Shun Mook Audio was founded in 1990 by Bill Ying, Dr. Yu Wah Tan and Mr. Andrew Chow. Prior to this Dr.Tan and Bill Ying have been audiophiles since the early 1960s. Two years before we discover that using wood in a hi fi system can increase more natural tonal balance in the sound. Thus begin the using of different wood to find the best resultant in sound.
Soon we discover that ebony is the best for enhancing sound reproduction. It then occurred to us ebony is used widely in many musical instruments such as violin and guitar fingerboards and woodwind instruments. This material must be a key ingredient in producing fine natural sound. Of course other wood like maple, pine, rosewood and spruce are also an important part of the tone wood group required to make music.
Our first project was actually building a speaker stand with ebony. Ebony was one of the most expensive and difficult to work with. It only came in small planks and usually with lots of cracks. But ebony is so convincing that after six month the first prototype pair of BBC LS3/5A using solid ebony wood was born. It sounded like heaven with the richest and fullest sound coming out from two small speakers. One year later 10 pairs of this solid ebony cabinet LS3/5A was made with matching ebony stands as the first product of Shun Mook. Today only ten pairs exist in this world and may become a museum collection someday.
From then on we decide to take this on as a hobby business. Next came the LP record clamp which was discovered by accident. In our search for rare ebony our source in Africa came back with chunks of ebony briarwood, very heavy and extra dense. From this we made a record clamp and it performed like magic. To this day this LP record-clamp is still undefeated and surely will be a legend.
Then came the versatile mpingo disc, a tuning disc that can be used from equipment tuning to room acoustics and later on in concert hall tuning projects. Next came the mechanical grounding diamond tipped feet called the Diamond Resonators and so on.
In 1991 we attended the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show, it created some sensation from the wonderful sound they heard by using all these strange wooden devices. But for most who came they love it and keep asking for a logical explanation. Some call it snake oil. But it was an instant hit.
Then throughout the 1990s we developed new products while traveling far and wide to promote Shun Mook. The result is a class of new and important tuning products with quite a following worldwide. It was great fun for us, we met so many nice people sharing the same interest and along the way we also learn a lot from our users. Often times they teach us more then we what we give them.
In the year 2005 our mission took us to South Korea where our dealer Dr.Kim, who is also a professor in quantum physics and a concert hall designer. Seeing this interesting field in acoustics Bill Ying decide to test the mpingo disc in a concert hall application starting with a church which Dr. Kim had designed and under construction. It was a 3000 seat huge hall. We applied about 1,000 mpingo discs built into wood acoustics panels in the walls. The result was so stunning that nobody can believe it. Thus Shun Mook Concert Hall tuning is born. It turned out that the mpingo disc can really enhance the ambience and tonal balance of large hall spaces with ease. Further more tuning all the public address electronic system with mpingo disc is another huge improvement.
By 2008 three major halls built in Korea uses thousands of mpingo discs to improve the acoustics. These halls are now the most sort after performing venues for famous musicians and orchestral groups in Korea.
Today, 2010 we are all older and wiser (?) wanting to retire but can’t stay away from fiddling with our passion in High Fidelity and Acoustics. It became part of life, listening to music is a daily thing but still keeping active in Shun Mook while meeting new customers around the world all the time. Can’t ask for any better retirement then this.
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