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25 Apr 2015: Dimitris Baklavas (Ypsilon Electronics)

Baklavas-meeting-Apr-2015

By Tony Pothitos

Monthly Meeting ACA at Dimitris Baklavas

Some Thinking...

I am a microphone. I get better with age and I have a very long life. What do I do in that long life you might ask, well? I do a lot of listening.

If you think about it, I am probably the number one listener in the world. I mean, who needs shrinks if you have me around?
I am in an instrument just like any other part of a band or orchestra, I listen, I record.

I hear it all. In reality what I do best can be summed up in just one sentence. I convert sound waves into electrical energy variations which when amplified, transmitted, or recorded can be reproduced.

Without my existence no one, and I do mean no one would be able to ever hear something twice, other than the first time it was played. So unless it is played again in real life, then history is made every time I am being used. I am one of the most important part of any musical reproduction. I hear things humans don’t. I am unemotional and very objective. I don’t hear like humans, I hear the TRUTH, do and I do not know what the word mistake means. I mean, I am literally programed and hard wired to never make one.

If you search Wikipedia, they have me down as something called a transducer, whatever that is.

Here, you can see for yourself.

A microphone, colloquially mic or mike is an acoustic-to-electric transducer or sensor that converts sound in air into an electrical signal. Microphones are used in many applications such astelephones, hearing aids, public address systems for concert halls and public events, motion picture production, live and recorded audio engineering, two-way radios, megaphones, radio and television broadcasting, and in computers for recording voice, speech recognition, VoIP, and for non-acoustic purposes such as ultrasonic checking or knock sensors.

Most microphones today use electromagnetic induction (dynamic microphones), capacitance change (condenser microphones) or piezoelectricity (piezoelectric microphones) to produce an electrical signal from air pressure variations. Microphones typically need to be connected to a preamplifier before the signal can be amplified with an audio power amplifier or recorded.

Well for all that to be, I can tell you one thing for sure. I have not been changed, only reshaped since my inception, and trust me when I say, I am old. I am one of the very few things in life that people do not try to change. I am perfect in and by myself. But there is a catch. I cannot prove who I am unless I am connected to an audio power amplifier or rather a preamplifier to be listened to.

What a waste! I do all the work objectively and find myself partnered with one of these rudimentary electronic bullies that exploits my perfect work. In reality it has nothing to say unless I say it and then in all my years I have never heard anything exactly like I had recorded.

Until now.

Some ancient Greek God finally came to find the solution to my problem. For some odd reason it is called Ypsilon. I have no idea as to why a letter in the Greek alphabet would be used to represent sound, but then again, I cannot interpret, all I can do is listen and reproduce.

So imagine the pure unadulterated music and words I collect be relayed by something not as incredible as me. Surely you can understand the injustice done. After all, you’re human. I was only created by one.

So let’s get back to my experience. I have heard everything in the world, I mean every honk every trombone, every drop of rain or animal cry ever made. I have a lot of information to relay back to you. I am important. Yet without a letter in the alphabet I know I am never used to my outmost.

In reality if I were a human, I would have suffered one trillion times over, but I am not. You are.

I now understand why one letter of an alphabet means so much, because without it, you would not be able to put the rest of the alphabet together to make true sense of what is really going on.

For now I have found my partner. I can travel freely through space and time with total accuracy and I finally have the ability to prove myself to mankind. The letter I mentioned before, Ypsilon is a Y in English. A why I finally know its meaning of.
Y have you never thought of this before?

Those ancient Greeks sure did have cryptic ways to tell us the truth didn’t they?

The Meeting...

Date: Sometime in April. 2015
Time: Evening
Position: latitude and longitude of no importance.

Another Saturday for ACA members once more connected to get to hear one of our members systems. You know the drill. We sit in front of what our host has, and we get a taste of what he listens to, or rather how he listens as well.

Tonight was a rarity since we never have everything made by one manufacturer. We always have a speaker by one company and a source from another. The amplifier almost never has the same last name as the speaker, if ever.

So you can imagine how heavily sedated Dimitri must have been to actually believe he could pull off a stunt like this and be successful at it. Sure he makes some awesome stuff, but does anyone believe he can have the same luck he has had in the past? Well let’s go see.

The System...

  • Digital Source : Ypsilon CDT-100
  • D/A Converter : Ypsilon DAC-100
  • Integrated amplifier : Ypsilon Phaethon
  • Speakers : Ypsilon Morpheus
  • Cables : Ypsilon Silver (interconnects, Power and speakers),
  • Rack : Audio stone7

I sat in front of Dimitri’s setup and realized right from the start the minimalistic amount of equipment being used. One transport, one (all in one pre and power amp) and two wires going to his speakers.

