Divin Laboratory — 岳飛



  • Piano Tuner
    edited November 2021
    「茫茫路」賞後感 by Boris, Allen and Danny


    By Boris

    It is a very inspiring, touching and meaningful sharing event.   The music amplifies my feelings and brought me into the story.   We have never experienced such power/energy in music playback before.  It also reminds us how fortunate we are.  We should be grateful of what we have. Thank you for this wonderful experience.

    By Danny


    By Allen 

  • Piano Tuner
    edited December 2021
       by 聖保羅書院中學好友

    讀萬卷書不如行萬里路,知識可以改變命運 。但是多讀書不代表一定成功,但長知識卻能深化內涵、修養、和思想,成為智者。「扶貧先扶智」是一個良好的長遠策略,可是實踐經驗告之扶心一樣重要,所以我們認為「扶智先扶心」可以優化整個扶貧策略。扶心比扶智更艱,因為書本沒有教導,而且需要幫助的人的自尊心較為脆弱,需要更多耐性。「茫茫路」能夠做到勉勵人生、感動人心和啓發思考。我們希望此劇能上大型音樂廳演出發放更大的正能量為社會扶心。

  • 有幸被邀請欣賞茫茫路音響劇,是一個驚喜的體驗。

  • paperbottle
    edited December 2021
    Thoughts on Rover's Poem 茫茫路 
    By Dennis
    I have been looking forward to this visit for sometime. I have known Chris for a long time as a colleague and have worked closer with him in recent years.
    I have followed the development of Divin Lab as a non-HiFi person. I have always loved reading the AE Facebook page, learning about this fascinating subject matter that I know nothing about. Simply put, the art and the obsession can be felt in the words of those articles themselves. 
    Reading about it is one thing, seeing it is another.  I was still overwhelmed by they sheer scale of the Goebel Divin Majestic.  But to be honest, I am not even a novice in the world of HiFis.  This is literally my first encounter with quality audio equipment.  To say I know what I am treated with today would be a lie.  To put it in terms that I can understand, it would be having a bottle of 89/90 Petrus as my very first glass.
    The Experience
    Whilst I cannot opined on the technical aspects (nor do I even possess the vocabulary to), I can comment on the experience as an audience.
    The experience is unique and is an interesting antidote to modern media consumption.  We are now bombarded with information and entertainment non stop, and almost all of it visual, competing for my attention and disrupting my thoughts.  The setup for a "Rover's Poem" was almost akin to meditation.  Not quite, but at least I am asked to sit down and do nothing else but listen carefully. When was the last time I did that?  The lack of the usually dominant visuals FORCES one to use the other senses.  In this case, the only sense is hearing.   Maybe sense of touch from sensing the shockwave from the impressive audio equipment. Without our usual visual guidance, we are forced to use our imagination and let our brains do their magic.  We never actually see Rocket or his wife or see the facial expressions of his anguish his despair or his renewal.  But we imagine with the guidance of the sound and the music. Ironically, this is what reading a book does.  And with sound and music, the effect of this was felt more viscerally.
    The question is, does this beat watching a movie? In other words, does the emotion transfer even better vs a medium with visuals. I would say, given the effectiveness of the audio equipment and setup, and the carefully selected music, it does. In a way, the lack of visual stimulus forces you to focus and the immersive audio experience is just that much more effective.  Maybe Chris should consider turning down all the lights.
    As for the songs, I have the following thoughts.  Chris mentioned that he owns over 5,000 records.  As of now, I own zero and relegated myself just streaming my music.  It would be foolish to proclaim that I have any "insights" on selection.  I had second thoughts about posting this but I think this is what Chris would want to hear. So here goes. 
    The Spectacle
    Spoilers alert for those that don't want to know what songs are played below..
    I have added my own Chapter Titles to crudely summarise MY personal interpretation of Chris' story.  
    The Exile: 忘盡心中情 by Johnny Yip. This was by far the song that moved the audience the most.  In fact it was clear from the get go that this wasn't the original recording.  Chris told us that this was something much more recent.  And it shows. The vocals delivered by Mr. Yip as a much older man with more experience and nuance.  The technique of course was unparalleled to start with.  I think what was most impressive was it was the first time I sense a silent anguish within the song.  The lyrics are asking us to forget, or to let it be. That was always my original interpretation.  In this rendition,  the deep underlying shows an unmistakable and unforgettable lingering. It was never 忘盡 all along.  I thought the selection was great to understand what Rocket was going through.
    The Rage: Stimela (The Coal Train) by Hugh Masekela. This was easily the song that showcased the capabilities of Divin Lab. The song itself was somewhat documentary in nature. There is a curious Duality in this song.  A  smoothness in the delivery but on a very heavy subject matter. It was full of anger yet a somewhat refined one. What stood out for me was the trumpet/cornet solo in the middle. And instrument that was trying to tell a story, in an almost frantic, schizophrenic way that captures the frustration of the situation. In my mind, the trumpet was dancing, telling his tale. It was music notes visualised.
    The Crossroads: Soundtrack from the movie The Mission. I have never watched this film, so it didn’t have any extra meaning for me. I believe it was my first time listening to it.  It sound like something from a church choir on one side, and a tribal gathering from the other. It was a masterful choice for the scene as the original scene had nothing to do with Rocket's mental state.  But this was used to represent the dream state and the struggle of a battling between Rocket's two sides. 
    Dreams - The Promise: 譚詠麟一生中最愛 despite his recent controversy, the power of this song did not diminish. The movie itself was a moving performance which lend to the strength of collective memory of the song.  This live rendition was perfectly chosen.  The lyrics don't quite match the scenery. But herein lies Chris' mastery.  The emotion transferred by the song was chosen rather than the literal lyrical interpretation, or the actual film.   The live audience gave extra strength a little more hopefulness, and less sadness  than the original rendition. There was a vow and a togetherness in this version, a very much "in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part". The shared experience of a concert between a couple can really be relationship defining; the same songs were heard and felt together. I thought this was aptly chosen to present a proposal and a vow.
    Dreams - The First Dance: Pachelbel's Canon or Canon in D is commonly played in weddings. This one is no exception but it was played with a "Classical Violin". I looked it up and I think the closest thing fitting this description is the Baroque Violin. I don’t know anything about violins so I can’t really tell. The bride asked for a personal Canon D and this was was all about one single voice. The focus was on the main characters and not the wedding party. In a way, this insistence was beautiful and the choice of this music was appropriate. I don’t per say agree that it was 肅目。 but it was indeed a more personal and intimate moment. It reminded me of a solo dance when no one was watching. 
    It has the Bride's defiance of "This is MY wedding". I guess in that sense, there is a sense of solemnness. 
    The Revelations - 一生何求 by Danny Chan was probably the song I was most familiar with.  In the most straightforward interpretation,  it is most often associated with workaholics that give up everything for their goals.  So I was surprise of its usage.  But I think the lyrics was not important in this case as the overwhelming sense of final realisation was conducted via the music.  Regret is not only reserved for those that did not cherish, but even for those that cherished everything. Such is the fickle nature of life, especially in view of modern men's illusion of control. There is very much a clarity in Danny Chan's voice as if all is now understood.  The background in a sense is not important, but the song forces you to think about what your life is all about. I thought this was masterfully chosen. Once again, emotion delivered through audio.  
    (to be continued..)

