Tube Fanfare & Galore with Thomas Mayer

It took some persuading to enter that audio room…

…but, it was worth it!

It was not your average audiophile set up!

It was not even a generally expected top audiophile’s set up!

To me, it was a galore and a fanfare of tube audio components…

…that made up a stupendous set up!

In my many years of audio visitation, that was one “WOW AUDIO SET UP!”

What impressed me more was that most of the tube electronics were assembled by the owner, Mr.Cheah!

He purposely purchased those tube electronics from THOMAS MAYER ( in KIT FORM!

So that he could have a hands on experience with them…

…and maybe personalized the audio performance and sound quality of each audio component to his liking (?!).

I am not electronically learned, therefore I can only imagine the thrill in building up an audio component.

I was told that Mr.Cheah has been in the Do It Yourself (DIY) game for around 30 years.

He has his hand on quite a number of DIY audio kits before his current obsession with THOMAS MAYER tube electronics.

He did not really specify the reason behind his heavy investments into THOMAS MAYER tube electronics…

However, I believed it is the uniqueness, quality and sound performance of THOMAS MAYER designs that led him further into them.

The few years that I attended the Munich High End Audio Show, I made sure not to miss the THOMAS MAYER demo room.

I found myself repeated those visit each time.

They sounded special; ‘uniquely alluring and humane’ that I rarely experience with other mainstream tube electronics brand.

I remembered that I asked Mr.Mayer of THOMAS MAYER AUDIO DESIGN which was his ‘best’ audio product?

Mr.Mayer replied that everyone of his product was designed uniquely to sound its very best.

Oddly enough, I agreed with him.

“Each tube has a certain design(s) to sound its best”, I believed.

Of course, to say the least, there is always a pinch of subjectivity in the above statement.

Mr.Cheah started the session with a brief introduction to his audio set up.

Not every audio component was connected.

He added that there were more audio components in the other rooms.

Currently, he is working on two (2) other tube preamplifiers,…

…and two (2) other tube amplifiers.

Then the music started to play.

Immediately, I was reminded and recognized that THOMAS MAYER’s sound quality even though the final transducers (Loudspeakers) connected were different.

I have to admit that I do not have much experience with the Tannoy Westminster Loudspeakers.

However, that special sound quality which was ”uniquely alluring and humane” was evident.

Listening to that presentation was “as if time stood still”…allowing the listeners to digest and experience each tone, from its birth till its death…

Therefore, one could easily hear the multi facets and layers of each tone.

Played a drum kit and literally, the vividness of the drum skin, the air movement within the drum, the energy, and more were all there!

When it came to vocal presentation, it was sensuous, emotional and with a pinch of ‘wetness’ (fluid).

Mr.Cheah played some bombastic tracks that filled the spacious audio room with hard hitting energy, slam and bang!

Then he revealed that the mono tube power amplifiers were but only 20 watts per channel…I fell to the floor in amazement!

I believed that my eyes and ears were opened from that audio session!

I deemed that Mr.Cheah’s tube audio system as one of the AUDIO PRIDE OF MALAYSIA!

List of Audio Components:-

Digital Source
Denon DN-951FA ( CD Cart Player)

Analog Source
Turntable – Garrard 301
Tonearm – SME 3012 S1
Cartridge – Ortofon SPU Synergy

Phono stage
D3a LCR Phono preamplifier with partial silver wired transformer ( Kit from Thomas Mayer)

Buffer preamp
10Y SE line preamplifier – all silver wired transformer version ( kit from Thomas Mayer)

10Y Differential Line Preamplifier – all silver transformer version. ( kit from Thomas Mayer)

Power amp
211 SE Amplifier(kit from Thomas Mayer)

Other preamp
01a/26 Line Preamplifier ( kit form Thomas Mayer)

71a line preamp( kit from Thomas)

Other transformer couple preamp with silver wired transformer

WE 101D DHT preamp
UX-201a DHT preamp
801a DHT preamp

Other DIY poweramp
71a SE Amplifier (kit from Thomas)