AE Theatre at Sheung Wan (御品上環劇院)



  • PT, that is very cool. I want one for myself and husband too. 
  • JerWo
    edited June 14
    I had the great opportunity to be invited to an audition of the Warp streamer/DAC by Borg Audio in the SW showroom on Thursday 10 June, here are some of my impressions of this very fun morning:

    My first visit to the SW Showroom was on 17 April and compared to then the major change that stood out to me was the positioning of the couch a few meters further back I believe. This to me led to a change of perspective from "front row" to maybe a seat closer to the front third of the room but without really losing any of the speed and dynamics of the system that I found so impressive the first time around. I felt that the overall energy distribution at the listening seat was now even more balanced, in particular the bass energy was more in line with the incredible extension up top.

    We started with a carefully curated selection of tunes by PT (our first in person meeting btw - I was thinking in audiophile terms it's a bit like hanging out with Federer) of which in particular Elton John - Your Song I would like to highlight as PT used this track to demonstrate some very interesting concepts.

    In order to lay the groundwork of this concept I need to highlight that the Warp DAC by Borg Audio has an integrated fully analog R2R (so resistor/ladder based is my understanding) preamp/volume control. PT ran this then from the borg into the DartZeel preamp with its separate volume control (all the way while streaming through Roon).

    So first we listened to "Your Song" and well it sounded amazing, actually I've been listening to a lot of Elton Johns's catalog after this, his old recordings sound fantastic and somehow I never really explored his music before. His voice and diction were very clear but rather forward in the soundstage. Then PT changed the gain setting on the borg preamp only (I think by reducing the gain by only 1db) and we listened to the track again:  Now his voice was a bit further back to me and overall more integrated into the rest of the band. As PT explained these recordings were of course done all analog with the band being basically miked together in the studio so the second rendition should be closer to the "live studio recording" if you so will. 

    The second track PT highlighted and that really stood out to me was from the album of Elgar with Sheku Kanneh-Mason playing the cello. Again for the second rendition PT reduced the gain of the Warp by 1db only and wow to me this was a very big change indeed: the cello which the first time around sounded like a beautiful cello (sorry I'm not an expert clearly...) now suddenly sounded way more 3-dimensional, the emotion of the music came through more. The cello was just more lifelike overall to me and the top end had more extension. As I learned he plays an Amati cello which is slightly smaller than a regular cello - very cool, I love these stories and making those connections. 

    What PT wanted to demonstrate was the concept of the "Midrange trap" that he highlighted as something a lot of audiophiles fall into: As of my understanding it is basically focusing on the midrange too much when listening at the expense of treble extension/air and most importantly overall coherence of the music.

    Very interesting concept indeed and to me personally I could feel my personal preferences at work quite clearly: for Elton John I maybe preferred his voice slightly further forward (so PT raised the gain by 1db from where we began listening to this track) as I could more easily follow the lyrics and the story of this song but the cello to me no doubt was way more lifelike with the higher gain setting.

    If I was to try and isolate the performance of the DAC I would say that:
    • Its strengths are very much inline with the philosophy of the SW showroom: Very dynamic and fast sounding, lots of punch and slam as well
    • I had so much fun listening to rock/electronic recordings through it - it suits this type of highly rhythmic and dynamic music very well => it really rocks hard!
    • I feel that is is a very good fit if you are listening to a very broad music catalogue
    • The only relative weakness to me (again this is just my personal preference) is that it overall gave a slightly glossy texture to my ears versus in the Central showroom for example I feel that the music shows a wider variety of textures 
    I would like to again thank PT/JLam/Marvel for this fantastic opportunity to learn and most importantly for the incredibly fun experience, I had a big smile on my face throughout! You are so generous with your time and knowledge, I can only highlight this aspect of AE again and again, what a privilege to have access to such know-how.

    PS: Please do feel free to add or amend any of my above statements, I'm not an expert and may have mis-represented some of the technical aspects of course.
  • Audio_Napoleon
    edited July 5
  • 原來郭天皇首狂野之城是發燒級錄音,我今天在AE上環聽過,實在太勁!!!我覺得Aaron好似來了現場,搖身擺舞,節奏感好強,好有power,好熱鬧!此曲應在音響界強列推介!
  • I am going deeper into the extreme zone through this Anapurna board by Pranawire.  Very few witnessed the demo of it at Divin Lab (with and without) last October.  Since then, there is no stock until the arrival of it today. 

  • The 黃家駒 I experienced this morning was the finest ever ever through Grand Prix Monaco and JMF Audio PHS 7.2 phono. There is no way I can tell what is the contribution of the Annapurna board unless Chris takes it away and let me listen again. But what I care is the holistic experience. The diction of 家駒 carries so much energy. Some of such energy stemmed from tiredness, some from anger and some from other emotions, I experienced them thoroughly.  This is extreme. 
  • Keilun
    edited July 22

  • Jeff
    edited July 24
  • What I have done here is extremely extreme! The addition of Pranawire Nirvanda in between Dartzeel Model 2 and JMF Audio PCD102. 

  • This Nirvanda belongs to the class of “SPEECHLESS” product to the service of music.