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AE Central Diary



  • edited July 2022

    岳飛超低和小神曲的融合比想像中容易,因為Oliver已經預設了四組filter作選擇。以John William指揮的Empire Strikes Back作為reference,岳飛分頻點由40hz作起點聽,15分鐘內已經把分頻點穩定在60hz (filter是Oliver建議的Butterworth 24db,Q = 2.0),然後再調整超低音量在 -6~-7db之間。我們更一起研究Q值對不同音樂影響。例如,Michael Jackson的Dangerous低音Attack強勁,可選擇4~6的Q值去增加控制力,而古典音樂則設它為2.0,令低頻表現更加之鬆容。

    聆聽Digital/Analog訊源則把超低的Max Input 設定在1V/2V,因為後者輸出比前者細。遇到一些大音壓的錄音,我們偶爾會把分頻點下調至55~57hz去改善一些演唱者的輪廓線條感。在兩小時內聆聽多首不同類的音樂後,植師傅和眾人無不驚嘆岳飛所展示出的能量、速度、細節,及其超凡控制力。Kinzan/Stravinsky地線均未到貨,由Engstrom Monica MK 3 preamp去岳飛仍然是用七年多前的Goebel Statement訊號缐,可是我們認為加第三塊AGS的FL1在岳飛前為首要任務,因為線材的潛力乃是房間被修正後才能發揮。地板的反射註波消滅後,効果除了令岳飛更加隱形外,音畫內的人物連脖子也看到;音樂能量亦立即倍增,穿越身體,與樂者共享空間。

    我們對超低算是有點認識,岳飛在1st Octave與2nd Octave之間要有龐大的能量補充及極靈敏的速度反應。岳飛由20hz~50hz的缐性表現可謂技驚四座,從未見識過(見圖)。Divin Marquis加了一只岳飛後,令AE Central達到真正reference的境界,Marvel多年來的努力及投資終於可以翻盤。這再一次証明系統終極昇華的是來自超低音能量,它亦是音樂感的泉源。
  • edited July 2022
    Divin Sovereign (岳飛)brings the wholesomeness of music playback to an uncharted level of realism.

    Control of the subwoofer is intuitively straight forward due to user friendly software interface.  Subwoofer behaviour can be adjusted remotely by mobile phone/tablet.  Corresponding changes are reflected instantaneously via a graph that facilitates well in the integration process of Goebel Divin Marquis. Although it landed only 10 days ago, our experience and knowledge speed up the integration process.  We lowered the crossover frequency to 42hz from 55~60hz a week ago.  I also varies the Q value and came to early conclusion of higher value for pop and lower for classical. 

    The feather-like weight of the 18” membrane and 2,500 watt power amplifier with a damping factor of 1,000 are the key technological factors to warrant speedy responses augmenting the lower frequency of the main speaker starts rolling off in amplitude.  Agility of bass attack is always hindered by the inertia of the subwoofer.  岳飛 subwoofer addresses this properly as attack of the system has become much more speedy and agile. 

    We will demonstrate 2 x 岳飛 subwoofers with Divin Marquis next week from Aug 5-7 at HKCEE.

  • edited August 2022
    Not until recently upon the arrival of Firebird reference LPS by Ediscreation have I realised the true potential of Wadax Reference server has not unleashed hitherto. The more advanced the component is, the more sensitive it is to noises.

    This reference LPS adopts a double regulation design housed in a CNC milled solid aluminium chassis with 3 DC outputs.  I use it to power modem/router and subsequently the silent switch too, after a minor surgery was operated on it by Edison, to accommodate a new connection to external DC power supply.

    The Firebird LPS prevents much electricity noises from entering into the system via the modem and router.  Since all components are inter-connected, noise contamination is not just limited to the CAS.
    I have been using the Wadax Reference Server for digital streaming without ever loading a single piece of music on the 1TB hard drive within. With the Firebird and Silent switch safeguarding the internet entrance, noise level is lowered substantially.  Music comes with palpable imaging, unrestrained dynamics, and precise rendition of timbre. Overall resolution is breathtaking. 

    My salute to the Firebird LPS playing such a critical role to the service of music by annihilating noises at the forefront gate of any music system. 

