Friday, July 2, 2010

Reviewing own system...

After years in listening to music through high fidelity system (if I may call my system a hi-fi), there was lots of changes in my setup through my entire journey. Amplifier, speakers, cdp,TT and not to forgets..the cables!. Previously my system was reviewed by Panzer aka Big E in one of the blogging site (please find the review by clicking at hifi review section) and at the point of time my VTL MB250 monoblocks was the star of the system. Having valves system was great but I need something simpler but still deliver what I want, and that makes me hunting for McCormack series of amplifier (DNA225). Why McCormack amplifier?, ok, previously I've had used DNA 0.5 and DNA 1 Deluxe and the performance of these amps are well above their price tags and with my previous setup, no complaints. From Harman Kardon HK6100 - Marantz PM80 - John Shearne phase 2 Ref - DNA 0.5 - DNA 1 - Krell KSA 80B - down graded to Primare I30 - Naim 120x/150x - Naim 202/200 - VTL & McCormack DNA 225 and DNA stays. Steve, the designer are humble too in answering every questions you asked.

In sound reproduction in my opinion, the speakers are the most easily- to- detect change of sounds or presentation after the source. One have to remember garbage in garbage out is the key/rules in every setup. From JBL LX-22 - Mordaunt Short MS35Ti - B&W 602 S2- Mission 752 - Snell type J mk4 (this is lovely) - Dynaudio Audience 50 - Von Schweikert VR1 Ref ( the best monitor so far, big sound) - Usher BE718 - ZU Druids MK4 (08 mod kit). Yes ZU Druids mk4 which has high sensitivity to drive 225wpc McCormack. I've emailed Steve asking his opinion on this pair, he told me that many of his customers are using ZU but with 100 steps volume port for channel accuracy. Since I'm having my DIY passive buffer pre with 2pcs 6922, Elma steps pot, Nichicon gold tunes & Mundorf Silver/Oil Caps and all MIT wires, I decided to give it a try.

At this point, this is my best setup so far. Every detail of recording is heard through. The venue, style of recording, every nuance, clicks, licks of strings is made heard by ZU. Separations of each instruments are great and the depth is believable. I love this speakers very much and I guess this the advantage of having full range just different!. Since I'm into music for a very long time, jamming, performing, guitars, drums (well, it stopped for quite sometime...hmm actually long enough)..this systems has musical accuracy which will leads you into air guitar and drumming..even becoming a conductor for an orchestra.

Close your eyes and the speakers are gone, only you and the music...errkk. I don't need to do that, it disappear even eyes wide open!. Double bass is the hardest instrument for sound reproduction, often the lowest frequency booming which translate into unmusical sound. The lowest note of a double bass is an E1 (on standard four-string basses) at approximately 41 Hz , on 5 strings bass the note Bo can go as low as 31hz and this setup deliver without bloating out its sound. Contrabass player, Garcia-Fons: Ghazali was performed on this. On Marla Glen - The cost of freedom, the rumble of definitely not from 4 strings basses (could be 5 or 6 strings played by Pat Senatore) is very well presented, resonates even at lowest frequency of the song. This is bass!

The piano is one of the most complex instrument for its tonality for sound reproduction. It's not only key sound but has string vibration, hammer, body/scale of the piano, pitch/harmonic accuracy and paddles ups/downs. Chie Ayado the best live album has given me the new dimension in piano tonality through this session. Comparable to my Yamaha alive!.

The differences that you can spot not only on different album or artiste, but on every track in single disc. Well, it's depends on how the recording was just shows. The LAT International SS-1000 mkII speaker cables which received great review by users are the linking pair from DNA. This cable does make the does seriously. From my preamp to DNA, The Stout silver interconnect does the job.

This system not reaching to the optimum level yet as I'm only using an old humble marantz cd63 (mod) and this CD63 smoked T.S Lim's marantz moded player anytime! and I was thinking if I were not to sell my Esoteric P30/Victor Lab K2 Dac, this system would shine through even better!. Why did I sold my Esoteric/K2?...down sizing as I'm looking for simple cd playback and focus on my TT, the Clearaudio Champion. But until to date I haven't set it up properly due space constraints.

