Soundscape HiFi Room : Singapore Hifi Show 2006

Soundscape HiFi

Singapore HiFi Show 2006

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Singapore HiFi Show 2006

Kondo Audio Note Japan

2006 International Sound & Sight Exhibition

(Singapore HiFi Show 2006)

Le Meridien Hotel

 

Aug. 11 to 13, 2006 (Friday to Sunday), 11am to 7pm

 

Soundscape HiFi

Room 04-01 (corner room)

 

 

 

A warm thank you to everyone who visited us at the show !

 

Thanks to all who visited us at the show, and for those who voted our room as one of their favorites. 

 

Some of course may have come in at the wrong time when the music playing was not to their taste.  Some may not have been able to come in due to the crowd.  Well, you are all welcome and feel free to visit our showroom. 

 

Others may have wanted a very warm, syrupy presentation.  Well, we always prefer to set up our systems with a neutral sonic balance, our reference is always the timbre and tone of live instruments. 

 

Of course, our systems can be tailored to have this sort of warm presentation through matching - a change of cartridge here, cable, tube, etc.  The same goes for those who like a system to be on the brighter side.

 

For this year, rather than concentrate most of the time on slam bang bass music, we instead demonstrated the  system with a wider range of music.  We intended to showcase the all-rounder ability of the system, it's capability to handle subtlety and grace, and yet be able to deliver exciting complex music with aplomb when desired. 

 

Furthermore, we are always more interested in demonstrating a system that can keep time (i.e. with good timing, rhythm, and pace), as opposed to one that can deliver every nuance, but ending up as sterile and ultimately boring.

 

We were actually surprised at the large crowd that came in, and stayed, whenever we played Metallica's music on the Sunday.

 

The Kondo Audio Note Japan tube electronics are indeed a rare and special breed.  The Kondo KSL-M7 preamplifier + Kondo KSL-Kegon power amplifier circuitry design delivered what we wanted from a musical point of view, subtle when needed, and superbly powerful and dynamic when required, with a superb sense of pace, rhythm, and timing, the best we've heard from tube amplification before, and definitely makes many solid-state amps eat dust. 

 

Of course, the articulate Living Voice IBX-RW speakers allowed this attribute of the Kondos to surface, as we've heard Kondo amplification before, but never in this way.

Kondo products are indeed representative of great tube products.  After all, Mr. Hiroyasu Kondo san, it's founder, was considered as an audio god by other manufacturers in Japan

 

Kondo has brought tube amplification design to the top, that many other manufacturers always try to compare against Kondo amplification.  In this sense, they are THE reference then, and one may hear from many others the claim that theirs is as good or better than a Kondo.  Well, it is really flattering :)

 

On to the new Living Voice IBX-RW speakers.  They still retain what we love from the other Living Voice loudspeakers, the ability to play any music without faltering, and to be full of verve, life, vim and vigor, while at the same time truly delivering outstanding rendition of timbre and tone.  It's not subtle, but musicians or those exposed to different live instruments would more likely be able to perceive these better, as they would know which has the better timbre and tone when comparing.

 

For example, one of the albums we played was an interplay of four different drum sets, having four different tonality, playing one at a time, until they all played together to a crescendo at the end.  While most listeners would only listen to the power and dynamics, others including us would perceive the different characters of each drum set played.

 

The main source we used was the dps 3 turntable with a Schroder No. 2fw tonearm, specially designed for the dps turntable.  Simple yet elegant, tiny, and with a sound much bigger than its size.  Once again, one of its major strength was in timing,  which many visitors have commented on.

 

We've seen some magnetic-type tonearms at the show, reminding us of the Schroder tonearms :)  Well, we don't blame them for getting into the bandwagon.  At any rate, Schroder tonearms are so super-special that the manufacturer is backordered by a super long period, take note.  There is no need for any review, this is an amazing phenomenon.  However, at this point in time, Schroder tonearms are only for patient enthusiasts, who are able to dig in and wait.

 

Once again, a warm thank you to all who have visited us at the show.

