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15 Dec 2002: Konstantinos Daras

Daras System

By Stelios Mitsionis

This last meeting of the year was a double and was scheduled in the houses of two good friends, Kostas Daras and Lambros Valleras. Both are distinguished audiophiles. Kostas is a dedicated hobbyist/craftsman and makes his own cables out of exotic materials and Lambros is a long time audiophile, who is always active on the quest of achieving the "ultimate sound".

We had agreed with CS to start the evening at Kostas' house and then move to Lambros' in order to end the night there. When I arrived at Kostas', most of the guests were already there, enjoying the music and the appetizers.

The living room is small and the large Maggies look like giants in a cage. The system is set across the short dimension of the room and the listening position is on the couch. As you understand, this is not the optimal set up for good sound. Such a placement is usually responsible for the creation of static waves. However, in this case I could not detect any present.

The listening...

Daras-Dec-2002-pic-1After the drinks were served, the interesting program that Kostas had prepared for us consumed us all. We listened mostly to vinyl. Obviously this is the "better" sounding source in Kostas' set-up. Despite the poor room conditions, the system would perform very well. Even though, the Maggies were approx. 50 cm from the back wall, soundstage was adequate, but well below the capabilities of the speakers. Tonal balance was good and the music would possess this natural flow, characteristic of good Hi End systems. Highs and mids were also very good with proper timing and body. However, there was an apparent weakness in the low frequency dynamics, energy and depth (description was good). In discussing this with Kostas and CS we are all in agreement that a higher output amp would eliminate these deficiencies. The Magnum amp is very good, but it is designed for more efficient speakers.

During the auditions, we also performed a small test by inserting a set of Final Labs, 'Daruma 3II' anti-resonance devices, under the preamp first and then under the CD player. In both cases, the sound was drastically improved, with the result being more evident on the source. All the participants were in agreement about the results of this test.

Music Program Highlights(only vinyl)

  • Puccini 'TOSCA', BPO/Karajan (DG 2707 121 - 2LP)
  • R. Strauss 'Also Sprach Zarathustra', BPO/Karajan (DG 480 959)
  • Sonny Rollings 'Rollings plays for Bird' (OJC-214 / P-7095)
  • Grand Green 'Green Street' (Blue Note 32088)
  • Jean Michel Jarre 'Oxygene 7-13' (Dreyfus 486984-1)
  • 'The Sheffield Drum Record' (Sheffield Lab 14)

System Description

  • Magnepan MG 2.7 QR speakers, driven by Magnum MF 330 amplifier and Magnum MP 330 (+phono) preamplifier
  • Analogue source: Voyd "Valdi"t/t with Benz Micro MC2 cartridge on a Kuzma Stabi arm
  • Interconnects: Dara custom silver (all)
  • Speaker cables: Dara custom silver
  • Power cables: Dara custom silver

After listening...

Daras-Dec-2002-pic-2After the test, all kinds of conversations opened up regarding this favorite topic of mine: vibration treatment and anti-resonance devices. We also talked about various materials, speaker placement and dumping and of course electronics tweaking. We were greatly enjoying ourselves, but unfortunately time was moving faster than we would like and we had to move to the next meeting, before it was too late for auditions.

We wish to thank Kostas and his family for hosting this event and wish to remark that their hospitality was excellent, which can be translated in unlimited food and drink of the highest quality.


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