Ok guys, I'm not saying mine is the absolute in hi-fidelity, don't compare to mega system that costs a bomb. This is not my best system if to compare from my previous but for a modest and as my reference from my previous setup, this is my best far.

Music on this review: Ryan Adams - Love is Hell. On last track you can really feel like the band performing in an empty pub at closing time and you're sitting at the bar stool enjoying the atmosphere. I thought it's real enough before this....this superseded my experience.

Dire Straits, Yuri Honing Trio, Eva Cassidy, Chie Ayado, Marla Glen, Arya Setyadi - the bass player etc.

p/s: I wanted to add a subwoofer from ZU if possible after read about it. Click here to read

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Band of Horses...

The 3rd album from these gentlemen are so addictive. Check out "Laredo" from their "Infinite Arms" album. Formed in 2004 from Seattle fronted by Ben Bridwell also performed in many opening Pearl Jam, Snow Patrol..etc..

This Alt-Country band loaded with melodic, fine tuned harmonies...

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Denial Obscurantism Collision In The Outerspace

A 75 years old Poet, A National Icon, A Veteran & A Visionary Musicians a-la Gunslingers(due to their profesionally boldness-not guns) finally collides..resulting another 2 latest, musically vogue tracks, that should not be missed by most of human that already open up their eyes..& ears, who then..finally come to believed, the emerging soundscapes of Space Gambus Experiment led by Kamal Sabran(Electro-Acoustic), alongside his most loyal collaborator Zulkifli Ramli(Oud@Gambus), together with the full support, from their creative comrades.

'Suara Dari Dinding Dewan' is 1 of 2 current songs from SGE. It's an opulent results from a collaboration between Dato' A Samad Said@Pak Samad & SGE. It reminds me of the song from The Doors- 'The End' due to it's lenght that took more than 10 minutes plus. Without exageration..bold I may say..The track was delivered by Dato' A Samad if, he'd blown a soul into the track..resulting what I believed to be The Voiced Of 'Sakti!'. The chimes, although minimal, yet delicate ambient sounds alongside he's angelic reading blends perfectly, the improvision clicks so well..that ones can sense a sudden change of feeling after listening to the words...bits by bits. It's a howl of SAKTI colliding in the outerspace, a stand-out, project by Kamal Sabran with SGE & Pak Samad. It's an abstract vague collaboration that led to a sweat success that should not be ignored if you're one of the 'Space Family' like me. I defined it, as a 'caviar', a bold fusion of State Of Art Sounds & Poetry. 'Suara Dari Dinding Dewan' was a brilliant picked, since it's filled with posh words of abstractionism & heart penetrating rhymes. It made me believed- this words was written full order to penetrates ones emotions...& you may feels it's effects instantly.

'Di Bawah Bintang Mengerdip'- is a slight punchier, dreamy like track musically & vocally(Poem readings). The reading was slightly fast..vividly proclaimed a definate answer from a methaporic question- As if it's from Adam & Hawa. Urging listeners to think along side the enchanted poetry written by Pak Samad.

I've come to my conclusion!

SGE- has leaps trumendously from the hidden corner somewhere, from this vast world called Earth. SGE are loading their guns(direction & goals)- maturing progresively..gaining a cult fame..& doing what they believed to be the work of ART- through their cosmic language. I'll give them a both thumbs-ups!-I'll give them an immensed apploused for the efforts..that they have poured to make this dream of cosmic journey to finally...come true!

*The 2 Tracks- Downloads are now available on ''

"A DENIAL OBSCURANTISM COLLISION IN THE OUTERSPACE"- the titled-strictly for 'gimmick' purposes;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod 3GS

Scratch My Back by Peter Gabriel

Let's us be honest to each other, let me whisper clearly in your ears with this simple words of mine..I'm a stranger to Peter Gabriel. I've never bought any of his album, & that's make this one here, is my very first ever!