  • edited September 2022

    我認為AE Central已經達到一個里程碑。從兩年多前接手管理至現在,只有兩個SRA Craz音響架和一對Tripoint Audio Empress屹立不倒。其他的器材/線材為達更好表現已被多次更換,就連地氈也更換多次。御品大內總管阿聰也常問 “黃生又搬入倉呀?”

    在此要多謝 Chris,Dynamic 和 Speed Learner 多次在埸協助。我更希望系統表現永遠與時並進!💪💪
  • Marvel

    Keep up the good works. 

    Uncle Raymond from UK
  • Thanks Raymond!
  • edited December 2022

    The installation of 4x AGS FS1 harmonises the acoustic behaviour of AE Central.  Admittedly all listening rooms exhibit some distortions across the frequency range.  There will be much more details revealed from any recordings after those detriments are removed.  Audiophiles invest much time and money to raise the quality of music playback PRIOR sound waves start radiating from the speakers. However not all would concern after this point onward.  Once sound waves burst out of the speakers, they are juxtaposed with noises from adjacent walls including ceiling and the floor.  Room noises do not belong to the original recording however scant they are. Thus we should remove them in the playback chain. 

    Imagine the listening room is a swimming pool and drivers of the speakers are sources of generating ripples traversing to the far end of the pool.  The higher the energy from the drivers, the higher the amplitude of the ripples, thus exciting more reflections from the walls and bottom of the pool.  It is not difficult to imagine ripples upon reaching the far end are much weaker than the point of origination. Such analogy thus suggests we can compromise energy (musicality) by turning down the volume. In fact, that makes a whole generation of audiophiles only aims at “laid back” presentation regardless of the level of the audio system. Energy never belongs to any evaluation criteria. 

    AGS FS1 addresses side wall reflections in tandem with FL1 tackling floor reflections.  When the system was playing Mussorgsky’s “A night on bare mountain” recorded by Sir K Wilkinson, I was utterly thrilled by the captivating performance of the orchestra because my mind could follow the baton of the conductor.  It is an unprecedented experience ever since I started managing the studio two years ago.  I am teleported to the original venue.  

    Room treatment is never a half hearted game by trial and error.  We are dealing with a big pool of moving air constantly changing amplitude.  When this is done properly, all the effort and gears previously invested is paid off with a Time Machine I can travel freely to any venue to enjoy music. 

  • edited December 2022
    27 Dec. 2022

    星期二下午2:30 to 4:30
    在普天同慶聖誕和新年的日子,我誠邀大家帶同數張你認為靚聲的黑膠牒到AE Central和大家分享,藉此互相交流,擴濶對不同種音樂認知。
    - Da Vinci Gabrielle turntable
    - JMF Audio PHS7.2 phono stage with 55/65/75 db gain
    - Durand Tosca tonearm with Fuuga (0.35mv)
    - Thales Statement tonearm with Extreme Exotic (0.22mv)
    - Dalby Pirueta record clamp
    - Ikigai KINZAN dc cable (on digital)
    為了提高聚會的趣味性,下列未開封黑膠將會作為聖誕抽獎。 希望各位踴躍參與。如有興趣,請聯絡留位(KK Wong 9409 8860)

  • edited February 2023
    The aspiration to achieve ultra fidelity in audio playback is an ever lasting journey.  I am blessed to have Jlam and Chris around constantly pushing me to achieve even more.  Admittedly I lose focus sometimes indulging in a comfort zone.  Occasional disruption, however, is a catalyst to foster advancements.  

    After circulating some AE central videos recorded by iPhone privately amongst us, Chris wants to achieve more.  He spent 4 hours listening intensively to his selection of reference music leaving no stone unturned in the showroom.  
    In this exercise, the means are more meaningful than the ends for me because his thought process is very well structured. When a problem statement is established, a hypothesis is formed next, before selecting tools to drive solution home.  In fact, all tools are available within reach; and what prevents me from utilising them to maximum potential was inadequate music sense and field experiences. 

    A summary of actions taken yesterday:

    1.  Fine tuning of AGS FS1 position to treat side wall reflections more thoroughly.  They were moved closer to the Goebel Divin Marquis because the dispersion angle of the tweeter wave guide is very wide. 

