An Appointment with the Far East — Part 2

Event - Singapore's International Sound & Sight Exhibition

An Appointment with the Far East — Part 2

Clement Perry
18 February 2001

Singapore's Adelphi Building

The Adelphi Building, located in the heart of the city, is home to more audio dealers than all of New York City and New Jersey combined! Imagine a situation, tropical no less, where one can find virtually any audio product. Here's just a few of the shops and products in the Adelphi:

The BMB Custom Shop is stunningly attractive with its "welcome" décor along with great sounding electronics.

The exclusive dealer for Room Lens, Orthospectrum (AR2000, and tuning devices), and Talon. Needless to say, I visited here often, enjoying both its comforts and sonics.

One eye catcher is the ELPA Store with the oddly shaped B&W Nautilus Series loudspeaker. The sound, with the newest series of Levinson gear, was quite an earful.

Jeff Rowland and MBL appear together in window. Just had to pay a call. I exited the place about three hours later.

The Lowth-X store caught my eye with its array of gorgeously styled acrylic turntables. The manager played a host of vinyl recordings through highly efficient loudspeakers employing, of course, Lowther drivers. Captivating to say the least.

All these hi-end shops under one roof -- what an impact! This is Normans, the exclusive dealer of Avalon, Audio Refinement (YBA), Manley, and Boulder. The word is inspiring.

Even the uninvolved passersby can't help but stare. I wonder how many hours one can spend in pursuit, say, of a preamp within one's budget. Must be exhausting work!

Next Stop, Osaka, Japan

I was surprised to see how closely this densely populated place resembles New York City. Spoiled by Singapore's English-speaking populace, I was neither prepared for nor able to cope with Japanese Only Spoken Here. Only now did I begin to feel homesick. Be that as it may, it was in Osaka that I had the pleasure of meeting the man behind the AR 2000 Analogue Reconstructor, Mr.Akiba.

One's feeling of being in an inhospitable, far-off place evaporated once I entered this gracious gentleman's domain. To my great relief, my host speaks good English. It was here that I familiarized myself with the best in hi-end audio, Japanese style, with its ever-present, low-powered tube amplification. I discovered again, in each of my listening sessions, what truth-of-timbre means. Of the various rooms I've visited, here and abroad, listening to both tube and solid state components, the sound of Mr. Yamada's Zandan all-tube electronics and Sawada Tutankhman loudspeakers, with their 100dB-efficient Lowther drivers, set a personal new standard for musicality and purity. That I made this great discovery under Mr. Akiba's humble guidance comes as no coincidence.

Mr. Akiba (left) listens to what many in the States would consider quite modest gear in terms of money spent. Be that as it may, I was stunned by the lack of coloration.

Listening to one of my favorite LPs, "Lady in Satin," by the incomparable Billie Holiday through a pair of highly efficient homemade speakers placed on the front wall no less, and rather ancient electronics. The experience proved to me that not only has this man achieved "Golden Ear" status, but more importantly, he got to these lofty heights with a bare minimum of expense.

What a lovely custom! After-listening-sessions, eating out. Here I am sandwiched between Mr. Kitazawa (left), the distributor of Ortho Spectrum electronics, and Mr. Akiba.

Here I am getting a first-time glimpse of the brand spankin’ new Home Cinema & Audio store with (left) Mr. Sawada of Sawada Audio, Mr. Yamada of Zandan Audio, and (far right) Mr. Kitazawa, worldwide distributor. Located in downtown Osaka, the shop’s look and feel radiates class.

There I am sitting before Sawada Audio’s Tutankhman

Loudspeaker. This $85,000, 300lbs., four Lowther driver/per enclosure, crossoverless (from 40hz up) monstrosity features a unique 180-degree dispersion characteristic and is over 100dB sensitive! Driven by all Zanden Audio electronics, excepting the CD drive which used the Sony SACD, the sound was a new and rude awakening for this writer in terms of ease, openness and purity of signal. Guess what else? I now have them in-house and will tell you plenty in the ensuing months. Stay tuned.

Japanese Automobiles

One of the most unexpected sights of my entire trip was that of the Japanese automobile in both Singapore and Japan. What was quite amazing was to see all the expensive lines such as Lexus, Infinity and Acura with their original manufacturers badges, i.e., Lexus by Toyota, Acura by Honda, and Infinity by Nissan. Also interesting to me is that the cars we use in the States are not Japan’s top of the line. I noticed several vehicles that are pricier and more luxurious. Here are some photos.


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:

Date : 16 – 18 November 2001
Time : 11.00 am – 7.00 pm
Venue : Le Meridien Singapore
Address : 100 Orchard Road Singapore 238840
Ticket : S$10.00


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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