This is the sole annual HiFi show in town held in J.W. Marriot during the last weekend of July (gone were the days when we also have the AV Fest organized by the folks at Star publications); this year's event was held from 24th till 26th July 2009. I am a confirmed workaholic who spends significantly long hours at work throughout the year but comes KLIAV show, I'll be there on the first day on Friday itself with friends and a colleague after lunch. A not-too-inexpensive sumptuous lunch is on me, as usual. This year, Jerry joined Adrian (brought along his junior), Lai (only joined us since last year) and me in attending the show.
I shall not attempt to report on the show which is not my intent in the first place but instead mention items or rooms that caught my attention. First, there is the Marantz KI Pearl CDP in anodized black being showcased at Wo Kee Hong room at list price (or was it actually R.R.P.?) of RM11,550. It sure looks and feels substantial in weight. Exorbitant price? You decide but net prices of Marantz products by the dealers are only a fraction of their list prices and this is amongst the few limited units of extremely fine-sounding CDP allocated for Malaysia. A rare gem indeed as far as I am concerned!
Next, there is the AVP Soundcraft room, the current distributor of Simaudio equipments from Singapore. I did not even sit down to listen but felt the sound emanated from the Simaudio power amplifiers to be extremely powerful and high in PRaT delivery yet so refined (I am having a discontinued baby Simaudio Moon i3 integrated amplifier at home myself). I bumped into Panzer of desirableaudio blogspot there enquiring on the Moon LP5.3 phono stage and later Wong and his friend at the 4th floor where music software are sold. I was told Hifikaki would be attending the show the following day.
IMO, the other rooms with better sonics are RAVE Audio with Gryphon amplifiers and Audio Perfectionist with McIntosh amplifiers although I did not stay to listen long enough as time is scarce and I wanted to cover the entire show leaving enough time to shop for music software. I tried hard to like the new Krell S-300i integrated amplifier setup in Norman Audio room but had to concede that its sound, although powerful, was somehow coarse. As usual, I also bumped into personal friends who possess such high enthusiasm in audio playback and these include Peter, Lee and Arthur this year but failed to meet up with Lim whom I corresponded through e-mail shortly prior to the show and Chan who sms-ed me on Sunday.
The biggest attraction to my group of friends and I (with exception of Jerry) is the music software on sale so much so that Lai went back the following day to procure more CDs, so I was told. He left early on the first day as he did not want to miss his weekly badminton session. Hah! If only he was so enthusiastic in work matters! I picked up 2 CDs and 2 vinyl LPs for RM190 in total. The CDs are Hong Shao Xuan (洪邵轩), a Singaporean male artiste from the era of Eric Moo (巫啟賢) and Singapore folk songs (新谣) (I still have my "明天 21" cassette up to now), singing popular Chinese hit songs from 1950–1980 in a serially-numbered limited edition CD (only 1,000 copies made) direct from its master tape by Pisu-18 Studio and Yamaha's Jazz - Hollywood Elegance. Hong's vocal prowess is superb, the way he renders the songs fantastic and the CD's great sonics render the CD a rare find indeed! I had initially thought it sounded very analogue in my system but upon closer scrutiny during countless later listening sessions, I'd pronounce it as digital but minus the digital nasties and one of the better digital recording done very right. The songs I like best from the CD thus far are track Nos. (1) 梦湖, (3) 不了情, (5) 月光小夜曲 and (7) 庭院深深. The LPs are Diana Krall's new and 12th album – Quiet Nights and Crystal Gayle's Miss the Mississippi (1979). I love the entire music software I acquired at the show - a good mix of old and new numbers!