Monday, December 29, 2008

Counterfeit Transistor, Capacitors, Hi Fi Audio, Hand phone....

I have seen a big black huge Amplifier and was brought up to the shop for checking up in Ap Liu Street, that was a Preamplifier with 19" rack, black, written on the front panel the brand name " Quintenssence". It had only one power switch and one volume, weight is about 1.5kgf!

Whilst the shop repair man opened the covers and showed to the owner of the amplfier.
I was there to witness, I saw a small piece of PCB with size of 1.5" x1.5" mounted at the centre.

The board was some kind fo FR2 low cost single layer PCB board.
A simple transformer of the size of a 8 heads-abalone.... a bridge rectifier and two smoothing capacitors of 1,000 MFD each...

I saw that there were two tiny Op-amps on the PCB, a few resistors and some capacitors, obvious that they were not those expensive high precision component. I noticed that the surface marking on the Op-Amp had been milled off, so no one who tell what kind of "Expensive Op-amp" that could be...

The problem is no sound output on one channel...

Well, at this point of view that was a" Made in USA" amplifier with HKD4,000.00 in the year of 1979....

The owner said the sound was OK....If that is OK that meaned the marketing was doing good, as If I used the same material to re-build that amplifer by myself, I think I could made it with HKD120.00!
Probbably sound the same or even better!
I did no believed that Op-amp is not a special ASIC IC at that time. Probably that is a hi grade LM741 Op-amp, that was about HKD15,00 a piece!

The shop owner and myself kept quiet and not to make the owner embrassed., he seemed did not know any electronics at all!

Obviously that was some kind of underground fake amplifer using the same name of the orginal. Well we can see a lot of fake hand phone, like Nokai, Sony Ericsoon, even the Aiphone. But 30 years ago some master had already been working a pro in this fake business...

Nowadays, there are fake Ferrari, Fake Transistor, Fake capacitor, fake vacuum tubes, fake transfomer, Fake LEDs, Fake maiden head! fake watches, bag, soya sauce, egg, tea, Canned Luncheon pork, coffee, almost everything... can be FAKE!
Man, take care that you wife is a man!! High possibility if she/he is not fertile!

We need some wisdom and knowledge to select and buy any product in the market!
Top : The one on left is fake On TO3 power transistor
2nd : fake Rubycon Capacitor using 2,200 uF as a 6,800 uf - Profit margin is 60%!
3rd : MJ15003 connecting two smaller chips as one

A quiet Place in a Hetic City

This is a Chinese Temple amdst crowded city Sham Shui Po, actually this is just situated next block of Ap Liu Street.

Ap Liu street is a flea market place with used goods, electronics components 25 years ago, gradually they have been changed into a market for selling Hand phones, toys, Audio equipment, Video games, LEDs product, and computer related products...

In this temple, you will surprise why there is such a place in this busy place in Sham Shui Po,

We can enter and have a 5 minutes' rest on our thought and hearts.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

The War between LP and CD...

This is an add infinitum war between CD and LP since the invention of CD in 1982...

This is a web site that has made a very scientific studies on the comparison.
(kick the title to view more)

Interesting to see why LP is performing better than CD in another aspect.


Comparing MP3 and CD

MP3 it cuts out a lot of audible and semi inaudible frequencies. The extent to which is does this is determined by the bitrate it has been encoded at.

I think even with 320 kbps mp3 the freq range reproduction is between 15hz and about 15,500hz or even lower than that. That's why the most noticeable differences between mp3 and CD are often in the hihats. Or at least, most people notice flatter, tinnier hihats with mp3s because the frequency response doesn't extend that far.

It loses some sub bass response too but it depends on the record and the amount of bass presence. At high levels certain bass heavy recordings just lose something noticeably when played on PAs at club levels - even at 320 kbps.

Even though you can't physically hear ultra high and low frequency sound you can sometimes notice when its not there. Case in point - have someone blow a dog whistle near you. Then there is the fact that your speakers/headphones have an effective frequency response too.

Most people don't have audio equipment sensitive enough to pick up frequencies above 15,000 Hz, so they wouldnt notice any degradation in sound quality on say most mini hifi systems.


