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   Stereopal Home Visit:    "Yum Ting"  from Toronto                                                        


  First Visit: Sept 9, 2005
  Update: Dec 20, 2007
             Unconventional speaker positioning with superb results .........    








"Yum Ting" has one of the most unconventional system on my entire website.   From his speaker positioning methods, to is extensive use of "ebony wood" as an isolation materials, he is one firm believers in "audio tweaks".

Very few people who has visited Yum Ting will argue with me that his system has one of the highest "return on investment" ratios in all of Toronto.  Despite the fact that the total cost of his equipments are modest by high end standards, his unconventional speaker placement actually creates a huge soundstage.  

Mr. Yum Ting is a professional artist, and he has been an avid audiophile for over 30 years.   He carries with him plenty of professional experience as he use to work at the American Sound of Canada.



Yum Ting is an active participant in local Asian audiophile groups.    Despite having over 30 years of experience, Yum Ting likes to present himself as a novice within his group.  Yum Ting further explains that the local audiophile group which he participates in is unfortunately plagued by years of politics and internal conflicts,  where a few Old Timers or "Grand Masters" of audio dominate the group with attitudes and agendas.    By maintaining a low profile, he manages to avoid coming into conflict with these "Old Timers".


Initially I did not believe such social behaviour can occur in our modern day society, so I asked Yum Ting to invite me along to a couple of their gatherings.   Lo and behold, I witnessed first hand what I would call the "Cultish Feudalism" of audiophile peer groups.


They practice "initiation ceremonies" very much like what you see in Kung Fu movies.   Beginners or new "disciples" are sometimes required to pour tea to Old Timers (or to pay for his meals) in order to learn strategies aimed at achieving good sounding systems.  These old timers proclaim themselves as  "Grand Masters" or "Si Fu", and are supposedly highly regarded by those within their social group.  They carry themselves as "elders", demanding respect and focus of attention.   They believe they are the absolute final authority on the subject  and do not respect or permit any opposing viewpoints.  Every system is subject to their criticism, yet they will not subject themselves to the same measuring sticks.      If an individual challenge or disobey the teachings these Grand Masters, such as speaker positioning methods, the person will be ridiculed, insulted and isolated among their peers.    Individuals are ranked according to their class (price tag of their system) or the experience they possess (ie, which Grand Master they follow).  They hide behind a philosophy which emphasizes social class hierarchy resembling closely to historical feudalism in early China, resulting in an unhealthy atmosphere of internal conflict, back stabbing, mutual system bashing and criticism.


As ridiculous as it may sound, such cultish social groups still exist in this day and age.


Arrogance and politics has no place in audio, but unfortunately they do plague some audiophile peer groups.    When asked to get myself acquinted with these old timers, I politely declined.





   System Components:



CD 1:

Wadia 830

CD 2:

Cayin CDT 17A (Modified)


Denson DM - 10 Integrated


Focal JM Labs 907 BE


Mogami 2534 Interconnect

Speaker Cable:

Mogami   W2919 Speaker Cable

CD Rack

Custom Made Ebony CD Rack

Speaker Stand:

Heavily Modified heavy duty stand with Ebony Tweaks




Mr. Yum Ting's Comments:





"I consider my equipments to be very modest.  I believe a hefty price tag is not necessary for achieving great results.   Good sounds are the result of a number of factors:


     - Proper room acoustics

     - Speaker placement, obtaining the sweet spot

     - Isolation and damping materials


My speaker used to face the long side of the room.  I never expect better results could be achieved by placing them on the horizontal (long side) of the room. 


In every room, there is a sweet spot.   You must take a lot of trial and errors to obtain the sweet spot where the soundstage will be the biggest.   Once you have obtained the sweet spot, the room itself will magnify the low frequency which will turn a  bookshelf speaker into a floor standing model.


The Denson DM10 is a single ended design, more like a 2 seperate Pre / Power united housed in the same unit.

The Pre amp stage has no gains and is completely passive."





"I am currently looking for a CD Player, the Cayin CD player is actually on loan to me."



"The Ebony CD rack has a very important role in my system.   It is a rare and unusual item which has the ability to smooth out the sharpness and glare associated with digital CD players.   I suppose the Ebony wood has special isolation properties which works remarkable well as an audio platform."



Cayin CD Player CDt-17A, modified with Hovland caps.   Beautifully contructed with top quality parts inside.   Note the 2 huge toroidal transformer and aluminum enclosed CD transport.


Dual Burr Brown chips & Realcaps.  Chinese made equipments are coming on with very high quality parts.  But, during out shootout, we found the Cayin to be the least "warm" sounding of the three.   It leans towards being analytical, digital and thin sounding.




Wadio 830 CD Player, sitting on top of the "Emperor's Chair" .   The Wadia outperformed the Cayin by a huge margin in every respect.   It was more dynamic, and more musical.   The EBONY rack seem made the Tops a little more rounded, slightly more musical.


We also compared it with a Meridian 508. (Now shown in the picture).   Of the three players, The Meridian was the warmest sounding, and more musical.  But it lacked dynamics and textures.     Despite being a very old player, it outperformed the Cayin by a pretty good marign.






The solid ebony "handles" can be turn outward.....

Or they can be turned inwards, each configuration produce a different sound, believe it or not.





Not very visible in the photo, but the speakers are tied

down with Monofilament lines.

Speaker stand sits on top of a wood platform, and is further tied down, as steady as a concrete pole.



These Ebony wood blocks cost $ 100 per piece.  The small ones are about $ 50.  They work surprisingly well

as an isolation material.






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