Summary of previous updates
(more for my own reference than anything else actually)
Back from NY (some random comments)
Back from New York. Had a wonderful time shopping there. My absolute favourite CD/DVD shop is Disc-O-Rama. There are 3 branches - 2 at W. 4th Street and 1 at Union Square (next to the overpriced Virgin Megastore). CDs at $9.99, DVDs with US$29.95 list at US$19.99 and buy 3 get the 4th at 1/2 price. Further, I know guidebooks often mention Sounds at St.Marks Place with CDs at $9.99 too. But Disc-O-Rama is more 'honest' as it sells promo CDs for less. Sounds sells promo CDs like normal CDs at $9.99.
Also surprisingly, the Tower Records at Broadway doesn't suck - HDCD remasters of old Joni Mitchell albums at US$7.99!!!. The Tower Records in Singapore and Sunset Boulevard in LA are awfully expensive. Virgin and HMV are expensive.
and get this: Starbucks coffee is cheaper from Borders than from Starbucks. And the Mocha Frappucino tastes about the same (non-Coffee drinker here)
Oh yeah, I enjoyed myself shopping at Century 21. To avoid crowds, go there first thing in the morning. Nice selection of ties. Shirts its hit-or miss whether they have the size/design you're looking for. I also visited the factory outlet/mall at Niagara Falls. The Ralph Lauren outlet was pretty good selling good stuff but the CK outlet was a joke, its clear that CK manufactures cheap stuff solely for sale at factory outlets (and for shops around Peninsula Plaza :)). Anyway, whatever the outlets didn't have, I bought from Macys [at least I know that the stuff I buy at full price isn't on sale at factory outlets] -- and yuck, though they were having their fall sale, all the stuff I bought wasn't discounted. Sigh.
Important Information. Thanks to Chris for the info, but you can actually buy ProGold direct from Spire technologies, and they have G100.
Contact Spire via e-mail here. Block 21, Kallang Ave, #06-169/171
Am on the verge of mailordering a BrightStar Audio Gemini Twin (a sandbox+inner tube combi isolation platform). Barry Kohan states that he'll sell at list and absorb postage to Singapore (like Mike Vansevers does for his power conditioners). But first, must look for a good cheap source of fine clean sand (without metals inside etc); thinking of looking to aquarium shops...
Klas Audio (OK, you can stop groaning) has renovated and taken back the adjacent unit. They had a pre-renovation sale with the Dynaudio Audience 50 at $950+GST, which seems like a pretty nice price.
Mission Speakers. As you may already know, Asia Sound is bringing in Mission. Have to check up on the prices, but generally, Asia Sound has ok prices.
September'99: Anyway, I've tried the Pro-Gold G5 and I'm pleased to report that it does work as well as G100. I guess you really have to spray on a lot more (spray and wipe off, spray and wipe off, spray...) I took out my drivers and sprayed the connectors. The highs actually opened up a bit :)
Nothing much yet. Having nothing much to do, I've been doing A/B comparisons of my Panasonic A310 vs Pioneer DVL-919 DVD players. I actually like the Panasonic's picture better (I can't believe it, so I'm going to do more careful testing :)). As a transport, the Pioneer is better. My Sarah McLachlan videos DVD sounds more 3-dimensional with the Pioneer as a transports. Full review maybe later but this month: Reservist then overseas leave (CD buying trip :)) [oh yeah - both DVD players belong to my parents - I'm borrowing the Panasonic long term until I buy my own -- and it must have DVD-Audio support so its a long way off :)]
August'99: Bought Pro-Gold from CD Acoustic (which is a dealer from Electrades) Got home, used it, and realised that the one they are selling is the super dilute 5% solution 'G5' (5 for '5%'), whereas the one I've been using was the G100 - the 'super' 100% solution and which, honestly, only costs a bit more (200 ml of G5 same price as 50 ml of G100) but in total, contains 'more' Pro-gold then the G5. Anyone want an almost full can of G5? I'll sell it cheap. Looks like 1 more thing to look for when I go to the USA later this year.
Kingsley is going up to the 4th floor. And for surprising info, (thanks to Jacques for the info) - Pertama has lost the dealership for Mission speakers. The new dealer is designated as Asia Sound! However, when I spoke to the people at Asia Sound, they told they still don't have any plans to bring in Mission Speakers yet (maybe when the economy starts improving?).
Speaking of expanding, Hi-Fi specialist (the M&K people, Shakti Stone) have expanded, and so has Audio 88. Are things improving?
Absolute Sound has consolidated at Singapore Shopping Centre. Reference Audio has renovated; nice complete range of Hales speakers.