  • paperbottle
    edited December 2021

    The Hope: Which brings me to the last song another rendition of Panchelbel's Canon D.  To put it bluntly, I did not agree with this selection.  It was a repeat of the 5th song that serves to provide a contrast with its much more positive, choral interpretation.  And for audio novices, a demonstration of what the same song can be expressed. It may be Chris'hope to provide a positive closure to the story called for, but it did not contain at least some of the bitterness of the tribulations of the journey, especially after the last song.  This is a wine that was too sweet for Rocket's ordeal. Perhaps Chris wanted to end the story on a positive note.  There needs to be an extra chapter inserted that speaks of Redemption or Reconciliation.  

    The New Art form

    This is creative mix of Chris obsession with his love of HiFi &  music and the goal of doing good and charity. The activity reminds me of two things. Firstly, pickings sound tracks for a movie, especially for films that do not use a lot of original scores.  I am not really a film buff, but I would say akin to say a Wong Kar Wai movie. It is not a surprise that one often remembers the songs played in those movies more than the films themselves.  (I have listened to the sound tracks about 100x more than I have actually watched the films). The other resemblance are radio dramas 廣播劇 that were rather popular in the 90s.  They were typically dialogue paired with popular songs.  The subject matter is obviously very different but the experience is similar (sans the audio quality of course). The emphasis in the radio drama is the dialogue while in this format, the music takes centerstage.  Again, the lack of visuals were what made both more memorable.

