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So will you have your own booth next year?
More tidbits/reflections:In the past few years I've heard KEF LS-50 passive speakers four times. Each time was in a different room with different gear. The one constant was my dislike for the sounds I heard. I just couldn't understand why folks like them.........There was a KEF room yesterday that I actually walked right past the first time. However, I decided to check it out on my second round of the rooms. Sure enough, the LS-50s were playing. I told myself I'd give them a couple minutes to try once again to fathom their popularity.
The end-of-year audio show is unfortunately timed. In the city of Taipei this is the third audio show in the same year. The organizer tried to draw more crowd by combining art exhibitions. This strategy however doesn’t seem to work because the consumers of these two sectors differ.Some local audio equipment makers therefore chose not to participate in the event. For example, Alex Chen of Tube Fan Studio (http://www.tubefan.com.tw and https://www.facebook.com/tubefan) opted out of the winter show, holding individual listening sessions instead in a café nearby. A distributor of Mundorf and other hi-end components, TFS offers their own speakers and single ended amps (300B, 2A3, KT150, etc.) of proprietary circuits. A nice-sounding DAC has just been completed, and a phono stage will be on offer soon. To my ears TSF amps produce a holographic soundstage and excellent musicality. Alex also works with KR Audio fine-tuning their tubes. Probably not the highest of hi-end (esp in terms of price), but entirely listenable and very pleasant to the ears and eyes. This time we also did not have a chance to hear the exquisite sound from the fine amplifiers made by Sideways Eight Audio Labs (http://s8audiolabs.com and https://www.facebook.com/S8-Audio-Labs-vacuum-tube-audio-757020074332297/). I have listened to their EL84 PP and other amps before, which make absolutely gorgeous music when mated with proper speakers. Mr Hsu, owner of S8 Audio Labs, is a knowledgeable tube fanatic who tirelessly perfects his proprietary circuits. His room is always a delight amongst the sea of sterile sound offered by dealers trying so hard to impress their potential customers with chunky equipment and impressive metalwork or exotic finish.I’m sure you’ve found that reel to reel tape has been on the rise in Taiwan for some time, as with the trends elsewhere. Yu Shao-fa (https://illusionofsound.blogspot.tw and https://www.facebook.com/groups/1727990697428351/) is an R2R perfectionist and now a regular in audio show. When I entered their room yesterday, I thought I actually heard someone singing and humming. His R2R work is first class and produces truly life-like analogue sound that keeps listening fatigue away.Some other companies, like Arte Forme (http://www.arteformaaudio.com.tw and https://www.facebook.com/arteformaaudio/) tend to join audio shows in Kaohsiung in the south of the island. Some stick to factory direct mode and don't do audio shows at all, like W&L Audio (http://tubeaudio.netfirms.com). Although I haven’t tried W&L’s amps, I’m very keen to hear their original circuit design based on rarely used tubes that still have plenty of NOS supply. WL-313 Milestones series is their popular low wattage line, which utilizes Western Electricity 313 tube as rectifiers. Their recent offering is a PP amp based on EL86/LL86 with 25w-45w output depending on configuration. W&L is said to have earned a cult following, but for this particular company I guess you will use their 10-day return policy for an audition rather than attending an audio show.
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