Malaysia 2017 hi-fi tour - 48 Hours Kuala Lumpur |
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回覆 (19): Malaysia 2017 hi-fi tour - 48 Hours Kuala Lumpur
Hi kris!  
Thanks for the further informations in the special thread for the LP. I actually purchased the export version...but that already sounds great! :-) So now I will go hunting for the exclusive Japan version.
回覆 (18): Malaysia 2017 hi-fi tour - 48 Hours Kuala Lumpur
Greetings der_yeti, happy to know u enjoyed the article and the music : - )  
There are 2 versions of the LP, ( both Japan issue), one for export ( double sleeve cover) and the other ( single sleeve) for Japan only. The latter was highly recommended to me and a collectable (will post some photos on Jazz Jive thread for easy reference).  
回覆 (17): Malaysia 2017 hi-fi tour - 48 Hours Kuala Lumpur
In fact, Ichiro Masuda's vibraphone sounded so freaking 3-D good (Eiji Kitamura Swing Session - RVC), I purchased couple of these LPs immediately upon my return!  
Thanks for sharing your impression of your hi-fi tour to Malaysia!  
Also thanks for the inspiration for the mentioned LP! Just received one today - very nice music and splendid sound!! :)
回覆 (16): Malaysia 2017 hi-fi tour - 48 Hours Kuala Lumpur
Awesome! Thanks for sharing
回覆 (15): Malaysia 2017 hi-fi tour - 48 Hours Kuala Lumpur
Until next time!  
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回覆 (16): Malaysia 2017 hi-fi tour - Gryphon Pendragon
Air Force One  
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Millennium Falcon  
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回覆 (15): Malaysia 2017 hi-fi tour - Gryphon Pendragon
Han Solo - The Force Awakens  
Everyone’s favorite all-around rogue from "Star War" now disguised himself as an Asian Audiophile / hi-fi writer in KL. Exploring Han Solo’s room proved to be a task beyond our galaxy!  
Han become involved in the rebel struggle against the digital empire forces him into the dark side of Analog playback. During the course of his journey, he formed a close alliance with multiple turntable combos together with a set of Gryphon Pendragon loudspeakers, young Han is set for an all out galactic war! Apparently, word-on-the-street is Obi-limage Kenobi may pay a visit to Han's galaxy in the not so distance future. This mission, should it take place, shall allow Obi-limage speaks to Han through the Force to help him escape from the dark side.  
Indeed, be an interesting encounter!  
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ps: specs & details on Han's set up , please refer to below link:
回覆 (14): Malaysia 2017 hi-fi tour - 48 Hours Kuala Lumpur
Dinner at " mouth kee": - )  
Up next Han Solo.........  
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回覆 (13): Malaysia 2017 hi-fi tour - Vincent Rockport
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回覆 (12): Malaysia 2017 hi-fi tour - Big Bad Ben!
Ben is now a tested, forged, bona fide Vinyl Man!  
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回覆 (11): Malaysia 2017 hi-fi tour - Big Bad Ben!
Ben's rig sounded lively as ever, always great fun!  
Unlike previous visits, we didn't play any CD or pipe organ music ( really scared everyone last time! ) , focus was on Analog playback. One thing quite noticeable, Ben's artistry & attention on his analog system has evolved over the years. Though he wanted to blow us away with his reel-to-reel, his analog playback this time around is one of best I've heard in recent years. The music had tremendous bloom and air, and background was drop dead quiet. I enjoy it immensely! In fact, Ichiro Masuda's vibraphone sounded so freaking 3-D good (Eiji Kitamura Swing Session - RVC), I purchased couple of these LPs immediately upon my return!  
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回覆 (10): Malaysia 2017 hi-fi tour - Food & Accommodations
Thanks to Ah Dan, we found a super funky spot for lunch.  
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回覆 (9): Malaysia 2017 hi-fi tour - Food & Accommodations
A quick note on Hotel, we stayed at the Hilton directly across from KL Airport express subway, took us only 20 mins to the airport. Amazingly convenient. Also a well known nightclub on the 2 floor as well!  
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回覆 (8): Malaysia 2017 hi-fi tour - Goldmund Apologue Anniversary
Apprehending the Apologue - Part II    " Unveiling the Goldmund Secret "  
On this final segment, in case any of you is thinking of taking pair of these babies home, let me walk you through the process on buying a pair of Apologue and the expectations (obligations) involved.  After little bit of digging, below some information which Goldmund may be reluctant to elaborate for the general public:  
1) Price: HKD $ 5 million ( give and take within a 50% + discount subject to the salesman's mood and his/her view on the buyer's worthiness) Deposit: HKD $500,000 ( nonnegotiable)   
2) Product:  A pair of loudspeakers composed of 5 stacked metal boxes on each side with built-in amplification ( Class AB) weight approximately 450 kg ( 990 lbs ) / each.  
