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18 Jul 2004: Dimitris Klonis

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By Nikos Kamvysis

This was the last meeting before the summer break. When I arrived the temperature was still quite high and many fellow members were spending time outside the living room in the wonderful veranda (with a breathtaking view of Pendeli) discussing their vacation plans and amplification plans!

However the wonderful sounds were forcing each one of us to come inside the living room for doses of music and then go out again!

Real Divas

Klonis-Jul-2004-pic-1This is the second Apogee Diva system owned by an A.C.A. Member, (Peter Avgeris is the proud owner of the other pair), so we had a good idea of the sound of the speakers already. In addition the Musical Fidelity Nuvista's were my previous amplification set and the Michell 'Gyrodec' still plays records on my system. But although I knew the components intimately the main question was would the system altogether play music?

YES! Dimitri is lucky to have enough space for the Divas. (and Popi has the necessary WAF to allow these in the living room) The speakers were allowed to breathe and were in turn rewarding us with their "wall of sound". The Musical Fidelity amplifier and preamplifier were able to provide all the necessary power without sacrificing too much in terms of musicality (they are a bit lean in the mid range but are definitely a better pair with the Divas than with my Von Schweikert VR4s)

Klonis-Jul-2004-pic-2The system showed its limitations, mainly in terms of resolution and soundstage accuracy, and some finer nuance was missing. My personal opinion is that Dimitri's first upgrade should be a separate phono (from past experience I believe the internal phono of the Musical Fidelity is not in the same league with the preamp and does not do justice to the quality of the system)

However, considering the amount of actual cost involved, the system showed extremely good value and played music admirably. I particularly enjoyed Eileen Farell and Dionne Warwick where the room was filled with music that was engulfing you from all directions and transporting you to other places.

Music program highlights

  • Tschaikowsky 'Francesca Da Rimini (Rozhdestvensky/Leningrad Philarmonic, LP)
  • Eileen Farrell sings Torch Songs (Ref. Rec., LP)
  • John Williams & the Boston Pops 'Pops in love' (Debussy, Albignioni & others, LP)
  • Lincoln Mayorca & Distinguished Colleagues Vol.III (Sheffield, LP)
  • Dionne Warwick 'Sings Cole Porter' (LP)
  • Boz Scaggs 'Come on home' (CD)
  • Jesse Cook 'Free Fall' (CD)

System Description

  • Apogee 'Diva' Full Range Ribbon speakers, driven by Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 300 amplifier and Musical Fidelity Nu-vista Nuvistor (tubed) preamplifier
  • Analogue source: Michell Gyrodec mkIII t/t and a Grado Reference Platinum cartridge (amplified by the phono module inside the pre) on a Rega RB300 arm (rewired w/ VdH phono cable).
  • Digital source: Denon DCD-3300 CDP CD player.
  • Wiring: Nordost Red Dawn (pre to amp) & Audioquest 'Topaz' (CD to pre) for interconnects and Nordost Red Dawn & VdH teatrack Hybrid (lows) for speaker cables.
  • Power cables/Electr. install.: Stock/Not special.

Remark: During the meeting, an Apogee DAX active crossover was used, taking the signal from the pre and feeding:
o Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 300 amplifier for th mid/high frequencies and
o Aragon 4004 for the lows.

The original Apogee crossovers were modified for the occasion.

Thanks to Popi & Dimitri!

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