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Far East Man*

Posted by March 6th, 2020

Flying out of a rather wet and windy Heathrow airport on the 25th of January just seven hours later we were in sunny and relatively warm Dubai.

This was the first port of call and en route to Hong Kong we were able to stop for a few days, take in some of the sites and service one of my client’s Signature LP12s along with fitting and commissioning a new Urika 2 for him.  He is very pleased with the results.

DubaiThe next leg of the trip required us to be at Dubai airport for the flight which departed at 3:15 am on the 28th of January! So, after a wonderful evening meal with several friends in Dubai just after midnight we headed off in a taxi towards Dubai airport. No chance to sleep awaiting the plane of course but we did manage to get some rest on the 7 ½ hour flight on to Hong Kong.

I had arranged to see four clients whilst visiting, one every full day of our stay and having caught the airport express into Central, although quieter than normal, I’m pleased to say there was no evidence of the troubles that we have been hearing about in Hong Kong recently. However, facemasks were very much in evidence. Indeed, I would say 99% of people, including ourselves, were wearing face masks given the emerging threat of coronavirus.

Hong KongThe first LP12 I rebuilt had a Valhalla power supply and Aro tonearm, Keel along with a Koetsu cartridge. During our correspondence we had agreed that the best upgrade was going to be the Klimax Radikal and latterly we decided on the Karmen replacement top plate too. Even though the client was moving between apartments, we were able to test out his LP12 once rebuilt and it sounded wonderful through his system. Both the client and I were very happy as this installation was the culmination of about six – seven months of emails between us in arranging for the installation.

The first LP12 had been located in the Central District on Hong Kong Island, but the second LP12 I was setting up was located about an hour north in a place called Sha Tin. This is also the location for a really interesting Buddhist monastery where believe it or not there are 10,000 Buddhas! It was such a quiet and tranquil place and yet very close to quite a lot of industrial and commercial areas.

This LP12 was also armed with an Aro tonearm and this time a Dynavector XX2/2. The main problem with this LP12 was that the plinth was very old and also the top plate was badly marked, so I was able to replace the plinth with a nice modern walnut one, fit a new standard top plate and a replacement Cirkus bearing as the original was very worn. The results were very impressive through my client’s system and he was very happy.

Peter Swain, CymbiosisHong Kong is actually a very diverse place with lots of countryside and beautiful islands. My next client actually lives on Lamma Island and so we took the ferry across from Central to Yung Shue Wan to visit him, in order to rebuild his LP12 plus install some upgrades, including a beautiful fluted walnut plinth. The LP12 looked perfect and sound perfect in its home when I’d finished. Believe it or not Lamma Island doesn’t allow private motor vehicles, but it does have its own record store, so of course we had to pay it a visit before catching the ferry back to Central. Needless to say, I picked up a few bargains!

On our final day in Hong Kong and having seen another client in the morning we decided to go for a hike on another island. Lantau is the home for the new Hong Kong airport but on the other side of the island everything has remained pretty much the same with relatively little development. The Sunset Peak is quite a few hours hike but the views are well worth the effort. Again, it highlights what a diverse place Hong Kong is.

Batu CavesThe following day we bid farewell to Hong Kong and took a flight to Kuala Lumpur where we visited my final client whose LP12 now sports a mighty Ekos SE/1 and Kandid. In addition to this a Naim Fraim was installed and I adjusted his active crossover in his wonderful active system.

We also took time to enjoy some fantastic street food and also visit the incredible Batu caves just outside Kuala Lumpur.

So, in summary we looked after six clients’ LP12s, checked their systems and had a really good time meeting everybody and travelling round the various sights.

Of course, the only downside of a trip like this is coming home and so we donned the masks again for the return journey via Dubai to Heathrow and then began the 14-day coronavirus voluntary quarantine!

However, it was all worth it for sure.

*written & performed by George Harrison & Ronnie Wood

Phil Mulvaney

Phil has been involved in electronics retail for most of his life and has been a member of the Cymbiosis team since 1990. Phil specialises in digital streaming and networking solutions and is also one of the Cymbiosis webmasters.

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