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Divin Laboratory: 蓬萊之境



  • kfmkfm
    edited January 2020

    2.  Divin Lab 1.5 (continued)

    That moment of silence.... 

    Audio candy fulfills the visual cortex but with the Divin Lab, you no longer need to look.  My audio epiphany started with digital replay with the Wadax Atlantis Server, Transport and Reference DAC.  I selected pieces of music that I brought on vinyl for comparison.  Though most of the songs were only of CD quality (44.1Hz), I must say the Wadax Reference DAC removed a tremendous amount of digitalness.  The depth and width of the presentation mimics that of its analogue counterparts.   My wife and I actually forgot that we were listening to a digital source.  Then the discussion of the Vertere Phase AC Management Centre experienced in Sheung Wan was brought up.  I was told by PT that the Divin Lab’s Vertere had not been calibrated yet.  So we changed the phase of the Reference Dac to negative.  Within the first 20 seconds of Diana Krall’s “Case Of You”, our jaws dropped!  The system became more akin to an analogue setup.  I can definitely live this it!

    PT told me that the analogue setup had not been fully optimized.  That didn’t deter me from wanting to experience it.  I played my favourite piece from Stokowski and I noticed a reverse in the position of the instruments.  I politely mentioned it to PT and we reversed the Skogrand Beethoven phono cables from the Thales statement to the Jinpu.  Now, PT and I agreed that we were in audio nirvana!  This is where I want to be.


    So what has 1.5 years of research done to the Divin Lab? 


    The Vertere Phase AC Management Center has shown to be a vital essential to boost the system into the stratosphere.  The difference in the musical presentation in positive and negative phase is akin to night and day.  It brings that state of naturalness to unchartered territories.  Though the device is not objective in telling which is correct, but a few pair of ears will definitely seal the deal.

    Arya Revopods is another component that has simply refined the tonal character.  This is most apparent in the depth and layering of bass notes.  This emphasizes the importance of mechanical stabilization in each of our components.  Definitely another winner!

    Wadax Reference DAC has nudged a cord in my heart.  With the near analogue reproduction, shear quality irrespective of sampling format and ease of attaining any song in the world through streaming,  hmmm.  I don’t want to say more.  This may be detrimental to my health.

    Tripoint Elite Next Generation grounding “nugget of gold”.  This and the Tripoint Empress at the Divin Majestics’ just made every other system including mine sound noisy.  Always understated but such a team player.  I’m sure a Tripoint Empress NG is in the cards.  Dreaming is free….

    The last intangible thing that gelled all this together has been the optimization by Stirling.  Being able to optimize the speaker placement based on single speaker sound pressurization and eliminating room acoustics requires patience, knowledge and strength.  The Divin Lab has been tuned to PTs musical preference.  

    In concerts, he loves to sit in the front row where a truly pressurised and stereo image is felt.  If playing vocals in the Divin Lab, try face the back wall painting and walk about 5 feet from the centre blue tape marked by Stirling.  This is where I found Diana Krall singing.   That will be about 5 feet from the centre Finn Juhl Chieftain chair.   Horns and radial speakers respond and react differently.  Hence the positioning to achieve the visceral impact of musical notes will be completely different.  The final point of musicality is spot on.  Like I said at the beginning, eye candy can take a sidestep. 

    Well done to all the designers!  Well done Stirling!  A big thank you and well done to Chris for going the distance. This is definitely a sensory epiphany.


    KFM and the Family

    PT and KFM 







  • edited August 2019
    Do not underestimate small details is what I learnt from Stirling. And here they are. When Stirling and KFM were in Divin Lab, only the left channel speaker cable was supported by the Vertere Cable elevator.  The right channel speaker cable was using something else until today I made them completely symmetrical. At the highest level of sensitivity, this often matters much more than conventional intuition. 

  • I have some questions for Chris.

    1.  What are the 3 characteristics you like most about the Divin Lab?

    2.  With that, how do you intend to make it stand out more?

    Just an early Sunday morning thought....

  • KFM

    1. Integration of whole frequency band and coherence of sound stage. The sound stage is not built by countable Lego bricks. It is full of ambience. Everything inside the stage has its own perspective and character. That makes the experience believable akin to realism. One can only experience it.  Hard to describe by words even in my own language. 

    2. The ultimate silence credited to Troy Elite NG, Tripoint Empress and Vertere Electrical Phase Management Centre. I have elaborated extensively on the merits of Tripoint. I can only say there is different degree of silence. The deeper you reach there, the more serenity you get. And this matters very much to the ultimate fidelity.  And the Vertere electrical phase center is a genius work as it allows the control of electrical phase for each independent component. When the right electrical phase is selected, noises also go down notably, revealing much more spatial cues. 

    3. Wadax Atlantis Reference DAC is a game changer. People who already listened know what I mean. I need not explain more.

