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Divin Laboratory: 蓬萊之境



  • I connected two pairs of custom speaker cables (8 mmq and 10 mmq) from La Sound to the Robert Koda Takumi K160. 
  • MMQ stands for cross section of the silver conductor. These two pairs are abnormally large. The Tripoint Empress are connected to the negative posts of each binding posts. This bi-wire configurations represent the biggest improvement in Divin Lab in the past 18 months.  Not resolution, but easiness. The sense of easiness is palpable and phenomenal. 

  • I know Chris mentioned a new cable brand called Esprit, which has the magic to bring his home system to a new horizon. According to comments from people having visited Chris’ home, I think it is kind of impossible to break through further as he has been using the best cables in the market including FMR EE, Dalby and Skogrand. How can a new brand claim new ground among these formidable competitors? 

    My doubts were clear after visiting Divin Lab again and for the first time,I feel the CD playbacks beat LP! Even with Wadax Reference Dac, previously, I can still sense some slight hints of digital sound when listening carefully. 

    However, this time it is different. When we played CD, I found it gave more live-like sound, very colorful, very 3D, but for a while, I can’t tell why I felt the difference, until Chris asked me to pay attention to the energy distribution. I found that with all other cables, when the energy level gets higher, the whole soundstage’s energy more or less increases at the same time,and vice versa. With Esprit, I can easily discern that, for example, the double basses’ energy increased separately from other instruments in an orchestra, similarly for vocals and all other separate instruments. The energy level of violins on the left could be going down and yet u can hear the energy level of brass instruments enhancing. 

    For vocals and jazz music, you can easily tell different musicians are playing harder or softer at the same time respectively. 

    This specific character is unique and un-heard-of to me. This explains why I could feel such a live-like playback. The soundstage is no longer rendered like one large picture, but each musician is rendered with independent canvases that is what real live music should sound like, the empty spaces between musicians becomes more empty, no unnecessary energy “leaking” to where it should not be. 

    On top of this, I found no shortfall of hifi elements ones could expect from other top tier brands. 

    More surprisingly,Chris just used one Esprit clock cable between Wadax Transport and Reference Dac. This seemingly less important cable can already infuse the unique characters of Esprit! I am really interested to know how this mega system could sound if Chris uses Esprit interconnect for preamp to mono blocks. 

  • Roman,

    I ordered a pair of GAIA, the flagship interconnect, after PT sent me a video recorded with GAIA from pre to power, versus another video using another brand of cable. Even on the iPhone 11, the quality you mentioned about “discerning energy differences” amongst instruments was so apparent. You are right to describe it as “unheard of”.
  • edited July 2020

    I have the privilege visiting audio exotics Divin Lab yesterday.  It was my first visit.  I was thrilled as soon as I entered the main listening hall - didn’t imagine Goebel Divin Majestic speaker to be a 3-meter tall giant!  Immediately I knew I can expect a totally different scale from AE Sheung Wan showroom.  But would it be a mere amplification of all the details that I have heard at Sheung Wan, or is it more surprise?  I came to listen to the Zandan 1200 Signature phonostage which can allegedly decode LPs cut by different vinyl record cutting machines (Westrex vs Neumann).  PT first did a warm-up demo with Belafonte at Carnegie Hall (Analogue Production reissue), one that I’m not so familiar with.  It’s the right horizontal spectrum of live music played in a medium size concert hall, an absolute stunning first impression of his ultimate system at the Divin Lab.  Then he pressed a few buttons on the Zandan 1200S and the same song is switched into the depth of the stage.  Belafonte is standing exactly in the middle of that stage yet the band is no longer at the side but surrounding him. 

    PT explained that for Zandan 1200S full balance differential begins at equalization; other phonostages begin after equalization.  That seems to be the major differentiation.  

    Next I played my Beethoven Piano concerto 1 (EMI white gold dog original press 1958), followed by Rita Streich sings the immortal melodies (DG red stereo compatible label 1958 first press) and then Bruckner No 9 by Carl Schuricht (Testament reissue 2019).  There seems to be a unique setting in the Zandan for each one of these old and new presses which in my view delivers the optimal sound of the records.  PT looked at me and we nodded to each other, agreeing that it is probably what the recording engineers had intended for and Zandan 1200S reproduces them perfectly.  I asked PT to play his Backhaus Beethoven Emperor concerto (DECCA 1960 first press) with the DECCA curve.  This time I hear the size of the stage amid Backhaus’ piano solo play.  Zandan 1200 S really brings the dimensionals of vinyl music while most other phonostages are still focusing on tonality.

