Welcome to my Hi-Fi and Music Pages. These pages are dedicated to Hi-Fi and the music I love. The 2 main sections are of course, my Hi-Fi and my Music Pages. Clicking on them will lead to further menus to facilitate navigation. Of particular interest to myself is a listening of the hi-fi systems of local hi-fi enthusiasts.
The Singapore Hi-Fi scene is pretty unique as basically the country is so small and your decision as to what Hi-Fi equipment you want is not circumscribed by the geographical location of your nearest dealer. Also, we probably have the smallest listening rooms in the world given the cost of land (though I think we are no less fanatical). I hope to deal with Hi-Fi topics in general and in relation to Singapore.
Mar'01 - I'm not really back :) More like a short break from too much work. Relaxing by writing hi-fi articles. I noticed that I never finished/posted my Proac 1.5 review. Anyway, the next article after this will probably be end of month or April (slow and steady pace hopefully)
Mar'01: I went to Asia Sound to listen to the Rotel DVD-Audio compatible Player with my Natalie Merchant DVD-A disc. Pretty impressive dynamics. Can't wait for more software. So far, only DVD-A thats out that I want is the Corrs disc...
March20: Yet again, I have been burdened with work and haven't updated much. I haven't bought any new hi-fi equipment for a few months... must be some kind of record. Have been 'upgrading' the aesthetics of my rooms tho' and I've just gotten my new IKEA sofa to replace the old beat-up sofa. Think I'll take some photos of my listening room and put them up soon.
Leslie has written a nice detailed article about Belden cables again which I will find time to put up soon. On the SACD front, for female vocals we get Mariah Carey and then Celine Dion (aarrghh!) By the way I got a free ticket to the Mariah Carey concert (the cheap seats in the gallery) and I was alarmed and how loud the sound system was even though I was so far back. I think that the people in the expensive seats right up close to the huge PA speakers are going to suffer permanent hearing loss for their troubles. Also, I realised that the Mariah Carey SACD isn't thin sounding... Mariah Carey's voice is thin-sounding! :) No doubt cleverly masked by reverb etc; but the SACD reveals all the flaws :) Mariah's famous 'highs' have absolutely no 'body' to them and her voice is really thin and diffuse sounding.
I don't have anything exceptionally exciting to report at the moment.
I'm still waiting for a DVD-Audio player.... In the meantime, I've 'borrowed' a Pioneer DVL-919 and using component connections to my projector using Belden 1505A cable.
Happy new year :) Another year, another component upgrade... (what shall it be this year - if I had only held on to my Creative Technology [dumped at $27]...)
Why didn't anyone tell me the Triangle Zephyr XS' are going for only $1,480? Check out a short writeup.
Speaker cable Shootout. Vdh D-352, Music Meter, Belden DIY
Picked up some bicycle inner tubes. Review here :)
Interconnect Shootout! Vdh The First & D 102 vs XLO Type 1 and Nordost Blue Heaven. Review here.
Just made up a 5 m set of Belden 1505A 75Ohm cable for the component connection to my projector. And you ahve your choice of colours for this cable - white, yellow or blue :)
Oh no! Its a SCD-777ES SACD player in my living room! (more repeat business for Desmond at Kingsley :)). Will review it soon. But for myself - where are the Pioneer DVD-A/SACD players? I don't have high hopes - Pioneer Singapore doesn't even bother to bring in the DV-05/09 Elite series.
Also, bought 12m of 89259 and the elusive Daiyo connectors (elusive because the word 'Daiyo' on the packaging is so small I didn't even know they were Daiyos) that T S Lim uses on his cables for my surround speakers. Will make interconnects and report back. Note: Shaun informed me that Daiyos are $15/4 at SL Tower but I bought them at $20/4 at SLS :( I will get the info on the shop in SLT that sells the Daiyo and get back to you..
Also, I've got myself a AudioPrism Foundation II after quite a
lot of people told me they were using it... It does work, and interestingly,
it makes the sound more upfront, lively and exciting (louder, even). When
I put return the Joseph Audios I can see whether its too lively with my
Zephyrs.... I've no intention of spending too much $$$ (must save for
DVD-audio - note Pioneer is still releasing DVD-A players on schedule)
and the Zephyrs are still great speakers.
Ok, I really, really, want a bass trap.
All my old announcements go here.
Scans of album covers and other material is copyrighted by the respective owners and is used here only for the purposes of review. This is a personal webpage and the views contained herein do not reflect the opinion of my employer.
These webpages are best viewed in a 800x600 window at 16-bit colour. I use Netscape Navigator but I may use Microsoft's fonts on my pages (Tahmoa, Verdana, Georgia) Don't like the size of the font? Just increase it with Ctrl-].
Mar'01 Daad bass traps/diffusors Room treatment and you can put your flower vases or table lamps on it :)
Bicycle Inner tubes - a $5 seismic sink?
Interconnect Shootout! Vdh The First and D 102 vs my current cables.
Jan'00: 1 on 1 showdown! NAD Silverline S100 vs Sonic Frontiers Line-1. Solid state vs Tube pre-amp. Will there be a clear winner? Find out!
