The 2nd AE Super HI End Audio Show on July 12, 2014

Piano Tuner
edited June 2014
Time flies. In about less than a month, AE is going to hold the 2nd Super Hi End Show at the HK Convention Center in partnership with Audio Technique. My crew was discontented with the sonic performances last year. The silent display of Zanden Chouku was unexpected thereby messing up the entire system configuration plan. Absence of public show experiences was another blow as we had never worked in such a tight schedule to set up a mega system for public listening in an alienated acoustics environment. On the positive side, that also suggests tremendous room for improvement. The learning curve is a steep one for certainty.

Although the atmosphere of the show was cozy and the subsequent impact on sales had been positive, the sonic standard that my crew wanted to achieve was a “failure”. The encouraging part was that a handful of encouraging emails were sent to AE complimenting our passionate and serious attitude. That meant quite a lot to me, and I am truly thankful of your support.

The challenge this year, to be frank, is no less than last year for one single reason. The “Carmen” by Cessaro will be shipped directly to the HK Convention Center. That means I will be listening to her together with all the audiences on the day for the very first time. That also means the Zanden Chouku has never met Carmen before. But what exactly is the Carmen? Essentially, it is an extreme form of Lizst. Instead of the 11” woofer used in the Lizst, the Carmen is going to embrace a 16” woofer. This is an immense technical challenge because it is difficult to ensure the speed of a 16” woofer to be able to catch up with the two 12” drivers employed in the subwoofer session inside the cabinet. As a result, a new 16” woofer has to be developed from sketch. And the goal is to make the mass of it even lighter than a 12” driver. The speed according to Ralph will be almost as the same as the field coil 16” woofer installed in David’s Brahms in HK. And we succeeded. Then the whole cabinet has to be widened because of the extra diameter of the new woofer. The mathematics of the bass horn has to be recalculated given the increment in width. And for Carmen, we go as far as using stronger internal structure to further reduce the mechanical distortions of the internal bass horn. And the quality of crossover parts applied is second to none in the world exclusively for Audio Exotics.

As of now, Ralph Krebs of Cessaro is working around the clock to make it a reality. I have not seen any real picture of it as well. But I trust Ralph. My idea is to make the Carmen getting a lot closer to the Beta 2 without the need of installing a huge bass horn which is not a practical solution for 99% of the audiophile population. We also want to keep the aesthetic of the Carmen as one big majestic sculptural object.

And then the almighty Chouku by Yamada has already been working stably at AE now. I don’t have to comment too much as many who have experienced it knew the height of the summit. The Chouku has allowed the Lizst to reach its full potential, and that is the first time I felt the speakers has already reached the limit. Mr. Zanden always jokes with me that good sound only last a short while because we immediately want more once certain threshold is reached. And then the birth of Carmen follows suit.

I also want to say a few words about Robert’s Takumi K15 preamplifier. This is a super league preamplifier for one single reason – it can catch up the lightning speed (carries with incremental energy as rhythm accelerates/decelerates) of Zanden Chouku. I can’t describe the experiences by words anymore but those few who had already experienced the Takumi K15/Chouku below 30 hours of operation know what I am talking about.

I always encourage direct conversation with designers more than looking at the specifications. Measurements only tell us what are the wrongs but they never tell how right is right. That is why AE will bring in the star team again this year so that audiences have an opportunity to see them in person, take photographs and talk to them in real time. Dietmar Braumer of Trinity (DAC and phono) , Robert of Robert Koda (Preamplifier), Yamada of Zanden Audio (Power amplifier), Miguel of Tripoint (ground noises filtration device) ,and last but not least is Ralph Krebs of Cessaro Horn System.

The whole hi end audio world is reading this forum intensively. I want to use this opportunity to say a few words. The equipments selected for the show are primarily for the purpose of maximizing the synergy amongst the chosen equipments at this particular timeframe subjectively perceived by the AE crew as the best given our experiences. I encourage both end customers and manufacturers to have an open mind despite presence of competing products. The fact that I have chosen A over B for the show does not suggest one is more superior to the others under all circumstances, especially the choice of cables. If the show is solely for business orientation, I should have picked a much smaller speaker and a much more affordable amplifier.

This is a show about conviction, demonstration of knowhow, and institution of professionalism. Sales are important but secondary. The audio business is not a pretty one. That is why AE decides to walk a different path. When I read newspapers everyday in Hong Kong, negative sentiment prevails vehemently. People are getting very serious about complaints with each passing day, but spare no effort to improve amongst ourselves and to right the wrongs. This is not good to the young people. I do not want to walk this path.

And I also believe every move that one makes could potentially bear either positive or negative influences on unknown people sometimes to the infinite scale. Many are watching us. Thus, I must demonstrate a positive attitude utilizing our knowhow and experiences to do a great show. We want audiences to witness our improvement with each passing year because the hope for betterment cultivates positive externalities.

Chris Leung


  • PT, i echo every line that you have written, it is a very inspiring piece and knowing you for years, we share similar values and views on what is happening in HK nowadays.

    Wish you have a successful show on 12Jul, this year I will be there meeting up with the Star Team....

    Can't wait.
  • 1st pic of Carmen
  • Well said and written. Will be there!
  • This show has generated international interest! I know plenty will come from overseas for an AE experience. I wonder how will PT handle the capacity.
  • It has been a paradigm shift for me ever since the Trinity DAC boarded home. The experiences of Goebel, Dalby and Absolue creation silent the mouth of plenty believing Odin and those wires by Siltech are the holy grail. They do a good job of reproducing the surface of the music well, but absent the inner substance. Tonal balance has a pre-determined color which I dislike but may fit other systems.

    I will bring a few friends of mine to attend the show. They are almost ear-washed by my system.
  • The 2nd AE super show will be full of surprises in all corners down to minute details. This is another teaser.
  • What the hell is this?
  • PT,

    You must be exhausted. I can see your relentless spirit in delivering the best AE can do. Don't push yourself too hard because we need your guidance! I always treasure the very spirit of yours. The end results do not matter as your attitude already inspired too many to swtich camp permanently to your side. We know what AE is capable of by going to your showroom.

    Just don't push yourself too hard. I guess this is the greatest audio show in the world from now on now given the exclusiveness of the electronics, not to mention the presence of the whole "dream team." HK needs more people with the right attitude to deliver quality works. If the spirit is not there, all these electronics are meaningless.

    Really looking forward to this show! I believe you will be able to institute a culture of your own.
  • 妙極!「巨匠」是一個代表有深厚功夫的人,而「長空」是形容胸襟,「天籟」卻是代表聲音。「卡門」是法國作曲家喬治·比才的歌劇代表作,可能是暗喻Cessaro新喇叭是破舊立新的作品。「聖三一」意指 聖父,聖子以及聖靈,有淨化情神以及昂首信仰的含意。作為訉源意指為純潔的源頭。

  • 乙女, 你是女性嗎?
  • Simplicity 2 in Gold exclusively built for AE show
  • The "Carmen" project by Cessaro exclusively for AE is done. We managed to bring down the crossover point to 70hz because of higher Q factor achieved by the new 16" bass driver.
  • Mr Oliver Gobel has built an exclusive statement power cable for the cost no object Chouku amplifier by Zanden. The extreme high voltage of the 212 tube is not an ordinary encounter for most power cables.
  • The Dalby flagship "Celestial" ground cable built to complement ............

    Ground cables are even more important than power cables most of the time. It is just that no one has ever tried to make a convincing demo.