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AE Sheung Wan - JMF Audio redefines “The Study Room of Emperor Qian Long”



  • Air blade almost ready

  • edited November 2020
    Thanks for the demo yesterday morning, I was really enjoying every moment and every track played during the show.  This was the first time in AE that I totally forgot I was listening to horn speaker. The tonal balance was blended in so well. From classical, rock, canton pop and live performance, all played in top notch standard. With the air blade, Cessaro Wagner silver signature and two subwoofers, this is not an easy task and need a lot of listening hours and adjustment to make this tonal balance right. No wonder Chris told us he slept here several night for this demo show. Salute! 

    Honestly, this is my first time to listen dartzeel system. Damn, I love it. The transparency, speed and control are world class. Powerful yet control, dynamic yet elegant. And the look is simple and clean. Very Swiss design. I think it is the best match pre and power with Wagner horn so far in AE in comparing to the previous setup. 

    P.S. I was surprised Dartzeel preamp is powered by Batt. 
  • edited November 2020
    AE Sheung Wan Studio is probably the busiest site of AE hosting audition sessions in recent months despite the persistent onslaught of COVID19.  I delightedly attended several charity sessions, the debut of Air Blade and the Dartzeel launch yesterday. 

    PT’s skill of integrating the Arya Air Blade, Cessaro Xiang Yu subwoofers, alongside the newest Dartzeel NHB-108Mk2 amplifier/ NHB-18NS preamplifier (2020 version), is phenomenal in servicing to the faithful replay of music.  He had literally slept in the studio for the past several nights in order to ensure a faultless launch of Dartzeel. The program rundown and music selection must structure well and convincingly presented.  People who attend must be touched by the music with an everlasting impression.  

    Highend audio system is definitely not a “plug and play” hobby.  One has to pay attention to all minute details in order to bring out the ultimate musicality.  I was amazed by the first recording on “Sound of Music” where PT explained in full details on how he repeatedly adjusted the subwoofer parameters such as input sensitivity/output gain in an iota step of 0.25db per turn in order to unleash the ‘joyfulness’ of the children singing and running scenically next to Frederica Von Stade.   
    A big lesson learnt for me is musicality can be objectively assessed and recreated provided that one has the right tools, a fair understanding of the context and background of the chosen music, followed by a relentless spirit to fine tune the system to achieve the musical goals.  Dartzeel, amongst others under AE, is a very strong tool to achieve this goal.
    I would attribute to its lightning speed of its power amp, absolute serenity and transparency of its preamp augmented by AirBlade on the treble and Xiang Yu in the subbass zone.  This is a dream team for many who are in search of excellence in high fidelity music playback!
    It is indeed a great cultural session for me.  Thank you PT!


  • edited November 2020

    PT用一首大家熟悉的樂章 "Pachelbel's Canon in D"作為主幹介紹darTZeel。 為何他認為此套系統可以令到聽眾會被二十多支小提琴(整個弦樂羣組)所感動呢?昨天我帶著一個期望和好奇心參加darTZeel前後級功放演播會。

    他首先播The Sound of Music 的「Do-Re-Mi」,美其名給大家可以(耳朵)做過熱身。這首歌的Maria 是由Frederica von Stade所飾演教導學生 (六男一女) 。他們唱的每一句歌詞都好有穿透力和質感,證明darTZeel前後級功放可以做到很高班的能量控制力和音樂感。

    在播放「Pachelbel's Canon in D」之前,他陳述了卡拉掦是能夠閉目去感受弦樂組的能量多寡,便能知道弦樂組的數目。樂團左右兩邊都有小提琴的隊伍。好神奇,我可以聽到小提琴能量(如水波浪)在空氣浮動。我認為darTZeel後級功放有足夠能力控制高頻微細能量。如果你們有機會親訪AE上環音響室,我建議你一定要聽聽Canon D。

    PT之後播放  "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" (Julie Covington 7" single 45 rpm 版本)、Queen的Bohemian Rhapsody 。廣東歌方面,他播放林子祥創作歌集裡的「每一個晚上」、Raidas的「傳說」、張國榮Leslie in Concert '88 的「共同渡過」等等。


  • Great listening session on Sat, thanks for having us PT!

    I was very impressed with the performance of DartZeel combo in terms of:

    1, the purity of the sound. It is, like most of the Swiss brands, very clean sounding. It does not mean “leaning sounding” or any sort but I can clearly feel it sounds cleaner purer than normal, at least more so than Engstrom. Maybe due to lower Noise floor?

    2, it is very fast sounding, probably one of the fastest amps I’ve ever heard

    3, extension on both end is superb, lots of details...

    If there’s anything I’d like to change based my personal preference, I’d prefer a little bit more mid-bass. Just like I always like girls with a little baby-fat which looks so cute:)

    And also the cables is another area to be explored. While I’m sure DartZeel makes decent cables but there should be quite a bit room to improve with high end cables. 

  • 各師兄的陳述,我不用再講,Canon D對於我的內心是萬方感動,因為我結婚進場時也選了這曲,我想不到弦樂羣組是這麼美麗的層次和帶微風的能量。但昨天最震撼我的卻是,王菲的黑膠,你們一定要叫PT播以下 - 約定、曖昧、我願意。靚到........非筆墨可形容
  • I echoed cordyceps’ comment on Faye Wong.  It is sooooooo real...... 两鬓斑白都可认得你
  • The 4th session will begin at 10:30am today. Attendees are: Azzurri, Huber, Dynamic, Roman and Mr Zanden. 
  • Almost here. 
  • edited November 2020
    It’s the first time I listened to Dartzeel preamp and power amp. It totally changed my impression from different hifi forums commenting Dartzeel can only play soft music lacking power to drive speakers. 