This was certainly not what I was expecting from the almighty. I came to hear the best of the best and have in front of me something we audiophiles never accept, a stereo pre and power amp in one box.
So after the initial introduction to the equipment we were about to listen to, we got down to the Nitti gritty of why we were all there.

To listen.

The Listening...

First up at bat was "GRICEL" by LIDIA BORDA, have a listen to what that might envelope.

Lidia Borda - Gricel

Can you hear the hollow guitars depth before the vocals? Can you feel this thump trigger a reaction you get from listening to a guitar make noise without a string being played yet be so musical in and by itself?

Can you hear the rhythm behind the vocals warmth, the solitude of the soul being portrayed in the universal language of music?

If so, then you can hear the enticing vocal transitions and variations which may seem soft, but in reality pierce the heart of any life species listening to it?

Then you are not where I am.

Track two of our evening was ADIEU MON PAYS" by ENRICO MACIAS

Enrico Macias - Adieu mon pays

The vital heart of the instrument was bleeding notes from the sky. The one instrument became the world in sound and it needed nothing to accompany it, left nothing in need. It did it all. Every word that came after that was simply clouded by the language.

Only emotion could be felt by everyone in the room. I may have not understood every word, yet I felt them. I could hear the oesophagus and its depth in front and on top of the instrument, just where it should be and it was simply breath taking.

Space and time were right there with the live event would be.

My hand became limp. I put down my pen and I felt a rebirth of love I had forgotten about in what seems forever. Notice I do not talk about the bass, the highs, the sibilance or darkness, I just talk about the emotions brought on from the simplest looking set up I have seen in ACA.

I still sigh when I hear the song played on my stereo, or on my pc as I try to duplicate the feeling awoken in me. To no avail.

Track three was LA CAMPANELLA by VALENTINA LISITSA

Dmitri Shostakovich Symphony No.8, SYOA & Sergey Smbatyan

I took a deep breath because I did not want to disrupt the purity of her fingertips on the piano. The sheer melancholy while at the same time, the butterflies seen before me, despite my eyes being closed, were taking over my emotions like a psychedelic drug would, I believe.

I was not sure if I was listening to music or flying through the immortal spectrum of man’s best portrayal of God himself. Oh the joy and emotions of the subtle, sweet, erotic, and soulful touch of the piano was like three thousand birds in a choir orchestrated by nature itself. Not only was the music precise, it was like being one with the microphone put into the piano, a unique feeling I might add.

Next up was “SYMPHONY No 8" DIMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH in C minor

Dmitri Shostakovich - Symphony No.8 in C minor, Op. 65 - Allegro non troppo -

Just the way I like it. Deep, long throated introduction and then passion never ending continuously pouring out from the orchestra. If I were a microphone or as many as I were in this recording I would have melted. It sincerely was so powerful and it lighted up every bulb in my body.

CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA" PIETRO MASCAGNI

Pietro Mascagni - Cavalleria Rusticana (Intermezzo)

Try playing this with a room full of men. You would be surprised at how the essence slowly penetrated our skin. The light gentle breeze gave us breath and this breath gave us hope, and this hope closed our eyes and opened our ears to experience what must have been a magical moment in the theatre that night. Larger than life, more beautiful than a bouquet of flowers and even an aroma of nothing and everything we live for. Sublime.

“MIGHTY'S PRAYER” by MIGHTY SAM McCLAIN

Mighty Sam Mcclain - Pray

Take a moment and listen to this if you would.

If you have, then you can imagine by now the strength of every word coming directly from the vocal chords straight to our brainstem. Intriguing is an understatement not even explainable by me. So listen to it and simply be taken away.

The Blues Company & The B C Horns live in Osnabrueck Cold Rain

You get no title to the last song we lived, so listen to it because if you do not, nothing I say will make sense.

Can you feel the strings literally obliterating every other thought in your mind? Does the voice set an image where the electric guitar only accompanies for a moment then takes the magic into its own and sets a pace the drums can only wish they could catch up to?
If you have ever been taken away by music, then this is one song you have to hear on this system to give this reproduction justice.

The END...

What more to say? Dimitri, thank you once again for bringing meaning to my life.

Thank you for your intense work and passion. You have set the bar for every single piece of equipment in the world to beat. I hope they can, because only then will people respect music for what it is, as you do.

I bow yet again, to the simplest Ypsilon I have ever seen and as of now, never heard until tonight’s listening experience.

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  • Baklavas-25-04-2015-Video 01
  • Baklavas-25-04-2015-Video 02
  • Baklavas-25-04-2015-Video 03

Dimitris Baklavas' Member Page

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