    Almost forgot to mention the Dalby Purieta record stabilizer.  Well, I don’t quite understand the mechanics despite PT’s explanation but I found Rita Streich can express her voice to a higher level of purity with the Purieta on.  it’s just like she has switched to another microphone!

  • edited July 2020

    在我而言,AE Show Room與Show Room之間有著互相切磋、競爭嘅關係。年初的時候,自PT顛覆性改變家中器材,將家中系統水平推到極致,效果已經可以與神曲工作室匹敵,當中透明度、速度、3D感,我覺得更勝神曲工作室。

    今天再到神曲工作室,先聽Beyond,中島美嘉,再播Belafonte,已發覺高頻能量比之前直接得多,速度、透明感亦可媲美PT屋企。雖然我不是坐在正中,但仍能感受到Carnegie Hall 𥚃的氣氛、高度,Belafonte從左邊走過來我的右邊,跟聽眾之間的互動,都是前所未有,音樂感將我重重包圍。

    有這樣巨大嘅改善,大部份功勞歸於兩塊墊板,Wellfloat和Pranawire Annapurna board,但所處理的,是不同的噪音。Wellfloat所處理的是mechanical vibration noise,這個我地一早知道它嘅存在,亦清楚它的破壞力,而Annapurna所處理的,是Stray Noise,我對它一無所知。姑勿論對以上兩種噪音理解與否,並不重要,人多好辦事,加埋今天有聰哥在場,決定來個發燒友最信服的A B比較,先把放在Zanden 1200s phono stage下的Wellfloat攞走,Carnegie Hall的高度不見了,整個Sound Stage亦萎縮了,能量沒有減少,但強烈的壓抑令能量不能好好釋放,在同一音壓下令人覺得有壓力,只需一分鐘,大家都叫停。


    放回Annapurna之後,PT再將一條Dalby的 “曲” Ground cable駁上Troy Elite NG與Annapurna之間,叫我們再感受一下,結果是將Belafonte的Matilda的色彩再豐富起來,中低頻更有彈性。我不想用太誇張的字眼來形容這戲劇性的改變,但實情真的要各位在場才感同身受。

    難怪當我來之前問PT,Wellfloat與Annapurna墊板到底「咩料」? 佢只回覆,「未聽過Wellfloat,你跟本未知什麼是openness,至於Annapurna,上來聽過你先會明!」

  • 處理好低頻注波後的神曲功作室,低頻 resolution 之高,係可以清楚聽到 Beyond 黃家強支 bass 每一粒音符。
  • edited July 2020
    Mr Dynamic,

    你所形容的令我非常之好奇!位於香港的神曲工作室的底噪,Roy Gregory曾説是低到他不能想像的境界。由一開始至今,所有曾去過的人也極為之讚嘆其表現,尤其是功放由Zanden火雲換為了Robert Koda Takumi K160之後,把大神曲完全駕御。我亦聽過多個在神曲工作室所錄的視頻,尤其是Paul Simon and Garfunkel 的 Bridge Over Trouble Water (用了Dalby Pirueta Record Weight之後)、非常之震撼。

    所以我非常之難去想像這塊Pranawire Annapurna的威力 - 若然換走,可以令到聲音盡散!但我絕對相信,因為PT這麼多年來,都是不停挑戰底線。

    我已經訂了Well Float個「飛馬」架。
  • edited July 2020
    Dynamic其實已經講哂昨日的hifi奇蹟,我只想補充一句天外有天,在神曲这种低噪水平听Belafonte唱Maltida是最佳的演譯。正如PT所講,沒有更好了!原因多了Well float 及 Annapurna 兩塊墊板,(还有psi bass trap ),但估吾倒拎走後再听Matilda,  竟然觉得嘈!冇錯,我当時再問自己,答案都係一個字,嘈!