     2.  Doubling up of acoustic panels in the rear wall behind the speakers to increase coverage of absorption so as to treat the 1st reflection point at the back wall.  

    3.  Deployment of an economy interconnect cable from the preamp to subwoofer to improve transient response. The result is much better integration between the sub and the main speaker.

    The exercise may sound simple and even trivial to most, but the result elevates AE Central to an ultra fidelity zone - a pictorial experience of music with music energy embracing all over me. The play back of Mika Nakashima at The First Take (TFT) performing 雪之華 at AE Central “mirrors” her facial expressions and other body language shown on video.  

    My biggest take away is the analytical thought process based on comprehension of musicality alongside subsequent sharing on how to make judgement based on non-audiophile attributes.  

  • edited March 2023
    昨天突意到AE中環去感受下新房間聲効為其系統所帶來的進步。我亦帶了自家現役中的 Ansuz Acoustics Gold Signature Ethernet Cable (後稱GS), 和AE的 Esprit Gaia G9 Ethernet Cable (後稱G9) 進行簡單的AB比較作為交流基礎。它們的表現可謂各有千秋。

    1. Live in Marciac的Besame Mucho 
    2. Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 5, 8 & 9; Suite From “Hamlet” (Live) 的 4. Allegro non troppo—Allegro- Piu mosso
    3. Yukino Hana—From The First Take 的雪之華 by 中島美加
    4. Labrinth 的 Jealous EP𥚃的Jealous
    5. Dave Brubeck Live in Carnegie Hall內的Take 5
    接上G9聽 Live in Marciac的Besame Mucho (Live),鋼琴低音速度快,聲音交代清楚,像真鋼琴一樣;相對 GS,低音比較模糊,有點像用手指彈撥低音大提琴的弦線,但人聲相對有韻味同感染力,背景更靜,環境聲交代清晰,更像現場。
    再來聽Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 5, 8 & 9; Suite From “Hamlet” (Live) 的 4. Allegro non troppo—Allegro- Piu mosso,可能G9有progressive shielding 技術,末段那幾下低頻真的快、狠、準,我坐在皇帝位,直對著18吋岳飛超低音,感受到地下震動,像一支箭的直衝過來,非常聚焦,感覺很震撼;而GS速度慢了少許,但低頻是一浸浸掃過來,比較鬆容,整體舒服耐聽。
    之後播Labrinth的Jealous,經KK解釋過他的身世,對首歌了解更深,然後用G9播Jealous,他對父親的 “控訴”,帶出原唱者想表達的情感;再用 GS播,感覺就變成一種無奈加唏噓的感覺。
    最後的Take 5,用G9播,樂器間的分隔度很優秀,清楚不含糊;用GS再播,環境聲更像 Live,氣氛更好。
    昨天由下午兩點玩到下午六點,一次很好的體會和啓發,AB Tests 經常要換線,走來走去,辛苦晒,多謝 KK 招待。 G9同GS各有長處,聲音取向不同,線材搭配大有學問,玩得太開心,若然將兩條線同時用上,不知效果又會如何呢?

  • edited March 2023
    Subbase Vividus continues to add value to AE Central when more devices are connected to it. The JMF Audio PCD302 AC filter and Tripoint Troy NG ground box are the centric hubs connecting all devices in the system.  Imagine most RF noises aggregated there are drained to the VIvidus via RF ground cables.  The resultant benefits must be exponential.  

  • edited March 2023
    白色森林 by Marvel
    德國哲學家赫爾德(Johann Gottfried Herder) 寫道 「春種,夏實,秋收,冬樂」,意指人生好比四季。青年如春天,充實知識,吸收養分。壯年如夏天, 萬物開花結果,散發生命的光與熱。當秋臨時,經驗已累積一斑,把所知所得,貢獻初學。「秋收之累累果實,供養十方」。到了冬天的老年,細味歷史,慢活養生,把一生的歷練像冬日的暖陽和煦地散發。小兒的名字是「晴冬」,代表我期盼他能擁有光亮溫暖的人生。
    我構建的AE中環,情境以白色為主調,加上金色閃爍的DaVinci 黑膠轉盤和 Dalby Pirueta record weight,活像冬日的太陽散射光芒。Engstrom Eric Encore這對膽功放,就像是家中暖爐;白色的地氈令我有「踏雪尋梅」之感。我最不願身處的冬天是意大利作曲家韋華第(Vivaldi)《四季》內所描繪的冬章,因總是看到一個人在凜冽寒風中,身體不停發抖打顫的畫面。我喜愛的意境是動勢時而磅礡,雪花在疾風中漫天起舞,時而平靜的冬日景致,有點像唐朝詩人李白所寫的「地白風色寒,雪花大如手」。