Bought QED Qudos at $4/m from Emjay for my office system as I don't need the previously long 4.5m length of my Audioquest F-14 (and I don't want to cut my F-14's into smaller pieces). Emjay (Peninsula) is selling QED Qudos Silver at $8/m, far lower than the $15/m at various Sim Lim stores, however, they're out of stock at the moment.
Jan 99: Margil 20% sale on all Nordost Cables. Reasonably priced flatline at last! :) Despite not being a biwiring fan, I just had to buy a 1.5m pair of Blue Heavens to biwire my system. Will report after breaking in the cable. Also have a 51" Projection TV and a DVD player (free with the TV). May update on home theatre soon. But I'm not buying DVDs till I visit USA. If I mailorder from DVD express and collect it from my relative in the US, and bring it back and pay S$8 censorship per DVD, you still save S$10+/DVD.
Note: January=RESERVIST. Heh, I'm on reservist now and fortunately the first week is almost all lessons. Can stay out and surf the web until exercise starts. Updated a bit of my hi-fi pages (I put date of last (major) update next to each section now).
Dec 98:2 Tweaks: EMI filter and a new general purpose cable.
Its a so-so Christmas season. Some sales. Platinum Studio for $1k. But otherwise gloomy due to the exchange rate & economy. List of updates:
Christmas CD to buy: Diana Krall This is a 3-song single with free desk calendar. Cost $11.97 from Tower. It appears to be a US pressing and Diana sounds exceptionally breathy and spacious crooning "Have yourself a merry little christmas".
Nov 98: Small hi-fi updates. Enthusiast listing updated. Advice from other audio enthusiasts. Thanks guys! Keep the ideas coming!
bought myself a Photosmart scanner as the promotional price brought it pretty close to the US price (of course, the US price is going down further). So I can finally start up a photography and travel page. My stack of CDs that I want to review is of course piling up. Went to SAVE '98. As expected, disappointing due to the economy. Will put up my impressions of it somewhere. Mailexcite, my e-mail service, just changed servers and they're taking their time to restore my saved mail... apologies therefore if I don't reply to your mail in the meantime.
Nov 98: I bought myself a Photosmart scanner as the promotional price brought it pretty close to the US price (of course, the US price is going down further). So I can finally start up a photography and travel page. My stack of CDs that I want to review is of course piling up. Went to SAVE '98. As expected, disappointing due to the economy. Will put up my impressions of it somewhere. Mailexcite, my e-mail service, just changed servers and they're taking their time to restore my saved mail... apologies therefore if I don't reply to your mail in the meantime.
Sept 98:Slowly getting up to speed. Revamping my Female Vocalists page (still under construction). So much to do, so little time.
Aug 98: Recovering from my holiday to California - fun, sun, and Yosemite :). Have made
July 98:I resolve to review my everincreasing CD backlog. At this stage, I'm just enjoying the music and not tweaking anything. Am starting up a computer advice page though I'm not one of those computer fanatics, friends/colleagues seem to want my advice on computers as much as they want advice of Hi-Fi. (but they still go out and buy Dells/Compaqs instead of assembling their own..) My Myself page is starting out as an index for these pages for the moment...
June 98:Slowly getting up to speed updating. Not much hi-fi wise. Am still wondering which power conditioner to get :) Have listened again to the CD-17KI-S, and the CDM 1. Not long enough to put up a proper review. Maybe I'll put up a 'general impressions' page :)
May 98: Work, work, work, seems like major updates will be less often (and I want to start up a photography page too - and in photography you can't pretend to be an expert, just put up your pictures on the website and people will know :)) but don't worry, I'm still around to answer e-mails. Just remember that I'm no expert :) If you want to share anything, let me know as I compile all your advicein this section
April 98: Tried out the $140 power distribution strip from Stereo Electronics. Comments at my tweaks page. Also decided that I can't afford a 105mm Micro Nikkor. Bought the new 105mm Sigma instead (yes, Sigma gets lots of flames, but they have a major distributor in Singapore I can turn too if something goes wrong - so far nothing yet)
Mar 98:Major facelift to the 'look' of my pages :- have used face=verdana,arial in some of my pages and face=arial in some. Lots of people seem to like verdana, personally, I find it too thick. Bear with me as different pages have different fonts/logos etc -- I'm still trying to decide which looks better.
