An Appointment with the Far East — Part 1
|Event - Singapore's International Sound & Sight Exhibition|
An Appointment with the Far East — Part 1
|12 February 2001|
An ear-popping, extravagant first: I attended Singapore's annual International Sound & Sight Exhibition last year and feel fortunate to have been present at the finest audiophile show I've ever experienced. I'm a sucker for great climate and listening rooms, and Singapore has these in abundance. The twenty-two hours of travel were indeed grueling but, given the destination, more than worth the effort. I would not hesitate to do this again, perhaps every year! Let's put it this way: five precious, luxurious days of listening to amazing high-end gear, along with sightseeing a tropical jewel. As I write these words, I recall with affection sunshades, shorts and sugar cane on the beautiful Island of Sentosa.
I remain enthralled by the island's climate, cleanliness, its good, generous people and, best of all, its high-end shopping center. Oh my yes, that marvelous shopping center! This is the kind of trip every audiophile fantasizes. Consider Singapore's location, one degree (87 miles) north of the equator, average temperature 76 degrees: my Official Dream HQ. Departing New York's JFK airport, I arrived in what seemed days later to be greeted by baggage attendants in shorts and tee shirts. The intelligent traveler of course remains mindful of the legendary strictness of island's laws, which read like a catalog of major, minor and surprise illegalities. Better than two dozen people, friends and family, warned me about Singapore's judicial system. Long before I boarded the plane, you just know that I abandoned my gum-chewing shenanigans.
|The show took place in 50 rooms of a beautiful hotel. The attendance was huge. If I'm not mistaken, I was the only American covering the event. A journalistic coup for Stereo Times!|
|Nope, it's not me, though the similarity is so striking that I had to look closely at the Heco Loudspeaker poster lad to assure myself that it isn't. Show-goers were so convinced to the contrary that they kept greeting me as Heco Man!|
|Mr. Yamada of Zandan Audio products poses proudly with his arsenal of electronics. The Model 1000 phono stage boasts Decca, Columbia, and RIAA settings. It's priced at a hefty $15,000. Stereophile's Mike Fremer opined that Janis Ian's "Breaking Silence" never sounded so convincingly real. The acoustics of this room are a testimony to that appraisal. I am told that distributor Jay Bertrand is handling all Zandan Audio products in the U.S.|
|Here show-goers were wowed by Denon electronics with the newest DVD release ofGladiator, while others checked out the rooms of famous U.S. brands.|
|Traveling light? Philips new UGO series of high performance LCD projectors caught my eye. One of these little sweethearts, compatible with most data and video sources, displayed a very impressive picture (rated at 800 ANSI lumens), despite its small size. Yes, that's my hand, and no it is not that big; the UGO's that tiny.|
|A picture speaks for itself!|
|This Sony transport is exclusive to Singapore. It was one of those items I thought about well after leaving Singapore.|
|Where East meets West. Unidentified loudspeakers strapped to Conrad Johnson electronics, a Sony SCD-1 spinning discs.|
|Again, Sony's SACD player strapped to a set of attractive, unidentified electronics, with the Nova Applause loudspeakers (review forthcoming) and my favorite line of cable, Analysis Plus.|
|The Analogue Reconstructor AR2000 received Best Accessory Award from Singapore's hi-end publication, I-Audio. I guess it's safe to assume that this product, which several ST reviewers, myself included, praised, is gaining worldwide recognition.|
|Musse Audio Reference 1 (right) and Reference 2 loudspeakers are said to be heading to U.S. soil. I'm told that both models employ the finest Scanspeak 1" revelator tweeter and carbon fiber woofers. Price: to be announced.|
|The MBL room with its attractive array of electronics did not disappoint. MBL has always attracted my attention. The stuff's impressively built especially the 101-D loudspeaker. That 360-degree dispersion thing happening in its tweeter always leaves me swooning. (Did I mention I'm an audiophile?)|
|If I hadn't seen those arrows, I doubt I would have known that the BMB model A8 home theater system's top driver serves as the center channel. You cannot tell from the photo that the driver is toed toward the center. Clever idea!|