Comparing CD with Vinyl

Plenty of people are having the same experience and are "getting into vinyl" as they put it. I get asked a lot if "vinyl is coming back" or if "tube amps are coming back" and I just inform them that they never left.

I have been listening to vinyl since 1976, that has been 32 years already. I have not changed listening to CD. Thought CD is more convenient to play, to store and to buy, but the vinyls are more enjoyable and realistic. Viinyl folder is larger, can see the lyrics, or article about the singer, player or composer, like reading a newspaper rather easier than reading a news viewer in a PDA format.

I have listened to a reasonably good system recently , that was a Goldmund CD player, pre-amp power amp driving a Khamar floor stand loudspeaker, the sound was sweet, quiet, clear and not having sharp edges, not too digital... but I was having a short while on some light music, need to confirm through vocal.

CD's tendency to have less depth and a 'flatter' bass and lower midrange dimensionality."
The trebre is a bit harsh even the best CD player as comparing with good Analogue playing sytem.

Anyway, I can say that the Vinyl lover isn't idiot as the CD lovers have such a bias on us ( a bunch of Vinyl lovers)


What should we do in this time of correction?

“The best way to predict future is to create it!”
The houses and Stock have fallen 25% and 45% respectively, from ther peak in US,
Hang Seng Index was about 27,563 in Jan 2008 and how it is around 14,000,
but I guess that it will possibly could fall further.
That is what happens when bubblies deflate- this thing can fall into a reasonable-value zone. then keep on falling until they are unreasonably low!
On the other side of inflating bubbles, during which prices can keep rising after even they're unreasonably high!
If you had the money that you won't have to use for the next 6-8 years, go and buy,
if you have to plan for your coming bill and cheque, I suggest you should do nothing!
Work hard and make sure nothing go wrong keep your job secure!

Golden words

These are the Chinese golden words from Fung Leung Lo who has passed away Sep 2008.






















Milk-derived ingredients include whole milk powder, non-fat milk powder, whey powder, lactose powder, and casein has been widely used on many of the food made in New Zealand, Canada, USA, Japan other than China. This milk companies including Sanlu, Menggu, had been using these uncertified milks from the milk farmers on their product carrying their Brand name. Their Top management should have no excused saying they would not know the use of such mail contained Melamine. China image has been eroded as a national wide disaster, as for the Sanlu Milk company, it went Bankrupt last week, which was not a surprise to me.

CSR, also called Corporate Social Responsibility, corporate citizenship, responsible business and corporate social opportunity. It is a concept whereby companies and organizations consider the interests of the society taking responsibility for the impact of their activities on customer, suppliers, employees, share holders, communities and other stake holder as well as the environment. This obligation is seen to extend beyond the statutory obligation to comply with legitration and sees organizations voluntarily taking further steps to improve the quality of life for employees and their families as well as for the local community and Global society at large.

The practice of CSR is subject to much debate and criticism. Proponents argue that there is a strong business case for CSR, in that corporations benefit in multiple ways by operating with a perspective broader and longer than their own immediate, short-term profits. Critics argue that CSR distracts from the fundamental economic role of businesses; others argue that it is nothing more than superficial window-dressing; still others argue that it is an attempt to preempt the role of governments as a watchdog over powerful Multinational Corporation.
CSR is a way to care and support the company, employees, customer, society locally and globally!

Typical local example of the CSR caring acts:
No Lay off
1,000 company agreed not to lay off, these company include To Heng restaurant, Sasa cosmetic, Café-de Carol…it won applause of the citizens of Hong Kong,

Our CEO has also saying that we do not have such lay off culture and we will do our best to cut 10% of our running cost in December 2008, another 10% Q1 2009, and probably 10% Q3 2009. We will like to work together to believe the target. this include energy saving, budget control and at the same time we even increase the cost of R&D… for better capture of future order when business arrives!

There are a few categories of companies.
1. Running for survival, no profit, layout is the usual practice in case of low business
2. Running with profit, cash cow of high profit margin, can maintain the running of the operation in for 3-6 months without any loan
3. Running without the support of loans for 1-2 years even without any bank loan support.

