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Spring Cleaning Sale & a personal owl post to our management

Yup, it’s the time of the year (I swear, it’s always after CES) where we usher in new products and clear out old products.

We have up to 88 items to clear, although some products are just an excuse to have a sale, since @ Singapore, we always have a sale anytime of the year.

Many items on promo and unbelievable prices (only if you pay cash, you get better deals).

Pop by our shop to see if there’s anything you want. Go to the IT show and see what’s on fire clearance…and if we can price-match, we will. Don’t ask for the impossible or for whatever free gifts that come with during the show cos we can’t do something like that.

I always wonder how most people test audio at IT show… when it’s so loud.

Test at our shop, nice ambience, decent seating arrangements and see if it works best for you.

Our friendly neighbourhood spider-men a.k.a staff will be there to assist you. We have the ever-affable management trainee (winner of several good service commendations from customers) to assist you, or the geeky information overload part-time (I can tell you that he’s definitely the most technical of the lot) or yours truly (who’s writing this article).

We are not perfect. We try our best to assist your needs. However, if you have the expertise, why not share it with our management:

The email should be written as:

Dear Dominic,

I’m writing to you to share how I think or what I consider to be a great improvement to your drab-looking shop…..yadda…yadda.


I’m writing to complain about your staff’s attitude, how irritating it is that he presumes or he thinks i can’t afford this item….yadda…yadda.

Be it compliments or complaints, we welcome your comments: the more the merrier.

Any award-winning letter gets published on this blog so that we may improve. Don’t worry, we will keep your (sender’s email) confidential, respecting all privacy laws and all that legal mumbo jumbo.

C’mon, put a Cheshire grin on us.

We want to be the next up and coming entity improving as we grow from strength to strength.

We don’t want to be a has-been, neither do we want to be seen but not heard. That doesn’t help us.

Help us improve, mina-san (everybody).

We don’t want to end up like where I used to work RIP @ [insert audio company closing].

We want to compete with the big boys cos it’s fun to challenge, to serve, to excel and to cry out veni, vidi, vici till kingdom’s come.

adios for now.

Happy Lunar New Year 2016

Another leap year, just another year for all of us.

For the kiddies, more money to spend

For the parents, more money to give and fret over.

For us, it’s just another day.

We will be closed from 7th Feb (half day) to 9th Feb.

To the chinese population, happy lunar new year to you, may prosperity and good health follow you all year round.

To the non-chinese/expat population, we will see you on 10th Feb (Wed) onwards.

For the month of Feb 2016, wherever possible, do pop by and audition our demo sets (if available) and buy what you want at a good price.


Lucky 8 promo  for this month:

Spend $28 in a single receipt to qualify for lucky roll of dice to determine what free gift you get.

Spend $188 in a single receipt to qualify for a premium gift.


18 months ago, there was no business entity known as Decibel SG.

18 months later, Decibel SG is surviving, and it’s all thanks to our distributors, customers, regulars and staff.

We are grateful for their continued support.

As a small fish in a big pond, we are rather happy with our achievements to-date. We have regulars asking us whether we intend to carry CIEM or Headphone Amplifiers or to be a distributor.

Regarding the direction of the company, we do not intend to carry CIEM or Headphone Amplifiers as we feel we are not ready. We would rather focused on the other segments of the market. Our retail operations are on track, and our product range selections are getting better.

For now, we will focus on what we do best: niche brands with good sound and good looks.

Our motto: less is more.

Our roots, our continued success is dependant on the common saying: veni, vidi, vici.

Highlights and Downers

Highlights of the year 2015.

(1) Gain more territorial rights in Jaybird X2

Last year, we are a mere building-exclusive for Jaybird X2. This year, we expanded our influence. How so?

To our north, our advances are halted by the Third Reich.

Towards east, we launched a blitzkrieg against our formidable adversary who says “nyet” to Jaybird X2. We wonder why?

Against the south, our crafty opponent specialises in guerrilla attacks in small doses, and we achieved some small victories.

The West, we couldn’t be bothered.

But, we are thankful that we have solidified our position for another year. Kudos to all our Jaybird X2 customers for making it so (92 and counting)…

Downers for the year 2015.

(1) We lost Parrot Zik 3.0 to our competitor within the building who ask for building-exclusive. It’s good to know that we are not worth their time.

(2) We have become more popular (raising our profile), leading to increased unfair tactics deployed by our competitors, (the Parrot Zik 3.0) being one such scenario.

40 days of Christmas

[Please don’t raise your eyebrows. Thank you]

This campaign celebrates 40 days of Christmas. We think 12 days of Christmas is too short.

As a commercially-driven enterprise, we provide commercially-available goods that exists to make people happy.

Spread the Joy. Come celebrate 40 days of Christmas.

