03 June, 2018

IKEA Kallax

IKEA Shelves (Kallax)

Yumcha Diary: June 2, 2018
The yumcha gang has been on a roll. My feeble action last week of bringing a bottle of cheap German Riesling to the table enticed our resident wine connoisseur Dave to bring this time a bottle of nice white burgundy (from recollection, Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet, like pic, but different vintage). 正是:拋磚引玉,爽呀!

The nice burgundy was finished in no time. The follow up was much less glamorous, a HKD 25 bottle of Sangria from 759, but it was surprisingly full flavored and non-acidic - even without fruits it was pleasant. Our friend k.c. particularly enjoyed it.

Thx to DIY afficionado Thomas for fixing my Arcam rDAC. I am enjoying it right now. Report to come.

IKEA Kallax: My Satisfaction vs Art Dudley's Woes
This morning I had a little time on my hand. As I listened to my systems perched upon my IKEA Kallax bookshelves I read the online Stereophile and discovered Art Dudley has written about the same shelves.

Many people, including I, use this series of bookcases to store LP's - highly effective, great looking and bargains (the larger models are even better). But I know of no one who places his equipment atop these - until now.

Art Dudley made a brief attempt to place his main equipment on these (lying down), but it didn't work for him: "...In one of those moments of questionable judgment to which we're all prey (or so I'd like to think), I considered that devoting 5.5 square feet of floor space to a piece of furniture that holds only audio equipment was a luxury I could no longer afford in so small a house. So I horizontally oriented one of the three finished Kallaxes and tried it in place of my Box Furniture D3S equipment rack, with LPs within and turntable, step-up transformer, preamp, and power amp on top. My system sounded like shit—and my gift with purchase was that the stylus jumped the groove if I so much as thought about walking through the room while playing a record. Lesson learned..."

I have been listening to my systems perched atop the Kallaxes for a long time, and it has been very satisfying, as my friends Seng, jules and WSS can readily attest. Much earlier on, for about a year I had also had these lying down, and they sounded even better. I reckon my Ongaku is even heavier than AD's equipment, and I now run a cheap turntable without trouble. Arguably, my setup is even more prone to vibrations as my loudspeakers are also on top. One major difference is that my floor is solid tile, and AD's is not and much more susceptible to footfall. Second, I had spent a some time doing just a little isolation. The loudspeakers sit on shock-absorbing grooved rubber slaps (courtesy of WSS). The 3 tips of the light turntable rest on Japanese "earthquake proof" gels (from the local ten cent store), and I have small slivers of folded egg cartons under the 47 Labs 4737's, which are not allowed to directly touch the shelf. Finally, as jules astutely remarked on a visit, one can actually use some vibrations to one's benefit (a la BBC). It is not ideal, for sure, but it is doable.

Time Out for Food (HK Yuen Long)
Today's outing is for the incomparable 添記
in Yuen Long. This is another dai pai dong style roast meat eatery 燒臘飯店. Why do people bear with 34C without air conditioning? Because the food is excellent! I have never seen a 燒臘飯店 with so many female patrons - sure sign of excellence!

添記 is most famous for its 燒肉, but actually everything is good because they use the freshest ingredients. You are not going to find many 燒肉 (腩仔,絕無下欄) made with fresh pork these days (so are the 叉燒 and 燒排骨). Just as importantly, the restaurant uses coal cooking 碳燒, very rare today.

It was just me, so a humble plate of 燒肉切雞飯. Incidentally, the chicken may be frozen, but it is choice 龍崗雞, very tasty. I just wish they would charge more for a better beer, but no complaints!

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