    Finally, in a way, there is a tendency to focus on the Divin Lab spectacle.  But in another way, it is really about Chris' storytelling, which I have known to be best in class for a long time.  But now partnered with the best audio technologies and setup, this story telling it is amplified. The song list on its own doesn't do anything, it is merely an act of consumption.  In effect, art was created. If there were no narration from Chris, then I doubt even Divin lab can achieve the same effect. 

    The Purpose

    Embedded into all this, beyond Rocket's experience, was a call for attention to the child labour situation in Africa, and the worsening poverty and hunger situation in Hong Kong.

    Chris' message is a unique take on charity and giving back.  Charity with dignity and money does not solve all is what I have learned.  It is easy to "talk" about Charity; but Chris stated this at the heart of his Aug 1st personal manifesto. He is not only talking the talk, he is also realising it. He married his talents, his obsession and his craft into a purpose, and expressed in a genre/medium breaking moment.

    This, I think was my biggest personal takeaway.

  • Piano Tuner
    edited December 2021
    怎樣去理解貧富懸殊? By 岑旭照
    一般人認為貧富懸殊是一個老大難的問題,而我卻認為是一個必然現象。經濟歷史學巨作 — [Capital in the 21st Century] 清楚論述貧富懸殊,不管是任何文族、地理、宗教信仰、經濟體系,乃是人類歷史發展過程中的必然現象。如硬是要改變自然定律,則只會重韜秦始皇求長生不老的覆徹。如此觀點成立,那麼政策制定不該以解決問題的方向走,而應改為設計合適的對策方案加以舒緩。



  • Piano Tuner
    edited December 2021
    The last performance of 茫茫路 for 2021 was completed last week. This was the 20th time of this act. I am delighted to see William Chan, Maggie Yung and her friends alongside Lily Lo and Jacky to experience this meaningful journey. 

  • Piano Tuner
    edited December 2021

    「茫茫路」賞後感 by BigpieceA on Nov 7

    從上海回到香港工作後,因為聆聽環境有限,所以就算有一套不錯的音響器材,總提不起勁去投入這個興趣。結果轉玩耳機,一眨眼就已經7年沒有參與這個論壇,連個user profile 都要重新setup。

    我和PT/Jlam交流一路從未間斷,也有間中問候Azzuri及Marvel的近況,以及HiFi 界的花邊新聞。「神曲工作室」開了幾年都未曾到訪,心知開完耳界後不能自拔,所以唯有採取鴕鳥政策。

    但是今次AE為「惜食堂 Food Angel」籌款做善事,而且出錢出力,所以一定要捧場。神曲工作室,雖然照片看得多,但第一次到訪實地依然震撼!大神曲尤如 “變形金剛”,再加旁邊一棚鋼牙,十分之大陣仗。認識AE十多年,他們不斷尋找稀有珍品的精神及獨門調音秘技,相信大家都應該中招多次,最終課金求解藥!



    -        每次同PT交流,都會長知識。這絕對和他的專業背景有關。佢將大至國際政治及文化背景,小至最近潮流及一些偏門的冷知識 (未經證實) 滲透在整個音樂劇中,大大提升趣味性。

    -        轉達訊息清晰,加上精挑的曲目及極高水平的重播效果的襯托下,參加者容易引發共鳴,我有幾個位聽到起雞皮 (並不是Billie Eilish那些ASMR歌)。

    -        這幾個感動位,不知是否巧合,都幾舀心舀肺,引起反思。

    -        大部分的曲目都好熟悉,從發燒友角度,最直接的反應是:「原來首歌十分動聽,有很多細節以前未曾聽過,為什麼家裡套系統播唔到?然後再問那隻碟在那裡可以買到?」

    -        PT的創意,不單讓參加者可以感受到超級HiFi重播尤如看到現場的能量境界,更示範出原來善事可以那麼感動人心! 就連我不愛寫作都要分享一下。希望有緣朋友,可以把這份熱情及愛心傳開去。

    -        最後希望AE繼續用創新的思維與正才量去影響更多有緣人。



  • Piano Tuner
    edited December 2021
    The Wadax Atlantis X transport is brought in with a sole purpose of replaying 帝女花 glass CD to the extreme of the extreme of the extreme performance for the sake of honouring the art of 任白。

  • Piano Tuner
    edited December 2021





    亞軍:Swinging Summer


    季軍:Sanny Wong



    冠軍:魏美珍 (圖右)亞軍:Swinging Summer

    季軍:Sanny Wong

  • Piano Tuner
    edited February 9

    Elliot Ho Yat Leung (梁皓一) is a film music composer best known for his symphonic scores on The Rescue (緊急救援), Operation Red Sea (紅海行動) and The Battle at Lake Changjin (長津湖), the highest grossing film ever in Chinese cinema history.  He has strong collaborative partnership with film director Dante Lam (林超賢). Elliot is also the chairman of HK Philharmonic Patron Committee.  He also composed original music scores for “Anita: Director’s Cut” features exclusively on Disney+ Channel.