I did stumble upon his work collarborating with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan on Scorsese-'Temptation Of Christ' the OST, 'Rabbit Proof Fence' OST, a song feature of him in Cameron Crowe's version of 'Vanilla Sky' & his latest OST composition for 'Wall-E'. Yet, none of the above, had tempt buy one of his album..until this one landed in our shore. It's his brand new album, offering varies of cover songs that specially hand picked by Gabriel himself. - Like what 'Johnny Cash' onced qoute- 'A great song will remained A 'Great Song' no matter how you present it!'

Scratch My Back-

It's a DRUM free album. It's an orchestrial composition, with a blend mix of soothing baroque-pop sounds, that will instantly capture your ears..& best to be played late at nite. It's a cover album..yes!- But it's also a twist of posh covers. Peter Gabriel proves- he's the master of Electro/Soundtracks like- Dreamer Savant..that at the top of his games. Peter Gabriel- now visible pose similar look a-like, same as 'Travolta' latest potrayal in 'From Paris With Love', has embark a new journey of pure elegant & in form of classy rejuvanation. The MAN is back!

With selection..including an impressively stunning cover version of David Bowie, Bon Iver, Arcade Of Fire, Radiohead, Regina Spektor & so fourth..this album is a must have! It's a tribute & an experimental vibes offered by this extraodiniary genius here. The strenght of the album also lies in the overall product of this album. Don't talk about the sound alone- it's Awesome! Even the album cover is minimal & poppingly eye catching! A pic of a Blood Cell!

My verdict- As a beginner..a new follower, a quite late so called discovery..I sincerely- Hailed SCRATCH MY BACK BY PETER GABRIEL- as one of my important discovery this year after Bon Iver! On my scales- it's a defenite 9/10! I can't give it a 10/10- since it remains as a drum free album..which I rarely buy without thinking twice. If it's an acoustic guitar album..then it's in an alternate catagories- whereby it will fall in my most often purchased kind of albums same as Cash, Dylan, Jose' Gonzalez, Cat Power, Damien Rice, Seu Jorge or Kathryn Williams..but as I've written earlier..'Scrath My Back by Peter Gabriel is an orchestrial drum free album..& it's very, very new for my listening preferences!

GREAT COMEBACK- an excelent introduction for a person like me- & I hope it does the same to you...lastly...

'Can you please scratch my back?'

Available At Rock Corner, Subang Parade!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod 3GS

Monday, March 22, 2010

Midnight Boom By The Kills

It's always an absolute experience to listened to this Band of Duo- THE KILLS. As for's my third album of this band that I've own. Both, the earlier album is in CD format, while my current buy is a Vinyl.

Midnight Boom is the band latest released & it offers a slight diversion of maturity by maintaining the Art Of Garage Sounds. The duo kinda.. leaping through from their minimal sounds to another form of something that can be recognized as an ear-friendly Sonic groove with a dash of Electro Beat to lighten up..their original electricfying raw sounds. Honestly, this album is worth a catch if you're a fan of White Stripes or anything that's represent the same atmospheric rhythm.. This album is recomended as definate pick.

U.R.A FEVER- is the opening track & the most out-standing track in this released. Not only that- it's the most chill-out track, that in a way make u feels like a cool 'Rockstar' while you're playing it on air! The guitar, & the chill bass line, along side the chic vocal seems to blend perfectly. It make me play it on repeat mode, due to it's cool awesome sonic grooves! It's a laid back neo-garage that sometimes will turn out quite mean..but's The Kills- it's their signature!

The vinyl cost me around USD$24-including Tax & delivery charges. You will get a password- excess to download the whole album in MP3 format. The sound quality is excellent..& the tracks selection is varies from the laid back tunes, to so called more punchier tracks.

The vinyl- Midnight Boom by The Kills on my scales, hits 9/10 easily..due to it's sacred signature of sounds. So..grab it from with a great deal of price! CATCHY & BOOMING!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPod 3GS

Thursday, February 11, 2010


If you're a vinyl enthusiast..then you gotta have this! It's a BLACK SABBATH most Iconic album..yes it does! It contains The Evergreen metal tracks such as the Iron Man, War Pigs, Paranoid(Album Titled) & of course.. it's cosmic ballads- Planet Caravan! It's so iconic because it's represent the past & present sounds of a great indestructible Metal Heads that lived long enough, for us to call them our grand dad..but musically it never fails to tuned our mind towards the band's creative, explosive sounds. They are amazing in what their created, & that's a fact!

