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20 Oct 2002: Tony Pothitos

TONY-POTHITOS-OCT-2002-system

By Stelios Mitsionis

It was my intention to start the evening as early as possible, in order to have adequate time to appreciate both systems scheduled for the night. But the course of events had a different opinion, so we - L.Valleras and myself - arrived at Tony's house at approximately 8:00 pm.

The arrival...

Most of our friends were already there and C.S. was anxiously waiting for us. After the usual introductory comments we had to grab ourselves a strong drink in order to accommodate for the frustration and wasted time, driving around the area in vain. Somehow we had great difficulty in locating the address. I have to confess that it was L.Valleras. who kept on misinterpreting the map (or perhaps it was the one or... two drinks that we had for the road).

The listening...

TONY-POTHITOS-OCT-2002-pic-2Since our time was limited, it was imperative that we keep to our task with absolute austerity. So, when the listening room was free, we - L.Valleras and myself - grabbed the opportunity. I have to explain here that the listening room is quite small and completely dedicated to this purpose. There is only one place in the room for the listening position and the system and some small furniture holding albums and cds occupy the rest of it. One had to notice the dark blue RPG diffusers at certain "key" spots in the room.

Our host was very accommodating and would enter the room only to change albums on the turntable or to cater to our "very demanding" requests for more drinks. But for most of the time he left us alone so that we could concentrate and apply our intricate evaluative processes. I have to note here that these practices are kept secret from our ordinary members because of the great risk involved in their being used by anyone who is not specifically trained. So please don't try them in your listening room.

TONY-POTHITOS-OCT-2002-pic-3We listened to Jazz, blues and classical albums only on vinyl. Tony, during one of his visits in the room, informed us that the Shelter 901 MC cartridge was newly acquired and had only 10-12 hours of groove tracking on it's back. I'm sure that he said that to appease us, after he saw our evil look at a moment when we ready turn the system off and completely erase it from the high-end list - just joking.

The sound...

TONY-POTHITOS-OCT-2002-pic-4As a first impression the system had a very natural presentation, with absence of any electronic signature. Tonality was pure, timbre was natural and the highs introduced lots of air and the sense of space in the room but could be considered somewhat on the soft side. The mid and low frequencies also had the same natural flavor, but lacked the body, substance and speed that one is accustomed to receiving from the top-notch systems. On the same line a complete and accurate (in dimension and definition) description of the musical event seemed to be missing from the soundstage.

TONY-POTHITOS-OCT-2002-pic-1Our kind host explained later that the many curious guests who visited the room had moved the speakers from optimal position. This goes to show you never to leave guests unattended in such a delicate room. They ruin the fun - of moving the speakers - for the rest of us. Of course the new and inexperienced Shelter 901 MC cartridge is another valid excuse for the harder sound than we expected.

And...

Nevertheless we hope that in a month or so, when the system will be fully run in and set up properly, our kind host will invite us again for a follow up audition.

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