    很难以想像Divin lab还可有此改善空間,不能不佩服PT的毅力及不断向前的堅持,我們用了Dalby旗艦地缐 - 曲 - 把Annapurna board接去了Tripoint Troy Elite NG去製造出一幅無懈可击的4D musical scene !

    如果不計价格,Annapurna 係继Dalby Pirueta Record weight後, 另一個most effective and convenient means for obvious performance  upgrade.

    期待PT加入 tailor made Well float base for Goebel Majestic speaker 同埋獨立ground box to serve Annapurna 之後又可有乜驚喜?

  • Hi Jeff 

    就這個問題我們互動都啞口無言,在Craz 3 rack 上,竟然還有如此進步的空間。

    我也期待聽聽wellfloat “飛馬” 能夠將器材水平推高到什麼境界。

  • edited July 2020

    The Shape of Sound

    一早起床就收到PT嘅溫馨提示,參與名為”The Shape of Sound”在Divin Lab約會,估計PT會提供更多嘅關於Wellfloat和Pranawire產品實況資料。但心想PT會怎樣在音樂播放上定義”Shape”?

    全部CD和黑膠歌曲大多數都係實況錄音,請參考Dynamic和Huber提供嘅內容,播CD係經過Wadax Atlantis Reference DAC解碼,但經過Annapurna在stray noise(雜噪)的處理,家駒彈嘅電結他同Beyond其他成員嘅樂器演唱一曲Amani,尤如整隊Beyond出現在Divin Lab。之後到中島美嘉(一個失聰嘅歌手)現場演繹”雪之華”,如果閉眼,她真的在現場演繹,好感動!去到黑膠唱片部份,PT帶大家到最高潮嘅部份,播放Belafante Concert in Carnegie Hall (AP 版)“Matilda”,在吹口哨一段(有吹到和吹唔到的噴氣聲)高頻係極級控制和好有力,像真度好難用文字去形容。

    PT解釋Wellfloat產品特性和Annapurna應用,同時提出一個定義 :Energy (能量)+ Shape  (外型/形狀)under Control (控制)= Live (真實)。我估計”控制”係包括noise管理,包括stray noise,消除房間駐波,再結合音響器材和不同線材的特性,做出極理想的結合,達到和真實一樣的效應。在差不多一個半小時聽到不同嘅歌曲,我冇辦法唔同意PT提出的理論。


  • edited July 2020
    論速度,透明度,PT家中的系統的確比工作室好,因為科技嘅優勢 - Carbon bending wave  driver 完全冇相位失真。神曲工作室嘅優勢在於良好嘅電源和空間,以及極端高級嘅器材,因此喺神曲工作室嘅聲音密度,能量和細節表現都係一等一。然而,管理神曲最大挑戰就係要控製非常強嘅能量,因為由Wadax到Zanden再到Robert Koda都係有能力釋放能量嘅器材,加上之前線材應用不統一和低頻駐波問題,導致有一些錄音播放能量分佈不平均。

    而係7月11日,PT做到了一個接近完美的示範。透過放Wellfloat Board在Zanden phono/Wadax Atlantis Reference board之下和 Robert Koda K15EX前在Pranawire 的 Annapurna Collector board之上,將多餘嘅震動/電器噪音降低。

    而且他統一用了非常透明嘅Espirit缐材,再加上用了六個PSI Active bass trap把150hz以下的駐波消滅。以上所有嘅改善,成就了the shape of sound。我的理解是:音符的輪廓非常之精準,而且付帶不停變化的能量,造就成亂真水平的播放境界。經過今次活動,我更加期待subwoofer嘅加入。

    整個event後,令我有感而發,希望能管理好自己的shape of life,為身邊嘅朋友,愛人和親人,帶來啓思和歡欣。
  • 而係今次活動中,令我最印象深刻係中島美嘉嘅雪之華,我一直好鍾意呢首歌,因為單是旋律已經非常感人。

    當初我聽嘅係柔情版本,然而隨着時間卻變成了歇斯底里。我比較鍾意柔情嘅版本,因為聽起來舒服。然而,係神曲嘅演繹下,失聰嘅中島美嘉為雪之華唱出緊人性嘅演繹。我亦都係第一次俾一首歌感動到毛管棟,俾佢如此努力賣力地唱而感動,亦很扎心... 實在太真實了...

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