30 July, 2009

The Yumcha Diaries: 25/07/09

The Yumcha Diaries: 25/07/09
Horns, more please

After yumcha, four of us went to audition BenYC's new horn setup. It's a "clone" of the Jensen Imperial. Sometimes you can hear the real thing (asking for >>$100k) play magnificent music at YK audio.

The alnico drivers are actually not expensive, according to BenYC. Instead of a one-piece enclosure, he made a ported bass enclosure (side vents) according to Jensen spec, and made two open-back enclosures for the midrange horn and the tweeter, to which a supertweeter is added passively. A cheap dbx 3-way professional ss crossover feeds 3 amplifiers at recommended crossover points: SUN VT-25 LE, SUN 6V6SE and ASL EH-6V6 PP (rugged, and could be used in this originally 6L6 PP amp!!) monoblocks, driving the tweeter assembly, midrange and bass, respectively. The rest of the equipment include PS Audio Lambda, Parasound PCM-63 DAC, Counterpoint SA5.1.

The system was just setup and still in early tuning stage. Compared to the previous (non-alnico) Klipsch La Scala, which I sold to BenYC, there was certainly more details up above though a slightly etched quality was apparent and coherence seemed to be lacking slightly. Later, it was revealed BenYC's kids had "re-equalized" the curve! :-) Ah, sweet kids...

Although not yet perfect, the detailed sound revealed very good presence, as a good horn should do (though many don't) and I agree with whlee that one could tell the quality and potential of the drivers. I am not quite sure I agree bass is better than La Scala, which has deep bass if you do it right.

Anyway, an good setup with eminently deep potentials, which I look forward to re-auditioning soon. I also have to re-arrange my house now (friends know how big a task that is) to receive the La Scala back. This I plan to put beneath my current alnico pair, so as I can play them stacked! Isn't that something to look forward to! :-)

12 July, 2009

The Yumcha Diaries: 11/07/09

The Yumcha Diaries: 11/07/09
Water, all around

Once again, a stormy day, and topics of the day seemed to revolve around water of all sorts.

With signal 3 hoisted, the restaurant was again deserted. I was the first to arrive and had a good chat with one of the waitresses. As you know, most of them are relatively new arrivals from China. First we talked about beverages. With the exception of water and perhaps tea and alcohol, most mainlanders of certain age do not drink anything. We then moved on to food and how terrible chicken taste in HK.

It's always fun to chat with people who provide services. Moreover, it can be beneficial. My old colleagues always asked me why the waitresses were so friendly to me when they actually went much more often than I. Simple, I said. Be friendly, and treat them as equals. It's gratifying to walk into a place and the person knows you want less sugar in your tea.

whlee came directly from Cheung Chau, and we talked about the island at length. Cheung Chau has been my favorite even since I spent 1 month there in 1991. In many ways, it was the nicest month I have had as an adult, for many but ultimately simple reasons.

Captain came and soon we were learning the proper way a tugboat should tow a ship. Negligence in carrying out just the little details could result in fatalities.

JC came much like a 陆客, luggage cart in tow. He and lascalawong immediately launched into an avid discussion on difficult-to-get and out-of-print CDs. JC took out several copies of Taiwan aboriginal CDs and a surprise--a Leica M8! I wonder what else was in his large cart.

I was very touched when Danz dropped by to give me the stack of Mullova Onyx CDs. What a friend!

One of my stops afterwards was Pro Sound. Mr Chu told me finally he was able to source the Nonesuch Richard Goode Beethoven concerto set, 3CDs for the price of 2. If anyone wants a copy, you can contact him or PM me through R33. If through me, you have to come to the restaurant on Saturday to pick it up.