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18 Apr 2004: Apostolos Raptis

Raptis-Apr-2004-pic-sys

By Lampros Valleras & Stelios Mitsionis

This was the first Club meeting at Raptis's house. Our host has recently registered and is a very promising new member. We appreciated the fact that there was ample parking outside and entered the house in a positive disposition.

The system is situated in the large living area and is used for audio and home cinema entertainment as well. So, there are four Martin Logan CLS speakers, a central unit (Martin Logan 'Logos') and an active sub, the REL 'Stendor'. The primary audio source is the Goldmund 'Studieto' turntable. A lowly Pioneer DVD player serves the digital source function. As a result, our comments for the system are referred only to the analogue source.

Vinyl evening...

For the most part of the evening, we listened to the vinyl source. This is a very sweet spotted system. The best sound is only around the area of the middle seat on the large leather couch. This is the second sweetest spotted system after the Veronis experience. In the "sweet" area, the soundstage is big, well defined and with the appropriate air around the instruments. The system has good micro dynamics and possesses speed and transparency. Regarding the systems tonality, there was an emphasis in the mid to mid-high frequencies.

There was criticism though by some of the members for the low-end area where the sub could not follow the speed of the panels. As a result, one could detect some dirt or muddiness in the low frequencies. Perhaps the sub was calibrated higher than what the system could manage. When the sub was turned off, per our request, harmonic purity of the low end was re-established. There were cases however, where the presence of the sub was not detectable.

Raptis-Apr-2004-pic-1On vinyl, we listened to Cal Tzader Sextet "A night at the Black hawk", the Poll Winners "Straight Ahead" and "Favorite pieces" of Franz List by Josef Bulva. The sound was fast, communicative and involving. Especially in classical pieces, the system's strengths were more than obvious. SM as usual, complained that there was still room for improvement in the areas of macro-dynamics and harmonic purity in the mid and high frequencies.

Music Program Highlights (mainly vinyl records were used)

  • Adagio d' Albinoni (Gary Karr/Double Bass, Super Analogue - Firebird KIJC 9125, LP)
  • Rimsky Korsakoff "Scheherazade" (Chicago Symphony/Reiner, RCA Liv. stereo LSC-2416, LP)
  • Liszt "Favourite Piano Works" (PNO/Josef Bulva, Telefunken 6-42167 AH, LP)
  • The Best of Louis Armstrong (Audio Fidelity, StereoDisc AFSD 6132, LP)
  • Jazz Samba "Encore" (Verve V6-8523, LP)
  • June Christie "Something cool" (Pete Rugolo & his Orchestra, Capital records - High Fidelity H-516 mono original, LP)
  • Getz/Gilberto (Verve V-8545, LP)
  • Miles Davis "Kind of Blue" (Columbia PC 8163, LP)
  • Eileen Farrell sings "Torch Songs" (Reference Recordings RR-34, LP)
  • DIRE STRAITS "Communique" (Warner Bross 0698, LP)

System Description

  • Martin Logan CLS speakers with an active REL 'Stendor' sub, driven by Audio Research VT150 valve mono blocks and Audio Research SP10 preamplifier
  • Analogue source: Goldmund Studio t/t, and a VdH 'grasshopper' IISE cartridge (amplified by the phono module within the preamp), on the Goldmund T3 arm.
  • Digital source: DVD Player Pioneer DV 757Ai.
  • Wiring: Mena 'silver' for phono cable, Siltech 'SQ 88 BG3' for interconnects and Siltech LS180 G3 for speaker cables.
  • Power cables/Electr. install.: Various used in normal installation.

Finally...

Raptis-Apr-2004-pic-2MK thought that this was a very good system with lots of air, very natural presence and good performance in recordings with natural instruments. "Bleeding ears" thought that this is a good system, with great potential, which with proper anti-resonance treatment and maybe different cabling can reach the highest standards.

We wish to thank Apostolos for his hospitality and the very friendly and inviting atmosphere that he created for us.

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