27 January, 2009

Home Visit: Wine and Cigars first; hifi second

pic: Composite of hilltop view of Saikung (click on all pics to enlarge)

Home Visit: An old friend

On 年初二,Captain and I went to visit an old friend in Saikung.

We have known the host and his wife for years, since hk.rec.audiovisual and Audioboard days (pre-R33). The couple inhabit 整栋村屋 on top of one of the hills, with an open vista. One can see the mountain range as well as the sea and valley in the distance. The sitting/listening room is on the second floor and very cozy.

You can tell the host used to be quite a hifi addict. Although in recent years he is more interested in gardening and learning how to play the eletric piano, he has remained an avid music lover. His current system is half borrowed from friends, and it sounds a lot better than before! Nice friends to have, huh?

Gears used
-Source most used is theSlimdevice Sqeezebox (wireless transmission from computer), using digital out to
-Goldmund Mimesis DAC
-Cello preamp and Duet amp (a little equalizing)
-B&W Matrix 801 pair for music listening. Another pair in the back serves for the home theater.
-Linn multiplayer for SACD and AV use.
-Krell MD-1 for occasional enjoyment (host said to remind him how CD playback is still superior)
-The Uher is broken but a great display piece.

Captain and the host sat on the chairs to the left smoking Cuban cigars for hours, while we all sipped a nice red from South Africa. After a while, we just listened to RTHK4 thru the Squeezebox. I must say it makes you concentrate on the conversation, which is more important, and what a great time we had. Even thru the Squeezebox, sound was quite good and I enjoyed listening to the live concert from Rotterdam conducted by the rising star Yannick Nexet-Seguin with Nicolas Angelich as soloist.

After a pot-luck dinner we compared CD playback through the Krell with the Squeezebox. One track obviated the need to carry on further. But who cares? Tough the Squeezebox may not be the last word in hifi, it is eminently enjoyable and stylish to boot. I am going to get one!

The dogs were amazing! Even though we were on the second floor, whenever we got near the window we could see them perk up and intently gaze at us!

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