Hey Tim! Thanks for doing this, stoked to feature a long time supporter! How have you been these days and what's been on your rotation?
I’ve been better! Got a cough right now that’s messing with my sleep but I’ll pull through. Take care everyone and stay healthy!
On rotation recently has been Muddy Water’s Folk Singer, Kings of Convenience, and Ahmad Jamal’s Live in Paris 1971, which I got from y’all!
Kings of Convenience Ahmad Jamal
How did you get started on your Hi-Fi journey?
I’ve loved music since I was a kid, but I guess I bought my first piece of hi-fi gear, a pair of Shure IEMs and an external DAC from Jaben, when I was in upper sec, just old enough to know how to withdraw hongbao money from my POSB account.
I was also in band, playing the flute, so I “had” to listen at high quality to the pieces we were practicing. Hah!
I started on home hi-fi during my JC days when I found a box of my parents’ records and convinced my mum to bring me to Adelphi.
The beautiful warm glow of tubes
Listening spaces are very personal indeed. How did you arrive at your current setup and what inspired each piece?
The part of my setup that I’m probably most emotionally attached to though is the acoustic treatment. I made the bass traps and reflection absorption panels myself! Treatment really makes an audible, not just software measurable difference and I highly encourage anyone with a hi-fi setup to treat their room!
Tim's fantastic DIY acoustic treatment
Turning to the turntable side of things, the Project Signature 10’s single-pivot design and 10kg platter just made sense to the mechanical engineer in me (though my dream is to use a linear tracker one day). The Nagaoka is because I’m too scared to go MC more than anything else. Hah! I chose it based on reviews (because it’s so hard to audition carts!) which say it’s amongst the best MMs (technically it’s a moving-iron) and “very moving coil-like”. When I retire I’m gonna run a cartridge shop with a dual-arm turntable so people can do A/Bs and make informed purchasing decisions.
Turntable & Cart: Project Signature 10 with Nagaoka mp-500
I suppose I was guided by a desire to use horns after listening to Oswald Mill Audio’s insane Imperia system. To my ears, horns sound a lot more lifelike. Horn makers say it’s because the small drivers used have less inertia compared to the larger cones on most conventional speakers. I’ve also always wanted to have a tube amp because they just look so cool yet sound “warm”, and horn speakers pair well with tube amps.
I can’t afford an OMA system yet, but looking around I found Klipsch and JBL were within reach. The Klipschs were better able to handle my wide range of music genres (classical to electronic, jazz to rock) :)
Speakers: Klipsch Forte IV
The Willsenton was a bit of a gamble because I auditioned them at the seller’s home with his small bookshelf speakers but I’d read multiple really positive reviews about it so decided to take the plunge. Thankfully they go well with the Klipsch!
Amp: Willsentone R800-i
A classic storage solution we see there, the trusty Ikea Kallax. How do you organize your records and what are some of your all time favourites?
Even though Spotify claims I listened to 61 genres last year, I organise my records along pretty traditional categories, male/ female vocals, rock, jazz, blues, OSTs, local etc. I really wish I could organise my Spotify library the same way.
It’s impossible to call out any all time favourites coz what I pull out on any given day really depends on my mood! If you forced me to throw out all my records and only keep one artist though, I guess I’d keep Led Zeppelin. I find their discography is very varied in moods and so I’d at least have a track or two to listen to no matter what mood I’m in.
The trusty IKEA Kallax
Very grateful for the continued support from you over the years Tim! Can you tell us a bit about any treasures you've dug out from our shelves?
And I’m grateful for your amazing curation and customer service! So many treasures from your vault: Sounds of Lecak, Ryo Fukui, and Maki Asakawa are top of mind for me.
Sounds of Lecak Maki Asakawa
Is there anything you would recommend to others on our website right now?
Any of Altın Gün albums! I spent 6 months on exchange in Turkey during my uni days so music in Turkish has a special place in my heart. But I’m sure even people who’ve never been to Turkey will love how groovy their music is.
I see you’ve also got The Oscar Peterson Trio’s Night Train newly arrived in. I think that’s a classic and anyone who’s just getting into jazz can put that near the top of their shopping list!
Altın Gün Oscar Peterson