 

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The Room

Soundscape Room at the Singapore HiFi Show 2006
			
721
2006/08/13 18:30:33.3
RAW (12-bit)
Image Size: Large (3872 x 2592)
Color
Lens: Nikon 17-35mm F/2.8 D, Nikon NC 77mm filter
Focal Length: 19mm
Exposure Mode: Manual
Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern
1/125 sec - F/5.6
Exposure Comp.: +0.7 EV
Sensitivity: ISO 200
Optimize Image: Custom
White Balance: Flash
AF Mode: AF-S
Flash Sync Mode: Front Curtain
Auto Flash Mode: Balanced i-TTL
Auto Flash Comp: +1.0 EV
Color Mode: Mode II (Adobe RGB)
Tone Comp.: Normal
Hue Adjustment: 0•
Saturation: Normal
Sharpening: Medium high
Image Comment: Soundscape HiFi                     
Long Exposure NR: Off
Bounce, Nikon SB-800 with supplied diffuser dome
High ISO NR: Off

 

2006 International Sound & Sight Exhibition

Le Meridien Hotel, Room 04-01 (corner room)

Soundscape Demo System

System 1 : Tube / Valve System 2 : Solid-State / Transistor

Preamplifier

 

Step-Up Transformer

 

Amplifier

 

 

Phono Stage

 

 

Turntable System

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaker Cables

Interconnects

Power Cables

Kondo KSL-M7 with MM phono stage

Kondo KSL-SFz

 

Kondo KSL-Kegon 20-watt 300B, with original Western Electric 300B tubes

 

 

 

dps 3 turntable with Schroder No. 2fw tonearm (Schroder No. 2fw tonearm is made for dps turntables)

Jan Allaerts MC1B phono cartridge

 

Kondo KSL-SPz

Kondo KSL-Vz

Kondo KSL-SPz

 

 

 

 

Lavardin Technologies Model IS

 

 

Graham Slee Era Gold Reflex + Elevator EXP

 

Scheu Das Laufwerk No. 1 (DL No. 1)

Scheu 12" Classic MK2 tonearm

Audio-Technica AT-33 PTG

 

 

 


Abbey Road Reference

Abbey Road Reference

Stock power cables

Loudspeakers

 

CD Player

Racks

Living Voice IBX-RW

Einstein Audio The Last Record Player (with  Kondo KSL-Vz interconnects)

Hutter racks

 

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Photos below can be clicked on to enlarge if desired.

 

Listening session.  On the left is the very helpful Razali, a veteran audiophile who has

been around way long before us in the Singapore audiophile scene :)

Soundscape Room : Singapore HiFi Show 2006

708
2006/08/13 16:50:34.6
RAW (12-bit)
Image Size: Large (3872 x 2592)
Color
Lens: Nikon 17-35mm F/2.8 D, Nikon NC 77mm filter
Focal Length: 17mm
Exposure Mode: Manual
Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern
1/125 sec - F/5.6
Exposure Comp.: +0.7 EV
Sensitivity: ISO 200
Optimize Image: Custom
White Balance: Flash
AF Mode: AF-S
Flash Sync Mode: Front Curtain
Auto Flash Mode: Balanced i-TTL
Auto Flash Comp: 0 EV
Color Mode: Mode II (Adobe RGB)
Tone Comp.: Normal
Hue Adjustment: 0•
Saturation: Normal
Sharpening: Medium high
Image Comment: Soundscape HiFi                     
Long Exposure NR: Off
Bounce, Nikon SB-800 with supplied diffuser dome
High ISO NR: Off

 

