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18 Mar 2006: Max Goodman


By Tony Pothitos

It is hard to pinpoint what really makes Max Goodman's system? You really don't hear a system at all sometimes. What you hear is just music.

Unlike most of the other members, including myself, Max has not spent 20.000 euro on his turntable, although it is his most expensive piece of kit, and he plays his music beyond exception with a Denon 103, which I might add, costs 130 euros or so.

Now I have called Max 'stingy', 'a Jew', even 'Mr. Green', but he does not listen to me. He cares not what I say about his system but only for its sound.

The night of the gathering we had our honorary member Ken Barnes in from London, fresh from the Mercedes leather to the leather on Max's couch he got a first taste not of eye candy, but of real music.

Goodman-Mar-2006-pic-1 Many I might dare to say mentioned, even if it was a whisper that they had never heard a violin play like they did that night.
With me cleaning up the dirty plates from the girls having fun and making sure they don't burn the house down with there blunts I got the chance to finally listen to the system myself. We had setup the system earlier, but the room was empty and had obviously changed with the mass of our members.

I caught glimpses though of our members being rather astonished at his discography, and his quality of music for the money. I say that, even though it kills to mention this, but he is now playing 10 times better as I write these words, but then again he is playing with 9500 euro more of equipment.

Our DJ of the night was Max and of course who else, our Teddy bear, Chris Kandarelis. Making us enjoy an evening of great food, great wine and women, but by far, great music.

I must mention that Max was first introduced to music through a pair of Klipschorns and a Carry CD player, with a Carry amp. I remember his words until this day. 'It sound's mushy' we were listening to over 30.000 worth of equipment and all he could say was MUSHY!

It took him no time to get to where he is now, playing with speakers I designed internally and he with his own hands built externally, making him a unique member in our club with speakers that cost less than our cars!! (But it must be mentioned Max does own a very expensive car!)

His first Aiwa was his proud and joy, and slowly but surely became one of the biggest fans of music. Not like me who loves music and listens only once a week, but someone who sits and listens for hours per day if time allows.

Goodman-Mar-2006-pic-4A true audiophile even though he has not paid the price, Max Goodman has proven to us all that Good music does not mean selling your wife's lingerie online or even our car. He loves to watch his system grow, one day at a time, and buys only on his birthday or X-mas since he feels he deserves his own presents. Which I agree with 100% as long as we mention that every day is a day to celebrate that we live, thus every day is a day of birth for someone if not us!

Music Program Highlights

  • Stravinski 'The Firebird' Columbia Symphony/Stravinski (Columbia MS 6328 S)
  • Bach 'Brandenburg Concertos 1 2 3' Boston Symphony/Charles Munch (RCA CCV 5007 S)
  • Bach 'Violin Concerto' Nilla Pierrou Lansmusikensemblen Claes-Merithz Petterson (Opus 3 8012 S)
  • Beethoven 'All nine symphonies' Royal Philharmonic/Rene Leibowitz (Analogue Audio Association EPH 05 S)
  • Delibes Lakme Opera Mady Mesple, Charles Burles, Roger Soyer Opera-Comique Paris/Alain Lombard (EMI EG 29 0160 1 S)
  • Dvorak 'Cello Concerto' Pierre Fournier Vienna Philharmonic/Rafael Kubelik (London KIJC(M) 9215 M)
  • Elgar 'Cello concerto', 'Sea Pictures' Jacqueline Du Pre/Janet Baker London Symphony/Barbirolli (EMI ASD 655 S)
  • Gershwin 'Concerto in F', 'Cuban Overture', 'I got rhythm variations' Earl Wild Boston Pops/Arthur Fiedler (RCA Victor Red Seal LSC 2586 S)
  • Liszt / Enesco / Smetana 'Rhapsodies' RCA Victor SO/Stokowski (RCA Victor Red Seal LSC-2471 S)
  • Liszt 'Late Piano Works' (Valse/Jeux d'Eau/Aux Cypres de la villa) Alfred Brendel (Philips 9500 775 S)
  • Puccini 'La Fanciulia Del West' Carol Neblett / Placido Domingo / Sherill Milnes R O House Covent Garden/Zubin Mehta (Deutche Grammaphon 2563 902-4 S)
  • Rachmaninoff 'Piano Concerto 3' Vladimir Ashkenazy London Symphony/Andre Previn (London KIJC-9204 S)
  • Schubert 'Piano Trio No 2' Isaac Stern / Leonard Rose / Eugene Istomin (CBS 72858 S)
  • Various Callas - La Divina 3 (EMI 55216 13 S)
  • The Very Best of Cat Stevens Where do the children play? (Polygram / Island Records CATV1)
  • Pink Floyd 'Wish You Were Here' (Columbia PC 33453 US Original)
  • Pink Floyd 'The Wall' (Mother EMI 1C198-63410/11)

System Description

  • Home-built horn/dynamic speakers + Becks & Muller active sub, driven by Tsakiridis 'Hercules' stereo amplifier and DECWARE Zen ZTPR6 preamplifier
  • Audio source: Clearaudio 'Master solution' t/t and a Denon 103 or Shelter 901 cartridge on a Souther 'Tqi' linear arm, amplified by an Acoustic Signature 'Tango' phono stage.
  • Wiring: Clearaudio 'Sixstream' for interconnects and VdH D103 for speaker cables.
  • Power cables/Electr. install.: Not special, plugged in Tsakiridis power cleaning & isolation filter.

To close

To close, the night went extremely well, we burnt nothing in his house and the system played loud and proud throughout the evening.

I still remember his Supertramp album even blowing me away! And I do nothing but criticize his system! Imagine how good it really was, and how it is now after an uplift in his amp and pre amp life.

I congratulate Max on three things in his life. First his daughter, second his stereo and third his wife, who has a real ear for music and what really makes a difference.

Goodman-Mar-2006-pic-3 As I have mentioned earlier, Ken Barnes, a film maker from London, was our guest in Max's meeting. The Club had agreed with him to shoot a documentary film about 'Audiophile Club of Athens' or about 'crazy audiophiles' or something like that... showing this lunacy of High End through the members of the most organized lunatic group on earth...
I had just picked him up from the airport and drove him straight to Max's to get him immediately acquainted with the club's climate, before starting shooting.

If you want to see what came out of it, visit 'Documentray film for the Audiophile Club of Athens', to see the why's and how's of the film before watching the real thing (20 min)

Reply comments from the Host (entered on 08 Dec 2006)

Well, it has been so long that even I do not really remember how the system played that night. I think it played well and seemingly Tony agrees (thanks Tony).

No real comments, although I am not sure Georgia will be pleased to come third in the heirarchy!!!

As Tony states, I have changed the pre-amp and amp (actually his) which I am borrowing for the time being and yes - it does play rather better than it did.

One thing I do remember is that we actually played rather more music than is apparent from the list. If memory serves, I changed 60 records during the night and a few CD's. The Supertramp album was a wonderful surprise - I had actually bought it for the meeting in a bit of panic when Tony told me an all classical evening was a bad idea and that I needed some form of Rock music beyond what I had.

Other than that, I think it was an enjoyable meeting for most, although I think Ken Barnes was hoping for rather more eye-candy than I could provide...


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