Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy 2009

Happy New Year everyone!

I have just moved in to my new apartment 2 days ago. My unpacking is almost complete with the setting up of my hifi system in the guest room.

I have decided not to set up my system in the living room as it will ruin the overall decoration of the living room.

The moving part was painful with all the packing and unpacking. However, moving also provided an opportunity for me to clear away many unused and unwanted items..

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Moving apartment again!

It's year end again!

I have recently bought a air of JBL L65 speakers thinking that I will continue to stay at my current service apartment at Harbourview Horizon.

A few days ago, while my family and I were on our way for dinner, we happened tp pass by a housing agent. Out of curiousity, we have decided to go in for a simple "check" as my current apartment has wanted to increase my rent by HK$1000 despite such a poor economic situation.

The agent brought us to view a few apartments but we didn't like them. On 28th decemeber morning, the agent called again saying that she has another unit fully furnished and in beautiful condition. We went there reluctanly but we were all pleasantly surprised as the aprtment is in very good condition and nicely decorated as well.

We immediately agree and with that decision, I only have 28th and 29th December to pack as my lease was due on 30th December! It was a nightmare having to pack all the items as well as the clothes and my hifi system.

As the new partment is nicely decorated, I will have to place my hifi set in the guest room as living room furnatures were all fixed and there have no space for my gears!

After 2 years staying at Harbourview Horizon, I have moved again! : )

Friday, December 26, 2008

Original Master recording CDs - Great Vocal

Listening to vocal music is always a joy.

These are two solid vocal Cds for those who is keen : )
Don’t Cry Now, her first album for Asylum was released in 1973 and would help solidify Ronstadt as one of the premiere female pop vocalists for the next two decades. This is one of the most exceptional-sounding female vocalist recordings of the 1970's.

Nice 'N' Easy is a hybrid album, mixing breezy mid-tempo numbers with some not-so-dreary ballads. Released between the usual alternating pattern of either all ballads or all swingin' albums, Frank again tapped Riddle to conduct and arrange the twelve pieces of perfection that make up this release.
Definitive versions consist of: That Old Feeling, How Deep Is The Ocean, I've Got A Crush On You, Try A Little Tenderness, Embraceable You and Dream.

JBL L65 - For music, video and X Box

I have been listening to the JBL L65 for several days and I am truly impressed with its ability to reproduce dynamic music when using with my vintage tube amplifiers.

In addition to using it for listening to music, I have also plugged in my video and used it to watch movie.

This morning, my son K has asked me to plug in his XBOX which I did and the sound effect was fantastic too!

The JBL L65 speakers are really versatile and with its solid bass and high frequencies 077 drivers, the sound effects are simply amazing..

I like the my Tannoy Cantebury for its natural smooth music, the 755a for its real like vocal and violin, the LS3/5a for being LS3/5a, and now the JBL L65 for its ability to play a varieties of "louder" music..

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Great Vocal: Elle & Billie

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!

Royal Opera House

Wordsworth - 指揮, Ermler - 指揮, Orchestra Of The Royal Opera House Covent Garden

Tchaikovsky 柴可夫斯基 - Capriccio Italien 意大利隨想曲 & Symphony 交響曲 No.3 In D Major, Op.29 "Polnische"

Karajan 卡拉扬 - 指挥, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra 柏林爱乐乐团, 卡拉揚(Karajan)指揮柏林愛樂樂團(Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra)演奏的柴可夫斯基(Tchaikovsky)《第3『波蘭』交響曲》(Symphony No.3 In D Major, Op.29 "Polnische" )、《意大利隨想曲》(Capriccio Italien)從表演及技術的角度來看都十分優秀,柏林愛樂樂團的演奏是無與倫比的,兼具熱情活力以及魅力和優雅,錄音輝煌燦爛,《企鵝唱片指南》給予 三星評價!

Ravel 拉威尔 - Boloro 波莱罗舞曲, Rapsodie Espagnole 西班牙狂想曲, Mussorgsky 穆索尔斯基 - Pictures at an Exhibition 展览会

I have been listening to classical music lately. Many of the classical Cds have received 3 stars Penguin award. To help many start the appreciation of these classical Cds, I have compiled the various feedback with the photos of the CD I bought for easy reference. Enjoy!

Karajan 卡拉扬 - 指挥, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra 柏林爱乐乐团, 卡拉揚(Karajan)指揮柏林愛樂樂團(Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra)數字錄音版的穆索爾斯基(Mussorgsky)《展覽會的圖畫》(Pictures at an Exhibition)弦樂群奏印象特別自然,尾聲有極大的沖擊力,加以柏林愛樂的上佳演奏,形成了一個華麗而不過分的結束;拉威爾(Ravel)的《波 萊羅》(Boloro)和《西班牙狂想曲》(Rapsodie Espagnole)表現也很輝煌,DG的數字錄音音域很廣,是DG公司令人印象最深刻的數字錄音之一,《企鵝唱片指南》三星推薦!