Lavardin Technologies Model IS

Soundscape Room : Singapore HiFi Show 2006

742
2006/08/13 18:38:27.0
RAW (12-bit)
Image Size: Large (3872 x 2592)
Color
Lens: Nikon 17-35mm F/2.8 D, Nikon NC 77mm filter
Focal Length: 26mm
Exposure Mode: Manual
Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern
1/125 sec - F/8
Exposure Comp.: +0.7 EV
Sensitivity: ISO 200
Optimize Image: Custom
White Balance: Flash
AF Mode: AF-S
Flash Sync Mode: Front Curtain
Auto Flash Mode: Balanced i-TTL
Auto Flash Comp: 0 EV
Color Mode: Mode II (Adobe RGB)
Tone Comp.: Normal
Hue Adjustment: 0•
Saturation: Normal
Sharpening: Medium high
Image Comment: Soundscape HiFi                     
Long Exposure NR: Off
Bounce, Nikon SB-800 with supplied diffuser dome
High ISO NR: Off

 

Living Voice IBX-RW

Soundscape Room : Singapore HiFi Show 2006
    
734
2006/08/13 18:36:16.2
RAW (12-bit)
Image Size: Large (3872 x 2592)
Color
Lens: Nikon 17-35mm F/2.8 D, Nikon NC 77mm filter
Focal Length: 22mm
Exposure Mode: Manual
Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern
1/125 sec - F/8
Exposure Comp.: +0.7 EV
Sensitivity: ISO 250
Optimize Image: Custom
White Balance: Flash
AF Mode: AF-S
Flash Sync Mode: Front Curtain
Auto Flash Mode: Balanced i-TTL
Auto Flash Comp: 0 EV
Color Mode: Mode II (Adobe RGB)
Tone Comp.: Normal
Hue Adjustment: 0•
Saturation: Normal
Sharpening: Medium high
Image Comment: Soundscape HiFi                     
Long Exposure NR: Off
Bounce, Nikon SB-800 with supplied diffuser dome
High ISO NR: Off

 

dps 3 turntable with Schroder No. 2fw tonearm and Jan Allaerts MC1B phono cartridge

Soundscape Room : Singapore HiFi Show 2006
    
747
2006/08/13 18:39:25.4
RAW (12-bit)
Image Size: Large (3872 x 2592)
Color
Lens: Nikon 17-35mm F/2.8 D, Nikon NC 77mm filter
Focal Length: 32mm
Exposure Mode: Manual
Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern
1/125 sec - F/8
Exposure Comp.: +0.7 EV
Sensitivity: ISO 160
Optimize Image: Custom
White Balance: Flash
AF Mode: AF-S
Flash Sync Mode: Front Curtain
Auto Flash Mode: Balanced i-TTL
Auto Flash Comp: 0 EV
Color Mode: Mode II (Adobe RGB)
Tone Comp.: Normal
Hue Adjustment: 0•
Saturation: Normal
Sharpening: Medium high
Image Comment: Soundscape HiFi                     
Long Exposure NR: Off
Bounce, Nikon SB-800 with supplied diffuser dome
High ISO NR: Off

 

Scheu Das Laufwerk No. 1 (DL No. 1) + Scheu 12" Classic MK2 tonearm +

Audio-Technica AT-33 PTG

Soundscape Room : Singapore HiFi Show 2006
    
744
2006/08/13 18:38:43.7
RAW (12-bit)
Image Size: Large (3872 x 2592)
Color
Lens: Nikon 17-35mm F/2.8 D, Nikon NC 77mm filter
Focal Length: 26mm
Exposure Mode: Manual
Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern
1/125 sec - F/8
Exposure Comp.: +0.7 EV
Sensitivity: ISO 200
Optimize Image: Custom
White Balance: Flash
AF Mode: AF-S
Flash Sync Mode: Front Curtain
Auto Flash Mode: Balanced i-TTL
Auto Flash Comp: 0 EV
Color Mode: Mode II (Adobe RGB)
Tone Comp.: Normal
Hue Adjustment: 0•
Saturation: Normal
Sharpening: Medium high
Image Comment: Soundscape HiFi                     
Long Exposure NR: Off
Bounce, Nikon SB-800 with supplied diffuser dome
High ISO NR: Off

 

