The Music Hall of an Audio Reviewer!


Here, is the home of one of our local reviewer.

Mr. Foo has been an audiophile like ever since…

(Magneplanar 3.6 speakers)

…and of course, a music lover that frequent ‘LIVE’ performances at concert, philharmonic, etc…

He admitted to me with a big smile that irrespective of how great an audio set up maybe, it would never come close to an actual ‘LIVE’ performance!

I would not disagree with that finding.

I might add that most audio room, even treated by the best among us audiophile, would not be an equivalent to a philharmonic hall!

(Shindo Labs Masseto tube preamplifier)

However, the above did not deter most ambitious audiophile of trying to ‘bring that ‘LIVE’ performance back to the comfort of their home (set up)!’

When I came into the living hall cum audio space of Mr.Foo, I felt like I am in a miniature music hall that invite ‘LIVE’ performances.

We started off with some Digital Streaming playback of multiple genre of music.

Straight away I could appreciate the effect of ‘musical performances in a music hall’…

…I meant that there was openness, spaciousness, airiness and atmosphere in the overall presentation, irrespective of most music sources played.

(Sony HAP-1ES Digital HardDisc Player)

(Frank PowerBank)

I kept looking ‘Up, Down, Left, Right, Rear, Elsewhere’ for what gave such quality performance?

With all due respect to the total audio components therein that audio system , I seriously doubt that the credit was due to them alone(?!).

I asked Mr.Foo…he giggled and shared to me that many visitors were amazed and asked the same.

It was the living hall with all its height, width, length and ‘the ceiling’…Mr.Foo added that there were audiophile that imitated the size ‘the hall’!

(SL1000 Direct Drive Turntable & HANA ML MC phono cartridge)

Next, we proceeded with the analogue source and that was where (to me) the real deal was.

Imagine clearer images of musicians playing within a well spaced and ambient music hall (?!)

(Lenco L75 Turntable)

Even the plug of string(s) of a stringed instrument was clearly presented, and with enough transient of energy to impress any visitor (audiophile or not).

The detailing of the musical instruments, both micro and macro, were distinguished.

(DOCTT Phonostage by the late Sifu Lee Beng Swee)

I believed that the phonostage was to be credited for its low noise floor, accuracy, detail retrieval and tonal balance.

The phonostage in question is the DOCTT, an effort by the late Sifu Lee Beng Swee. He worked on an Ear834P tube phonostage (by Tim De Paravicini). From a glance of untrained eyes, I could not recognize the original EAR. Obviously the modifications included some NOS (New Old Stock) capacitors, features and then some(?).

Another notable quality performance was the ability of that set up with the Maggies (planer speaker) to play at almost ‘LIVE’ SPL, with no hint of compression…Mr. Foo gave some credit to the McIntosh Solid State amplifier.

(McIntosh MC402 Amplifier)

Lastly, I must credit the delicious home-hand made Mee with Duck eggs by Mr.Foo (his own tweaked family recipe) that he so graciously served…WOW!

That will not be my last visit there…Great Music coupled with Great Home Made Mee!

(Polk Audio Cobra Speaker Cable)