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16 Dec 2007: Dimitris Klonis

Klonis-Dec-2007-pic-sys

By Max Goodman

Great music with apple crumbles for topping anyone?

Yes, it is hard to think of food as being such an important part of the suicide attempt to please the pallets of A.C.A.'s performance forkers, but in this case the winner is the most amazing wife and cook, and baby, and music picker that we have seen in a very long time. I mean how many times do you go to a house when EVERYTHING and EVERYONE is great?

Klonis-Dec-2007-pic-1 The meeting was held in the morning, due to a newly acquired (ooops sorry, they didn't buy this component), BABY which I congratulate for being exceptionally beautiful and as musically serene as the most classical of pieces can be. She needs some break in though and sleep was of vital importance so the evening meeting was set for the wee hours of the morning. Meaning 11 AM! I never listen to music at this hour unless I have woken up three hours before, but for the legendary speakers that Dimitri had set up for us, in a different room than that on my last flight to his home, with our movie director, to film the couple, the stereo and to hear the music.
Dimitris has excellent taste in music and his system is tailor made for classical.

The Session

The Dynavector cartridge did a superb job out of the box.

Klonis-Dec-2007-pic-2 The Nordost cables didn't help - a pair of old Van Den Hulls were a much better match. Copper definitely better than silver for this implementation (IMHO and all that). Once fixed, the system was eminently listenable to and quiet musical, although there was still a hint of it being a little thin in the upper reaches.

When Dimitris came round to my house the previous week with his new phono stage, I noted the same issue on my system. This could be the source of the thinness - needs investigating further.

Soundstage was good, but did not seem to expand past the speaker placement, even with vinyl which is a bit odd. Depth was good but I think a little toe-in of the speakers might help it improve further.
Sweet spot appeared to be quite wide and deep - definitely a system more than 2 people can enjoy to its fullest at one time.

Klonis-Dec-2007-pic-3 Image size was spot on, but there was a slight lack of height to the presentation which was also surprising given the speaker's size. Bass was subdued but there - more an issue of volume than missing frequencies. Overall, very listenable too and not fatiguing in the least. I hesitate to recommend a sub, finding one fast enough for those speakers would be a nightmare, but if possible it would certainly help fill the room with sound whilst, probably raising the entire presentation a touch.

I did discuss the idea of a sub with Dimitris and I think it is something he might try in the future.

Klonis-Dec-2007-pic-4 I think there is more mileage in trying other phono stages (once the cart has played another 50 to 100 hours). I shall lend him mine.
It might also be worth considering a high mass table to replace the suspended version currently in use. I have a feeling that too might help project the bass a bit better. I think this would be the last thing to try.

I should also mention that when I arrived there was a channel imbalance with the left channel being stronger than the right - apparently mainly in the midrange. This is a known problem (to Dimitris) with the X/over which apparently is a passive (tweeter/mid) running off an active separating out the bass.

After the meeting we did boost the bass a bit to great effect (or rather we toned down the mid and highs and raised the volume level). Obviously running a combination of active and passive X/overs does not seem ideal. It is hard to tell what effect it has on the sound however.

Music Program Highlights:

Classical:

  • Georges Bizet, Les Pecheurs de perles (extract), EMI cd.
  • Gustav Mahler, Symphonie no 3. Claudio Abbado/Wiener Philharmonic/Jesye Norman. DG cd.
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber, Variations 5, 6 & 7. Lorin Maazel/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Julian Lloyd Webber, cello. Philips cd.
  • Sergei Rachmaninov, Piano Concerto no 1, Andante. Kyril Kondrashin/Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra/Byron Janis, piano. Mercury cd.
    or, time allowing…
  • Franz Liszt, Piano Concerto no 2. Eugene Ormandy/The Philadelphia Orchestra/Phillipe Entremont, piano. CBS vinyl.

Pop:

  • Katie Melua, Call of the search. "Lilac wine". cd
  • Elton John, "Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy". EMI vinyl.
  • Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Brain Salad Surgery. "Toccata". Manticore vinyl.

Jazz:

  • Count Basie and the Kansas City 7. "I want a little girl". Impulse cd.
  • Duke Ellington and his Orchestra, Piano in the Background. "Lullaby of Birdland". CBS cd.

System Description

  • Speakers: Apogee 'Diva'
  • Amplification: Musical Fidelity 'Nu-vista 300 mono-blocks and Musical Fidelity Nu-vista Nuvistor (tube) preamplifier
  • Turntable: Gyrodec mkIII t/t with Dynavector Karat 17D3 cartridge on a Rega RB300 arm, rewired w/ VdH phono cable amplified by ISO phono stage with HERA p.su
  • Digital source: Musical Fidelity 'A5' CD player
  • Wiring: Nordost for interconnects and speaker cables
  • Power cables/Electr. install.: Not special

Conclusion

Right now I would say the sound of the system as I left it is good - but I think there is a lot more to be had out of it with some suitable tweaking. Fix some of the problems and this could be a great system - there is a lot of speaker there and it became world famous for a reason.

The food looked great - although I did not sample the main courses the chocolate cake and the apple crumble were fabulous - with a nod to the crumble with ice cream as a show stopper.

They have the cutest baby I have seen in a long while and certainly one of the top 2 Despinas I have known.

Klonis-Dec-2007-pic-5Klonis-Dec-2007-pic-6Klonis-Dec-2007-pic-7Klonis-Dec-2007-pic-8Klonis-Dec-2007-pic-9Klonis-Dec-2007-pic-10Klonis-Dec-2007-pic-11

Dimitris Klonis' Member Page

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