Schroder No. 2fw tonearm

Soundscape Room : Singapore HiFi Show 2006
    
    755
2006/08/13 18:42:41.5
RAW (12-bit)
Image Size: Large (3872 x 2592)
Color
Lens: Nikon 17-35mm F/2.8 D, Nikon NC 77mm filter
Focal Length: 35mm
Exposure Mode: Manual
Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern
1/125 sec - F/11
Exposure Comp.: +0.7 EV
Sensitivity: ISO 200
Optimize Image: Custom
White Balance: Flash
AF Mode: AF-S
Flash Sync Mode: Front Curtain
Auto Flash Mode: Balanced i-TTL
Auto Flash Comp: 0 EV
Color Mode: Mode II (Adobe RGB)
Tone Comp.: Normal
Hue Adjustment: 0•
Saturation: Normal
Sharpening: Medium high
Image Comment: Soundscape HiFi                     
Long Exposure NR: Off
Bounce, Nikon SB-800 with supplied diffuser dome
High ISO NR: Off

 

Kondo KSL-M7 with MM phono stage + Kondo KSL-Kegon 20-watt 300B, with Western Electric 300B tubes

Soundscape Room : Singapore HiFi Show 2006
    
736
2006/08/13 18:37:14
RAW (12-bit)
Image Size: Large (3872 x 2592)
Color
Lens: Nikon 17-35mm F/2.8 D, Nikon NC 77mm filter
Focal Length: 24mm
Exposure Mode: Manual
Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern
1/125 sec - F/8
Exposure Comp.: +0.7 EV
Sensitivity: ISO 200
Optimize Image: Custom
White Balance: Flash
AF Mode: AF-S
Flash Sync Mode: Front Curtain
Auto Flash Mode: Balanced i-TTL
Auto Flash Comp: 0 EV
Color Mode: Mode II (Adobe RGB)
Tone Comp.: Normal
Hue Adjustment: 0•
Saturation: Normal
Sharpening: Medium high
Image Comment: Soundscape HiFi                     
Long Exposure NR: Off
Bounce, Nikon SB-800 with supplied diffuser dome
High ISO NR: Off

 

Kondo KSL-Kegon 20-watt 300B power amp , with original Western Electric 300B tubes

Soundscape Room : Singapore HiFi Show 2006

653
2006/08/09 19:22:04.4
RAW (12-bit)
Image Size: Large (3872 x 2592)
Color
Lens: Nikon 28-70mm F/2.8 D, Nikon NC 77mm filter
Focal Length: 45mm
Exposure Mode: Manual
Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern
1/125 sec - F/8
Exposure Comp.: +0.7 EV
Sensitivity: ISO 100
Optimize Image: Custom
White Balance: Preset d-0, with Expodisc
AF Mode: AF-S
Flash Sync Mode: Front Curtain
Auto Flash Mode: Balanced i-TTL
Auto Flash Comp: 0 EV
Color Mode: Mode II (Adobe RGB)
Tone Comp.: Normal
Hue Adjustment: 0•
Saturation: Normal
Sharpening: Medium high
Image Comment: Soundscape HiFi                     
Long Exposure NR: Off
Bounce, Nikon SB-800 with supplied diffuser dome
High ISO NR: Off

 

Kondo KSL-M7 preamplifier with MM phono stage

Soundscape Room : Singapore HiFi Show 2006
    
656
2006/08/09 19:22:53
RAW (12-bit)
Image Size: Large (3872 x 2592)
Color
Lens: Nikon 28-70mm F/2.8 D, Nikon NC 77mm filter
Focal Length: 62mm
Exposure Mode: Manual
Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern
1/125 sec - F/8
Exposure Comp.: +0.7 EV
Sensitivity: ISO 100
Optimize Image: Custom
White Balance: Preset d-0, with Expodisc
AF Mode: AF-S
Flash Sync Mode: Front Curtain
Auto Flash Mode: Balanced i-TTL
Auto Flash Comp: 0 EV
Color Mode: Mode II (Adobe RGB)
Tone Comp.: Normal
Hue Adjustment: 0•
Saturation: Normal
Sharpening: Medium high
Image Comment: Soundscape HiFi                     
Long Exposure NR: Off
Bounce, Nikon SB-800 with supplied diffuser dome
High ISO NR: Off