Review of Audion ETSE Tube amp by Leslie (thanks a lot Leslie :)) New: I've also added my comments as I've just listened to the monobloc version.
SCD-777ES review coming up
NMy Favourite CDs of 1999: I haven't written about music for a long time, so this is a quick summary of the music released in '99 that I loved. Please go to my music pages :)
Triangle Speakers, Cairn amps and more thoughts on system building in building a system for $3k?
Joseph Audio RM22si review up.
Belden Cables update (reservist unit gave us a long weekend!) Leslie sent me an update to his comments on his Belden interconnects. Again, he wants to emphasise that just because its better on his system it doesn't mean it'll be better than yours. But I say: its so cheap why not try? :) Which is what I did. So I've moved everything on Belden cables to a new section. p.s. I bought both Belden interconenects and power cords, my power cord review will up later and yes, its recommended over stock cords :) (more updates! - Balanced Interconnects!)
Review/Comments on Sonic Frontiers Line-1, DH cones, various cables. Will do comparisons with NAD S100/CJ MF2500 when I'm really free (really heavy to lug upstairs for A/B testing:)) Then I'll add comments regarding the CJ Sonographe, Adcom GFP-750 etc...
September'99: Short opinions on equipment I've heard (subjective & preliminary only)
August '99: I've got to revise my articles but I'm so lazy. Here's a short opinion on floorstanding vs standmounts
June '99: Short opinion on digital - all ones and zeroes?
Articles I have, time I have not. Anyway, I've just added to my tweaks section detailing the effect of granite slabs under speakers.
Oh yes, I've gone to the Dark Side. I am now a Home Theatre enthusiast with a Sony VPL-W400QM. Review soon.
On a TV you can't really see the difference between LD and DVD, but on a projector, the difference is really clear.
Upcoming: My contacts list is quite sizeable, so I'll actually compile some statistics like most popular brand of CD player. Of course, because of new entries and the fact that you guys keep on upgrading means that the stats will keep on changing.
Always Needed: Your Hi-Fi contributions. If you've upgraded, thats also the best time to send me a review of the old equipment and your new equipment :) Trying to compile a cable review database as you usually can't audition cables.
Talk (May'99): I actually got an e-mail published in Stereophile :) Also, I've been trying to contact Bright Star Audio for ages and Barry Kohan finally e-mailed me (having noticed my letter in Stereophile). He just sent me a nice colour-inkjet printed brochure. When I go back to LA again, I'll definitely pick up some Bright Star products (and Pro-Gold... i"m running out :))
Corrs MTV unplugged DVD (from DaDa records) A simply excellent anamorphic DVD with a 48/16 PCM track. Wonderful.
Cher Believe DVD Me liking Cher? Hard for me to admit it, but I do like this DVD; it has a good selection of her Hits and a 48/16 PCM track
Celine Dion SACD Hmm, what could possibly make me like Celine Dion? This SACD comes dangerously close :)
Lucy Kaplansky, Ten Year Night Her first album was produced by Shawn Colvin but she sounds nothing like her. She has a deeper voice and her singing style is of the restrained sort without wide swings in volume. Initially, she still clung on to her day job as a psychologist but has since gone full time. There is some country-twang to the music (not much) and the recording quality is really good with the voice having plenty of body and presence. (its HDCD by the way).
Lynn Miles, Night in a Strange Town First off, really sounds like Shawn Colvin. A folksy singer-songwriter with rather pleasant 'lightweight' (but still good) songs and a very Colvinesque voice.
Sophie Mutter & Trodheim soloists - Vivaldi 4 Seasons Anne-Sophie
wearing Gap? In packaging strangely reminiscent of a Diana Krall CD, this
is a of course just a marketing ploy. I have her original EMI recording
with Karajan. This one sounds better though the mix seems 'spiced up'
and up front to appeal to the younger crowd. Also, strangely, this 1999
recording was not recorded using their 4D process.
Linda Rondstat/Emmylou Harris, Western Wall (The Tucson Sessions), I just love their voices. This is a great recording too. More adult contemporary than Country & Western too.
Sara Hickman - 2 kinds of laughter. Ugh, can't wait to go to New York to buy CDs. Spent $27 (evil Tower Price) on Sara's '98 album. Lightweight but highly enjoyable folkie/pop. She sounds happy and her happiness is infectious :)
Chieftains - Tears of Stone. This is an amazing album which features guest appearances by my favourite female singers - Joni Mitchell, Natalie Merchant, Mary Chapin -Carpenter etc etc and even a bonus track with Dadawa. Now at $16.99 at MPH ($1 off all CDs during great Singapore Sale), its fantastic value.
Out of 100 (yes 100) European pressings, I noticed a lone US press: Dixie Chicks, Wide Open Spaces [1999 Grammy - beat Shania] in the display, also at $19.99. Even though its a Sony label, its HDCD; will we see HDCD for Sony CD players? :)
Well , I've finally got a copy of Beth Orton's Trailer Park from Chua Joo Huat at $20. Previously this superb album was only available at $25+ at HMV/Tower. I'm still waiting to get her latest album. Finest example of English folk/pop available.