  • edited May 2023


    今年首四個月我多次到中環AE “補課”,衷心感謝 KK分享心德,每次收穫不少知識。

    月初在上環AE聽張國榮的歌曲,黑膠模疑系統部分是用上了風雅唱頭,人聲非常有感染力,極度像真。我更認為表現已經達致 “同一時空,共享空間”之境界,所以我確定了風雅的貢獻,並想更深入了解它重播古典音樂的表現。

    來自日本的 “風雅” 唱頭按裝在Durand Tosca唱臂,配搭了 Robert Koda的Takumi MC-1唱放(它的RIAA curve是自家開發,失真比其他傳統設計少許多),在雪白色的Da Vinci Gabriel 唱盤上翱翔。KK藝高人膽大,選擇了播放卡拉揚指揮Verdi的歌劇傑作AIDA (Act 2, Scene 2)。要把它駑禦不易, “征服” 就更難。此段講述埃及大將Radames戰勝Ethiopia後凱旋回歸到Thebes城門之情境。粗略估計的樂器有:2支長笛、一支短笛、2支雙簧管、英國號、2支單簧管、低音單簧管、2個巴松管、4個圓號、2個小號、3個長號、低音長號、定音鼓、三角琴、低音鼓、鈸、竪琴、弦樂、以及6把埃及喇叭(又稱Aida 喇叭)等。

    大量金屬管樂齊嗚產生極大能量,金屬感既要燦爛,但又不能剌耳;orchestration要節奏明快,不可拖泥帶水,但又不能急促,因為軍隊是講求紀律。肅穆的號角羣體奏嗚,令我的魂魄被一鼓大將威風八面的氣派所震攝。風雅三頻固然十分平衡,整個Goebel小神曲系統的額外配置,包括岳飛超低音/Arya Air Blade,使它發揮得淋漓盡致,每個音符穿透我身,產生無限音樂感。兩星期前中環AE仍未到這個層次。剎那間我以為這𥚃有 “靈界”的協助,因為一隊兵士正在步行前進,然後穿過我身。

    拉奏單支小提琴容易令人乏味,若系統不平衡,更是會 “刺耳”。當日播放SALVATORE ACCARDO 的小提琴獨奏,並不是順滑甜美,而是毫無修飾的演繹,拉弓技巧的抑揚頓挫十分之清楚。我認為聽辨出小提琴的木質是極具挑戰。我不知道這輯曲目所用的琴是甚麼,只知道它散發出獨特的 “箱聲”。曾在寒舍用串流聽一輯聲稱用十二支不同的小提琴演奏的專輯,可是我完全分辨不到。若那張專輯有黑膠在此,必定是一個有趣的重播體驗。

    接著播放 Provocative Percussion Volume 2 的第一首 “Hernando’s Hideaway”。播這類 “HiFi”碟,聲效出眾是預計之內。我初燒黑膠時,老友送了一張俗稱 “波波碟”在寒舍播放,誇張的聲效以為自己套機升了級。在中環AE的震撼不是來自聲效,而是非常誇張的真實感。起首十幾秒,我以為有人用金屬物敲打Goebel小神曲頭上的Arya “氣刃”180度補助高音,因而噹噹作響。這段音樂的旋律縱橫交錯,動態瞬變快如閃電,樂手互動的默契,各自精彩,誰也不搶誰的風頭。這種超現實的真實(Surrealism),令人一聽愛上。

    我認為AE中環的黑膠模疑系統玩出彩虹,而且選碟示範很有心得,邏輯思維的分析更是到位。他以鑑聽不同音樂類別為作決定的基礎,在唱放上選擇了100 ohm的impedance去配合「風雅」。原來impedance愈低,聲音愈鬆,但控制力下降。相反,數值要高,聲音愈緊,能量/控制力上昇,完全要由聽力決定,而聽力的訓練來自對不同音樂的理解。我現在才得知這環是一個electrical damping的概念,即利用電阻去決定鬆緊。



  • I am delighted to have the presence of Mr Richard Cesari who is the owner and chief designer of Esprit Audio from France.  He and his team visited AE Central today shedding lights on how to better the room acoustics treatment as well as integration with Arya Airblade and Goebel Sovereign subwoofer.  I am utterly floored by the listening skills and experience of Richard in coming up with the suggested changes with strong reasoning behind.  