Spend $50 and above in a single receipt and we will give you a gift. So, be nice.

Spend $99-$299 in a single receipt to pick your own free gift underneath the miniature Xmas tree.

Spend $300 and above in a single receipt to qualify for a Premium Gift.

We have no idea what the Xmas gifts are. The gifts are wrapped by holiday elves (part-timers on a minimum wage). We like to think that we are helping society by purchasing these gifts and Giving them away to reward our customers who chose to shop @ Decibel SG.

Warranty for the Xmas Gifts? We apologise for any inconvenience caused, but we don’t sell them, so no receipt no warranty. We had one issue where the customer bought a Bluetooth speaker and received a Premium Gift. Apparently, he doesn’t like the sound and wishes to exchange. We truly apologise but we are unable to exchange the Xmas Gifts simply because it’s a Xmas Gift. It’s not an obligation. It’s just a decision by the management to launch a campaign to celebrate 40 Days of Christmas.

[back to business]

Decibel SG is an audio concept store. We sell most Audio brands. We buy from Local Distributors. In cases where we are unable to buy from Local Distributors, we will buy from Master Resellers who buy from Local Distributors, so all our stuff are authentic and backed by Local Warranty. For certain brands, we are the building-exclusive and we have a document to back our claims.

Products bought from our Store does not come with 7-day one-to-one exchange policy. All warranty claims will be referred back to distributor even if bought during the day itself as one of our distributor succinctly tell us that we are not qualified to accept returns. In the event that the product is not supported by a Local Distributor or for other reasons, Decibel SG will undertake the role of a Distributor on a case-by-case basis. Kindly present your original receipt wherever possible or soft copy saved on mobile phones. We will only exchange the set itself if original packaging is not brought along on a case-by-case basis. If we don’t have stock to exchange, please leave your item with us (Xmas season) and we will issue a receipt and duly inform you to collect once the stocks arrived.

Our website is not available for online purchases. We apologise for any inconveniences caused.

[that’s it. catching 40 winks…]

Dear Readers

Hi to those who reads my blog.

This will be a rather boring update, just the usual repertoire.

First, for those who wants to know the identity of yours truly, honestly? I’d like to think that the thoughts, bias and progressive opinions are a reflection of our collective thoughts for those who are the movers and shakers behind this little fish in a big pond.

Second, I apologise but it is simply impossible for one such person to be able to write a blog that self-contradictory. If such a person like that exists, he wouldn’t be managing a start-up. He should be managing a country. In our collective opinion, we think that only when we have an impact on the lives of those around us, then we can truly understand what is human nature, and how our actions will determine reactions or consequences.

We are one. We would like to think that our new “campaign” is effective. 40 days of Christmas. Our Second Coming. Year 2 for the entity known as Decibel SG.

We are curious why we are Giving. Why other audio shops like us, do not Give. Do they not appreciate their customers?

In my opinion, I enjoy Giving. I do not enjoy Receiving.

There’s no why. Giving simply warms the heart. It’s the one thought that counts, and to me, that matters. It matters because I’m simply thinking that it makes someone happy, and that is one way of showing appreciation. Our customers’ hard-earned money feeds our rice-bowl. We Give something in return. Isn’t that right?

Decibel SG management wishes to celebrate its Second Coming by Giving our thanks and appreciation for a job well done.

[currently listening to Dame Kiri Te Kanawa while testing JBL Reflect BT: tester’s choice for good vocals].

Yours Truly signing off :o)

Feeling euphoric…

Part III of the “feeling jaded, restless, euphoric”.

Nothing beats listening to metal with my favourite on-ear headphone Aedle VK-1 Classic.

The feeling of the drums hammering common sense into me, drumming into me the reality of the audio business, chipping away at my gnawing sense of dread, infusing me with a battle fervour, stabilising my nerves and cleansing me of all impurities on “how dare they”…and what nots.

The great soundstage of the Aedle commanding me to be at my imperious best, waving my scimitar at those scores of empty vessels who tends to make the loudest noise.

The feeling of serenity envelopes me as I was literally so engrossed in the music yammering away that makes me prepare to continue the onslaught of small fish in a big pond, shrugging off all my worries and ploughed forth.

Isn’t the Aedle VK-! Classic great? A wonderful headphone that will never made the cut at our shop, simply for its price @ $748.

The Aedle is part of my collection comprising Final Audio Pandora Hope V & Heaven S, Westone 2, Hifiman RE-600, Fidue A83 & Parrot Zik. My collection will be complete if I can add a Sol Republic Shadow Wireless and a Final Audio FI-BA-SS.

Enough digressing…

just a little update.

