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14 Dec 2013: Panagiotis Adamopoulos


By Tony Pothitos

Monthly Meeting ACA at Panagiotis Adamopoulos

When reviewing someone’s sound system the writer must consider himself to be able to be “outside the box” as much as possible.

This means we look as well as listen. We view others as they view and listen, but most of all we have the time to concentrate while listening to the music in various ways as to secure the optimum listening experience.

Panos-Dec-2013-pic 01What does listen to music in different ways mean? It’s not magic but it certainly needs an ability to forget or leave your own body behind. It means listening to music in four different ways. The first is to listen to music as if you have never had before. Secondly you then turn into a musician playing the instruments which you hear. Third while in this state you must look around you and hear how others are playing. Finally we decide if we are doing justice to the piece of music we are playing.

If you are totally happy with the sound, then and only then do you go live with your performance!

These are the steps I take to write up a system. I rarely talk technology. That is for folks who are on the other side of the spectrum who fight to achieve what I need to hear to be satisfied and to write well.

When someone listens to a system he/she usually has two ways to do it. The logical way using measuring tools and such. The other way is to leave yourself to listen and to use our emotions as a guide alone.

If you use the logical road you listen to music as a science, while the second way changes every time you like or dislike a playback! That is why I have developed the four way article writing scenario just mentioned. I refuse to listen to the machines but to what they reproduce. Unless you are flexible enough to become part of the music you will not be able to convey to others of the music was amiable or not.

Panos's system was the first system in a very long time where everything I used to do didn’t work. The aforementioned, started backwards. I felt the orchestra was around me as we started the session and everything else happened after!

This was a feat in itself. A system to take you to cloud nine before even stepping onto the first level of high end enjoyment.

Part two of Pano’s meeting

But let us get to the listening part of the evening. First let me introduce the system and then the music we heard.

Audio System

  • Analog Source: Nottingham Analogue Interspace Rega RB300+Clearaudio Aurum
  • Digital Source: Marantz CD 6OOO OSE Limited Edition
  • Integrated Amplifier: Luxman SQ-38U tube integrated amplifier with built in tube phono stage
  • Speakers: Audio Physic Scorpio II
  • Cables: The Chord Cobra (interc)Ultralink Excelsior Time Alligned (speakers)Audio Agile (power)
  • Power Distributor: Audio Agile Line power

As you might notice we do not have the eclectic 100.000 euro system, but let me tell you something, if you heard the music we did, you wouldn’t imagine it was a Marantz from the post war era, or a small speaker (for ACA) the Audio Physic Scorpio II. But as the real Scorpio, its size does not matter but its BITE!
Music wise we started with a well collected Greek array of music.

The listening...

Panos-Dec-2013-pic 02We started by listening to two Katsimiha brothers’ songs, it was an honest LP recording, nothing pushing the bass or trebles at all. The “….Harmonica and Personal Illusions” both graced the listener with soft yet agile notes of luminescence. These songs eluded the complexity though of any orchestration so I felt the best was yet to come, or even the opposite!

One song came after the other, but this time we left the Greek language and went to English.

Andreas Vollenweider - The Woman & The Stone(CD), was played. But for the first time I will ask the reader to do something I have never asked for before.

I would like the reader to know go to this link and listen to this song for a minute and when you do, come back.

The Woman And The Stone - Andreas Vollenweider

So if you heard the song, you could obviously hear no vocals but metaphorical words sung by notes of imagination, heart and soul. The music although not complicated, is a touch hard to play perfectly balanced. This balance is one of the strongest points of Panos’s system. Nothing was blown out of proportion and disorder and nothing was attempting to be what it isn’t.

This in itself was success in my eyes...

Spanoudakis was up next with two more Greek songs, the first very different from the other despite the same voice. The speed/accuracy of the setup was shown clearly here, no fuss, no irritation, no soft corners taken, but a sweet reality which I for one was never expecting to hear from the pre historic Marantz.

From these pieces we could hear more complexity and a sense of strings invite themselves to our listening session. Please listen to the below and come back again.

Κατακτήσεις - Σταμάτης Σπανουδάκης

You will notice that this specific title does not cry out for the listener to heel and await the almighty to arise, but it does have a sense of grandeur which was a hard trick to actually get away with. YET the system DID!

Chris Spheeres was next. A good friend from the past who’s records may not have sold in the millions but did shine light on many artists after him. His work with Paul Voudouris was exemplary as were his recordings in 24 bit stereo. I was very lucky to know the song, the player and even the guitar used for this track. Thus I feel a sense of obligation to be totally honest about what I heard and about what I heard live by the performer himself.

Chris Spheeris - Dia del Sol (Live)

The strings of the guitar were NOT on par with the live performance and while the size of the guitar was very well placed, it lacked the acoustical third dimensionality which I expected from this recording. I know this was not the CD’s fault, but here is where the Marantz fails, despite its amazing history, it cannot confront the high end of what today has to offer digitally. If this was on an album I am sure this would have sounded quite differently.

Panos-Dec-2013-pic 04Next up was a surprise and needs no url to. “ Mother” and “Nobody Home” from Pink Floyd. Both songs a history in themselves and to myself personally as a psychologist. Both are expressions beyond anything at the time, and both deeper than the Indian sea. The vocals were good, but not what they could have been, as it still suffered from the Marantz in this area. It had warmth and thrust, but the “sigh” was simply not there.

We all know what I am writing about here. “The sigh” which every man and woman can remember until we are reincarnated as flies, and even then probably remember unconsciously and collectively forever.

The much await classical was up next with Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake, Op. 20: Act 1. Valse(CD) (Hyperlinked for your listening pleasure).

And Stokowski - Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No.2(CD) The Hyperlink is a true copy of the LP you can hear.

Panos-Dec-2013-pic 03Both were remarkable sensual and harsh where they had to, they were not limited to emotions of one side or another, but a mix of sensual emotional power and beast in one. I didn’t think this would happen because of the previous titles but, nicely, I was wrong. I might add this specific title hyperlinked is a beautiful copy and would suggest anyone who can to actually listen to it again. I suspect you have all heard it if you are reading this far into the article!

The next four songs played were simply executed with precision and finesse which can only bring praise to our host and his love for music.

If anything I would only ask him for some room acoustic help and an up to date digital player for even more superior listening hours in front of him.

Panos is a music lover and by no means will ever stop being an ACA member. He is what we all want in life. A journey into the known yet unknown which only a characteristic music lovers or stereophile’s like ACA members can feel.

We thank him for a GREAT evening and a beautiful audition into his life’s music.

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  • Panos meeting 14-12-2013 video 01
  • Panos meeting 14-12-2013 video 02
  • Panos meeting 14-12-2013 video 03

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