Visited more CD shops. Bought Mission Impossible LD at $29.90. Economy claims victims. Friend the Music Cafe & Music Frontier closed. Hardly any additions recently as I'm messing around with my computer (and crashed it of course), I installed my Ultra-DMA Sony 32x CD rom (CPU limited, only capable of 20x on a P-133 system), being disappointed, i had to fiddle with it... and I'm relistening to all my CDs after putting in the XLO type 1 interconnect. The change is amazing. I'm a semi-skeptic but I think I'm converted... Bought 4 large AQ RF stoppers from Pertama for $49 (US list US$59.95!), I think I hear a difference (as opposed to the 2 small 'radio shack' stoppers where I wasn't sure). Anyway, I can say that I'm very content with the sound. Time to look for a LCD projector :)
Feb 98: Audio Suite's XLO Reference series sale. Type 5 for $800? Am saving for pre-amp, but very tempting. Just got my 0.5m type 1 interconnect, no more tangled 1m lengths for me :) Tried repositiong my speakers which takes time (cos' you should listen to music for several days per position before deciding :)) Music Warehouse clearing some audiophile CDs cheap. Most of the Sheffield Lab line such as the famous 'Kodo Drummers' disc ($18). Jan 98:Have decided to put scans of some rarer album/single covers up on my pictures page. News: Tower selling Rebecca Pidgeon Gold for $23.90.
Quad 77 broke down, under repair, decided to get a McCormack DNA-0.5 deluxe before prices go up (thanks to Hansen for his recommendation). Reviews on hold as I run in the amplifier.
Dec 97:DaDa sale, CDs $12 each, LDs 50% off (bought an X-files LD for $24). Revamping music reviews index. Listened to the Bedini Ultra-Clarifier. Did it work? I have a new opinion:click here. Purchased Tannoy M2s as rear surrounds. In-room response down to 30Hz a big point, since the Ms05s choke when I play 'Twister'. Will do a comparison review vs Ms05/10i, Mission 731Pro soon. Also, finally got 1m of type 4 as jumpers for my Zephyrs. Transferred the DH squares to under components. The squares are a bit soft and make my speakers a bit too bouncy (worries about stability).
Jann Arden US pressing surfaces in Tower Records. Bought it despite the $$$. Definite improvements. I now have a 'home theatre system', no, I haven't given up the faith in 2 channel stereo yet, but I'm starting up a Home Theatre page
Nov/Dec 97: Bought 8 DH squares to place under my speakers. Detail and seperation clearly improved. Will definitely be buying the full size DH pad when I have the $$$ I'm wondering if I have a midbass problem now though... Rolling Stone Women in Rock Issue A fabulous issue with a wonderful (and long) article on the history of women in rock. Try and get it if you can. More comments on my REL Subwoofer: I've added some comments on the Rel Strata IIs ability in 'Home Theatre' in my equipment review page.
November 97: Well, I've been buying CDs again. Quite impressed with Gramaphone's selection though the shop is in a mess. My cousin attended a Mary Black concert in the UK and sent me back a small poster. 'Inherited' an old sofa with an optimal listening height (4 cm lower than my chair), my system sounds even better :) Just been listening to music and spending money on computer stuff. Some major sugery to my webpages after getting my Wacom Penpartner.
If you're looking for a graphics tablet, the Wacom tablet (cordless, batteryless, pressure sensitive pen) is a dream to use. S$190. The next is the Genius Tablet which clocks in at $119 (with cord, not pressure sensitive). Get the Wacom! :) Oh yeah, if I start doing graphic intensive pages, I'll always have low-bandwidth equivalents... :)
October 97 pt 2:Finally bought some more CDs. Reviews soon.
Mana Soundframes not sold in Singapore any more. Tried to make my own makeshift
frame but didn't sound too good. Bought more Black Diamond Cones. Now my
speakers have 4 Mk 3's each under them. Sounds good. Will be getting some
Target spike shoes (well, that will raise the height of my speaker about
0.5cm :) Think I'll buy a lower chair. Saw a nice one in Ikea recently...
October 97: Busy (whats new), besides Janis Ian, didn't buy any music CDs recently. Been borrowing from my colleagues but nothing really exciting to report. Spent my time playing with my computer as I bought a QDI TX motherboard (jumperless) ,64Mb SDRAM and an Orchid Righteous. :) Next audio upgrade will be to either raise the speakers higher or to buy a lower seat as my sitting position is a bit too high 8) [either that or a power conditioner] Oh yeah, and Shawn Colvin cancelled because of the haze. Duh!
September '97 Just some minor updates. Tried out a power cord, found a source of (relative to US/German) cheap Australian Sonex Panels.
SAVE/HEX 97 August 28-31 at Le Meridien! Here's my report. Please feel free to add your comments!
August 97 Some updates, attempting to reorganise my Hi-Fi pages.Oh dear, I've actually spent more money and bought a Rel Strata II subwoofer.After a few days of running in I'm happy to say that it was worth the money though (review soon). Upgraded all my Shawn Colvin CDs (that weren't already) to US pressings.
July 97 One Word: RESERVIST. Then come back to work, find piles of it waiting. I've still been buying CDs hope that my reviews will catch up. Finally found the money to buy 8 Black Diamond Mk 3 cones - used to decouple my target glass shelves from the stand rather than directly under equipment. Magical. Also discovered the magic of XRCD - Nancy Bryan. Awesome.