    Richard is a incredible humble person who repeatedly told me listening is the last step and we all have to count on science as a starting point.  Get to understand the room acoustics behaviour by measuring the sonic contour from various locations of the room then decide how to position the appropriate tools.  Todays session has left a lot of food for thoughts to me.  Great learning experience!

  • edited November 2023
    Wellfloat Double - An Instrument for Space Reconstruction 

    Before the review of the Wellfloat Double platform, I would like to say a few words about the special platform tailored made for Babel.  It weighs 6.8kg and is solidly built from the highest grade aluminium and stainless steel.  It houses a push-pull gauge to couple with the Babel to locate the precise positioning of the CG (Center of Gravity).  I put it under the control unit of the Engstrom Monica, which is a tube preamp with push pull circuit configuration. I view the platform as an integral part of the whole vibration management system. 


    With the Babel system serving under Monica, spatial resolution clearly expands, extensions of frequency extreme are apparent thereby leading to a more balanced presentation; whereas the singleton Babel in my case radiated more treble energy in some music.  With the platform, contrasts and progression are contiguously delivered.

    Due to the drastic improvements attained by the complete Babel system, the temptation to use a second set of “Babel+ platform” under the power unit of the Monica becomes irresistible until the latest Wellfloat Double (WD)was suddenly received.  We got the first one from Wellfloat.  I am delighted to have its debut in AE Central given all predecessors of Wellfloat always bring tremendous improvement to music reproduction.  My expectation on the WD is high. 


    Arya Revopod + Wellfloat = best combination 

    The size of the Wellfloat Double resembles the Babel Platform (48cm x 45cm) but the weight is elevated to 10.8Kg from 6.8kg.  The 4kg increment is mainly due to the 2-layered patented mechanism installed underneath.  Each layer consists of 4 extreme high grade pendulum structures (total of 8), compared to a total of 12 pendulum units inside the Babel.  

    Whilst the Babel adopted a centralised approach of placing 12 pendulum units under the well located CG of the component atop of it,  WD uses a decentralised approach to split the 8 units amongst the 4 corners of the platform.    To some extent, it permits easier placement of components atop often in very space-tight hifi-racks.  

    Amongst all noises we constantly fight against, mechanical vibration is certainly a recursive one.  The component itself, be it contains a huge transformer and/or a rotary mechanism (eg turntable), movable drivers insider speakers, mechanical vibrations always contaminate the music landscape.  Worst still, sound waves mixed with mechanical vibrations bombard various components, thereby causing 2nd order vibration arising from electronics chassis.

    Countless means of vibration damping are available in the market with various design goals.  Wellfloat is unique in the market to provide an effective lateral (horizontal) vibration management.  It works perfectly well with any other damping device. It works excellently with Arya RevOpod.

    When Engstrom Monica preamp sits atop WD, music flows naturally with tremendous stability.  Transparency on spatial resolution leapfrogs to uncharted area.  Symphonies and opera music such as Dvorak’s From the New World conducted by Kertesz and The Three Cornered Hat by Ansermet render all performers anchored solidly on the floor playing music gaily, as if a theatrical stage had replaced my listening room.  

    The vibrant vocal from the masculine male chorus in The Prince of Egypt soundtrack to the slightest whisper of Billie Eilish’s ‘What was I made for’ in the movie score of ‘Barbie’ are captivatingly surreal.  Diction is delivered with clarity and spontaneity.  

    My favourite type of classical is always chamber music.  I am particularly fond of Mozart piano sonata performed by Maria Joao Pires and Schubert Arpeggione by Maurice Gendron. I could visualise the body movements and precise touching on each keystroke.  The immense transfer of emotion under the mastery skills of them really moves me despite the use of a single instrument. 

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