    However, the Jeff Beck (master sound recording) and Queen (45 rpm Bohemian Rhapsody) I listened yesterday were one of the most powerful playbacks I ever experienced! What matters the most is the matching of the right amplifier to speakers. As Chris said Dartzeel designer uses horn speaker too, no wonder it is a perfect match with Cessaro Wagner. 

    Dartzeel delivers a very high resolution big picture: strong definition of music structure and layering alongside fineness and delicacy, and yet the amp could really drum up authoritative bass energy extending deep down into the earth. I am surprisingly amazed by its control ability. 

    With these strengths, it expounds the very fine silhouettes of the mass strings session of Pachelbel’s Cannon D conducted by Karajan. I could clearly discern the harmonic structure of different string sessions, the ups and downs of musical notes radiating from different instruments blended perfectly to form a beautiful harmonious picture absorbing me into the music and totally forgot I was listening to hifi. 

    For the playback of Jeff Beck, the Dartzeel combo unreservedly exemplified the meaning of control. When there were electric guitars, bass guitars and drums playing in an “all hell broke lose” mode, I could still comprehend clearly the energy origination of each note.  The powerful punches were impactful and lightning fast with energy directed, and eventually penetrated through my body quickly. In split seconds, the 2nd wave of bass attack came to me again. The high speed character of Dartzeel contributes a lot to the rhythmic sound from this system. 

    In a word, Dartzeel is a good match with Cessaro. A very enjoyable and enlightening session.
  • edited November 2020

    Be careful what you wish for !
    After reading this thread on the evolution of this so-called small Roman system for several months with the arrival of the Cessaro Silver Signature Wagner, then one Xiangyu subwoofer, the addition of the extraordinary Airblade 180 degrees horizontal tweeters, then finally augmented with a second Xiangyu to complete a fully integrated system, I was eagerly WISHING for an invite to audition this super mini-system !
    The time finally came when Chris WhatsApp me a week ago to attend last Saturday's demo. I obviously accepted the invite and was really looking forward to making this trip. Last time I visited the AE showroom was the charity demo showcasing the Cessaro Firebird speakers.
    If my memory serves me correctly, in the past, whenever Chris was happy with his system after spending lots of time and effort meticulously tuning it, I always threw a bucket of cold water at him by not reacting with the crowd to endorse the system. I would only make my constructive comments to pin point what was not completely right after he asked for my feedback and after listening to my reasoning, he quickly found a solution to overcome the sonic shortcomings.
    Last Saturday, I arrived just before the 10:30am audition time and saw several familiar fellow AE comrades were sitting comfortably in various positions, I then sat next to Roman and awaited in earnest for the "SHOW" to begin.
    Initial sonic impression was very refreshing, I heard one of the most transparent sound with lots of details. The tempo was fast, I think users who prefer rock music to classical stuff will like the performance. Once the novelty of this unfamiliar rendition of sound had slowly gone away, I tried to follow the sound from the system as a whole and honestly speaking, I was unable to discern whether the overall sound was the characteristics of the new pre and power amps or the speakers with subs or a sum of the total. 
    I was positively impressed by the integration of Airblade to the system when Chris demo it with and without them turned on. In addition, Chis had added the latest Zanden 1200 phono amp to mate with his analog rig. After listening to Karajan's Pachelbel's Canon in D in Teldec curve twice, Mr Dynamic requested to hear it in RIAA setting and everyone there discerned the importance of correct EQ in LP playback - Zanden's latest phono amp with 5 sets of curve selection as well as 3 settings on the 4th constant, in my opinion, is a 'must-have' in vinyl playback (I am sure some folks out there with just RIAA curve may continue to listen in self denial - but life is too short to remain intransigent especially if you have the dough and love listening to LPs) .
    After demonstrating all his LPs (many Western rock titles including Canton pop), Chris remembered I had brought some LPs but as the show was coming to an end very soon, I chose my trusted Aron Neville's Warm Your Heart LP and asked him to play my favourite 'Everybody plays the fool in Columbia curve and negative polarity and then the show came to an end. I thanked Chris for inviting me and left.                           

    (End of part 1)
  • edited November 2020

    看過各位的分享,毫無疑問今次試聽的焦點在「高速」,但AE 不乏速度高反應快的擴音機,就以Riviera Lab AFM 100 SE功放為例,推動Goebel AEON 速度之高可以話嘆為觀止,但兩者對「高速」的交代有所不同,AEON 的系統給我一種力量形的速度,而星期六Dartzeel 的速度和能量,是輕巧和自然的。成在配搭,敗也在配搭,PT 往往就能在廚房𥚃,適當地運用各種材料,炮製出精彩的美食,Dartzeel 推動Wagner就是天作之合,我感覺不到 Dartzeel 每分每寸地控制著 Wagner,而是每一下收放都是自然而俐落,非常連貫,就像笑傲江湖中,風清掦傳授令狐沖獨孤九劍所提及,一切在乎自然、流暢、瀟灑,不是以力打力的。

    不可不提,是 Air Blade 昨天所扮演的角色,實在是舉足輕重,相比起上一次,Air Blade 的位置稍為向後移,Volume 亦由-3db 調至-6db,從上一次的先聲奪人,到昨天和 Wagner 融為一體,沒有丁點喧賓奪主,如果沒有了 Air Blade,Pachelbel 的 Canon D 便播不了,能夠將大量弦樂的訊息清楚地程現,Air Blade 是必須的。

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