11 April, 2009

Brief Audition: KONDO dealer

Brief Audition: KONDO

The dealer in Tsuen Wan keeps a very neat shop, and the staff is unfailingly courteous. There are only some audiophile CDs. It's most imperative you bring your own. I visited twice but did not stay too long each time.

Using 47 Lab digital sources and M7 line preamp and of course Kondo cables, driving a pair of small Kharma's, the first time I heard the Gaku-On, monoblock version of the Ongaku, employing 2x 211 each channel in PSE fashion. The sound bore resemblance to the Ongaku. I thought I could detect the shimmering and inimitable treble, superb transparency as well as the excellent presence factor. With 45 watts on hand, the Kharma performed well enough but not up to the standard that Kondo obtained with his weird speakers many years ago in the hifi show.

The second time, everything stayed the same, but Souga replacd the Gaku-On. At first I thrilled to the very clean bass, but after a while I became aware of a leaness that was a bit much. The pair was virtually brand-new and I don't think nearly run-in. However, even then, you could detect that the treble and presence factor have the same signature. It'd be interesting to hear whether the midrange will firm up when run-in. The Souga seems to be selling well. Allegedly, half of the first lot of 10 have been sold.

I thought the Souga looks good. I personally find the squarish Gaku-Oh and Neiro not too good looking; the colors of the knobs, front plate and top plate just clash a bit. I still like the Ongaku look the most.