    This brilliant young man is only 27 years old with crowning achievements.

    I am grateful of Perrin Laurent bringing Elliot to experience Divin Lab alongside his two other cello students.  We listened to a few cuts of his own work - “The Rescue” soundtrack, so that he could quickly comprehend the system. He said to me, “It is mind boggling.  I like the bite of the attack, the scale of the orchestra and the energy radiation”.   I moved on to demonstrate the cutting edge technology of Air Blade and he immediately discerned the technical mastery of it.  He commented he experienced similar technology at Yale University a few years back but it wasn’t as fully developed as what he experienced the Air Blade here at Divin Lab. 

    Since Elliot was also a student of Perrin, we listened to a few cello recordings. One of the young students, Ava commented, “I could feel the music ringing throughout my body and physically feeling the music. It was as if the cellist was right in front of me. I could hear every bit of contact of the bow and the strings, which is absolutely eye-opening. The vibrato was so distinct in this system. Even with non-classical music, such as the Sound of Silence, it was as if I was right next to Paul Simon and Art Garfukel, facing the cheering audience.”  

    Another student of Perrin, Michael, commented, “This system consists of digital/analog (vinyl players) sources reproduces music like no others, portraying tonal balance and expressing dynamic across all genres with tremendous ease. A one-in-a-life-time experience indeed, and one that I feel privileged to be part of."

    Perrin, Ava, Elliot and Chris 

    Elliot moved on to say, “Chris, I study orchestration at length, and the way you are driving this system, I would say is very similar to the role of a conductor.  My biggest takeaway today is the clarity of bass lines. From a film scores composer perspective, this is a big deal because in the past 100+ year history of symphonic composition, composers often avoided using counterpoint* amongst bass instruments to eliminate ambiguity.”  If composers could experience the clarity of this system at Divin Lab, it might change the way they compose in the bass section. What I heard today helps charting the future course of composition and music at large.”

    Chris, Elliot and JLam

    Before we parted, Elliot said, “Thank you so much for having me. Your system is very impressive.  I think it is vital for film composers such as myself to experience Divin Lab as symphonic film composers have to work with orchestra and high fidelity sound system everyday. It is also very good for conductor to experience this system too. I learned a lot and very eager to bring in some of my expert colleagues to have them share their expertise.”

    * https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counterpoint

  • I had the incredible opportunity to spend some time in the Divin Lab last weekend - a very special experience. It is actually very hard for me to say much about the sound as such as I personally find this system to have pretty much no "sound" apart from the music that it plays.

    The Koda K160 amps seem completely linear in conjunction with the speakers and in total control at all times but without any particular sound signature I could identify...interestingly the other amps they remind me of are the Engstrom in the Central showroom (which I love a lot as well) but as Chris explained to me the Koda have the benefit of a bit more power and control over very large speakers but tonality wise I find them really similar with the K160 being the most linear amps I've heard. 

    The whole system performs this magic trick by being visually so imposing but then totally disappearing once the music starts. The speakers to me again remind me of a good headphone rig by virtue of their incredible coherency - at no point in time does it feel like you're in a room with a pair of huge speakers playing. I can't identify any crossover point in the presentation either in frequency response or dynamic range and to me the speed of the bass really stands out as it has such great weight and density to it but at the same time incredible attack and speed/natural decay - I have never experienced this combination before in any other system.

    Overall I found it very hard to really analyze the sound/performance as again once the music starts it becomes so engaging and really allows me to travel through space and time to the performance (so useful in these difficult times for HK...). It's so easy to feel the emotional content of the music and the message of the stories embedded in the tracks - to me this is by far the most important quality an audio reproduction can achieve. The energy feels very natural and big across a wide variety of recordings and the setup to me is clearly agnostic to the type of music played - from metal to electronic and classical recordings everything just flows. 

