This time around, I got myself invited to an ol’ audiophile friend, Jo Ki’s audio den, located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Some of you may know him as the main proponent of the famed British mini monitor, the BBC LS 3/5a….Thus awarded and acknowledged “The LS 3/5a Guru!”
Origin,…Jo Ki started his audio journey, almost 30 years ago, with the BBC LS 3/5a, and with a firm belief and confidence in its positive attributes in sound quality.
He has many a time iterated to many the rich history and the heavy cost that made up the BBC LS 3/5…which later proved to be the LS 3/5a, due to the cost and difficulties to manufacture the original LS 3/5.
As I always say to many, all you need is to spend a session with the Guru and listen to the LS 3/5a (s) in his ‘Ki Method’ of set up to truly understand his passion, commitment and confidence in them, and appreciate their attributes.
I was convinced and felt in love then with the ‘Ki Method of LS 3/5a’ that I bought a pair of the Graham LS 3/5 (reissued and unnumbered).
Then, my assortment of amplifiers were not suitable for the Graham LS 3/5.
Jo Ki advised me to get a Naim integrated amplifier (among others) to drive the Graham LS 3/5 that resulted in a musical match (strongly recommended).
That night, before the listening session, Jo Ki generously shared much of his experience and know-how to the accompanying audiophile and myself about his comprehensive collection of LS 3/5a and his current set up.
I believed that Jo Ki has a policy of “if you are willing to learn, he is willing to share”…
There was much warmth and sincerity throughout the audio fellowship there…
…I would add that that was also part of the ‘Ki Method’ (in sharing)…much appreciated.
Lately, Jo Ki has been experimenting with a new set up that united two (2) pairs of LS 3/5a!
I would say that it was ‘tricky’ to mate two (2) pairs of LS 3/5a, especially more so when they were not of the same made or manufacture!
Jo Ki would tell you that most loudspeakers comprised of drivers of different made too but compensated at the crossover and design.
Here, admittedly it was not an easy feat but a challenging one…
However, Jo Ki was not a type that shy away from a good challenge!
He has even devised some unique couplers to mate those LS 3/5a.
He confessed that those couplers took him some times and efforts to come about. I bet those couplers must be of certain design and material that were not to alter the native sound characteristics and attributes of the LS 3/5a(s).
His placement of the LS 3/5a(s) has altered somewhat…understandable.
It was pretty obvious that those monitors were wider apart and without toe in. I am not sure about any difference in distance of the speakers from the front wall though.
The rest of the cables compliment (mostly from Skogrand Cables) seemed unchanged.
In term of electronics, the digital source was of Bryston and 47 Labs (Japan), the analouge was a Linn LP12 turntable, and the rest of the electronics were of FM Acoustics.
Power treatments were by Torus, Frank Acoustics, etc…
All equipments and even some cables were tweaked with cones or some devices of his made, glass platforms, Mana Acoustics Racks, etc etc…
In other words, nothing in the audio room was left untouched or untweaked by the Guru!
Cables dressing was meticulously done to avoid unnecessary ‘interferences’…
The room acoustics treatments were tuned by Jo Ki with assortments from GIK and coupled those of his designs.
Now, to what’s truly matter…the total sound quality!
After so much investment (not just in monetary term but time, sweat and blood) we were not disappointed!
The pitch was accurate from the very start to the end of each tone.
Each tone was given time to start life, bloom and cease before the next tone came into being…and that alone, many have struggled to achieve…
Obviously, the Pace, Rhythm and Tempo (PRaT) were first rate!
The low frequencies were well extended, given the size of the drivers of those LS3/5a(s), and coherently too, to a point that begged the question am I listening to two (2) pairs of different made LS 3/5a!
Jo Ki preferred to showcase his audio set up in a darkened room. Any music that he played that night, I could have sweared that the presented soundstage was so much wider, deeper and higher than his actual audio room!
The retrieved and presented musical details were beyond my expectation!…and from a darkened background!
The presented ‘emotional content’ of any human voice was well delineated, palpable, dense, weighted, anchored and natively natural.
Finally, I wished to iterate that that night listening session, if it need to be summed up in a word, I would say “PRECISION”!
I left that listening session with ‘salutation’ to the Guru Jo Ki and gratefulness for his generosity in sharing his experience and knowledge in audio set up, tweaks, room acoustics treatments, etc, and a very fine dinner.
’The featured photo was taken from an article in The Peak, Malaysia’.
The list of Components:-
Bryston Digital Player BDP-2, Bryston Digital Analog Converter BDA-3,
LINN LP-12, Itok LVII Arm, Koetsu Rosewood Signature cartridge, Hercules Power Supply, FM Acoustics Phono FM-122
FM Acoustics preamp FM-155, FM Acoustics mono power amp FM-108,
Falcon Acoustics LS 3/5A, Rogers 70th Anniversary LS 3/5A, Rogers AB-1, REL Stantor II subwoofer
Wywire Cables interconnects and power cords, Skogrand speaker cables, jumpers and power cords, Shunyata power cord
Vendetta Isolator, TORUS 8A AVR Regulator, Frank Power Bank(2 units), Frank M5i, Frank Power Converter FPC-5000, Frank Cryo fuse.
Listening room size:
13’2″L x 9’7″W x 10’0″H