Strauss R 理查、施特劳斯 - Also Sprach Zarathustra 交響詩 「查拉图斯特拉如是」Op.30 & Don Juan 交響詩 「唐

Karajan 卡拉扬 - 指挥, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra 柏林爱乐乐团, 1983年卡拉揚(Karajan)與柏林愛樂樂團(Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra)錄制的理查?施特勞斯(R Strauss)《查拉圖斯特拉如是說》(Also Sprach Zarathustra Op.30)無懈可擊,堪為首選,此版有著極大的動態范圍和音場,特別是在極高音和極低音的地方,而且大量的小提琴齊奏產生出的聲音光芒四射,《唐 璜》(Don Juan Op.20 )的那有如展翅翱翔的主題在華麗的方面絲毫不差,演奏有如充電般充滿活力。得到《企鵝唱片指南》三星推薦!

Weber 韦伯 - Der Freischutz 魔弹射手

Weiki Bernd , Vogel Siegfried, Janowitz Gundula 亚诺维茨 - Soprano 奥地利女高音,Mathis Edith 马蒂斯 - 瑞士女高音,Theo Adam, Schreier Peter 施赖埃尔 - Tenor 德国男高音, Franz Crass , Gunther Leib, Renate Hoff, Brigitte Pfretzachner, Renate Krahmer, Ingeborg Springer, Kleiber Carlos 克莱伯 - 指挥, Staatskapelle Dresden 德累斯頓國立管弦樂團, Rundfunkchor Leipzig,卡洛斯·克萊伯(Carlos Kleiber)指揮德累斯頓國立歌劇院樂團(Staatskapelle Dresden)的韋伯(Weber)《魔彈射手》(Freischutz)是他的首次重要的錄音制作,他的深刻動人的解讀使韋伯的這部情節驚險的歌劇作 品滿足了所有的期望,在傑出的演員陣容幫助下,加上錄音制作人的優秀工作和清澈透明的錄音,是本套唱片成為最令人信服的版本。《企鵝唱片指南》給以三星評 價、《日本唱片藝術》評為最佳名曲!

Respighi 莱斯庇基 - Fountains of Rome 羅馬之泉, Pines of Rome 羅馬之松 , Roman Festiva 羅馬節慶

Dutoit 杜特華 - 指挥, Orchestre Symphonique De Montreal, 在這張雷斯庇基(Respighi)交響詩《羅馬的噴泉》(Fountains of Rome)、《羅馬的松樹》(Pines of Rome)和《羅馬的節日》(Roman Festiva)中,迪圖瓦(Dutoit)就象在其它輝煌而姿彩紛呈的演出中一樣,調動了他那出色的蒙特利爾交響樂團(Orchestre Symphonique De Montreal )投入的演奏,他抓住了表現的脈絡,體現了輝煌的氣勢。Decca的數字錄音效果極好,十分有吸引力,《企鵝唱片指南》三星評價!

Bartok 巴托克 - The Miraculous Mandarin 芭蕾音樂奇異的滿洲官吏, Op.19 & Music For Strings, Percussion And Celesta

Dorati 多拉蒂 - 指挥, Detroit Symphony Orchestra 底特律交响乐团, 多拉蒂(Dorati)指揮底特律交響樂團(Detroit Symphony Orchestra)演出的巴托克(Bartok)芭蕾舞劇《神奇的滿大人》(The Miraculous Mandarin, Op.19)和《為弦樂、打擊樂和鋼片琴所作的協奏曲》(Music For Strings, Percussion And Celesta )采用了Decca出色的數字錄音技術,音響的力度變化范圍極為壯觀,非常生動逼真,有巨大的沖擊力。

Vaughan Williams

1. Haitink 海丁克 - 指挥, London Philharmonic Orchestra 伦敦爱乐乐团, 海丁克(Haitink)指揮倫敦愛樂樂團(London Philharmonic Orchestra)演出的沃恩?威廉斯(Vaughan Williams)《第2『倫敦』交響曲》(A London Symphony)在活潑的主題中,一成不變的處理方式有時帶來一種出人意料的斯特拉文斯基的特質,對慢樂章優美旋律廣闊而寧靜的處理帶來的是懮郁的氣質 而不是浪漫的熱情,在《塔利斯主題幻想曲》(Fantasia On A Theme By Thomas Tallis)中,平直的節奏使得音響有逼人的宏大氣勢,EMI的數字錄音音場壯闊,《企鵝唱片指南》推薦為三星!

2. Felicity Lott - 女高音, Jonathan Summers - Baritone 男中音, Haitink 海丁克 - 指挥, London Philharmonic Orchestra 伦敦爱乐乐团, 海丁克(Haitink)指揮倫敦愛樂樂團(London Philharmonic Orchestra)演奏的沃恩?威廉斯(Vaughan Williams)《第1『大海』交響曲》(A Sea Symphony)強勁有力而又直截了當,速度雖然寬緩,但一直保持著豪邁的氣派,體現出了作品的貴族氣息,EMI的數字錄音飽滿而厚重,樂隊在合唱隊之 前聲音涇渭分明,《企鵝唱片指南》評為三星!