I believe that only type three companies can have full contribution in CSR as a company direction and CSR involves a large scale company direction.
Carbon Dioxide emission measurement.
We have to set a target in controlling the amount of this emission per year.

A CSR company
Build good product with emphasis on the Green value contribution to the society.
Reduces all kind of wates and CO2 emission!
Use green packing material, no or in case we can not, use less packing material.
Promotion to all employees and customer in the CSR.
Build good quality product that will not cause any harm, hazards and contaimination.
CSR is not a image building slogan, it is a department not under PR or Admin., It is a team that drive the company to contribute to the benefit of employees, customer, suppliers and clients and the peoples using our products, building the products.

Marantz 500 1977

Marantz was one of the to amplifier on 19760-1979.

There were not too many people had the luck to own this world''s best Audio equipment at that time. I have a friend Alf in UK is still using two peices of this GEM nowadays!
Marantz was a power house of 73 pounds

Description 2.2KVA transformer, 4 21,000 uf filter caps
Rarity X-Rare
Retail Price 1200.00, October 1st 1974 Marantz Dealer List
First Year 1973
Last Year 1975
Matching Preamplifiers 3300
Blue Face Yes
Channels Two

Panel Width 19 (rack)
Panel Height 7 (rack)
Width 17 5/8
Height 7
Depth 16
Weight 78 lbs, 83 shipped

RMS Power Per Channel 250 @ 8 ohms, 500 @ 4 ohms
Damping Factor @ Load Impedance >400
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) 0.1%
Power Bandwidth 20Hz to 20 KHz
Frequency Response 2 Hz to 100KHz at +/- 1.5 dB
Hum and Noise >106 dB below 250 watts
Signal to Noise Ratio 110 dB
Intermodulation Distortion (IM) 0.1%
Input Sensitivity for Full Output 2.25 volts


Ampzilla II

Ampzilla II was one of the famous power amplifier in 1978... I had a chance to see it in Mongkok, but no chance listening to it...
You know if you asked the sale man to switch on for you; you may have to go through a series of tough questions...started with an easiler question first:

1. What kind of music you like most for testing?
2. How about "Lee Oskar"s' I remember Home (a Peasant's Symphony)?
This was the most Popular test LP in 1976, , other than this, mostly , will be Hotel California!
3. What kind of power amplifier are you using? - to understand your buying power
4. What kind of cartridge and Turntablle you wnat to buy next?- To undersatnd your taste.
5. What is your experience in loudspeaker selection? - to understand your music preference!

They were trying to probe you and see how to humilating you if you were like me, poor and dressed like a student!

At that time being a green horn for Vinyl lover, I had hard time to ask them... just wait for some tycoon or Low Ban (boss) to instruct them to... then swiftly I would move in and occupied a sweet point to listen... all I could do was to wait for such a chance...
Ampzilla II Specifications:
Power Output
200 W rms @8 ohms @less than 0.05% 20Hz to 20KHz360 W rms @4 ohms @less than 0.15% 20Hz to 20KHz
Total T.H.D. & I.M. Distortion 8 ohms less than 0.05%
Frequency Response and power bandwidth at rated power 0.12Hz to 20KHz - 0.1 dB @8 ohms
Damping factor >150@20Hz to 1KHz
Input sensitivity : 1.6 Volts RMS for full power output
Input Impedance: 75K ohms
Slew Rate 50V/uS
Noise >-100dB
Size : 445mm(W)x178mm(H)x229mm(D)
Weight : 59 LBS
Production History:
Introduced in 1977
Original Retail Price: $1,350

Ampzilla was created by world famous designer, James Bongiorno in 1974.
The pictures are shown in sequencial order James Bongiorno, Ampzilla II, Ampzilla 2000...

Hiking after Christmas 2008

WE had a nice short hiking on 27 Dec 2008. The standard needle hill, with Fred, friend of Bill, Anthony and KM Liu.

Play That Funky Music

In 1977 Summer, Mong Kok Hi Fi shops were my best places to kill the times after my study...At that time Ai Yee, Mong Kok Fi Fi, Bo Sum, Bo Shum, Mak See were the shops that I used to visit.

(after 32 years, we still have Mak See, and Ah Yee) Mong Kok Hi Fi had closed the shop in 2007!

