…where we have more fun!…
Formed in 2002, what started out as a one-man operation trading audio boutique parts, eventually evolved into a small original equipment manufacturer with business partners.
I bought my first stereo set when studying in university. It was a small simple budget setup comprising of Marantz, Rotel and Paradigm. Later when I began working, the itch to “do better” was there but it wasn’t easy to scratch this itch as audio gears are anything but affordable.
So I started building my own gear. Got a lot of help from fellow hobbyists and pretty soon, was spending most of the time poring through schematics, articles and datasheets.
However, quality electronic components are hard to come by here, more so those audiophile approved boutique parts. The only local retailer being Octave Malaysia then.
Seeing there are so many like minded guys around, I then approached some of these manufacturers and that got me started in distributing/retailing these electronic components. [At one point in time, funds to purchase parts was so low that I had to sell off my Austin Mini.]
With parts easy to come by, DIY journeys (explorations is more like it) went by fast and furious. Component quality, circuit design and other opinions were formed through all these projects. Some of the projects are explained and shared on the website. [http://diyparadise.com]
Then tried my hand at designing and it wasn’t too difficult at all. Had moderate success and learned more about the manufacturing side of the business. First started out with digital-analog convertor (DAC) kits. Later tried out Class T amplifiers.
That’s how Monica came about, after testing and listening to various DAC chips. That’s how Charlize came about too after building, testing and listening to so many Class T chips before settling on the best sounding.
That is also how Mr Kok was then roped in as a business partner. Kok later then developed a CDM controller for the high end CD transport, the Philips CDPRO2.
Later, roped in Mr Ew to develop Maggie, the autoformer volume control, which met moderate success. Maggie is now succeeded by Kok’s volume control which is still under going final testing. Ew is now responsible for the fantastic output transformers used in our tube headphone amp/preamp.
|Along the way, Mr Gabriel entered the picture. With his wonderful horn speaker designs, it was quite a miracle that Sophia was born. The size of a LS3/5A but with the bass of a floor stander and a sound of a much much larger speaker! After dropping the Jordan line, Gabriel is now focussing on a successor to Sophia. We subscribe to the mantra, “if it isn’t horns, it’s not worth building”. And a speaker that booms is a speaker designed wrongly!
Yes, Gabriel is also responsible for our beautiful hand made teak chassis. Believe me, many audio guys got it wrong. You want and you SHOULD build your audio gears in wood. Many guys go for stainless steel etc and then damp the chassis with all sorts of damping material, support with plastic cones etc. All this could have avoided if you just build it right in the first place.
As you could see, we are a horizontal organization with each person focussing on his niche and developing his own products. There is no way one could learn everything and design everything. Much better to let each focus on his own niche, after all, he knows best what he’s doing.
So these days, we still have diy modules and boutique components but we are also focussing on the higher quality, higher value built up units.
I could afford high end gears now but there is simply no reason to go for that. DIY is cutting edge and we are at the fore front!
31 Jan 2017. A page dedicated to our tonto boy.