Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Fisher 50C mono bloc pre amplifiers

According to the Fisher expert Alan: "The goody of Fisher 50-C included very sweet, natural and realistic tone, it has outstanding mid-high and high, but rich of harmonic extension but also extension of both end. The disadvantage of Fisher 50-C is slightly lack of solidity of bass, the harmonic extension is too long so it slightly affect the detail but mid range is slightly laid back if compared to later period product. However..this preamp has very outstanding flexibility of emotional expression, but very pure and emotional tone...!"

I have always been struggling on whether I should take another chance on the mono block pre amplifiers. However, having read so many positive review on the famous Fisher 50C amplifiers, I decided to take a chance on these rare amplifiers. The search for these amplifiers has been a difficult one as it involved some small misunderstanding, which fortunately has been resolved in a win-win happy ending!

The Fisher 50C was sold as mono pre amplifiers during the 1950s. As such, there are variations in the colours of cainet and the type of RCA sockets at the back of the amplifiers. Other then that, the amplifiers were prefectly matched internally as well as in sound reproduction. Comparing to the Fisher400Cx, the Fisher 50C sounded less hifi and smoother.. What a nice pair of Fishers!

The next question is whether I should get a carpenter sifu to restore the colours of the cabinets? or should I just leave it alone?

I know I should have controlled my "buying" desire but these fishes are so tempting that I have to catch them. To follow my "One in One out" policy, I have managed to cut love my spare Western Electric KS 16608 to a fellow audiophiles......

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Wish lists 2006/7

Even though I have tried to restrict myself on buying "new" old toys, the desire keeps growing day after day.

I still cannot forget the sound from Western Electric 124 and 142 as well as Brooks 12A. I like amplifiers using 6L6 tubes as the sound is great! Moreover, vintage 6L6 tubes are relatively cheaper and easy to find! (when compare to the much demand KT66, EL34 and KT88 tubes)

Another item that I like is Dynatron LF59B but I was told that the tubes are relatively expensive and difficult to find.. plus the Dynatron amplifiers is so rare that it would be expensive.

Brooks 12A and Yamamoto amplifier using 2A3 is something very exciting! I have never owned any 2A3 amplifiers and I am so tempted to try...In addition, I am also keen to try again the Mono block pre amp..this time the Fisher 50C perhaps..

Saturday, October 21, 2006

My new web page

I have finally managed to build a hifi web page. Enjoy!


Friday, October 20, 2006

German Amplifiers

Recently there are quite a lot of interest on German amplifiers owing to some magazine write up. Brands such as Klangfilm, Siemens were recently being chased by "collectors".

I have a brief experience with the Siemens projector amplifiers. The pros for the ampplifiers are very well built & good sound. The cons are that the watts are very small around 5 watts, which work well with high efficient speakers. For those of you who is thinking of jumping into the world of German amplifiers, please take note of the following. The Siemens projectors amplifiers watts are small.

Those bigger Klangflim ones have very huge power (50 watts and above) meaning that unless you have a big house, you may find the amplifiers too BIG for comfort. Talking about BIG, the size of the many V69 models for example are really huge. It will be like having two huge "fish tanks" of amplifiers sitting in your living room. As mentioned by one expert in Hong Kong, these amplifiers were meant for cinema usage, normal home pre amplifiers may not be suitable for some of the power amplifiers. Moreover, look of the amplifiers (being able to see through the capacitors, resistors may not be too appealing to the female Boss at home). Moreover, the costs of these amplifiers are NOT cheap now and the resale values will be questionable as currently it is only limited to the few audiophiles.

I have started with Mcintosh MC240 with a power of 35-40 watts which I think is already good enough for low sensitive speakers such as the LS3/5a (some says that it is the best for LS3/5a). Imagine having German cinema amplifiers with power watts over 100 (we are talking about tube amplifers power watts). The gain in power would indirecly mean the loss in smoothness.

Thus, while it is interesting to play wit the German amplifiers, unlike the Marantz, Mcintosh, Fishers, Quad etc who were meant for home use, one has to think properly before jumping into the black hole of German amplifiers.

If I have excess cash and have a huge living room plus a desire for huge power amplifier, I may try. However, now bearing in mind my Tannoy Speakers and Western Electric 755a speakers with ideal power watts of below 20 watts, I would rather save my money for a Western Electric 124 or 142, or Brooks 10, or Dynatron...all small power watts amplifiers I am afraid.

Some expert says that when one play with power amplifiers, one will start with huge power (such as Mcintosh MC275, Marantz 9) and later to small watts then to single ended....

Let's see how each of us evolve in our hifi journey...but remember the starting point is what kind of music you like and what speakers you like..