At that time a classmate who work on Mong Kok Hi Fi shop as a summer salesman purposely showed me his top gear in the shop.
Mclntosh C-36 controller pre-amplifier
Mclntosh MC2500 Power amplifier
JBL 16" diamater 3 ways loudspeaker
Technics SP10 MK II turn table
SME 3009 SIII tone arm
Shure V15Typre III mark II MM cartridge
He played the Wild Cherry Music " Play that funky Music.."
It sounded like an earthquake and the music was warm, full body, musical and the bass could wack the shop...
Prices wise, I dare not look at that, as I think the C36 was HKD4,000.00
The MC2500 may be HKD12,000.00 at that time an University graduate earn HKD1,200 a month!
This is Play that Funky Music!

Once I was a boogie singer
Playin' in a Rock 'n Roll band
I never had no problems
Burnin' down the one night stands
And everything around me
Got to start to feelin' so low
And I decided quickly
To disco down and check out the show
Yea they were dancin' and singin' and movin' to the groovin'
And just when it hit me somebody turned around and shouted
Chorus: Play that funky music white boy
Play that funky music right
Play that funky music white boy
Lay down and the boogie and play that funky music '
til you die 'til you die,
oh 'til you die
I tried to understand this,
I thought that they were out of their minds.
How could I be so foolish (how could I),
to not see I was the one behind.
But still I kept on fightin',woah,
loosin every step of the way.
I said I must go back there,
and check and see if things (are) still the same
Repeat Chorus


Friday, December 26, 2008

Super Power in 1970'

Phase Linear 700

The Phase Linear 700 amplifier got its name from its combined output of 350 watts per channel. Introduced in 1970, it was, for a while, Phase Linear's only amplifier. The 700 put both Bob Carver, the amp's designer, and Phase Linear on the high end audio map.

The early 1970's were heady times for Bob Carver as he worked to expand North American distribution and beat the drum for Phase Linear. The 700 soon became a favorite of recording studio engineers (19-inches wide, it was designed for rack mounting), rock bands, jazz musicians and audiophiles.

The first generation 700 was laid out asymmetrically, with the VU meters and control knobs toward to right side of the front panel. Carver did two things with the 700 that were meant to eliminate the need for a cooling fan, lower operating temperature and aid in servicing when it became necessary: he placed both the output transistors and the power transformer outside the amplifier enclosure. The output transistors were mounted to the rear heat sinks. The 700 was 45 pounds!

The 700 listed for USD$749.00 in 1970, and rose slightly to USD$779.00 in 1972 and 1973. In 1974 it was replaced by the 700 B

Bob Carver redesigned the 700 and introduced the 700 B in 1974. It featured dual left and right channel controls. It was rated at 345 watts per channel. Rack handles were now standard. Performance specifications of the 700 B did not change measurably from the 700, but then, component improvement was not visible to the buyer and listener. List price was USD$799.00 but jumped to USD $879.00 in1977, its last year of production. It was superseded by the 700 Series Two.

The 700 Series Two was introduced in 1978 and reflected the design approach of A. P. Van Meter, Phase Linear's new design manager. More attention was paid to the 700's aesthetics; the unit was undeniably handsome. Functionally, the VU meters were replaced by red LED meters, with a single volume control under each meter. Performance included 360 watts per channel, reduced THD and IMD and other improvements.

The impressive array of output transistors and drivers is visible on this 700 Series Two with the output device covers removed. With a list price of nearly USD$900, it was half the price of some economy cars! By 1980 inflation had pushed it to USD$1000. The 700 Series Two was replaced by the completely new DRS 900, part of the Dynamic Range Series introduced in 1982.

At that time, there were Crown DC300A, Marantz 500, Mclntosh MC2500! These are the mammoths in the Hi End Audio market! I was a student and was just a dream to look into the price tags, When I entered the Hi Fi Shop, the shop keeper would like to ask what Hi Fi equipment you used as to probe on your buying power. At that time a Taksun 120Y was HKD20,000 and that Phase Linear was HKD8,000.00 half the price of a CAR!

At that time 1973 a Rolex Date Just Stainless steel and Gold two tone man's watch was just HKD4,300. Until 1982, a Rolex Stainless steel man’s watch was HKD4,200.00.