Bluetooth Speakers – 90% complete (still revamping)

Bluetooth Earphone – 95% complete (clearing dead-weights)

Bluetooth On Ear – 95% complete (waiting for AKG Y50BT)

Bluetooth Over-Ear – 100% complete (we feel that having Parrot Zik 2.0/3.0) is sufficient. B&O, B&W, Sennheiser is truly over-priced.

Headphones – 95% complete

Earphones – 95% complete

Speakers – Audioengine is sufficient.

DAP – 80% complete (considering 2/3 brands)

Portable Amp – 60% complete (still revamping)

Headphone Amp/DAC – Still contemplating

until then…looking forward to our next update.

Feeling restless…

Boy, am I rearing to go.

I can’t wait to go where memberships go…where paying $9.90, $20 or purchase a certain value to qualify to be a member.

Why? Why? Why?

So what if you are a member? You don’t owe us anything!

Do you know why Decibel SG prefers to open in no-man’s land? Sim Lim Square is a nice place to be, if you are not greedy or naive, that is…

Once, I worked in a Pakistani-owned shop that specialises in selling memory cards… we receive expats looking to exploit us by wanting to buy from shops who can give big discounts. My boss, being a fair-minded businessman, seeks only to earn a minimum and sell at a reasonable price. E.g. Electronic product A sells at $129 retail price, we sell at $99.

I remember sending customers to the den of wolves on the 2nd floor for customers who wants for themselves a good bargain. They left and return and accept our prices but does not want to pay for the credit charges.

What happened…you ask?

They were quoted $250 for Electronic product A. Customers bargained for 50% off, feeling proud of their great bargaining skills, and upon payment, realised that they were being charged $26 more than our shop, before being scammed into paying 7% for tax, and extras for warranty.

Small price to pay…at our shop indeed.

>>>>Fast forward to present >>>>

Small fish in a big pond….gives discount to customer coming in at closing time. Customer asks for big discount. We wanted to finalise the sale and insisted on cash. Customer paid in cash. Several months later, the receipt surfaced in a complaint to manufacturer, attempting to smear our reputation.

Small-minded some retailers are, seeking to dis-credit us.

Oh, and we don’t do memberships. Any purchase made at our shop not at retail price will henceforth be known as a membership price promo. If the customer insisted that they can buy somewhere else cheaper, we will gladly price-match any item as long as it’s profitable.

The catch? Kindly provide your original receipt from competitor. Allow us to photocopy and we will gladly fulfil your demands. Soft copies or PM from Facebook/Email are not acceptable. Online pricing are only permissible if the price is known to us.

We only seek accountability. If you help us, you help yourself, so bullocks to all those PAID memberships.

At Decibel SG, all prices are negotiable, except for the B&W mm-1 speakers on demo and the Shure metal box for our accessories, for these items are priceless.

Spend wisely for Xmas at Decibel SG, where we will reward you for your efforts with a free gift. :o)

Feeling Jaded…

Should I issue a disclaimer notice for everything I want to write about?

Should I declare that my freedom of speech is being curtailed by others?

Me? I’m feeling jaded being part of the audio industry.

Do I regret leaving the I.T industry and be part of the audio industry?

Yes, I do. Yes, I don’t.

That being said, I relish the satisfaction of using my expertise to serve my customers, and hope that my service is adequate to their liking.

If they return to Decibel SG, then I must have done something right. Does this rule applies to me or to the rest of the industry?

Like I said, I don’t know about others. I don’t care how they serve their customers. It’s their decision what type of loyalists they want.

Me? I just want a customer who’s happy when shopping with us. When a customer is happy with our service and keeps returning, we thank them for their support. They help us to grow by recommending their friends to us. The more they show their appreciation, the more we grow. The more we grow, the more this small fish in a big pond will benefit the industry to a wake-up call, that service is not an entitlement. It’s a privilege to serve customers who are not only our rice bowl but also patrons to our growth, contributing more and more to our rise from a nobody to an anybody.

If an anybody can become a somebody some day, we owe those who supported us big-time, because without them, we will never achieved what we have today.

Everytime I received a complaint from distributors cramping our style due to other competitors, I, too, reserved a smile of satisfaction that a small fish in a big pond is causing ripples. Having come from a well-privileged lifestyle and working through the ranks and knowing how to handle my distributors, I beg to differ when it comes to understanding this complex audio industry.

What I find interesting:

1) A local distributor paid me a visit. The haughty sales representative strode in, after missing 1 appointment without the courtesy of informing that she’s on medical leave, arrived late for the appointment, proceeds to ask why I didn’t buy from them and who did I buy from. We did, a year ago, but no reply. Then she proceed to ask how many pieces of these particular model we can sell per month. I told her that it’s different from selling external hard disks. How do I decide what’s best for my customer? I was told I need to order 10pcs per model per colour, no returns if product cannot sell and payment must be in cash and margin is only 15%.