 

Graham Slee Era Gold Reflex + Elevator EXP

Kondo KSL-SFz step-up transformer

Soundscape Room : Singapore HiFi Show 2006
    
732
2006/08/13 18:35:27.2
RAW (12-bit)
Image Size: Large (3872 x 2592)
Color
Lens: Nikon 17-35mm F/2.8 D, Nikon NC 77mm filter
Focal Length: 32mm
Exposure Mode: Manual
Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern
1/125 sec - F/8
Exposure Comp.: +0.7 EV
Sensitivity: ISO 250
Optimize Image: Custom
White Balance: Flash
AF Mode: AF-S
Flash Sync Mode: Front Curtain
Auto Flash Mode: Balanced i-TTL
Auto Flash Comp: 0 EV
Color Mode: Mode II (Adobe RGB)
Tone Comp.: Normal
Hue Adjustment: 0•
Saturation: Normal
Sharpening: Medium high
Image Comment: Soundscape HiFi                     
Long Exposure NR: Off
Bounce, Nikon SB-800 with supplied diffuser dome
High ISO NR: Off

 

dps 3 turntable 3-phase power supply

(to be replaced with silver casing soon)

Soundscape Room : Singapore HiFi Show 2006

730
2006/08/13 18:34:58.2
RAW (12-bit)
Image Size: Large (3872 x 2592)
Color
Lens: Nikon 17-35mm F/2.8 D, Nikon NC 77mm filter
Focal Length: 32mm
Exposure Mode: Manual
Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern
1/125 sec - F/8
Exposure Comp.: +0.7 EV
Sensitivity: ISO 320
Optimize Image: Custom
White Balance: Flash
AF Mode: AF-S
Flash Sync Mode: Front Curtain
Auto Flash Mode: Balanced i-TTL
Auto Flash Comp: 0 EV
Color Mode: Mode II (Adobe RGB)
Tone Comp.: Normal
Hue Adjustment: 0•
Saturation: Normal
Sharpening: Medium high
Image Comment: Soundscape HiFi                     
Long Exposure NR: Off
Bounce, Nikon SB-800 with supplied diffuser dome
High ISO NR: Off

 

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Music Played

 

HiFi Show 2006 : Soundscape Music

HiFi Show 2006 : Soundscape Music

The Drum Session

- Louis Bellson / Shelly Manne / Willie Bobo / Paul Humphrey

 

Selected tracks from the LP "The Drum Session", in 45 rpm.  All tracks are fantastic percussion music, without being boring, very lyrical.  After all, it's an album by jazz artists.

 

We didn't play this much, but whenever we did, the room was packed.  The 1st track on Side One, Drum Battle, Section 2, is one of the best drum sessions recorded.  This track features 4 different drummers and drum sets interplaying one at time and ending in a crescendo all together.

 

HiFi Show 2006 : Soundscape Music

HiFi Show 2006 : Soundscape Music

The Dialogue

 

We first heard this at a customer's place, and we just had to get hold of a copy.  And our generous client gave one to us after coming back from a Japan trip.

 

We like playing Track 1 on Side 1, The Dialogue with bass.  As the title suggests, it's a musical piece featuring just the bass and drums.  Once again, an excellent track for timbre and dynamics, as well as rhythm, pace, and timing.

 

HiFi Show 2006 : Soundscape Music

HiFi Show 2006 : Soundscape Music

Friday Night At San Francisco

 

Great playing by three virtuoso guitarists, blindingly fast.  In addition, the album also highlights the separation and timbre of each of the three guitars.  In some systems, the occasional full resonance of the guitar bodies is lost or not resolved.

 

And of course, the perceived ambience, being a live album.

 

HiFi Show 2006 : Soundscape Music

HiFi Show 2006 : Soundscape Music

I Wonder Why

- Wolfgang Bernreuther and company

 

Excellent slow blues band from Germany.  Superlative recording as well.  We usually played Track 1 on Side 1 to highlight detail and transients, as well as vocal presence.