Virtue Of Patience and Timing

1 year ago RBS paid $100bn for ABN Amro.

For this amount it could now buy: Citibank $22.5bn
  • Morgan Stanley $10.5bn
  • Goldman Sachs $21bn
  • Merrill Lynch $12.3bn
  • Deutsche Bank $13bn
  • Barclays $12.7bn

...and still have $8bn change, which you would be able to pick up GM, Ford, Chrysler and the Honda F1 Team.

Honda withdrew from F1 Racing Team
Takeo Fukui, the president of Honda Motors Company Tokyo had made a statement that they would withdraw from the F1 races in December 2008. This is an action in responding to the down turn global economy situation.

Honda entered the NSX in Japan GT race just 7 years after its birth in 1990, in 1998 Honda clinched its first victory in Japan GT races.

NSX is a embodiment of Honda’s DNA since hit humble beginnings on 1985. Initially intended as a midrange, mid-engine car that provided superior performance. The creation posed one of the top biggest challenges to Honda’s engineers.

A new Vehicle that is able to balance human feeling and superior vehicle performance at high level yet required equally superior driving skills.

I had a chance to own a NSX in 1996. That was a super car in town, tough the clutch was a bit tough from cities… but is road feeling and corners turning was superb!


Thursday, December 25, 2008

What do I miss in Christmas?

Pat, I know you are watching my blog, I miss you who is No. 1 student since secondary, university...I am very proud of you, GPA4.0!! Keep it up!

Probably Poo who is so important in my life who gave birth to the smartest daughter Pat.

Probaby my father who taught me man should have "Bone Gas" a Cantonese meaning "Be a Man" and how to make ourseleves strong by martial art practice. I have took Leica to a teacher of "Wing Chun" a few years back, but she was refusing to learn... I wish Pat some how can arrange some time to learn and practise. This as kind of very swift, invincible Martial arts does not teach you how to flight but how to be a humble man, woman...and defend when our lives are endangered!

Pat, you grand grandfather is a stronge man from Shude, a place of wealth and prosperity in 19th century, the same place as Bruce Lee is from. Your Grand Grand pa had four wives... and you are belonging to the youngest wife...who gave birth to your grandpa, that is my father...

Pat , no matter how you are when you grow up, you can not forget your father, grand fathers stories...and do not foreget you have 49% of Chinese blood, well, I respect Poo, as you might have 51% of hers...

As you have acquired more knowledge, you will be able to tell how insufficient you are in the knowledge!

Probably my mother who is old but strong, and yet tender in her heart, always gives me surprise to bring me money from her empty pocket, I admire her...

You know she swims every morning for the past 30 years!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Company RED book

A Master Reference binder has been created for all executives who may need to reference it.
Inside this binder you will find 'solutions' to everyday problems.
If you are having problems dealing with non-performing staff,
having difficulty dealing with co-workers,
having computer netwrok problems,
backlog headache,
customer on hold the shipment,
product quality issues,
long unresolved field outstanding issues,
unfriendly competitors that may takes away your market share!
A bunch of idiots to run your sales.
...please come and get the red binder and it will help you through your issue.
You may refer to the red binder as often as you wish.

Not for you?

Take a look on this toilet design, is there a rick for those who weigh more than 100Kgf?
as There is only two bolts to hold it on the wall.

Especially that you may need to use it urgently! A case of diarrhea that creates a series of loud splashes in the toilet water. Often accompanied by an Escapee. The downward thrust would break the bolts.

You have better buy a toilet accident insurance before entering this rest room!


Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Creations?

1. Invisible rain wiper for car

2. Super WE300B amplfier with ultra flat frequency response 20Hz-100Khz +/- 0.5 db

3. Miniature Vacuum tube MP3 player with 50 hours battery life, two AA battery cells in use.

4. Battery Car lasts for 1,000KM with one 4-hours-battery-charge!

5. Ultra Linear response Vinyl Moving coil Cartridge with channel separation 60db, flat response 10 Hz- 100Khz +/-0.5 db, output 0.3mV! Intend to sell at USD8,000.00 only.