– my opinion –

The sales representative should be more well-trained. I can tolerate incompetence only to a certain extent. Raised in a business environment since young, I cannot believe that I have to follow such draconian rules in order to be their reseller, popular brand or not. Imagine my surprise when I heard that I was declared a parallel importer in their opinion. What I find amusing is the lengths they go to…I sell that brand. I’m outside their control because they make ridiculous demands that I do not wish to follow. Literally, through their stupid actions, a normal retailer is forced to become a parallel importer.

Oh, and dear customers, don’t worry. I’m not a parallel importer.

I have an import and export company procuring for me from local retailers of that popular brand. So, in the end, it does not matter because I sell only local stock procured from the distributor through indirect channels, bearing the distributor’s sticker.

Like I said, the audio industry is fascinating. Some are narrow-minded, some are literally business-oriented. Few are of outstanding moral pedigree.

I couldn’t agree more…feeling as jaded as I am, in dealing with them.

[disclaimer notice: the above are personal opinions only and since no names are mentioned, hence no legal means are necessary or warranted].

Bluetooth Speakers…bleh bleh bleh.

So, anyone up for another Bluetooth Speaker this Xmas?

Splash proof seems to be the nom-de-gruel for Bluetooth Speakers this year. While others are playing catch up for pairing as stereo, most are dreaming up seamless integration into our wireless network or wireless charging.

Having APT-X, Bluetooth 4.0/4.1 , and at least a IPX rating seems to be so important these days.

Let’s hold our horses and re-evaluate.

Splash proof – Check!

Small form factor – Check!

Good bass radiators – Check!

Double pairing up to stereo – Check!

Achieve a design award – Check!

Achieve a decent selling price – Check!

What else do we want more…for Xmas? Another Bluetooth Speaker, the latest mobile phone or another useless power bank?

Apparently, I have served many customers and it seems many owned more than one. Surprise, surprise.

The question is, do I really need another Bluetooth Speaker, the way everyone in the family must have a mobile phone, from the little tykes to the impressionable teenagers to the adults.

Seriously, a Bluetooth speaker by itself is more than sufficient. Forget about features like pairing up, as it doesn’t seem really all that useful.

Take the JBL Xtreme, our best seller. By itself, it offers thumping bass, good mids and highs. But once you double up, it’s like listening to 2 mono speakers trying hard to work together in a stereo-like artificial soundstage.

The best pairing up I’ve seem is the UE Boom or UE MegaBoom. It does sound way LOUDER. But that’s it. No 3D Dimensional Soundstage, no satisfaction. It does not put a smile on my face. It sounds so pedestrian.

The best portable speaker I’ve heard?

LOEWE Speaker 2go, our newest addition. Affordable when compared to Naim Mu-so. Sounds great with Jazz, Blues, Metal. yup! Metal, the guitar strumming are so life-like, so realistic, it’s as if I’m really hearing it at the stage. Soundstage? Not too bad, a close second to the soundstage of the Denon Envaya (currently, sold out!). However, the drums are fantastic. The cymbals after-echo is simply so refreshing…

We also delve into shower-esque speakers. We found one good little gem. Extremely affordable. Gogear Double Agent @ $79.90, if you like mids & vocals, that is. For bass lovers, we think Creative Muvo Mini is a good consolation for closet shower soloists (we have yet to test it though, as it’s coming this week).

Any recommendations for powered Bluetooth Speakers?

I find myself preferring the Audoiengine B2 over a Marshall Stanmore, simply because I enjoy my sub bass, articulate mids and pristine highs of the wonderful looking little walnut speaker. Marshall Stanmore is a work of art if you love the retro vintage look. Proportionately more so than the other 2 models of Woburn or Acton. A tad disappointing will be the less prominent mids. It does well in Bass & Vocals in my opinion, and having little control knobs for Bass & Treble helps.

Is the Naim mu-so better than the Klipsch Sonos Music System?

I have absolutely no idea…as our shop does not have the right environment for testing them. Also, I have this belief that no matter how good the device sounds, in a typical household where one family member is streaming movies, another is playing games, and some are downloading, do you think your fibre network is stable enough to listen to your dollar-unfriendly Wireless Speakers?

I’m already having some trouble using 4G bandwidth when surfing the net, downloading and at the same time listening to Ruark Audio’s R2 MKIII speaker that we carry. Spotify Connect, Bluetooth, DLNA, DAB, DAB+, FM, Internet Radio, USB-Enabled, etc. so many features…but this lifestyle audio product is simply so heartwarming. The price? It’s sounds so good for a fraction of the price of Naim mu-so or Klipsch Sonos. So, why do I need more?

Adios, until next time.