I haven't written on the forum over the last couple of months, though I have been lurking and religiously reading the posts everyday. And I've jumped on the AE bandwagon with the Tidal Agoria, Takumi, Opus Vekian Transport and DAC, the Linebackers, upgrading my rack to a custom extra-wide all black SRA and the recent arrival of AE's unbelievable Swiss Army Knife - the Wadax Pre1! A little lonely out here as all the action seems to be in Hong Kong.
So, when PT (who is in Singapore almost every quarter) said that Jlam will be joining him during his next trip AND he would also invite Master Chik along to help me setup the Ikeda Kai, I jumped at this opportunity.
Master Chik spent about 4 hours setting up the Ikeda and tuning the sound in my room. Another popular AE regular who was also with us at my place was Marvel. What a party! PT, Jlam, Marvel and Master Chik!
The acoustics in my listening area are not exactly ideal, open space to the left, cathedral ceiling that’s slanted, glass all on my right side. So I've had to live with compromises. PT and me have been trying to tackle this for the last couple of years with varying levels of success, though every time I change a component, it needs to be tweaked again.
However, after the 3 - 4 hours of speaker repositioning, resetting the turntable, listening, re-leveling the turntable, resetting the speakers, recalibrating the Wadax Phono stage, measuring the cartridge weight, listening, dismantling the Simplicity weights and putting in different weights, listening, recalibrating the Phono stage and then doing it again, Master Chik's meticulous efforts came to bear with a smooth, effortless, natural sound - a level, I've not heard my system perform at yet! So yes, my humble system may have better than average components, and though I'd like to think I am a better than average judge of sound, it all paled in comparison when I had someone who understood sound like Master Chik. So thank you sir! You are always welcome to Singapore anytime!
The other star that night was the Wadax Pre1. I'm running the Ikeda Kai with the Simplicity tonearm on the Thales TTT through the Wadax. I'm still listening to a lot of vinyl now and I'll write a review on the Wadax soon. However, the interesting to note is that I'm also now running the Vekian Opus Transport and Wadax's Server through the Pre1, which incidentally is ALSO my current PreAmp. I hardly ever use the Takumi and the Vekian Opus DAC. But more in my next review! I'll be comparing the Transport vs HD Tracks vs normal ripped tracks vs Vinyl all running through the Wadax Pre1.
Thanks PT, Jlam and Marvel and Master Chik for spending the time last weekend!