    Lastly I was very curious to hear the vinyl system (since I only stream myself) and have the opportunity to compare a little to the digital streaming side (full WADAX deck with the optical link). 
    Again (to my dismay I have to admit) I couldn't help but come to the conclusion that at the highest level vinyl is just more magical...so dynamic, focused and just engaging. We listened to Simon&Garfunkel Live in Central Park and it was really like traveling there. It just has more impact and power...after hearing the very best vinyl to me digital sounded a little soft and dark almost - it seems like the attack is a bit muted in comparison (but only in comparison). This might unfortunately put me in the position that long term I would want a turn table but that's a story for another day I hope.
    Ironically I couldn't help but notice that the usual (positive) attributes given to digital vs analog to me seem inverted in this system and in general in the very high end.

    My greatest thanks again for this opportunity - I love what AE is doing pushing stereo audio reproduction into further different use cases such as seen at the charity event and now working with musicians and I am excited so see many other applications coming in the future!

  • Piano Tuner
    edited February 27
    On one of Gorbachev very last nights in Kremlin in 1991, he and his wife went for Gustav Mahler’s Fifth Symphony under the baton of Claudio Abbado.  Gorbachev later on wrote,“I had the feeling that Mahler’s music somehow described our struggling situation during the period of economic/political reform.  He elaborated further, “In life, there is always conflict and contradiction, but without these, there is no life.”  In the US, a week after the assassination of J.F. Kennedy, Leonard Bernstein conducted Mahler’s 2nd Symphony in memoriam; at the funeral of his brother Robert, he performed the Adagietto from the Fifth Symphony.  After the terrors of 911, many US orchestras mourned victims by playing Mahler.  However, the Adagietto of the Fifth Symphony, that often plays at funeral, was written as a love letter - another instance of Mahler music that exemplifies “diametrically opposite is equally so.” 
    Mahler was able to capture that particular aspect of human condition.  Music before Mahler had a lexicon of simple emotions: joy, sorrow, love, and hate etc.  He was the first one to introduce the possibility of parallel meanings: a child’s funeral broken by a delirious orgy as in the case of Mahler Symphony No.1.  Employing such duality allows composer to convey hidden messages in the music as a form of mind liberation.  Dimitri Shostakovich in his fifteen symphonies deployed such duality more than often, thanks to Mahler’s inspiration.  
    Music in Mahler’s view did not exist for pleasure.  It should have the potential for a world shaking effect in politics and public ethics.  His first symphony tackled child mortality.  His second denied Church dogma on afterlife; the Third addressed ecological damage and the Fourth proclaimed racial equality; in the Sixth he warned of imminent World War.  
    These symphonies are dauntingly long and complex.  To the beginner, Mahler music may sound like a fortress without an entry point.  Here are some guidelines.  If a child is born, treat the parents to the Fourth Symphony.  If you have landed the job of your dreams, play the Nachtmusik movements of the Seven Symphony for courage and perspective.  For people facing grim challenges might find encouragement in the rhythms of the Sixth Symphony.

    If it is a situation of grief, like what the world is going through now, I shall go straight for the Finale of the Ninth Symphony.  No matter who you are, one will always find a private sanctuary within his monumental fortress.  
    Chris Leung
    Divin Lab on 2/24 after listening to the whole Ninth Symphony conducted by Otto Klemperer.

  • Piano Tuner
    edited May 15
    為什麼我要花五個小時去將Goebel大神曲向內側移入4.5寸? 原因是當站立聽鋼琴時,重播中的鋼琴家並不是坐下來演奏。
    我請教了演奏級鋼琴家在神曲工作室實地考察後,她認為眼前的人不是坐下來彈,試了不同的錄音,結論也是一樣。她又察覺到左手低音鍵 “力從地起”之感不足,而Borsendorfer鋼琴的錄音尤其明顯。Steinway的低音比Borsendorfer較鬆散,但高音諧波較長,所以較難發現低音能量不足。它倆之間的各種比較有大量文獻作客觀參考。
    喇叭移入多少要試。首先我用3寸為目標,然後試聽。確認方向正確後,我便以3寸的一半作基準,再移入1.5寸,然後又要把WELLFLOAT Extreme墊在喇叭下,然後又要再聽去評估,工程艱巨。雖然每聲道530kg的大神曲要四個人才能移動,但成果令每一個人也感滿足。