3. Haitink 海丁克 - 指挥, London Philharmonic Orchestra 伦敦爱乐乐团, 海丁克(Haitink)指揮倫敦愛樂樂團(London Philharmonic Orchestra)指揮了沃恩·威廉斯(Vaughan Williams)《第7『南極』交響曲》(Antartica Symphony)這部很久以來被認為僅僅是標題交響曲的演出,錄音令人吃驚的豐滿和逼真,海丁克的努力是這部作品別具心意,《企鵝唱片指南》三星推薦!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Its Christmas time~~ Looking back, my hifi journey in 2008 has been an enjoyable one. With the change in career and the need for constant travel, my time for hifi has been greatly reduced. However, given the limited time, I have still managed to squeeze in some time for some listening..which is good enough.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Great vocal CDs

For those who love Theresa Deng, there are two Chinese CDs 鄧麗君 - 淡淡幽情 & 鄧麗君 15週年 are a must!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

JBL L65a versus JBL Jubal

Basing on the photograph, we can see the main different between the JBL L65 and JBL Jubal is in its layout. The Jubal has placed the logo on the right while the JBL L65 left. In addition the tweeter positions, hole opening also differ. Any other differences?

The JBL L65a is truly a pair of "value for money" speakers. Currently, at HK$11,000, one can only find some entry level speakers. The performance of the speakers is tuly amazing as with its 12 inch and the mid and 077 high frequencies drives, one is able to listen and "experience" much more then a normal small speakers. Size does matter in this instance..


Friday, December 19, 2008

Dvorak New World Symphony

Dvorak New World conducted by Kertesz is considere one of the best!

CD Chai

Many audiophiles love vocal music with Chai Chin and Theresa Theng dominating the music scene in vocal representation. However, there is another Chai for you to explore...

JBL L65A (born in 1974)

I know I was not supposed to buy any more new "old" toys in the current economic climate. However, with crisis also come opportunities. Many of these vintage gears prices have fallen to the 2005 price level and many of the rare items began to "surface" : )

I remembered the prices of a pair of all original and good condition JBL L65A was around HK$11,000 in 2005 and it went up to as high as HK$16,000 in early 2008.

With the financial crisis, it went back to a "reasonable" level where I felt the offer was too good to resist. Another reason why I need these slightly "larger" speakers was because I have been into classical music lately and the 8 inch full range, while good for vocal and light instruments, has limitation when handling the classical orchestra music whch needed both high and low. Since my Tannoy Cantebury is back in Singapore, I have no choice but to get the JBL L65..

I was trying to find out more on the JBL thread in R33 but everyone was "busy" and few has the time to answer my questions . It seemed that many of the hifi threads have become phtographic societies with posting of photographs of scenary rather then hifi discussion? : )
I have to open another thread in order to get some responses. I was torn between the Lancer 77, the JBL L65 and the C56. After much consideration, I went for the JBL L65 as it has 126A, LE5-6 as well as the 077 high frequencies all into one. The most expensive item in the speakers is the pair of 077 crystals high frequencies whih costs about HK$6000-6500.

I was told that there are a few versions of the JBL, namely JBL L65, JBL L65A, and JBL Jubal.
My units is JBL L65A where all the 3 drivers were alnico magnets (L65A 個 A字代表鋼磁單元). There was one set in the shop at Ap Liu street in much better cosmetic selling at $12,800 but unforunately, the mid driver was ferrite (粉磁) and not alnico. I almost "went" for it but lucky I took my time to do my research and search.

This JBL is Ah Bao Christmas present ! Ha ha! When I plugged in my amplifiers into the speakers, I was immediately attracted by its ability to have a "fuller" sound stage and a quicker responses when listening to Dvorak 9. Listening to vocal was also a pleasure..

1974 was the year when I was in still in my primary 3... Ha Ha

There is another version JBL L65 Jubai...where the layout is slightly different..

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Conducted by Stokowski

Dvorak Requiem Istvan Kertesz

This CD features the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Istvan Kertesz in Dvorak Requiem (w/Pilar Lorengar, Erzsebet Komlossy, Robert Ilosfalvy, Tom Krause) and Kodaly Psalmus Hungaricus (w/ Lajos Kozma. The set include also Kodaly Hymn of Zrinyi conducted by Laszlo Heltay at the helm of the Brighton Festival Chorus (w/Benjamin Luxon).

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


企鵝三星。Roge - 钢琴, 羅熱(Roge)彈奏的薩蒂(Satie)鋼琴獨奏作品《3首裸體歌舞》(3 Gymnopedies)、《6首玄秘曲》(6 Gnossiennes)等出色的展示出這些曲目較光明的一面,他的彈奏保持了連貫的優美音質,而這些在Decca優良的錄音中得到了突出的體現,《企鵝唱片指南》推薦為三星!