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16 Mar 2003: George Toufexis

Toufexis-Mar-2003-pic-sys

By Stelios Mitsionis & Lambros Valleras

The March meeting again separated in two parts. The reviewing schedule was set from the previews day and it was decided that we, the reviewing team would first visit George Toufexis house. So, we all hoped in one car and NK was driving, rather daringly and carelessly, I must confess. When asked about it, he said that this was his wife's car!...

The listening environment was rather cozy with two large couches placed in front of the system for listening and relaxation. George and his wife Panayota had prepared a very nice table full of appetizers and drinks. The atmosphere was very friendly and hospitable.

Being a double meeting the house was not very crowded and the noise level was relatively low. This way we had a good chance to listen and evaluate the system.

At this point we wish to remind you once again that our evaluations are based on what we listen to at the particular meeting under far from perfect conditions and therefore they do not constitute a formal review.

The new speakers...

Toufexis-Mar-2003-pic-1 George had acquired a used pair of speakers and did not have the time to set them up properly. They were too close to the back wall without bi wiring. These speakers are also known to be a difficult load. Goerge's Macintosh at 150 watts per channel was barely adequate (according to SM). LV however, thought that power was more than enough and was impressed by the fact that although the amp's clipping lights were flashing frequently he could hear no amplifier strain. Nevertheless, George is planning to upgrade his Mac to the 352 model soon.

At mid-volume levels the system was sweet sounding, possessing a homogeneous sound. Clarity was good all over the frequency spectrum. There was some unusual coloration at the lower treble. The soundstage was big and airy but surprisingly not defined. SM preferred the vinyl source. LV preferred the CD source (listening only to one LP unfortunately). At very high volumes, bass was not as controlled as we would like.

A musically satisfying system...

Toufexis-Mar-2003-pic-2Despite the fact that the system did not excel in any particular aspect it managed to preserve the essence of music in a very satisfying manner.
LV thought it to be one of the most musically satisfying systems he has heard in the last few months.
NK commented: 'The value of the system was greater than the sum of the individual elements, which is no mean feat'.

Unfortunately this double meeting habit robs us from the luxury of staying at one place for long enough to enjoy each host's record collection, their views on music and system philosophy. We hope that we will have more time to discuss with George at a future meeting.

We wish to thank both George & Panayota for their hospitality and welcome atmosphere.

System Description

  • Unity Audio Fountainhead sign. MkII speakers, driven by McIntosh MC-162 amplifier and McIntosh C-15 preamplifier
  • Analogue source: Michell Gyrodec t/t with Clearaudio 'Victory' cartridge on a SME 309 arm.
  • Digital source: Marantz 6000 OSE (drive stage) with Theta Pro Prime II DAC.
  • Interconnects: Clearaudio mainstream phono cable, XLO 'signature' and 'reference', IXOS 'silver bullet' 101
  • Speaker cables: XLO 'Ultra'
  • Power cables: XLO 10

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