efforts to provide stunning brightness and contrast with the most realistic colour and clarity for every viewing environment.” 

After that, the media people was given the chance to experience the new TV line up in all its glory. I must say that this new line up has given another big leap in the visual side of things. I love my UHD Curve TV but with Quantum Dot and HDR, the colours are even more vibrant than my 2014 model.

Below is some information provided by the organiser:

Supreme Picture Quality with Quantum dot display 

Equipped with the impeccable Quantum dot technology, the 2016 SUHD TVs offer the most astounding true-to-life picture quality – providing a completely immersive, cinematic experience in the comfort of your own living room. The Quantum dot display can express 64 times more delicate colour expressions than conventional TVs, giving consumers the ability to properly see various shades of colours a conventional TV cannot showcase.

This year, all Samsung SUHD TVs feature the ability to provide a premium high dynamic range (HDR) experience, with the industry’s maximum 1,000 nit HDR for a higher level of contrast between light and dark images. The Ultra Black panel technology reduces reflection that interferes with the TV viewing experience. With that, viewers can enjoy watching TV comfortably in any environment without being interrupted by glare. 

360 design for Unparalleled Immersion 

Four years after introducing the first Curved TVs to the world, Samsung took on a new challenge; designing the world’s first bezel-less Curved TV to provide a more immersive viewing experience. Eliminating even the slightest elements, down to removing the screws, the SUHD TVs are an example of 360-degree design that looks stunning from any angle, allowing the TV to serve as part of a room’s interior design. 

With no bezel that normally functions as the border, the viewer’s attention is focused purely on what matters most – captivating content on the screen and maximising the immersive experience. 

Unlimited, Seamless Entertainment through Single Access and Single Remote

Samsung has also brought a significant change to its Smart TV service, Smart Hub. The Smart Hub – powered by Tizen OS, allows quick and easy navigation through content by integrating diverse content such as broadcasting programs, internet video services and games, as well as the default menu all on the screen. 

The 2016 SUHD TVs also eliminate the need to juggle multiple remote controls. It automatically recognizes the type of set-top box, game console, OTT box or home theatre system that is connected to the TV. This allows users to control all of the external devices with the Smart Control remote — with no setup required.

Samsung’s 2016 line of SUHD TVs can be purchased starting the month of June at any Samsung Experience Store and authorised dealerships – price ranging from RM 5,999 – RM 99,999 (inclusive 6% GST).  

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Vinyl Overload - Crossroads Records and The LP Freakstore

So, you search high and low for that LP you grew up with. You go on the internet and managed to find it... you click purchase and wait patiently for it to arrive in the mail. It has become too easy. Its almost has become like iTunes and Spotify.

Since I am on a break from work, I took the opportunity to do it the old fashion way..I dropped by two new-ish music store.


Run and managed by two young gentleman fondly known as Remy and Butet. Located in Kota Damansara, this first floor store not only sells the latest LPs but also various memoribilia and products from local independent designers. A modern outlay with a touch of antique but passiomately music based concept outlet. I have been buying from them online but being able to put a face on the chat messages made today's LP purchase more memorable and exciting.

The LP Freak Store X MARKAS
68-1, Jalan PJU 5/21, The Strand Kota Damansara

They are open Tuesday to Sunday 2 to 7 pm. Payment by cash or bank transfer.

Crossroads Records

Also located in Kota Damansara, shop owner Hafeez Rashid and wife made it a point that their shop is family friendly. Given the fact that he has travelled the world in his previous profession, he has a fair collection of pre-loved LPs he collected on his travels. Now, he is a collector turn LP shop owner, providing assorted musical genre, not only on vinyl but also on CD and cassettes.  Both used and new LPs are available at his shop.

You can hang out here for hours without noticing the time. it has listening stations, small pantry, a mini performance stage and also a surau. 

Hafeez grades his records using the internationally known grading system i.e. NM, VG+, VG etc. All LPs can be checked and tested before purchase and there is also a record cleaning machine for you to bring home spanking clean vinyls.

Crossroads have a decent collection of first pressings and if you are lucky, there are also master recordings. There are also some really rare ones, well at least rare to me such as Pearl Jam's No Code and Smashing Pumpkin's Machina.

Crossroads Records is located at:

Palm Spring@ Damansara Shop Lot,
Lot C- Seksyen 13, Jalan PJU 3/31
Kota Damansara

Operating hours:

Payment by cash or bank transfer.

Its really refreshing to spend time digging through vinyl crates to find those gems that really means a lot to you personally. I am no collector as I am more a music listener. But the feeling of getting the music you love on LPs while you flip them in the crate, is something that you cannot get by clicking purchase icon on the laptop. Not to mention that its even more fun when the shop owners like Hafeez and wife, Butet and Remy are fun and passionate people who would like to share their love of music and vinyl with others.

If you guys looking for something different from Amcorp Mall, do drop by The LP Freakstore and Crossroads Records.''

Both are also available on Facebook.