  • To make it stand out more.... I want to enjoy as much as possible this time especially after Mr Stirling’s great optimisation work done at Divin Lab.

    I would like to try with solid state amp later to drive the Goebel Divin Majestic.  

    The Riviera Labs AFM-100 is one of the very best amp out there. I don’t speak this lightly or else I won’t use them at home.  Silvio of Rivera Labs brought the preamp and AFM-50 to Oliver Goebel’s lab to test driving the Divin Nobleness last week. And the sonic results shocked Oliver. I told him long time ago his speakers’ full potential won’t be unleashed if they are driven by the conventional commercialism. 

    Then Robert Koda’s Master Reference 匠心 (Heart of an Artisan) amplifier is coming soon, and I will test them at Divin Lab. 

  • Thanks Chris!!  Interesting and exciting times ahead.  

  • Is there any time slot for me and Darth Vader before mid-autumn festival?
  • edited September 2019
    I was inspired by the comments of Alan Sircom on Divin Lab.  Knowing PT for many years, I knew for certainty the Divin Lab will challenge many.  But I was even more intrigued by Mr.Stirling’s optimisation work.  And then, to be damn frank, I was even more curious about the current state of affairs in Hong Kong.  I was a greedy and dirty banker living in HK for many years before migrating to Tokyo with a semi-retirement live in Honolulu.  On TV, Hong Kong looks like a war zone.  Damn! That is unimaginable! I fuck “status quo” all my life.  Let’ see how bad is Hong Kong from my own eyeballs.

    So I went to the war zone.  I had my binoculars peeping far field of where the most intense actions.  This is an audio page, and I am not going to repeat what can be watched from social media.  I was there to feel the heat.  There was more than heat there, and I know what they are....

    90 minutes I was in Divin Lab greeted by PT.  I just brought a SACD by Esoteric there.  I had no intention of doing ABAB on whatever components like when I was younger.  I was there to experience Beethoven’s Symphony Number 6 - Pastorale - conducted by Karl Bohm.

    Beethoven once said “ I love a tree more than a man.”  Nature to him is food.  I finished listening the whole 1st movement and appaulsed on the Finn Juhl Cheiftain chair.  My mind was cleansed and rinsed by the beautiful music.  This damn system at Divin Lab was able to portray the “state of mind” conveyed by the orchestra under the baton of Karl Bohm.  I was expecting a WRONG “picturesque” experience.  To the audiophile, a pictorial sound stage sounds like a damn achievement.  But not for this recording.  It is about the “carefree” state of mind where I felt open and primitive.  And that was the original intent of Bee and Karl. The moment music started playing, my mind was teleported to a green field from a war zone whom I had been 90 mins before.  My inner self did not visualise any thing but my mind told me I was strolling in nature.  

    PT, my serious advice to you - you should make Divin Lab an international destination.  This must be one of the Prides of Hong Kong.  You have some very powerful stuff on hand that should inspire a lot more people than a pool of old farts.  Let more people know. Let the damn world know there is still a path of illumination in Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong.


  • VR,
    I couldn't agree with you more.

    Best wishes,

  • edited September 2019

    I found mist naturally forming in my eyes upon the lyrics of “Angel” performed by Sarah Mclachlan reaching the climax session  - “It’s easier to believe in this sweet madness. Oh, this glorious sadness, that brings me to my knees.”  The after shock of this emotional experiences still resonate in me after two weeks.  

    This is her Afterglow Live recording red book CD I brought over to Divin Lab playing through the Wadax Atlantis CD transport and the gigantic Reference DAC. I had completely forgotten the physical media of it the moment she started playing the grand piano.  This is a very difficult song because the singer must comprehend the “state of mind” of a drug-taking individual.  Wide swing of emotions in a weightless state of mind requires tremendous control of the vocalist.  And the tonal quality of Sarah is glisteningly pure that projects powerful emotion when the lyrics call for it.

    This man who eventually passed away because of over-dosing was a good friend of Sarah.  She knew him well.  She understood his state of mind.  The cocktail of emotions without moral code is augmented by the eventual holy rescue by an Angel from heaven.  This complicated song thus ends with a graceful composure. The sadness however lingers with the singer.  

    I was in total awe after the last note of piano buried by applauses of audiences.   I and my wife exchanged tissue paper at this moment.  

    Divin Lab deserves a major international marketing push to increase awareness for the right group of people.  This is indeed a path of illumination as VR rightly pointed out.  And there is not a better song than Angel that exemplifies the merits.  

  • I was there too. Although I didn’t know the song as well as Longinus and his wife, the voice of Sarah touched me deeply towards the end - “You're in the arms of the angel.  May you find some comfort here.”

    There is so much emotions going on with these simple words. The outpouring of emotions in the last six words is phenomenal work of vocalism.

    And I don’t feel I am listening to CD. I only know energy thrilled me through. 
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