Sunday, April 29, 2007

Western Electric 10 inch speakers finally paired!

The other unit of the Western Electric 10 inch speaker has finally arrived. I was fortunate to be able to pair them up as one unit was found in Hong Kong and the other from the USA.
The 10 inch speakers have a bigger sound stage then the 8 inch 755a. For vocal music, the 8 inch 755a reign supreme while the 10 inch has a wider sound stage as well as atmosphere. However, given the limitation of the original cabinet, the bass is somewhat limited but its vocal is still quite solid though..
Over the weekend, I have managed to streamline my Western Electric 100f to an audiophiles who can make use of them more. I have decided to let go many of my items as I am finding it difficult to rotate the amplifiers owing to time constraints as a result of the need for frequent travelling.
Currently, I have three set of power amplifiers here in Hong Kong, namely the WE 124b, Leak TL12.1, as well as the Pye Mozart HF10. I intend to bring the Pye as well as the Leak TL12.1 back to Singapore and keep only the WE 124b + WE120a + WE 10 inch speakers here. One set of system will be sufficient for my use here. This will help me to clear away space needed to keep the apartment spacious.
After several days of running in, the 10 inch speakers have began to warm up!

Monday, April 23, 2007

The joy of Hifi

I guess every audiophiles will go through different stages of equipment changes in order to find the so called "ultimate" dream set. For me, the joy in travelling in these long & winding road lies in the experiences of playing with them rather then trying to posses all of them.

Throughout the two years, I ahve had the opportunities to find, owned and sold many interesting vintage hifi gears. From the listening and mixing and matching of the various gears, I have finally come very close to finding those amplifiers that I can listen and keep for life.
  • Set 1: Marantz 7 + Leak TL12.1 + 755a
  • Set 2: Pye Mozart HF10 + Tannoy Cantebury.
  • Set 3: Western Electric 124 + WE 120a + WE 10 inch speakers

It all started with the search for powerful amplifier (such as the Mcintosh MC240) to very low power (5Watts) single ended, from LS3/5a to big tannoy Speakers and then to fullrange speakers. In the end, I like Western Electric sound basing on its natural & smooth music where you can listen to WE for hours without feeling tired. The Leak TL12.1, on the other hand, will gives one the dynamism and power with full control as well as smooth music.The Pye Mozart + Tannoy combo will give one the refined and balance strength for the highly sensitive speakers. I used to own the Fishers pre-amplifiers. However, owing to circumstances beyond my control, the seller last minute has decided not to sell me his Fisher 50c. I was dissapointed and upset initially. However, after a while, I have managed to convince myself to let it what is yours will be yours!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Good CD - Priscilla Chan CD

If you intend to keep only one Prisicilla Chan CD, this will be it! The Japanese pressed edition is one of the few expensive CDs that I own. The current price is HK$1300 and it was $1800 at one time.
The singing & recording was great. Prisilla was the queen of pop in the 1990s and many of her songs became true classic!
Her singing skill will make todays "singers" a shame of their voices..But now, its about packaging & marketing..

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Great CD - Faye & 審死官

These two are one of the few bast CDS from Faye Wong. In fact, many singers have tried to sing songs by Theresa Teng and sounded like Theresa. Faye is the only singer being able to have her own unique style (out of the shawdow of Theresa)
The recording of the 審死官 CD is superb in terms of its various placement!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Western Electric 10 inch speakers

I must be out of my mind in being poisoned by the Western Electric fullrange speakers. This is the Western electric 10 inch alnico fullrange speakers. I was told that the speakers were produced Jensen for Western Electric (see the red wording INSP W.E.CO). The speakers were very well built & solid and the size of the magnet is really huge!
Alnico speakers produce a sweet, warm, vintage tone. They sound best at low levels and are great for blues, jazz and mellow rock. Alnico speakers respond quickly, giving the musician a “one with the amp” feel.
Alnico speakers are made with magnets containing aluminum, nickel and cobalt. They are often featured in print as “AlNiCo”, symbolizing the three respective elements. Cobalt is difficult to procure these days .
I have tested it briefly and the speaker is fully functional. I am currently waiting for the second unit to arrive from US so that I could matched them up as a pair for stereo use, as these were made for mono use previously.
Once the speakers have arrived, I will then look for carpenter to stay a project in building a pair of cabinet for these 10 inch speakers. With the acqusition of these 10 inch speakers, I have now managed to have a 6 inch RCA fullrange, 2 pair of 8 inch 755a, one 10 inch WE and a 12 inch Tannoy Cantebury..what a world of speakers..

Hifi community

The Hifi community can be very complex. Even though listening to music is supposed to be a very relaxed experience, it can get very complex and even stressful at times. This is especially so since music is fill of emotions and music representation also involves complex human preference and taste.

Very often, audiophiles will have huge dispute over what they consider "good sound" and what they consider "good hifi equiptments". I used to be very active in "audiophiole home visit" to listen to their set up and system. However, recently, I have reduced such visits owing to complex human relation issues involving equipement, method of listening as well as personal pride.

For me, hifi is jut a tool to bring out the best music. My own prefernce is that it should be able to bring out the best in the most efficient manner. In addition, very often, when requested by friends, I would simply cut love the equipmets to them very easily. this has also led to some audiophiles mis-conception that I do not treasure what I find. Perhaps, I treasure friendship more then the equipments!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Fulll range speakers addict

Ever since I have started playing with 755a fullrange speakers, I have been converted to become a fullrange speakers addict.

The sound from my WE124 + We120a +755a is so real that one can easily feel the presence of the instruments in front of you.