3) Driver Configuration (per side):  2 Audio Technology woofers in twin-ported loading each; 2 paralleled Scanspeak midranges; 1 central Scanspeak tweeter; and 1 top-mounted Scanspeak super tweeter (rumor has it that the system runs via bluetooth similar to a mini potable bluetooth speakers). Note: Scanspeak drivers / tweeters also available on ebay  
4) Delivery & set-up :   Goldmund and it's agent will arrange the 2000 lbs + Apologue gear to be delivered to it's final destiny and sales price includes ( as a 1 time free visit ONLY) flying a team of experts from Switzerland to your home to install them. In Gan's case, both Veronique Adam (designer) and Anne Agiusn (sales manager) showed up. Though Adam holds a Ph.D. in technical sciences, high-fidelity music reproduction on the other hand, takes a bit of black magic to hit that "sweet spot". In golf, we call this syndrome " Powerless effort vs Effortless power ". And room coupling unquestionably plays a key role! In any case,  apparently both women were eager to lecture Gan on the subject during their stay. Surely, Gan enjoyed every minute of it!  Another critical note to potential buyers, the Apologue can not be set-up & operate without the  "Goldmund Secret Software" (a disc)  and the "disc" is NOT INCLUDED in the sales and will be kept away from owners at all times.  
5) Post- sales service: After the initial "free visit" from Goldmund technicians, the 1000 lbs (each) Apologue must remain exactly the same spot where it was originally " installed ". Any slight movement or  alteration (including assembly and re-stacking) will require a team of Goldmund technicians / experts to fly over once again  from Switzerland  to reset the whole system and give further counseling ( pretty sure they will bring the Goldmund Secret Software disc too !). Most importantly, owner has to submit himself unconditionally to these travel arrangements subject to Goldmund's standard, and to bear ALL cost!  
In view of above, Goldmund's sales strategy & set-up on the Apologue seems very similar to that of acquiring a piece of "Installation Art" . The advantage is that should Michel Reverchon decide to market the Apologue as piece of art instead of audio loudspeakers, he can righteously give out diddly-squat on specs & info. In fact, all deals are to be done only through auction houses ( Christie's,  Sotheby's, Bonhams ....etc) and the asking price of HKD $ 5 million is just chump change in the art world!   
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回覆 (7): Malaysia 2017 hi-fi tour - Goldmund Apologue Anniversary
" geographical expansion, and future merging and acquisitions...."  
Think I once saw the same line used at Goldman Sachs Website
回覆 (6): Malaysia 2017 hi-fi tour - Goldmund Apologue Anniversary
Apprehending the Apologue - Part I  
Unlike William Zane Johnson, Sid Smith, Jim Winey,Lew Johnson, Nelson Pass and many others, Goldmund Apologue offers no technical info (the website simply wrote" The Apologue Anniversary Technical Specifications are extraordinary... and highly confidential for now"). Even the price for the Apologue is a "Myth". Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for the Apologue ambiguously listed from HKD $3.9 to $ 5  Million ( $ 500,000 deposit), and our reliable sources (not Gan) reviewed that the actual selling price is almost half of that!  So......, I guess the " real" price is subject to the ability of the salesman (saleslady in Goldmund case). In addition, even some of most basic info (size and weight) is kept top secret, as if the company is determined to give out nothing unless is for the benefit in  "closing the deal". Here's the info  Goldmund "do" offer for your $5 million ...  
Cabinets: Five individual, all metal construction  
System: Four-way, six-driver system  
Low-Frequency Section: 2×305mm bass drivers each driven by 300-watt Telos amplifier  
Midrange: 2×178mm midrange drivers each driven by 300-watt Telos amplifier  
High-Frequency Section: 25mm dome tweeter & 12mm dome super-tweeter, both driven by 300-watt Telos amplifier  
Frequency Response: 24Hz to 30kHz –6dB  
The other unsettling thing is Goldmund's literature uses lots of " big words" borrowed from renowned manufactures of various products (Goldmund Custom Shop, VIP channel, Custom Shop experts,  Goldmund specialists from our Geneva factory.....etc) as if they are a certified multinational corporation with thousands on the payroll. But in fact, Goldmund is only a 15 employees company operating from what appears to be a low-rise commercial building.  
Speaking of employees,  this got to be Goldmunds' ultimate deep secret! They left no trace what-so-ever on the design of the Aopologe. In fact, the only hint I can recall on any Goldmund design came from an old read " They're actually a hi-tech lab who build product only to fund their ongoing research. One current project expected to lead to actual product by the end of 2015 is active real-time room correction below 120Hz by using counter-phase subwoofers with embedded microphones. Spatial's Black Hole was a very primitive version of this technology first proposed by Nelson Pass decades ago....."  
On on a more promising note, the 2 names (and their faces too!) that often surfaced on Goldmund merit & recognition at every opportunity are Michel Reverchon ( CEO) and Anne Karine Agiusn (Sales and Marketing Director). These 2 appears to spend lots of time traveling around the world on company perks ( or at the expanse of their customers) and enjoying themselves in the name of  "Goldmund Expert" .  
In closing on this Part 1 segment, and to assure all potential Apologue buyers that their money be well at Goldmund, here's a section taken from Goldmund official website written by Michel Reverchon under " message from CEO" .  
