Special Feature

 

Malaysia AVFest 2005

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

July 22 - 24, J.W. Marriot Hotel

 

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Kuala Lumpur, or "KL" as it is commonly known, is Malaysia's capital.  The city where the famed Petronas Towers are located, one of the world's tallest buildings with a height of 1453 feet, symbols for the astounding growth that has taken place in Malaysia over the last two decades.

 

This show is Malaysia's biggest one for the year (* one feedback came in that it should have been called the "KL International Av Show").  Unlike last year's report on the Bangkok (Thailand) show, two-channel playback takes a real far backseat in this show.  While most other major shows in other countries had more balanced presentations, this show was dominated heavily by home theater systems - approximately 90% of the demos/displays were on HT.  The usual mass-market hifi were in full force - Mission, Mordaunt-Short, NAD, etc.  High-end two-channel systems were very conspicuously absent, with only a handful of representatives.  For us interested in the higher-end two-channel products, it was quick to tour the whole show looking for high-end 2-channel demos, and we had to start all over again and just enjoy the home theater offerings :) 

 

Vinyl playback was likewise not represented here.  There was only one turntable we found playing, at EAudio's room, the Linn LP12, hooked up with a Graham Slee phono stage combination.  Add in a couple of J.A. Michell budget turntables with some Trichord phono stages  only on static display at Millenium Hi-Fi's room.  CDs/DVDs/VCDs galore were on sale, and few vinyl, with the best collection in this show at Music By Design's room.

 

We heard from someone however that typical local audiophiles are more into vocals, and more vocals, like Norah Jones, etc., whereby the superb Blue Note reissues and other great music are ignored by vinylphiles, but probably they just need more exposure.  However, after going around listening from room to room, vocals and drums and lethargic warmth were indeed the order of the day.  The Naim Audio room was one of those who stayed away from this status quo, delivering better music.  We also heard that the LS3/5A room was a great room, unfortunately we got sidetracked on our way to the room.

 

At any rate, our favorite home theater system was a Pioneer all-in-one system on sale, costing about SGD 1200 / USD 750.  Amazing definition and dynamics for the price compared to the mega-buck "high-end" home-theater demos, mostly bass sounds with recessed midrange and with a lack of macrodynamics - no "kick".  Video hardware were superb, however, in almost all fronts.  The advancement of video technology is easily evident.  And Malaysia's home-grown LCD monitor brands are very competitive and on par with the usual foreign brands.

 

In general, sonics were average for most rooms.  Of course, show conditions play a part, but they could have done better.  Below are some photos of the show.  We didn't have the chance to take photos of all rooms as we did our rounds, as some were too cramped and crowded.

 


 

The main entrance to the show

 

The Lucky Draw prizes

 

 

Accessories galore everywhere

 

A sample of the heaps of CDs on offerer

 

A promotional space for EAudio, where one can sit and watch product information slides

On each side of this space were home furnishing and FHM magazine booths

 

Photo Frame speakers, anyone ?

 

The beautiful  Marten Design Coltrane speakers, with Audionet amps, Stealth cables

Lacklustre sound however, must be due to the matching or room

 
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