I love full range speakers because of its coherency. As a result of this coherency, the imaging is good and accurate most of the time. The reproduction of vocal & the musical instruments are also wonderful.
Currently, I have 2 set of the 8 inch 755a namely the Western Electric 755a (now in Singapore) and the Altec 755a (HKG) and one 6 inch RCA fullrange speakers. The fullrange speaker has no crossover and the size of the cabinet will have impact on the reproduction of sound. There are some who used the "open baffle" approach to play with it while others has built all kind of cabinet to get the best out of the speakers.
In short, fullrangers are good because of their simplicity. Frequency extremes will be compromised as it's only a single driver. For this kind of speaker, normally, either you like it or hate it. The bass is a little lacking to most people. Thus, when listening to pure vocal & light instruments, the 755a full range can be considered the king of all kinds..ha ha

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Mixed & Matched Hifi

I have always wanted to do some DIY with my Hifi. However, gievn the limited time at night, I ahev not been able to do any DIY at all. I have bought the TopGun integrated amplifier but I just could not find the time to "upgrade" it. Moreover, originally, I have wanted to convert my Western Electric 100f into mono bloc integrated amplifiers for use with my fullrange speakers by doing a simple "by pass" of the 5 inch Jensen speakers. However, with the "buying back" of my Pye Mozart mono bloc single ended amplifiers, it has made me change my mind on the DIY project.
Instead, I ahve been very busy "playing" with the various mixed and matched combination. Examples:
WE 124 + WE 120a + 755a;
WE 124 + Fisher 50C + 755a;
Leak TL12.1 + Fisher 50C;
Leak TL12.1 + WE 120a.
In addition, I have also been busy with my Pye Mozart + RCA fullrange & Pye Mozart + 755a; plus pye mozart using EL34 tubes versus 6L6G tubes...
The various combinations will have various effects on the music production. Which is the best? I am still trying out the various combinations! Enjoy!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

RCA fullrange speakers again

I have been eyeing to buy teh new Pionneer Pure Malt VP speakers for a while. The original selling price is HK$5800. Looking at the thrend, it seems that more and more people arer selling them at the R33 second hand forum and the latest price is now $5000, meaning that the price might drop to $5000 or less in the coming months...This is the problem with buying new hifi items where prices tended to depreciates with time, while vintage items prices tend to increase owing to short supply. Examples are Leak TL12.1, Western Electric gears, etc..
I must be getting old and nostagic..Yesterday afternoon, I was going through some of the old hifi photos in my PC and I saw these pictures of the RCA 6 inch fullrange speakers which reminded me of the good times I had with them many moths ago.
Without any hesitation, I called the buyer and and tried my best to ask him to sell back the speakers to me as he has not been using them while waiting to set up his system. These set of RCA speakers with original cabinet looks like my 755a cabinet with a curve up shape. The challange right now is to try to bring out the full potential of the speakers like what I did with the 755a.
With the coming back of the single ended Pye Mozart HF 10, it will be a good opportunity to match them up before I bring back the Pye Mozart for my Tannoy cantebury in Singapore. Buying back the Pye Mozart and the RCA fullrange speakers have taught me some hard lessons. It is very easy to take things for granted and sell them quickly. Once it is gone, you will know how much you have liked them by measuring how much you have missed them.
For me,the WE 755a, Tannoy Cantebury, RCA speakers, Leak TL12.1 + Fisher 50C, WE 124 + 120a, are definitely items I intend to keep for a long time as it has taken me such a long time to serach for them, especially in such prestine conditions..
Enjoy your hifi toys!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Pye again

Previously, I have owned a pair of Pye PF91, Pye Mozart HF20 and a pair of Pye Mozart HF10.

During my last shifting of apartment,I have brought back my Pye HF10 to Singapore with my Tannoy. It fitted perfectly with my decoration as well as the furnature when used in Singapore. For some unknown reason, I have brought them back to HKG and sold it to a friend.

Following which, I have been searching for small unit of integrated amplifier to be use with my Tannoy, in the living room in Singapore. I have tried buying cheap integrated Top Gun amplifier and Pilot 500 amplifier but it just could not fit into the decoration and my cabinet. Without much choice, I have approched my friend and I was quite happy to be able to buy back and re-owned my Pye Mozart single ended amplfier.

This time, I will bring it back to Singapore and ensure it stays there for a long long time! ha ha ha!

Western Electric families

After much consideration, I have finally bought the Western Electric 120a pre-amplifier to match my Western Electric 124B power amplifier & WE 755a speakers. This is like a family reunion. The real WE 120a are so rare and expensive that I have decided to look for alternative WE made by Chi Luen using genuine Western Electric transformers and parts.
The sound from the Western Electric families are so natural and smooth that can really bring out the "the emotional characteristic - the feeling of presence."
The Fisher 50C will, therefore, match the Leak TL12.1 from now onwards... Enjoy your music!

: ) Be happy!

Thursday, April 05, 2007


Recently, there is a strong thrend in "collecting" and accumulating vintage amplifiers by many audiophiles.
Some has concentrated in collecting Leak while some willl buy just about everthing. I have gone through the stage where I have tried to collect the various power amplifiers consisting of Mcintosh MC240, Pye PH91, Leak 12.1, Leak 10.1, Quad II, KS 16608, Radio Craftsmen C500a, Siemens, Pye Mozart, WE 124 etc. For pre amplifiers, I ahev collected Marantz 7, Fisher 400CX, Fisher 50C etc.
After a period of time, I have came to realise that if one has the luxury of listening to music for 3 hours a night, one can at most change two set of amplifiers per night. As such, rather then going for quantities, I have decided to try to streamline and keep the very best...of course according to my taste..
IMHO, the WE 124b & The Leak TL12.1 are the best 6L6/KT66 amplifiers when comparing with the other 6L6/KT66 amplifiers such as the Mcintosh MC240, Quad II, etc.