The Tube-o-phile Shopping Guide to Hong Kong

Part 4 : "Tak Fat" Building (formally known as Prosperity Building)

 

Summary from our member Carl Jone from Australia and Richard (in blue) :

From there we went to the third floor of Tak Fat (Prosperity building), 61 Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok.

First stop was, well, I'm not sure of the shop because I can't read the Chinese:


Room 6 3/F Wai Lee

I heard my first pair of Lowther's here, seemed to be some original Acousta 115's but I can't conform this.

The sound was odd, but seemed very listenable on classical music. The mid range was very "fast" and "forward"
sounding and the bass was not too bad, it was not extended but what was there was tight and defined.

The problem I had was the top end, it was clearly rolled off above maybe 8-10K which gave the speaker a very
dead sound when cymbals and percussion were played, a bit like an overly damped listening room.

In fact, there were a lot of Lowther's here. Many HK made Single ended amplifiers (Sorry, forgotten brand) were on display.
Bizarre range of old tuners too and some DIY parts. A nice shop actually and it was good of them to let us hear the Lowther's.

This is the Wai Lee Audio shop. That day we met the owner (Sifu Tsang) who showed us a range of his own products - all single-ended amps.
Outlook of these SE amps is professional. Tim said their sounding is great. But we didn't enough time or had the sufficient control over
the setting (e.g. familiar music source, ref pre amp and speakers, etc) to form our opinion on these amps. Learnt from th owner, the
shop was previously established at Apliu Street, where, 30 or 40 years ago when hi fi (or audio, if you don't like this term)
equipment worth comparable to the price of a car at that time. I guess Wai Lee accumulated experience right from that time.

Room 7 3/F Chu Kee

This is the shop that have the Marantz 9's for HK$150,000. There were a pair of JBL L-220's with a bizarre tweeter/super tweeter
arrangement driven by some huge Altec trolley mounted amplifiers. The sound was BIG I have to> say but not really to my liking (Very coloured).

There were some DIY parts for sale and assorted drivers in the front window along with some Quad II's. (and 3 pairs of Leak TL50+ in all thre colour!)

The is the CHU KEE - owned by Mr. CHU. His younger brother runs another audio shop nearby. I learnt that the pair of Marantz 9's
came with 8x NOS Amprex metalbase EL34s!


Yes, Carl, the sounding at CHU KEE is often severely coloured, towards Mr. CHU's own taste. He himself is a tweak expert!

Room 5 3/F Tan Wai Po Hi Fi Consignment Company

Lots of used vintage gear. Didn't hear any music playing but there were a lot of LS-3/5a's there along with a large range of tube amplifiers.

Oop! I totally forgot this shop. :(


Room 2 3/F Audiotronics


Mainly DIY but had the new Shanling valve CD payer on demonstration. I can't comment accurately on the sound but it seemed pretty good.
It was playing through some Marantz 8b's and LS3/5a's. The sounds seemed laid back, open and relaxing. This CD player will be one to look out
for I'm sure. At HK$8,200 it seems like very good value. The build quality was very good but it did have a trace of that slightly thin Chinese
metal look. The remote however well weighted and seemed solid.

Audiotronics supplies tubes and electronic parts. I took the opportunity to purchase a pair of matched B.M.A. resistors for
restoring my Eico HF-89 (some photos uploaded to "Photos" for fun).


Room 9 1/F WiWi Tube Supplies

DIY shop with valves, capacitors etc. small shop but seemed well stocked, sorry, don;t know if prices wee reasonable.

This is another Wi Wi Tube Supplies (Mongkok). Distinctive from the Wi Wi at Central, HK Island, are the supplies of used electronic
part. I onced purchased some used Wima caps from the Mongkok Wi Wi.

The price is much cheaper than in CHU KEE or Ousiluk.


Room 11 Basement Antique & Audio Company

Small shop with big speakers! Another pair of Marantz Model 9 amps for HK$100,000. There were a pair of Tannoys (Model unknown) and some
old JBL's.

The pair of Marantz 9B's come with 'sounding' EL34s, and DO NOT come with any Mullard or Amprex metalbase EL34s. In addition, the pair in
CHU KEE look nicer. So, the lower price may not reflect a better price at all.

There are three other shops that may be of interest in the basement, one selling cable, another selling locally made loudspeakers and a one
selling new middle range solid state equipment. There was also a shop on the third floor that was closed, it was so messy I think it could have only
been used as storage by one of the other shops. It was opposite room 6 on the third floor.

I have no interest in these shops selling SS gears, except the shop which sells HK (or China?) made speakers.

 

You guys seem to have missed a few other stores in Tak Fat e.g Kwan's Tube Audio and W.K. Leung's Wai Yip Tube Shop (which has may be the most monoplate 2A3 and metal base EL34 on display in the world) as well as another shop on 2nd floor specialises on Audio Note gear. There should be another 2nd hand shop on the 1st floor. And there should more tube audio shop on the 3rd floor. Tim.