For details, please see:



Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Simple setup in Singapore

I have finally managed to bring one set of my Western Electric KS 16608 back to Singapore for a simple set up in my study room. The music from the KS16608 + my Rogers LS3/5a 15ohms sounded great!
It was a great feeling to be able to listen to your favourite music whereever you are! I hope to bring back my leak 12.1 back during the next trip or should I ship back the tannoy?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Interesting article & good friend!

One of good friend was interviewed by the Tube World monthly. John has a fantastics collection of Ls3/5a and Leaks amplifiers (including the rare 12.1 (2 sets of 12.1) and 25a) plus a range of other amplifiers.

He is often known as a the Chairman of Leak. I think he should be the chairman of both LS3/5a and Leak.

I have always enjoyed his company as he is always sincere, helpful and honest! When I was having problems with my 12.1, he was the first and only friend who came forward to help!

One of the happiest thing that I have done is to be able to help John pair up his second pair of 12.1! That was really a nice feeling..to be able to help a true friend in return for all his help!

His friendly personality and his enthuasium in vintage hifi really gave me the motivation to join in the lovely world of vintage amplifier! For those who want to get into the world of vintage amplifier and speakers, you must really get to know this great person - Ginger!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

CD recoomendation: Frank Sinatra & Nat King Cole CD

"The World of Nat King Cole" provides the listener with nearly 80 minutes of the very best that this beloved and legendary performer has to offer. It provides the listener an outstanding overview of a recording career at Capitol that spanned nearly a quarter century and hits includes "Straighten Up and Fly Right", "Nature Boy" and "Route 66","Ramblin' Rose", "Too Young", "Walkin' My Baby Back Home" and so many others. In addition, the inclusion of some of the best material from his LP's, Let There Be Love", a "Live At The Sands" LP and three upbeat numbers backed by the swingin' Billy May Orchestra, as well as the 1991 recording of "Unforgettable" with his daughter Natalie Cole made this CD as must for all Nat King Cole's fans. Nat King Cole's voice will sound sweet in every and any amplifier system especially those with tubes amplifiers.
Frank Sinatra on this double Cd goes over some of his most romantic songs he has recorded. Theres some real gems here like "Strangers In the Night","They Cant take that away from Me","Misty", "All The Way" (w/Celione Dion) and all these songs just make you realize how important this man really was. In addition, it contains some very hard to find songs from hard to find and out-of-print Reprise albums. Unfortunatley, the songs My Way and New York New York are not included in these CDs
Listening to these vocal CDs with the 755a is a real enjoyment when one wants strong and precise vocal!

Good CD Louis Armstrong

To better understand Louis Armstrong, please visit:

Great CD - Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong II

Some nice CDs from Elle Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong

Monday, October 09, 2006

Great CD recommendation - Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong

After months of mixitng and matching my various amplifiers, pre amplifiers and speakers system, I have finally managed to settle down with my current set of system and have more time dedicated to active listening.

These are two great CDs that everyone should get!

The magic started in August 1956 in Los Angeles when these six musicians worked together to produce this fantsatic records. Ella and Louis are the vocalists, Louis alternating on trumpet. The Oscar Peterson Trio and Buddy Rich, drums, complete the sextet.

Rather then joining the "Hong Kong hifi rat race" in competing who has the most gear, I have set my self the task of "active listening" and appreciation of good music. The tracks from the 2 CDs are all perennial favorites at the time and are ensured of immortality by this recording. All tracks has the vintage sound charateristcs but such is the buoyant, easy rhythm music that these artists set and you will find the effect is wonderfully invigorating. The unique features of the CD are the great contrast between two voices between Ella and Louis. Ella's silky and smooth voice versus Louis' rough and tumble.

Both artists had such huge successes singing on their own and have such distinct styles, that you would think that their voices would conflict with each other but instead there is a convergence without compromise and a good mixture of high and low, smooth and rough, like the ying and the yang working in perfect harmony.

Even though Louis' trumpet with tone may sound "loud" at time, the two voices that play off of each other, complementing each other's features, and yet nothing is lost in each's distinctness. They both bring everything they have to the table, and magically somehow, the table is big enough to fit everything.

When listening to the CDs using my Western Electric 755a fullrange speakers, I could hear very clearly the positiong of both Louis and Ella! The 755a really stands the test of vocals with trumpet and other instruments. When listening to the same CD using mini combo system, the sound is too messy and congested for anyone to appreciate the true vocal of the two great talents! Sometimes, you will need a good pair of speakers to bring out the essence in the music...
My favourite tracks are : cheek to cheek; Moonlight in Vermont with the soft piano playing side by side with Elle at the start of the music; Isn't it a lovely day...Yes, it is with Ella and Louis singing : ) singing cheek to cheek..