HONG KONG: Have you got a pair of...?

Anyone who tells you that two-channel audio is dead, and home cinema is the new black, only needs wander into one of the several consumer electronics stores stacked above each other in the Yau Shing Commercial Centre here in Kowloon.

Step out of the tiny elevator, turn right and this is what you see.

Row upon row of speakers, lined up and waiting for audition. And they range from the JBLs, Sonys and Mordaunt-Shorts of this world through to Tannoy-made TEAC Esoterics, big Tannoy Prestige models, ProAcs, NEATs, PMCs, Harbeths, Spendors and more. They just go on and on, and not just in one store:

Each shop has a similar array, all set up and ready to go on the shop floor.

They're all connected to racks and racks of equipment, ranging from high-end Esoterica to Cambridge Audio, Musical Fidelity, Creek and Myryad, not to mention a scattering of Arcam.

Patchbays allow any player and any amp to be connected to any set of speakers - you can see the plugboard to the right of the shot below

Each shop has a couple of good demonstration rooms - this one is one of two at the Famous Audio and Video Company on the 11th floor

and each also has a clean, tidy main showroom layout for instant buyer appeal. This is Famous again:

There's plenty of stuff you'll never see in most British stores, too. Here's a pair of brand-new 60th anniversary Rogers LS3/5As

while mixed in with a whole load more equipment in a small demonstration room at another shop on the 16th floor is the kind of range of Naim equipment you'd normally only see in a truly dedicated UK retailer:

If you're after a serious two-channel system, I know just the place to go...

Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.