 

HiFi Show 2006 : Soundscape Music

HiFi Show 2006 : Soundscape Music

Jazz At The Pawnshop - Excerpts

- Arne Domnerus and company

 

Very nice live jazz recording.

 

HiFi Show 2006 : Soundscape Music

A Thousand Dreams

- Lori Lieberman, with Amanda McBroom as backing vocals

 

An old reference album, from Pope Music (veterans will remember the label).  Great vocals and songwriting. Track we played was "Killing Me Softly", which was originally sung by Lori, but popularized by Roberta Flack.

 

This is actually the first time we've heard this album sound so right.  A true reference then in that sense.  The only way to compare is to find the CD or LP, hear in one's system, and compare at our showroom.

 

HiFi Show 2006 : Soundscape Music

Nothing Else Matters - EP - from the album "Metallica", the black album

- Metallica

 

One of Metallica's great heavy metal ballads, fabulous.

 

HiFi Show 2006 : Soundscape Music

Enter Sandman - EP - from the album "Metallica", the black album

- Metallica

 

Metallica's most famous song, which brought them more mainstream fans, but regarded by some as a sellout from their original heavier heavy metal music.  Well, we like their old raw style and newer stuff.  Playing this at the show drew in a lot of crowd.

 

HiFi Show 2006 : Soundscape Music

Come Away With Me

- Norah Jones

 

Nobody seemed to be playing this album in this year's show, unlike last year which made us sick of hearing it.  But this is really a good album if it's not overplayed, so we included it in our repertoire this year.

 

HiFi Show 2006 : Soundscape Music

Folk Songs

- Cai Qin

 

The long-awaited LP version of the famous CD, where even non-Chinese music lovers love her wonderful deep emotion-tinged voice.

 

 

HiFi Show 2006 : Soundscape Music

To the Faithful Departed

- The Cranberries

 

A later album by The Cranberries, one of the great bands of the 90's.  Dolores O'Riordan's voice is just hauntingly beautiful.  One elderly man had to approach us to ask who was singing and what band and album :)

 

Just an ordinary LP to highlight the all-rounder capabilities of the system on demo.

 

 

HiFi Show 2006 : Soundscape Music

Unplugged

- Neil Young

 

One of the greatest artists of all time.  We played this album in the hope that the younger generation can hear him.

 

 

 

HiFi Show 2006 : Soundscape Music

Riot On An Empty Street

- Kings of Convenience

 

The album title usually misleads people that the music is some punk Sex Pistols style of music.  It turns out actually to be pleasant folk music :)  And they're good too at their genre.  The album is well-recorded as well.  We would have played some Jack Johnson (another up and coming folk artist) as well, but we haven't had time to clean the records.

 

HiFi Show 2006 : Soundscape Music

Couldn't Stand The Weather

- Stevie Ray Vaughan

 

What can we say, the album includes "Tin Pan Alley", a hauntingly beautiful blues song, excellent.

 

HiFi Show 2006 : Soundscape Music

The Girl In the other Room

- Diana Krall

 

Her first full album on LP !  We heard a recod company will produce the other earlier albums too on vinyl.  Track played was "Temptation", most popular request.

 

HiFi Show 2006 : Soundscape Music

Come To Find

- Doug MacLeod

 

 

HiFi Show 2006 : Soundscape Music

Ben Webster Quartet

- Soulville

 

 

HiFi Show 2006 : Soundscape Music

Going Home

- The L.A. Four

 

 

HiFi Show 2006 : Soundscape Music

A Cowgirl's Prayer

- Emmylou Harris

 

 

HiFi Show 2006 : Soundscape Music

Midnight Sugar

- Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Trio

 

 

HiFi Show 2006 : Soundscape Music

David Roth

- Pearl Diver

 

 

HiFi Show 2006 : Soundscape Music

Time Out

- Dave Brubeck Quartet

 

 

 
More soon ...
 

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