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13 Oct 2007: Christos Kantarelis

Kantarelis-Oct-2007-pic-sys

By Pasi Laine

Into to the World of Tannoy

What an evening for our Club's 100th meeting anniversary!

As usually and prior to our monthly Club meetings, finding my way to the host's place as a new Club member requires some extra care to be taken, asking instructions from the locals, steering through the endless jungle of Athenian narrow streets etc. But this time while opening my street map in total frustration on the side of a road, I heard music and cheerful conversation drifting from a lit balcony – I just found myself right on the spot at the house of Christos! It occurred to me that... 'something special was in the air'!

Kantarelis-Oct-2007-pic-1Welcome to the A.C.A.'s 100th Club Meeting! I got swiftly introduced to the cosy atmosphere of the house of Christos and Angelica: Christos as smiley as ever, lovely Angelica who had put all her efforts for creating the sweet smelling Chinese food (this adds pretty much to the specialty of this very Club meeting), the large listening space (for which I'm absolutely envious) and of course the 'Big Boys' a.k.a. Tannoy GRF Memory TWs sitting in the corners of one end of the room. (Well, almost...)

For so much touted about, the 'Tannoy Sound', within our Club, I had very high expectations of what this speaker system can achieve – I was begging my anticipations not to be turned to a disappointment ... I was excited ! Let's get down to business – MUSIC, please!

From a hiss to thunderous climaxes of classical orchestras, the 'Big Boys' delivered such an excitement in the dynamics and transients of sound re-production that I was all but holding the sides of my arm-chair while my hair sticking out to reach the Ceiling ! L. Bonfa's 'Orfeu Negro' – what can I say? A final manifesto of what Hi-Fi can do with musical dynamics at its best? – Yes!

Kantarelis-Oct-2007-pic-2Let's move on: Belgium's Jacques Brel's 'Ne me Quittepas' and Gershwin's love story 'Borgy and Bess' with Armstrong/Fitzgerald were seducing our ears with the 'Big Boys's uncanny ability to delve into the mix and to re-produce every last nuance of the recordings. After the 'grande finale' from the fantastic Σαββόπουλος, we were left to rest our ears. After all, it's all about music and how you experience it through re-production – when you just enjoy and leave next to nothing for discussions about cables, tube types and DAC over-sampling, like in our case at Christos, you know you've got the things right: you just enjoy the music at it's best.

A thunderstorm just reached Athens, brief power cuts... we were lucky to finish on time with the show of the Big Sound. I used this time to enjoy the delicious food of this special Club meeting, go through the music collection of Christos and have my last listening session in the world of Tannoy. While I don't count myself as a horn sound follower and its, if you like, forward mid-range sound, I was mesmerised how I got so easily engaged with listening.

The thunderstorm had just ceased and was about to make it's second-coming, I hastily set off back home and was wondering what really makes this hobby great.

Music Program Highlights

  • JS BACH Chaconne (from the violin Partita no2 in D minor) Michael Newman LP 1979
  • A. SCARLATTI: " Mentre io godo in dolce oblio" Cecilia Bartoli " OPERA PROIBITA" CD 2005
  • WA MOZART BEAUX ARTS TRIO ( Trio sonate G-DUR KV496) LP 1956
  • A. VIVALDI Concerto in D Minor 540 CD 2002
  • S VERDI Il Trovatore, Carlo Bergonzi LP 1956
  • L. BONFA Orfeu Negro CD 1993
  • ADRIANA CALCANHOTTO "Publico" live Clandestino CD 2000
  • GEORGE GERSHWINPORGY and BESS "Summertime" Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald CD 1958
  • J. BREL Ne me Quittepas CD 1973
  • Δ. ΣΑΒΒΟΠΟΥΛΟΣ "Πυρήνας" α. Φεύγω, β. Εμεις του '60 CD 2007

System Description

  • TANNOY GRF Memory TW speakers with Tannoy supertweeter ST200, driven by JADIS JA 30 class A mono blocks and passive potensiometers
  • Analogue source: AVID Volvere, SME 309, Ortofon Rondo, Densen RIAA DP2 analogue set-up.
  • Digital source: MERIDIAN 507 24bit.
  • Wiring: Various silver for interconnects and AUDIO MAGIC pure silver, solid core for speaker cables.
  • Power cables/Electr. install.: Not special.

The last word...

Kantarelis-Oct-2007-pic-3What a disappointment it was though, when they told me that after I left, this wonderful night went on and, between others, the Club's Secretary decided to make his final move with his favorite touch... He opened the speakers, moving the left one symmetrically with the other one - closer to the left side wall - but in front of the door to the corridor unfortunately. The result was that soundstage width and depth as well as bass focus, improved dramatically...

Oh well, there will be a next time I am sure… Last month's Club meeting at Kostas Daras left us ticking boxes for certain sound characteristics, while today's meeting at Christos for something else. That's great, that's something special!

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