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25 May 2013: Manos Mpitsakakis

Mpitsakakis-May-2013-pic01

By Tony Pothitos

Monthly Meeting ACA at Manos Mpitsakakis

Meeting with the System...

The KEF speakers stand like soldiers protecting the parliament of power behind them. Eye candy. With its small footprint and yet so solidly built. The Geroukis amplifiers standing so high as every monument does that has such poise.

Mpitsakakis-May-2013-systemThe first song opens with a beautiful bass and voice with clarity of a live performance, but only smaller. The beat was bullet fast and the black was black as to allow every instrument sound as clear as it could, without interference of any kind. Nothing is over rated here, the bass is just right, the mids are where they should be, and the highs do not make you suffer at high sound levels. Depth wise I was not surprised to hear the wooden speakers’ sound superior and real.

All the electronic equipment used in the recordings were separated properly and never exaggerated by any way. The drums though were outstanding and the second song played was simply so good I wanted to get up and dance, smoke a cigar and then drink some Johnny blue. I loved the timing simply because it was… On time. Nothing was faster or slower with this speaker.

Mpitsakakis-May-2013-pic17It seems KEF did a lot of work before bringing this to the consumer. We must remember this speaker may be 8-9 years old but it sounded great on Morph the cat just the same. The bass here although over itself in many ways was welcome in this type of recording and temperament. The drum sticks were clear and Steely Dan was melodic and smooth, while retaining the rock sound it has. This is the hardest thing in most systems since it should not sound rough and digital, nor should it sound soft, but completes itself so that the rhythm can be given off any track played. This is a system which does exactly this.

Mpitsakakis-May-2013-pic21The TT is simply musical and when the orchestration and female voice came together Ruth Brown it was simply lovely. I adored the original sound and the feeling of the past which this LP had. It took me back to another time and yet it sounded so rightfully twentieth century. It made me want to hear more female vocals on older albums. There is one more thing I want to mention here and that is the fact that the vocals were not over stressed, something which this album I know does in nature, but on this system does not come through.

The System…

Analogue
Nottingham Analogue Space 294
ACE-Space 294 (arm)
Shelter 5000 (cartridge)

Digital
SONY XA5400ES

Preamplifier
Trulife Audio TLA Athena (line)
Bluenote Demedici (phono)

Power Amplifier
GEROUKIS 211 / PSET 70W RMS (Monoblocks)

Speakers
KEF Reference 205/2006

Cables (All DIY)
7N, Solid Core, Single Crystal, Ultra-Pure OCC Silver(IC & Speakers)
6N, Solid Core, Single Crystal, Ultra-Pure OCC Copper(Power)

The Tunes...

Arvanitaki came on next and the reality of heaven rolled into the room. While others talked behind me, I could not hear a word. The musical sensation from the voice was soulful and moving. Something I do not hear so often on Greek Recordings.

Mpitsakakis-May-2013-pic18All this without a proper recording I might add. Meaning this was not a high quality LP in the least. When the voice of Arvanitaki came through it moved my heart a few inches forward and it seemed it wanted to teach me how to fall in love again. I felt young. I felt like spring, and it was simply beautiful.

I cannot tell you how unspoiled and real it was.

Mpitsakakis-May-2013-pic19Woody Shaw was up next with fingers rolling on the piano like water running on a hot naked body in the desert. I simply was drawn into it like oxygen to a fire and although this was a completely different sound than that which was played before, it was still very enticing and pleasant. I hear and see that there is no bass rolling off, and the trumpets were harsh as they should be as when heard live, but oh so beautiful. I preferred the piano though since it was so gently played…

Live Jazz big band was next. A thump and smile then came from the speaker and then me. The female vocals were as sweet as baklava and while keeping its sweetness it was perfectly stable with the instruments never being soft or rolling off at any point in time. This system can play it all. That is something I can say from now which no one can deny. It stems from the heart and ends up on every nerve ending a person can have.

For the transistor lovers I can only say that you would have to spend as much money as a Benz costs to get this rhythm, timing, softness, yet properly hard, with everything in tune. Great job indeed. I am sure KEF didn’t have this in mind when they built these speakers and I say that since this is the best KEFs I have ever heard.

Lastly Manos Hatzidakis was our last piece to listen to. It brought another smile to me, a feeling of youth yet again filled my veins and arteries. I was listening to oxygen and breathing in the tones as every note played.

My only problem with this system was that it could not be played very loudly due to the room’s lack of sound damping. I wish I had more to throw at it, but I can’t.

  • Orfeas Peridis, Ax Psychi Moy Fantasmeni, Zhlevei I nyxta (Vinyl)
  • The Shadows, The Shadows, Walk Don't Run (Vinyl)
  • Donald Fagen, Morph The Cat, The Great Pagoda of Fun (Vinyl)
  • Ruth Brown, Late Date With Ruth Brown, Why Don't You Do Right (Vinyl)
  • Eleytheria Arvanitaki, Grigora i Wra Perase, Grigora i Wra Perase (Vinyl)
  • Woody Shaw, In My Own Sweet Way, Estate (Vinyl)
  • Diane Schur, The Count Basie Orchestra (Live), Only You (Vinyl)
  • Elli Paspala, H Gynaika Sto Ergo Toy Manou, Stoy Digeni T Alwnia (CD)
  • Maria Farantouri (ft D. Savopoulos), 17 songs, Carouso (Vinyl)
  • Gong, Shamal, Cat in Clark's Shoes (Vinyl)
  • Kostas Tournas, Dueta, Anthrwpe Agapa (Vinyl)

Conclusion...

I leave you with the last words I will write about tonight’s event.

I will leave this computer to the side and simply sink into the absolute. No more writing and simply listen to the music.

Music wins yet again!

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  • Mpitsakakis meeting 25-05-2013 video 01
  • Mpitsakakis meeting 25-05-2013 video 02
  • Mpitsakakis meeting 25-05-2013 video 03

Manos Bitsakakis' Member Page

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