PARANOID- is the work of 70's metal genius..although it has been in the market ages ago..but it never fails to captures the younger generation to listen to it..before asking..'Is This New?' -Why? -Because the album..without sounded so ahead of it's era, awesome & the metal riff itself, will leaved ones banging their heads, & thumbing their feets, while playing it on air. One thing..that I loved about this band is..firstly..Black Sabbath have a great taste for their album's cover- which always turn-out STUNNINGLY-COOL especially..on vinyl's sleeve, & of course the songs itself. I's a metal grooves we are reviewing here..but Sabbath's always, I mean, frequently start out the heavier tracks with a mellow, beautiful acoustic@electric guitar solo..before it suddenly turns WHAMM!!! The song..then just.. finally blast it's way through..& rampaging..before end-up again..with Tommi's brilliant final core, in the end, they sums-up the whole song with an epic executioned. Ozzy- the lead singer..had never sounded different from himself since their debut album..until more than 30 years later. Black Sabbath will never sounded as good, as brute, while Ozzy is still with them. My sincere POV,- even Ronnie James Dio..fails to trend set the holy metal sound of Black Sabbath. I know- Some may have vice versa POV..

You may buy this album from It will cost you less than USD$20- New pressing. If you're not particular about the vintage analog sounding, than..PARANOID is damm..very, very worth a pick! If we are referring to the price tag of this collectibles vinyl. At Amcorp Malls on Sat & Sun, during Flea Market,- the cheapest I've encounter will fetch buyer to spend around RM$150-above for the year released vinyl. It's certainly not cheap & the seller, I strongly believed will not..give you a single cent discount on this album I'm reviewing here. make your own judgement.. whether to buy or not to buy.

SOUND & RATINGS- on my personal scales, PARANOID easily hits 10/10! The sound- Let me tell you this..if Led Zep sounded so Awesome on vinyl, especially with it's LED ZEPPELIN II the album, then PARANOID just a step behind. If Jimmy Page can strive with it's bluesy guitar riff, then Tommy Iommi also will blast off with it's metal guitar riff, & acoustics-classicals influenced.. guitar solo! While Ozzy..he never failed to stunned listeners, with his stomach crunching vocal techniques! It's not a rareties.. but it seems to be forgotten-PARANOID-THE ALBUM. So..that's why I'm writing this urged most of the vinyl collectors to induct this great masterpiece into your precious collections! Two words..VINTAGE METAL!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod 3GS

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Best Love Song of the Decade...

My vote would be, "you're beautiful" by James Blunt. This songs has gained its reputation massively from Mr Blunt debut album back in 2004 (Back to Bedlam). It was written beautifully from self experienced moment which all can be found in the lyrics.

Several versions of the song exist. One lyrical version has an explicit word in it ("She could see from my face that I was fucking high") especially on US/Canada pressing and its single. The radio edit of the song replaces the explicit lyric, changing it to "She could see from my face that I was flying high".

In a poll conducted by Rolling Stone to identify the 10 most annoying songs, this song was ranked seven. In another poll by the British tabloid The Sun it was voted the most irritating song of all time. It's all because of the ON AIR frequency or frequent repetitions...just that!

In 2007 MTV awards, the music video of "you're beautiful" has won 2 categories, best male video and best cinematography. I have to agree that the cinematography was simple yet so effectively mind haunting view. The video is about Mr Blunt committing suicide by removing his belongings one by one and jump off the cliff into icy water at the end of the scene.

