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15 May 2004: George Papaemanouil


By Nikos Kamvysis

Less is More?

A high turnout at the Papaemmanouil's residence was guaranteed since everyone wanted to listen to the latest system of one founding and most respected audiophiles of the Club. George has owned or listened to all kinds of systems (panels, dynamic, high power, tubes etc) and has currently evolved his setup to the minimum possible. In contrast to other members who have dozens of separate amplification and power supply units and mazes of cables, anti-resonant devices and tweaks, George has returned to basics; one pair of speakers, one integrated CD and one power amp! (Sometimes uses a preamplifier as well).

Sensing that the complexity of most systems is robbing the outcome of the naturalness and live feeling of music George has turned to the very sensitive Rehdekos for his musical nirvana.

Papaemmanouil-May-2004-pic-1In order to understand G.P's approach and resulting system, one has to first take a look to the music he listens to. Well I believe he has the largest collection of live vocal recordings I have seen. Where many people, including myself some time ago, were afraid that live recordings were usually poor recordings, George, in his quest for the magic and spontaneity of the musical moment has truly searched for the outmost musical quality caught in a live performance irrespective of audiophile worth.

In order to fully appreciate this music, the system is highly biased towards the naturalness and spontaneity of the music and the communication of musical feeling, turning its back to flat frequency response, extreme highs and lows and pinpoint imaging. Voices are floating in space and appear lifelike, the terrific speed of the Rehdekos rewards with timing and rhythm. Can you listen to excessive levels or get thunderous bass? No. Can you pinpoint all instruments? No. Can you get the full frequency response of the piano or the immense impact of a full orchestra? No. Can you listen to the inflections of the human voice? YES...

The listening session...

Papaemmanouil-May-2004-pic-2We kept playing CD after CD, moving effortlessly from jazz to Greek music and then to classical and then back to jazz. The system was always musical and immensely communicative. One more thing, the system is WAF friendly and situated in a wonderful living room which is not ruined by cables and black tracks with black boxes...

The gathering was clearly a great success with a highly musical system and a lot of happy audiophiles who listened to great music, ate, drank and joked a lot and were once more not serious at all!

Thank you George & Loukia!

Music program highlights: (only CD's were used)

  • Rachmaninoff 'Piano Concerto No#2' (LSO/Previn, PNO/Ashkenazy, Decca 452 653-2)
  • Ruben Conzalez 'Introducing...' (WDC 049)
  • Shirley Horn 'Remeber Miles' (Verve 557 199 2)
  • Illinois Jackuet 'The blues; That's me' (OJC 614 2)
  • Dream dancing with Lars Erstrand Quartet (Opus CD 9101)
  • Erstrand - Link Quartet 'A Tribute to the Benny Goodman Quartet' (Opus CD 8603)
  • Keith Jarrett 'The Kolu Concert' (ECM 1064/65 810 067 2)
  • Mary Stallings 'Live at the Village Vanguard' (MAX JAZZ vocal series MXJ 112)
  • Ercan Ogur - Ismail H. Demircioglou 'Gulun Kokusu Vardi' (Kalan Muzik CD 086, from Turkey)

System Description

  • Rehdeko RK-175-5S speakers, driven by Muse model 160 stereo amplifier and JJ electronic JJ243 preamplifier
  • Digital source: Audio Aero 'capitole' 24/192 CDplayer.
  • Wiring: Cardas 'Neutral reference' for interconnects and Kimber 4TC for speaker cables.
  • Power cables/Electr. install.: Cardas 'Neutral reference' for all, plugged in a normal installation.


Finally, it's time once more for the A.C.A. awards: This system earns the following awards:

  • The less complicated A.C.A. system!
  • The highest WAF factor...


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