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27 May 2012: Christos Gonis

Gonis-May-2012-system

By Tony Pothitos

You must all know or have heard the saying, you never forget to ride a bicycle.

Well there is a new saying in town, and it goes like this.

Once an audiophile, you will never stop being a lover of music, live or reproduced. Either way the same rules apply.

The attributes ascribed to a music reproduction lover can never be taken away from him. Even with death. An audiophile will always be remembered as such, and thus even though his body may have perished, his crave and passion will never be forgotten. I believe that a person never dies unless there is no one left to remember him and not when his heart or some bodily function has stopped working for some physical reason or another.

I believe that generations of people can go by, and what people remember them of, are those persons passions in life, and if nothing else, we can all agree to the fact that ACA's club members are all about PASSION!

Gonis-May-2012-pic01The Little Book of Life after Death, by Fechner, Gustav Theodor states that “The consciousness of the dying is flickering and fleeing, and the soul is lost in confused illusions of sinking and floating in an infinity. The ear is filled with murmur and buzzing . . . until it dies out as the last of the senses” (p. 108). This murmur and buzzing is in reality our last song which as is quoted, the LAST of the senses to leave the human consciousness.

Need I say more?

So why talk philosophy when I want to present an ACA meeting one might ask? Simply, because our host tonight once upon a time had to live without his equipment. He was bare and naked when in need of the sensation that audiophiles get, like a high from a glass of Yamazaki single malt, (which in fact happens to have been voted the best single malt for 2012!, even though it is Japanese)

The System...

  • Digital front: Audiomeca Pierre Lurne Mephisto II Transport / Enkianthus Dac
  • Analogue: VPI HR-X / JMW 12.6 MEMORIAL Unipivot Tonearm / dynavector te kaitora rua cartridge
  • Phono Stage: Audionote M3 RIAA All Tube Phono / AN-S3 STEPUP
  • Preamplifier: Krell KCT
  • Power Amps: Krell fbb 750 mcx Monoblock
  • Speakers: Eggleston The Andra I

Gonis-May-2012-pic02So getting back to what I wanted to say from the start. Christos's system is a new born, with a four month lifespan as it is now. Upon first glance you cannot but be in awe of the Krell monoblocks which at 700 watts RMS have enough power to drive practically any speaker out there. If we include the fact that the Eaglestone speakers are less than 86 db sensitivity then you immediately realize that these amplifiers are not here for the look, but to really work hard and believe me when I tell you that this system can get loud. Even dancing loud if you get my drift...

When I first walked into the hosts home, I was lucky enough to have a private listening session since the official session had not started with all the members were outside enjoying the weather and the view. Despite the fact that some members shun the idea that they were closed off with a curtain, thus making the system not visible to them, Chris actually did what I had asked him to do and I had a chance to listen, as he does without the immense differences that so many people make to a listening environment.

The Music program...

  • Duisburger Philarmoniker/Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No 15-Allegretto (LP)
  • The London Symphony Orcestra/ESPANA! - Andaluza (LP)
  • Pink Floyd/The Dark side of the moon - Time (LP)
  • Elli Paspala/Live at the Megaron - Ain'No Sunshine (CD)
  • George Benson-The Ghetto (CD)
  • Janis Ian/Breaking Silence - What about the love (LP)
  • Albert King/I'll play the Blues for you - I'll play the Blues for you(Parts 1&2) (LP)
  • The Oscar Peterson Trio/We get Requests - You look good to me (LP)

Gonis-May-2012-pic03The music at first was rather bland, and I didn't want to play the Almighty but I really believed that the low SPL we were listening at was simply not enough to drive the speakers properly. If that was not enough, the highs from the positioning of the speakers were nonexistent practically. Kyriakos told me to get up rather than sit down and I immediately had music splash my dried out body, like when you jump into the sea on a hot summer day while being in Mykonos. It was another system in reality, and when the volume was turned up, things really started to get interesting indeed. The highs were not blaring at all, but smooth and musical in nature, as were the mids. The bass could have been better, and more, but that’s coming from a sick bass head who intrinsically loves to feel the air hit his body. I do feel though that the positioning of the speakers as Chris told me himself need to be further experimented with before finding not only the sweet spot, but the exact area where the speakers will and can do their best in a room which had no room correction at all in it.

So, if you don't want to read the rest of this review, then let me say that the only real problem Chris has to fix is his room if he wants to reach the skies. I was flabbergasted that it sounded so good without ANY room treatment at all that I would love to go back as soon as Chris gets it done.

I simply know that when this happens, this system will be sweater than wine and even better than my first kiss.

Gonis-May-2012-pic04The speakers openness, without having three dimensionality to it due to the problems mentioned above but still gave a caress to the listeners ears. All recordings, starting from song one on our play list proved to be able to take the recording and set each piece of equipment in the room appropriately in its reproduction. I could hear the strings up front, the horns in the far back while the cymbals perfectly reproduced, to the point of me being envious! It would be good to mention here that I have the same cartridge as Chris has, and the characteristics of the Dynavector Te kaitora were so obvious and enlightening to my inner ear that I felt comfortable within seconds the turntable was up and running.

If I were to comment on what moved me the most in the system, was its uncanny ability to reproduce strings so well that it let down the listener in other areas. Such as vocals, which is not the systems fault, but the fact that the speakers were poised upwards and the highs simply went over my head.

Gonis-May-2012-pic05At about halfway through the listening session I asked a few members what they thought and the answer I got was the same throughout my sample questioning. THE ROOM NEEDS IMPROVEMENT! I was pleased to see that my fellow ACA members agreed that the bouncing off the walls was a definite mishap here. Otherwise I think Chris will be in heaven before his body leaves this earth, and do so, with the biggest smile a man can have from his system. I can only wish I am invited back again to get some of that emotion when that time comes.

Lastly...

I would like to thank Chris, on behalf of everyone in ACA that he allowed us to come to his home albeit his new born not being ready and the fact that he is a newbie in ACA.

His respect for himself, his friends and his choice in music and machines show characteristics that an ACA member is renown for. I am absolutely certain that he is going to be a vital part of our systemic network. Being without men like Chris in ACA is like a man living without protein, You don't know something is missing until you get it.

I am sure Chris will be around for many years, giving us his heart and personality with such ease that no one can misunderstand it for anything else than genuine and insatiable.

In fact, I bet on it.

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  • Gonis Meeting 27-5-2012 Video 01
  • Gonis Meeting 27-5-2012 Video 03
  • Gonis Meeting 27-5-2012 Video 02

Christos Gonis' Member Page

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