|Here I am in the JubiLeaum electronics room with the main distributor for the AR2000 and a host of other products (also due this way). That's Mr. Kitazawa on the left with Mr. Yamada of Zandan Audio fame. I wonder whether those Argent Room Lenses had anything to do with the fine acoustics of the room.|
|Caught on camera attempting a go at karaoke in the BMB Home Entertainment room. Can anyone guess the name of the song on the screen?|
|The Singapore distributor of The Absolute Sound held the crowd captive with some serious electronics by FM Acoustics paired with a new and impressive-sounding Genesis Loudspeaker.|
|I guess this must be the Red Sticker Sale! It warms my heart to see my very own reference projector in the Dream Vision DL500 putting on such an artifact-free demonstration.|
|The Burmeister room, with its chrome-bright and elegant electronics, sounding just great.|
|Marlin Perkins, eat your heart out! I spent some time at this croc farm and am here to report a heightened respect for these prehistoric monsters. I could not believe the size of this guy. Twenty feet? More maybe?|
|Best Sound at Show? It just had to go to the Halcro Room. The Audio Suite gang had an immaculate setup. Starting with all Ayre electronics, the new line of Halcro amplifiers performed flawlessly, forcing me to nominate them as the finest solid state devices I have heard (yeah even better than the Bel Canto EVo).
The sound (or lack thereof), strapped with XLO reference cables took the Arial 10T's to another level of performance I thought impossible (as a former 10T owner I stood amazed). At $22,000 suggested list they had better be good! Super Ultra-quiet design and low distortion is the amp's claim to fame. I couldn't agree more!
International Sound & Sight Exhibition 2001
The Sound & Sight Journal will again organize an "International Sound & Sight Exhibition 2001" from 16 November to 18 November 2001 at the Hotel Le Meridien Singapore.
Last year, the exhibition was held in 64 exhibition rooms occupying 4 stories. If each room takes 10 minutes to glance through, a total of 640 minutes (10 hours 40 minutes!) would be needed to walk through the entire exhibition ground. It was a sound and sight extravaganza indeed.
Owing to the huge success of last year’s exhibition, more companies and manufacturers will take part this year, making it a much bigger and grander attain featuring all the household names in audio and visual products.
At the "International Sound & Sight Exhibition 2001", visitors will have the opportunity to see the craziest Super-Fi sound systems, the most stunning home theatre surround sound systems, the trend setting car audio systems, eye-popping projection systems, Hi-Fi accessories and the ‘must have’ audiophile CDs. Many of the products will be featured in Singapore for the first time; some of them will be specially flown in just for the exhibition only.
This year, more top audio and visual designers will take part in the exhibition giving the exhibition goers an excellent opportunity to obtain first hand knowledge from them. Besides, many exhibitors will launch irresistible special offer packages to the visitors.
As the "International Sound & Sight Exhibition 2001" will be of a mammoth scale, the organizers will specially produce a handbook given free to all visitors. The handbook will provide a comprehension information on the layout plan of the exhibition grounds and synopsis of each exhibition room. It will also include other important details such as the special offers by exhibitors. More importantly, the handbook lists down the names, addresses and contact numbers of all the products, their agents and distributors. Hence, it is indeed a handy and valuable Hi-Fi directory for audiophiles.
For more information, please contact the "Sound & Sight Journal" at Tel / Fax: (65)4675116, Email: email@example.com
Date : 16 – 18 November 2001
The organizer of the "International Sound & Sight Exhibition 2001" is the "Sound & Sight Journal". It is South East Asia’s first Chinese audio and visual publication, and Singapore’s only such publication. The Sound & Sight Journal is nine years old. Its contents comprise hardware and software reports. All the software reports are written by professionals in the music industry, similarly the test reports on hardware are penned by specialists who have deep understanding of music.
Owing to the neutrality in reporting and its impartiality, the "Sound & Sight Journal" is the most mathematical amongst the Chinese readers. The publication is therefore highly regarded by domestic and international audio and visual manufacturers. The "Sound & Sight Journal" is the authority in the Chinese audiophile world.
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