" Finally, to keep on bringing the best products and provide the service our customers expect implies that our company had to remain exceptionally strong financially, make strategic choices that include appropriate projects in terms of marketing and branding, geographical expansion, and future merging and acquisitions. For this, we carefully select our collaborators amongst the best existing in their field. Our Direction Committee happens to regroup 4 Phd’s and 5 MBA’s. Our communication Advisor, Dr. Philippe Daros is Maitre de Conference at the worldwide famous La Sorbonne University and a PhD in semiology. Our Strategic advisor, Dr. Carlos Jarillo has a PhD in Marketing from Harvard University, just to name a few. Excellence is a key work at Goldmund and touches all the aspects of the company. It is thus with unrivaled expertise and commitment that we will continue dedicating ourselves to the art of producing the greatest audio and video experience the most demanding customers can ever dream of. We thank them for their high expectations that have motivated us to reach for the top and look forward to sharing our passion with them. "  
Below some photos and link to an interesting article on Goldmund from 6moons.....  
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回覆 (5): Malaysia 2017 hi-fi tour - Goldmund Apologue Anniversary
Morning gents,  
Much like Brexit and Donald "Trailer-trash" Trump, the Apologue marks the beginning of a new era for Goldmund. Though they've produced some great hi-fi products in the past: Reference turntable; Eidos Reference CD player; Telos 5000 and Gan's previous Telos 600 & WAMM system was, is, and always will be one of most impressive rigs I've heard in over 40 years, calling the Apologue a piece of hi-fi equipment, or Goldmund as a hi-fi manufacture (same goes for FM Acoustic) may be a little bit of a stretch!  
Before further thoughts, let's have a look at this exceptional sculptural object based on the '"designer" obsession on robotic shapes................  
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回覆 (4): Malaysia 2017 hi-fi tour - 48 Hours Kuala Lumpur
CD do sound better than CAS  
You must have run into the wrong CAS combo, particularly the rotten apples.  
回覆 (3): Malaysia 2017 hi-fi tour - 48 Hours Kuala Lumpur
Here we are at 2:30 am!  
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回覆 (2): Malaysia 2017 hi-fi tour - 48 Hours Kuala Lumpur
On a side note, I am not a believer of CAS ( Sorry limage!) , and it would be a shame to see a rig of this calibre not being able to stretch it's stuff with a decent analogue play back system.  
ps: CD do sound better than CAS :-)
回覆 (1): Malaysia 2017 hi-fi tour - 48 Hours Kuala Lumpur
Dr. Paris MBL combo is truly an all round player, I've taken the rig to deep water with couple of my reference organ recordings. Virgil Fox pipe organ came out with flying color, the pedal pipes reached deep water , I mean Subantarctic Deep! The problem is the room is simply not big enough. And on Hammond Organs, though I couldn't find any Jimmy Smith , but fortunate to get a couple Joey DeFrancesco tracks on play. In short, there are very few systems out there that could distinguish between the sound of a Hammond B2 as to the C3 organ - MBL is one of them!  
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Malaysia 2017 hi-fi tour - 48 Hours Kuala Lumpur
Greetings everyone.  
What a start into 2017!  
Just when my golf game hit rock bottom, devastated by a recent loss to 17 years old little Jasmine (a junior tour player that could drive 260 yards off the tee and 200 yards off the fairway persistently), Jleung's invitation to KL couldn't come at a better time! So couple weekends ago, Tony88, Kh and I joined Jleung and his posse on the first leg of their Malaysia 2017 hi-fi crusade. Here to share the excitement we had during our 48 hours stay, hope the photos bring you some pleasure, as it surly did with us making them.   
If being an audiophile is a form of self expression, then perhaps "music" is not always the end goal - be too simple. At high-end exotics, it's about the "pursuit of happiness" at a rather personal level , and the complexity (or simplicity) of one's viewpoint and the ability (money helps) to express it.  Another word, the Journey is often as intriguing as the destiny :- )   
As usual with these tours, it was a physical challenge turned into a game of human survival. The fact that I came back with a severe throat infection, completely lost my vocal cord for the entire week is unequivocal confirmation that I had a lovely time!  First night went way passed 3:00 am followed by a wake-up call 4 hours later! A total of 6 venues in 48 hours, great company and incredible food at every possible junction (with limited bathroom breaks). This is also why I am so puzzled on how Jleung and lee-gor, both senior citizens in their mid 70s could outlast everyone at full throttle the whole time!?  
On a thank-you note, I was overwhelmed by the warm hospitality from our new friend "Ah Dan" and "Han", both well spoken gentlemen and complete audio lunatics! Ah Dan also a dedicated golfer with a mean set of Honma clubs. And Han, a senior writer in a popular audio website " Mono Stereo"  with a permanent hard-on for Analog playback! And he also built his own spaceship  "Millennium Falcon" from Lego pieces, I shall, from now on refer him as " Han Solo".  Last not least, we were so happy for the chance to revisit many of our old buddies ( Gan, Ben and Dr. Paris ) and regret to have missed others due to our short stay. Be warned, we'll be back!  
With that, I like to extend my deepest gratitude to our Malaysian hosts as well captain of our crew Jleung -  thank you gentlemen. And may the force be with you!  
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More later...........