Article by WL Low
|Tempting Heart by 2V1G, is an unexpected sleeper Hi-Fi test dics!|
It’s been a few years since the last 2V1G album and Leslie, head honcho of Pop Pop Music releases the latest one called Tempting Heart. For many audiophiles, the first 2V1G album has always been a benchmark of sorts for female vocal, thanks in no small part, the contrasting tone and chemistry between Winnie Ho and Regina Tai(who was having a bit mild storm in the tea cup of “love” her self, and her emotion swings was well translated in to the recording). Regina quit the music all together after the launch of the very first 2V1G album, and the rest as they say, is history.
Tempting Heart retains the very polished Winnie Ho on vocal and Roger Wang doing what he does best, as the “G”uitar in the group. They are joined this time, by an up and coming singer called Serena Chong. Serena join the Pop Pop Music rooster sometime in 2012 and Leslie has been grooming her for the album since. Leslie reckoned that Serena’s darker, textured in tone(much like a bottle of 18 year old scotch) voice contrasted with Winnie’s lighter tones rather well, which allowed the producer to work harmonies in to the music.
Leslie sticks closely to his well proven formula of easy listening style vocal solo or interplay with guitar accompany. Roger’s playing style has been mellowing for a few years now and like fine wine, he found a way to impress the emotions without the need for showmanship. Roger blends in between the two female vocals without calling for attention to him self.
A total of 12 tracks are presented here, but I like it at the end from track 7 onwards, with more familiar covers yet refreshingly re-worked altogether. being a banana(yellow on the outside, white on the inside Chinese) audiophile, I do not understand much of the mandarin in the album. However with the more familiar audiophile tracks, at the and of the repertoire, it was easier for me to appreciate the artist intent, in contrast to the original covered.
The following is track listing:
2. Be Your Love
3. 剪愛 Breaking Up
4. 无情的雨无情的你 Ruthless is the rain
5. 三個人的晚餐 Dinner for 3
6. 不願一個人 Don’t wanna be alone
7. 用心良苦 Good intentions
8. 哭了 Crying
9. 女人花 Feminine as flower
10. 一生守候 Eternal wait
11. 秋意浓 Moody autumn
12. 一顆心交給誰 To whom I give my heart
As an audiophile recording this 2V1G album is real killer test for equipment transparency. I played this recording using my trusty Theta Jade CD transport, feeding between the Teac UD-501 and BMC PureDAC DACs, both reviews to be due soon and the results were just startling. The Teac UD-501 is a giant killer DAC of sorts, due to it’s low price, do it all conversion algorithm(including DSD 64 and 128, plus PCM 32/384) and all round good sound. Played many recordings via the Teac, but only the 2V1G Tempting Heart CD showed a rare area of under achievement. With the Teac DAC, I had sometimes had a problem telling between Winnie and Serena’s vocals apart, especially while they are harmonising.
With the much more expensive and certainly better BMC PureDAC however, the two lady’s voice became clearly who was Winnie and who was Serena, with Winnie’s imaging dead centre, and Serena’s just floating slightly apart on the right! I know it’s eerie, but that’s what separates the true high end(BMC) and the aspiring(Teac) equipment. It’s “eureka” moments like these that every hot blooded audiophile lives for.
This 2V1G album is recorded for very high dynamic range, rated at DR13(as opposed to Megadeth’s 1988 album “Liar” rated DR10) but one wouldn’t have realised it by just listening to it. Dynamic Range captures the range between the lowest point and the peak in the signal of a recording. it’s easy to confuse dynamic range with loudness. Today’s modern pop/rock recordings have loudness a plenty, but little dynamic range, leading to what many heard as compressed music. Comparing to Megadeth’s super noisy album, one wonders if 2V1G producers are over inflating the DR figures? The key to finding the proof lies in Roger Wang’s guitar work. While his laid back style strumming may not seem like much, listen closely and if one’s system can reproduce it, one can hear all the magnificent energy and transient coming off a single guitar.
With it’s superb recording quality, this CD demands to be played on a well sorted high end systems to really shine. Having said that, I ripped the CD in to MP3 format for my in-car media player, and the compression seemed to have robbed 2V1G some of it’s life, and sounded just a little on the boring side. How does your system treat the latest 2V1G’s Tempting Heart?
There’s only one way to find out!
Article by WL Low