"But it's time to face the truth, I will never be with you"..this particular part of lyrics really gives an impact to the song..IMHO

Monday, January 25, 2010





SPACE GAMBUS EXPRIMENT-not only it's a COOL titled but it's also a COOL Experimental, instrumental electro-'ambient' album that will make us believes, this is the sounds coming from the outerspace. Electro-Acoustic is the SPACE! & Gambus is the EARTH! That's the way I look at it. A brilliant 'metamorphism' for the both subjects, & now Kamal Sabran, finally presenting his ELEGANT SCI-FI AMBIENT SOUNDS TO US! It's not an easy's also a bold moves..but when it comes to deep passion, everything turns to JOY!

RADIOHEAD, PORTISHED, AIR, NINE INCH NAILS, SUICIDE, DAVID SYLVIAN, GARY NUMAN, THE FLAMING LIPS, TOM WAITS, BRIAN ENO, RACHID TAHA, KHALED, PETER GABRIEL, NUSRAT FATEH ALI KHAN, ETC.. you list it, you name it, maybe SGE has a bit of this & that, a dash of him or theirs, but DARE I MUST SAY- SPACE GAMBUS EXPERIMENT IS HONEST & ORIGINAL. Not only that, it is the very owned, genuine sounds of Kamal Sabran & Zulkifli Ramli. This Duo certainly had 'Blown' me away by this released.

The SGE Album only cost RM$20. It contains 10 instrumental ambient tracks, that will insure, your listening session to be an unexpected exploration of Unique Soundscape based on Kamal's obsession on the mysterious sounds in the outerspace. The SGE Album lenght less than 30 minutes, but honestly- it will satisfy listeners & it has this 'Gem', that will make ones to be addicted to it. Kamal is the ELECTRO GENIUS, behind all this fusion of cosmic sound,- & indeed, without doubt, he rendered SPACE GAMBUS EXPERIMENT towards it's own CULT FAME!

Best to be played while you're in the verge to start-out your day, or while lounging at home, I mean relaxing. As for me,- I listen to it, late at nite while updating my Blog, or waiting for 'In The Mood For Sleeping'. Very inviting, calming & warmth atmosphere to listen at, with a fairly, not so bad sounding quality of a $20 CD,- A Product Made from Ipoh, Malaysia. On the iPod-Standard stock Ear-phones, it may sound fairly fair, but on standard car audio, or a decent priced Hi-Fi, it will resonates SUPERBLY! Trust me on this!

SGE CD comes with an interesting minimal cover, Booklet design by Kamal Sabran(himself) & team, themselves. A BRAVO again.




- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod 3GS

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


He he he.... Whose there? Syyyyyyhhhhh.....

Peek -a- Boo! I've watch this movie last nite. At first glanced, it seems, like nothing is gearing up for excitement. Then.... It finally hit me!

An adaptation from a kiddie book writen by Maurice Sendak. It was given an adrenalin boost!-to project this 10 pages sweet charming child tales to something that is so moved too watch, as an adult.

I'm moved by the simple wicked, fun, easy tales of troubled estranged young MAX in the Company Of MONSTERS, led by mixed emotions- CAROL THE MONSTER!

Yes! It's an adaptation, but Spike Jonze had develop this short tales to an inspiring fantasy. Too me, this film
Kinda leap through a metaphor of a kid imaging himself solving a great problem of an adult world, that in the end appears to be, too confusing, & the best result is too back up, & let them(adult) move on to solves what ever need to be done. The Monsters, yes is a brilliant 'Hint' of an 'adulthood' that full of conflicts & apart from all the turmoil, lies the huge amount of spechless beauty! The scenary in this film was shot beautifully in Australia, & it kept me, feeling amazed just by watching the vast enchanted landscapes. Simply Breathtaking to look at!

It's a fun rides, I must say while viewing this film. But the MOST STELLAR SCENES:- I strongly believes(final chapter) is when MAX THE KING, KID was bidding his farewell to his fellow monsters, & Carol the monsters just made it on time to bid him the same, -LAST GOODBYE!

It's a simple scene,- yet I'm moved by the sentimental atmosphere. The sad howls by all the characters during that finale scene, had simply touched me, emotionally. I guees thanks to the melancholy soundtracks produced by Karen O- from Yeah Yeah Yeah.

A simplest thought!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod 3GS