6. Solar powered hand held air con for hiking

Bailout to the Detroit giants

Finally US government official and George approved the bailout offer to GM and Chrysler with USD13.4B and 4.0B respectively, on condition that they have to re-engineering themselevs for better cost control, better efficient production line and lower wages of worker before March 2009. Or the cheque will no longer valid! Ford mentioned that they do not need any financial support from the Government yet at this moment!


Credit Card

We cut most of the cards as a silent demonstration to these card issuers.

Well, a new reformed way on expenses is needed: no cash no expenses to minimize your loss!

Annual interest rate of 33% is high enough, but the Hang Gone, Stupid Charcoal and who knows the Zulu Compress is increasing interests rate to 39% p.a. or even 49%!

When you pass your card to the shop, think for ten seconds!


What are they doing?

You may ask me what are they doing?

Well, they are not taking a rest because of too tired after a shopping!
They are mostly man holding a newspaper in one hand and a cigarette in the other.
They are not waiting for job in front of labour department.

They are studying the best they can as they are going to invest their time and energy in the Horse racing... GAMBLING!

It happens mostly in the horse racing season at every Wednesday/Sunday evening and on certain occassions such as Christmas, Mid-Autumn Festival and Chinese new year that The Jockey Club will arrange certain special game for them to lose their money.
Hong Kong Jockey Club annual income for 2007 is approximately HKD1,800,000,000,00.00. At least 20% will be donated to the Charity committees in Hong Kong. So that is why I said this is a losing money investment.

Why I said to lose thier money as I have never Seen a man or woman ever won in gambling! There is one of the Chinese saying " There is no Gambler to buy a land" as the lucky one will never be me.

But We have to create certain opportunity for these people most of them are from lower earning class and with less education. This is their last hope and this is their dream in such kind of bad-managed -government. Their senior offices are unebale to understand how bad the siutaion of the poor people and unable to support these lower earing class of people by porviding them jobs!

If they do not have certain channel to release their energy, they will try to make trouble to the other people and Government.

There are approximately 150,000 people addicted to Gambling and I hope that they can "Go Back to the shore" and start a new page by dropping this bad habit of gambling!
I have never gambled before, because I have already too many bad habits!
photo take after work at Tsuen Wan area Sat 20 Dec 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

World Largest Ship

KNOCK NEVIS is the world's largest ship at 458.4 meters long (over 1/4 of a mile) and 68.9 meters wide. Previous names: 1989 Seawise Giant, 1991 Happy Giant, 2004 Jahre Viking.

KNOCK NEVIS is so huge that when fully laden she cannot pass through the 32 mile wide English channel because it cannot be manoeuvred, as travelling in a straight line is its best forte.

Fully laden, she sits 24.5 meters deep in the sea, a depth great enough to stop her from accessing most of the world’s major ports.

The cargo of oil she normally carries is worth $122 million - separated from the sea by just 3.5cm of steel plate!

The holds could swallow St Pauls Cathedral four times over. It has a crew of 35 to 40, which means it only needs two lifeboats. It takes 5.5 miles to stop with a turning circle of over 2 miles.

HK Snob

The Ship

The ship is proably the most economical, powerful in terms of cargo capacity, effective tool for shipment. Imagine that the containers ship can carry 5,000 containers each 40 feet long.

A 10,000 Tons General Cargo ship can be converted to carry Automobile of some what 400 Camry! A professionl car carrier or roll on roll off can carry 5,000 car in one time.

A 40,000 ton bulk carrier can ship wheat good enough for the consumption of a city like Tianjin for 6 months!

A 80,000 ton bulk carrier has an anchor with a weight of 20 tons. The main shaft of the ship is having a diamter of 1.5 metre! It burns more than 1 ton of oil in one hour! What kind of milleage is this? Comparing with your Ferrari F4 or Porche GT2?

A crude oil tanker of 100,000 tons can not be loaded in the tanks at the two extreme ends of the ship. This would cause a tragedy happened in Holland some time 1983 as the computer gone wrong and the weight of the oil that actually cracked and broke the ship into two pieces. And this was a court case for the next 5 years as the oil contamination caused Billions dollars loss to the wharf and city of Amsterdam!