(Part 4 of 4 of Singapore Audio Trip June 2019)
The owner of that Ultra End Audio System, Gary has been an avid audiophile for many years.
I have been privileged to visit him and his set up on a yearly basis for some years now.
(MAGIC DIAMOND ALTAIR MC PHONO CARTRIDGE AND TONEARM)
The recent visit was, to me, somewhat unexpected, in term of the performance of his audio set up.
(TRANSROTOR ARTUS TURNTABLE)
Gary has been having (almost) the same audio components for some years. He only upgraded if there was a new iteration of the same model.
(FM ACOUSTICS 223 PHONO MASTER)
As always he welcomed me into the same audio room with a big smile and a ‘loud welcome’.
(FM ACOUSTICS 268C PREAMPLIFIER)
Strangely, that time around, his ‘loud welcome’ sounded different in the same audio room.
(THIXAR ACOUSTICS PLATFORMS)
It was not the volume of the greeting but the tonality…
(FM ACOUSTICS 1811 STEREO AMPLIFIER…4 UNITS)
Gary’s voice sounded natural…tonally balance, behind a quiet background.
I knew then that something was done to the audio room…
I could easily speak to another and hear from another…
There was no echo or audible reflection from my voice…
(GENESIS 1 LOUDSPEAKERS…HEAVILY MODIFIED)
Gary noticed my keen perception…I reciprocated with my enthusiasm of his latest efforts in his audio set up.
He played some of Michael Jackson singles; Thriller, Dangerous, Billie Jeans…the presentation was ‘lively’, energetic,…
The mid bass was solid, punchy, definitive, delineative, clean…ah yes, timely too!
It was a positive testament of the coupling between the treble towers with the bass towers!
Gary played “Fly Robin Fly” (by Silver Convention, Save Me ) which disco presentation was spacious, atmospheric, well imaged and controlled…(unheard of, right?)
We continued the session with more than 30 other tracks…mostly from Gary’s prized 12” singles…at peak 109.8dB!
At that peak level, most would have deemed “crazily loud”!
However, that audio system was able to present musicality (controlled and undistorted), natural detail, separation, soundstage (with good depth, height and width), balance tonality, and airiness (atmospheric), at that “crazily loud” volume!
To me that audio system spelled “TRUE ULTRA END” performance…
…which brought me to my important and curious questions…how and why?!
Gary generously shared that he has upgraded the following:-
1) the gauge of the ‘live’ cable from the main power supply to his audio room,
2) added a dedicated grounding for the audio room, and
3) treated the audio room with rough and coarse cement surface (as per photos attached).
I was most impressed with Gary’s latest audio achievement!
He humbly admitted that it took him 10 years to reach that level of ‘Audio Heaven’…
I was most encouraged and could not wait to visit him next.