Visit to OctAVe Electronics
Yes.... Isn't this a refreshing colour scheme? Not the usual black blackground.
(I just felt like changing the colour scheme, as this one relaxes my
eyes as I type. By the way, if you can't see the words clearly, your
moniter brightness is too high. Turn it down and save your sight! :
Being a budding DIY hobbyist myself (yes, I've learnt how to solder!
yay! <grinz>), I needed a good source of parts. Ordering parts
from the U.S. is expensive, and parts available locally (Singapore)
are limited. I happened to be going to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for a
couple of days, and thus decided to check Octave Electronics out, for
I heard they have a vast range of parts and kits.
So here i was, in Kuala Lumpur, armed with a miserably small scrap of
paper onto which I had copied the address of Octave from their internet
website at www.octave-electronics.com.
I hailed a Teksi (taxi) and showed the cab driver the address, written
in my ugly handwriting : "Jalan 1/12 Petaling Jaya" . He brought
me to seksyen (section) 12 Jalan (road) 1 .... and naturally I was unable
to find Octave Electronics there... Eventually, we realised the blunder
and went to seksyen 1 Jalan 12 instead. I was glad to be able to arrive
there, though the cab fare cost almost twice as much as required. (Note:
If you want to get to Octave Electronics from KL by cab, tell the cab
driver "Petaling Jaya, Near Jalan Othman (Old Town), Section 1
I pushed open the doors, and walked in... staring in awe at the vast
expanse of parts, my mouth dripping with saliva. (Sick of the language
used in this write-up? AT LEAST, I am NOT writing equipment reviews
in this language... hehehe) It was indeed quite a "DIY heaven of
sorts" for me, as I have never seen such a big hifi DIY shop in
Singapore) Cindy, one of the staff there asked me if I needed anything,
just before I drooled all over their floor. :P~
.... blah blah blah .... some time later, Mr Michael Loke, the "Chief",
came back. So I proceeded to ask him what parts and kits were available,
prices and so on. Through the 1.5-hour-long conversation, I came to
learn about his business philosophy.... he is constantly trying to improve
his products, while at the same time trying to keep prices the same.
(Be prepared to see their improved kits retailing at about the same
prices) He is also trying to encourage more Hifi enthusiasts to take
up DIY as a hobby. And DIY hifi, if done properly, is in no way inferior
to commercially available products. In fact, they can sound as good
as commercial hifi products that are much more costly. But then again,
there are klutzes like me who will botch the job and end up with blown
speakers and amps : ) . He also explain that all the products / parts
that he carries have been tried and tested by Octave staff, including
himself. He also has a group of regulars who ever eager to test out
new products / parts. He stressed that he will not sell something without
trying out and testing it extensively.
the left are some pictures of parts available at Octave, they
should give you a rough idea of the amount of DIY parts stocked
there. This was just 1 display case.
The 1st picture shows some cables, probably for making interconnects
/ speaker cables and equipment internal wiring. They also have
an interconnect "kit set" going for a cheap price. Involves
wire braided around a teflon tubing.
The 2nd picture shows Audax speaker drivers, among other parts.
I was surprised when I saw the Audax, never new there were dealers
for these wonderful French drivers, using cones with materials
made from Aerogel, carbon fibre, kevlar and coated paper.
3rd picture, more parts. Those copper coloured coils are Solo
foil inductors, which enjoys a good reputation among internet
DIYists for good sound. Those black cylinders above the Solo inductors
are Solen polypropelene capacitors.
4th picture, more parts and components. Those plastic baggies
contain upgrade kits, such as LC Audio's XO clock, and AD825 op-amp
replacements (These 2 are CD player upgrades).