AE Theatre at Sheung Wan (御品上環劇院）
I was very impressed with Monaco this time, not sure whether it is the cartridge being Xquisite or the wellfloat board underneath, but this time Monaco blew me away with its unheard of transparency and realism...I can now, with certain, say that Monaco performs on the same level if not higher than the Da Vinci EQ!
edited April 13
Chris again demonstrated the power of knowledge in the AE SW tutorial session last Sat.
For vinyls by digital recording, the precise speed of Monaco 2.0 fully unleashes music from the grooves with very solid notes against a very dark background. Bass is punchy and very authoritative. Extreme speed precision delivers the right proportion amongst leading edge, fundamental tone and harmonic decay of each note. This should render correct musicality all the time. But Chris argues there is a catch here upon his constant field evaluations. The findings are very interesting.
He claims for those vinyls made by analog recordings, the speed was likely to be imprecise to begin with. Turntables of belt drive design would have an edge replaying those because our mind always references to what we remembered from radio and TV in the old days. As a result, absolute speed precision on these vinyls does not necessarily reflect the musicality imprinted in our memories.
We auditioned many different LPs to prove the arguments. Da Vinci brought us back to the era with moody sensations characterised by elongation of decay, inflation of hall ambience, and slight emphasis on mid range energy. These traits are very obvious from recordings of “the King and I” and 薰妮's 每當變幻時.
However, the playback of those relatively modern recordings such as “Les Miserables” and “The Sound by Music” (Telarc), the Monaco 2.0 was obviously the winner consistently despite the absence of eq curve/cutting machine selection on the Robert Koda Takumi MC One phono stage. No wonder other fellows conclude speed is the most fundamental of all in vinyl playback. I wonder what will the sound become should the Monaco 2.0 is to be partnered with Zanden 1200S phono, which allows full control on eq and lathe adjustments.
Also, for music that requires very solid and precise rendering of micro dynamism, such as piano, the Monaco is invincible. It fully reveals the finger tipping of each note with rich shades. The delivery of spontaneity of the pianist is second to live. I was immersed into the music completely.
The demonstration was very convincing. The findings are provocative. At least, I have never ever thought from such perspective before. And I agree 100% with Michael that the performance of Monaco is so impressive with Xquisite silver cartridge with Wellfloat reference board underneath.
I see huge potential in Monaco TT because of its uniqueness in absolute speed precision over time. For extremist and perfectionist, you should get it instead of another arm/cartridge.
edited April 27
我已經很久冇去探訪梁生，因為年紀來了，怕死，又要照顧年邁的母親。好彩，我有對Goebel AEON陪伴我倆。我在這裡看到「上環御品劇院」標題，令我好奇，所以今早決定拜訪，連續聽了三個鐘，也不想離開。我「看」完好幾個音樂劇，包括孤星淚、國王與我、Phantom of Opera等。我沒有任何聲音上的評論，因為我「睇到」所有，真的技驚四座。這是劇院的境界！
最後一曲 - Frank Sinatra 的 My Way 現場錄音震憾心弦！Air Blade 氣刃一定要有！
edited May 5
It was the 3rd time I visited AESW in recent weeks which had me pleasantly stunned. The most obvious change was the Finn Juhl sofa was moved 2 feet further to the end of the room prolonging the distance between the speakers and the listening position. The runway for bass is elongated. The resultant energy to portray a theatrical presence on LesMiserable, Phantom of the Opera, Sound of Music was mesmerising.
Compared to previous auditions, the wide stretch of the perceived opera stage from right to left, front to back has become more ‘visible’ and ‘tangible’. The facial expression and the physical body movements of the singers are palpable.
The Sound of Music recording is spectacular. The children’s dialogue with Von Stade is extremely vivid. The theatrical presence is transpired to new height on spatial resolution. I could literally see children kneeing, standing or sitting in front of me.
edited May 9
以鋼琴和弦樂而言，旋律和節奏的準確度只是最基本。要把最真實的聲音還源，更加需要適當的 room acoustics。今次有幸到訪位於上環的 AE Theatre，真的眼界大開！
Monaco 2.0 唱盤配上 X-quisite ST 唱頭和筷子臂出來的聲音— 充滿音樂感，節奏明快，能量集中，人聲和樂器的位置分明，能重播出原本樂器和人聲的真實聲音、表現者的性格和感情。
一對Air Blade 180度補肋高音增加了現場感和立體感，一對Cessaro 項羽 subwoofer 令音樂的能量光譜更平衡，更加「站立得穩」。最後用上房間的active bass traps 微調減少環境的駐波，令現場感大大提升！
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