• New  Studio
  • Vox Olympian is now in Hong Kong
  • CAD Review
  • Boenicke Audio
  • Hong Kong 2016 High End Audio Show
  • CAD Ground Control Review
  • Living Voice - Lifetime Achievement Award
  • The Listening Experience
  • CAD Ground Control - HiFi+Review
  • Audio Technique features Living Voice and CAD
  • Audio Technique Article Sept 2016
  • Hong Kong Show 2013
  • Easter 2015, Audio Evidence meets Audio Note Japan!
  • Kondo Factory Visit
  • IMPORTANT NOTICE - THE WORLD'S BEST SPEAKERS
  • The Digital Domain
  • Garrard
  • Red Wine Audio

Used Equipment

 



A rare opportunity to buy Kondo 2A3 power amplifier. Traded in by customer moving abroad, who traded up to larger Kondo amp and so we know the history of this wonderful sounding amplifier. Interested party please contact Ms Candy Law on 2396 8515 or e-mail midgle2@attglobal.net.

Mr. Evgeniy Mitrofanov, director of Hi-End and Hi-Fi Music, Vladivostok, Russia.

 


We were pleased to welcome Evgeniy Mitrofanov, director of Hi-End and Hi-Fi Music, Vladivostok, Russia. Evgeniy was in Hong Kong visiting the electrical show, and took the opportunity to come and hear some music played with Kondo equipment. Evgeniy is the leading audio distributor in Vladivostok and is an experienced Kondo representative.




We invite you to hear it. Please contact us by e-mail midgle2@attglobal.net or Ms Candy Law on 2396 8515 for an appointment.

A KID IN A CANDY STORE (OR THE AUDIO EQUIVALENT!)

 

I have recently had the opportunity to visit 4 audio manufacturers "factories". I put the word factories in quotations because to call these premises factories is probably a little misleading. It was amazing to me to discover that such lovely equipment, produced in such an artisan and individual way, is actually produced in a space much much smaller than you would imagine, they hardly qualify as a factory at all. My first visit was to Living Voice, the well-known speaker manufacturer.

This turned out, by the way, to be the largest "factory" of the tour. I arrived at Living Voice fresh off of a flight from HK, but still happy to be there despite the jet lag. The proprietor is Kevin Scott and he has adapted a wool factory from the last century into his headquarters. Located just 5 miles off of the M1 motorway, in a town called Long Eaton, the building itself lends a wonderful atmosphere with its high ceilings and homey furniture scattered around the listening room. I was soon hooked on Kevin's enthusiasm and the lovely sound that enveloped the room. Kondo's "deliciously scrumptious" (Kevin's words) amplifiers powered the top of the range Living Voice OBX speakers. OBX stands for outboard crossover, and these speakers have acquired something of a cult following in England. A Kozmu turntable spun record after record of foot tapping jazz, which really "swung" and had the musicians alive and kicking in the room while Lynn, Kevin's wife, kindly served bacon and sausage sandwiches for brunch, and that helped too, of course!

I have known Kevin for many years and he is as passionate as any one I know about producing music in the home. He has designed and made both horn and cone speakers, and both work well and are made with commitment and enthusiasm. His musical aims happen to coincide with mine, which is to say that he is much more interested in the tone, the timbre, the vitality, and the life in the music rather than "sound staging" and all those other things Kevin and I believe are so relatively unimportant. Kevin will wax on enthusiastically about "the burnished sound of a trombone" or the "delicious tone" of Miles Davis' trumpet ... for him, it is ALL about the joy of the music.

My visit to Beauhorn a little later was unfortunately much shorter, and moreover did not entail any bacon and sausage sandwiches! Nevertheless, after a long drive through the soft Southern England countryside, I found, not for the first time, the beautiful country home of Eric Thomas, appropriately called "Songlines" and was treated to Eric's LP collections. This very relax atmosphere, created within his gentile country home is ideal for listening to his collections of mostly classical music. I very much appreciated the care and attention that is put into the Beauhorn speakers and the obvious high quality sound that is the result. I am not sure that there are many Beauhorn speakers in Hong Kong, and mores the pity, the Hong Kong music listening public is missing out.

Soon after returning to Hong Kong, I flew to Tokyo (it is a hard life!) and this trip was no exception to others in that I made straight for the Audio Note Japan factory to meet Kondo and Masaki San. On arrival, I felt like a kid in a candy store; the factory is so full of Kondo's latest inventions, along with his old models along with horn speakers, cone speakers, step-ups, pre-amps and cables. There is even an original ONGAKU standing proudly on display, looking like something from another world. On this visit, I had as much fun as ever going through Kondo's old records, and I heard some of the music on equipment that is still in the development stage. It is such a privilege to have a glimpse of where this great man germinates his ideas for new models to be enjoyed in the future by those lucky enough to own them. I am not allowed to tell you what new models are currently being "cooked up" in Tokyo, save and except that I can say that an interesting speaker for the future is being discussed ...

While I was in Tokyo, I decided to brave the Tokyo equivalent of the "MTR" and find my way round the expensive suburbs to visit Mr. Kimura of 47Lab. This was an adventurous undertaking as most of the signs are in Japanese, and so it was with some intrepidation that I set out. What I expected to find at the other end was a rather "Zen" like listening room which would match the "sheek" company image with its sophisticated advertising. What I found (as I hope the photographs will show) was the reverse! To my surprise, I found Mr. Kimura in the tinniest of offices, and dare I say it perhaps not the most tidy! Nevertheless, in these small and somewhat untidy surroundings Mr. Kimura was quietly making some of the best transistor amplifiers on earth. It is interesting to note that both Mr. Kondo and Mr. Kimura have worked previously for big Japanese electronic corporations, and both were driven into their own creative worlds to make better, much much better sounding equipment than the "big boys" have ever achieved. Mr. Kimura treated me to some Louis Armstrong (always a favourite of mine) which belted out on some diminutive speakers, which filled the small room with wonderful sound.

I am full of admiration for the people who I visited on this trip, who design and make equipment largely by hand, and create the parts from scratch rather than relying upon other manufacturers' work.
The dedication and single mindedness of each manufacturer to make the very best equipment available impressed me greatly. I really like the fact that they want to listen to the music, and the equipment is only a means to that end. Not for them the audiophile obsession for showing off their systems by playing "drums" at a very loud volume. Not for them the obsession for "pin point" "staging", they instead each want to create real music, and they want us to enjoy it with them.

These four factory visits left me with a great sense of satisfaction, and privilege at being able to enter their world of creativity; and to be able to witness the way in which each tackles the job of manufacturing their products. It is a privilege to be able to hear from them their ideas on how music should be produced in the home and to find out what is important to them, and ultimately to hear how they envisage the future of audio. To my mind, with designers and manufacturers like these, the future of two channel audio in the home is assured ... and we can look forward to good sounding music for years to come.

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