A visit to AE2

edited December 2011
Yesterday was my first visit to AE2. It was a journey, an adventure, or even a Hi-Fi lecture to me. Right at the very beginning PT walk me upstair to the samll apartment until the last minute I left AE2, it was full of surprise.

Walking upstair to AE2 was so mysterious that would make you wonder if PT was setting up a trick to kidnap you. After the door was openned, what came to my eye were the real stuff that I already knew them somewhat on-line through other brothers' post. But seeing those gears in live, where most of them are Product of 2011 nominee, could still be very shocking. The less than 200 sq ft apartment is ARMED with Neodio CDP, Robert K10/K70 Amp, Tripoint Orion, Chopin by Cessaro, Hero Subwoofer... AND the HOLY Da Vinci Virtu mono amplifier and Nifty preamplifier! To me this is like grilling a whole Kobe Cow in a tiny kitchen, what the hell... or should it be what the heaven?

Then I really knew I was in the heaven when the music started playing. The first track I played was Hotel California, which I have listened over a thousand times, not just for the good recording but also for system testing.

Like what has been told by Mr. Fire4, the infrastructure of the tiny apartment suddenly disappearred. I closed my eye and I could imagine I was one of the audience in the Eagles live concert. What happened in the stadium was reproduced in detail in every aspect, the yelling of the audience at that side, the appaulse of the nearby guy. At that moment I was one of them! The noise of the audience, the music on the stage was filling every tiny space in the room.

And you know, the most crazy thing is the reproduction of what's happening on the stage. Now I could tell what is the difference between my Hi-Fi system and AE2. To my Pre-AE2 standard, my system can reproduced the vocal and the acoustic guitar NOTE nicely. In AE2, it was the whole process being reproduced, from the moment the string is first touched, while the finger is plucking on the string, to the last moment that the finger leave the string... The whole process was there! Damn it!

One more interesting is, I thought I knew what 3 dimentional means in the music replay process. But it is only after visiting AE2, this 3D concept become clearer to me. In my system, when the sound is delivered more by the left speaker, it is like the stage is slightly shifting to the left side, vice versa. In AE2, the stage is crystal clearly staying in where it should be, no bias, no lie...

For vocal testing I also played Tsai Chin and Frank Sinatra. Ms Tsai is always good, too good to be true, to good to be like singing in front of us. The density and warmth of the voice of Mr Sinatra was so rich, sounds like he was caming back to live!

I asked to what extent Hero does its job well in the system. PT switched off Hero. The system still sounds crystally clear, but something is missed. It was not just the bass details, but the momentum (氣勢). Of course, a hero in the battlefield should always increase the momentum (氣勢).

I have tried some other songs, different type of music. In AE2, everything is being handled so well. Now I'm running out of praise. Praise to AE2, salute to PT.

I know from PT he spent more than 3 months to achieve the result. It gives hope to people like me who is living in a small apartment, I may not need to move to a bigger flat with extra room and I can still make improvement! Effort spent at the right direction will give me the right reuslt. Money is important, but afterall it is our willingness and insist to make dreams come true.

Again, salute to PT!


  • Philip,

    Happy new year! We are exactly on the same page! We have the same judgment of the performance standard of AE2. Marvel bro also concurred earlier on. The experience actually triggered a spate of reflection on my part wondering why I could not make use of my luxury of space to better system performance.

    The most ironic is perhaps, as PT repeated a few times, that such space houses a whole family including rest room and kitchen! And we are listening to expensive audio gears next door! That is a real contrast, a very deep one indeed.

  • And I like the way you describe Da Vinci as "HOLY".
  • Dear Voy,

    We will be a happier man, even with no upgrade to our exisitng gears. All we need is a thankful heart, always give thanks to what we already have and the nice things we already experienced in our life.

    Of course if we are satisfied with the current situation, PT may not be as happy......

    BTW, can't wait for Da Vinci to serve this army.

    Wish you a wonderful 2012!
  • Voy,
    I like your reflection on ae2 locating right next to families utilising the same amount of space for their living! You always condamned the banking industry and somewhat discontented with yhe behaviours of many and including yoursekves, can't we make more contributions back to the society to make things work better, like tuning our systen to achieve a higher performance and harmony?
  • Marvel bro,

    The trouble is my sin is no more and no less than anyone. I can write a check to any charity organization tomorrow. I don't trust anyone. Why the hell the number of poor people is increasing every year below the poverty line? And the irony part is there is no shortage of financial aid. I don't have the quality to serve the society better because I don't believe I am good enough as a person.

    To help others, I rather invest in myself. Be a better person with higher level of patience, being able to think from other's perspectives and to share knowledge, to help each other to learn and to appreciate. Many can write a check to any charity organization and be the good guy. But he or she can be a real assholes. I have seen plenty of them all through my career and most of the time they are very good at pretending.

    I am not a good enough man. I love dirty money all my life. But I also constantly remind myself I am an asshole, with contribution to the society no more than any ordinary person.

    Do I make myself clear?

    And the whole setup of AE2 is a perfect irony of the world we are living now. And I like this very contrast!
  • Can't agree with you more! Writing a cheque to a charity organisation would not help a lot...I think with your rich knowledge in the industry, your technical skills and most importantly, your experience over the past many years dealing with the top guys, you should go and teach the younger generations...integrity is something colleges and universities won't teach nowadays but this really differentiates good guys from bad guys. The same also makes AE stands out far from the others....
  • The only conclusion I have from decades of experience is "Never trust the bankers".
  • THe flying wings are installed both at AE1 and AE2 to tackle reflection from the ceilings. The results are spectacular. I feel as though there is no physical ceilings now. Broad band diffusion is great stuff.
  • 雖然Da Vinci Virtu功放已離開AE2, 但PT用巨匠K70 Generation-2推Cessaro Chopin一樣精彩! 音色雖然唔夠Da Vinci幼滑, 但分解能力與控制力非常好. 我帶第一豉CD去播, 將volume扭到差不多9 o'clock位置, 整體音場仍然十分齊整, 鼓的能量完全做到收放自如.
  • The AE Spring dinner was held happily at Ye Shanghai on Saturday evening. Guest of honor is Ralph Krebs of Cessaro. I hope everyone had a great night of sharing everything about audio.
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