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12 Sep 2015: Vlassis Sgouros

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By Tony Pothitos

Monthly Meeting ACA at Vlassis Sgouros

Ever since I lived the setup of the giant Montana speakers at another ACA member’s home, I had only two words for them, the first was you’re and the second was INSANE!

How can anyone live with such complicated and demanding to set up speakers I thought? Not even my Klipsch horns had such intricacies hidden in every centimetre as these speakers did.

Demanding in one area I was sure meant demanding in another, thus the front end of the stereo was going to be more of a Sherlock Holmes mystery gone unsolved than a sound system.

You probably think that I am over stating my personal subjective feelings and you are probably correct, but then again, I am writing this and this is only one point of view.

I had written those words over 7 years ago, but had never published them. I only publish them now because since then, I have not encountered another pair of Montanas. Thank god!

Tonight, at our monthly ACA meeting we had this second pair of Montanas to listen to, and obviously since I was there, the President, has me doing the write up.

This time though as every other I have enjoyed doing these listening journeys and have bestowed honour in every system I hear, not from the actual machines themselves, but the from the hosts blood sweat and tears to acquire and to fight to make his setup suit his listening desires.

I have learnt to follow the system and not my own likings, to love absolutely everything that gave me emotions, both bad and good, and to be humbled by my hosts love for music. So with this in mind and now in writing I can honestly say that fighting for a speakers proper positioning, and I do mean fighting, if you enjoy its sound, for what its worth to mention, it makes you a better person in the process.

What we learn while our system develops, the complications of the room we set it up in and the incalculable amount of things that pop up, while setting up a system to your liking, is in and of itself a journey which leaves anyone who takes it with knowledge which cannot be taught in any school, or from any writing master in words.

To be an ACA member, you have to have the qualities not of only enjoying the reproduction of music, but be able to go through time staking processes where setting up and fine tuning a system is half the journey itself.

Saying that, I can now confront the Montanas in front of me and enjoy whatever sound happened to be stemming from the bowels of the front end, the interconnects, the rack and the wires, and every bit of room correction needed to make the sound as real as it was tonight.

First of all, lets start by saying that tonight was the first autumn event, which not only was a festive moment for music but for our palettes as well.

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The bbq which was setup on his roof top was a complete surprise and a tasty one at that.

The family had endorsed, accommodated and assimilated the system as part of the family and Vlassis and his wife were the proud parents.

It was like a family member had come to town, everyone wanted to take pictures around it, hugging them and smiling as well.

One could say that happiness cannot be bought, but I can also say that happiness can be fought for, and this family had obviously gone into the trenches to find the sweet sound of musical serenity in their everyday lives.

The Music and System...

The music, despite me thinking it was only because of the fact that it was the first listening session after summer, took me by surprise.

The entire system was set up with one thing in mind and that was its musicality, and it was obvious to everyone that it was a sincere joy not to just listen to them but to view the entire system which again in and of itself was delightful to look at. I only say this since most audiophiles homes, are not what everyone would consider….normal, when you consider the majority of the room is occupied by equipment and records! Not to mention the cabling.

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Vlassis started with one style and continued to follow his heart into his own realm of listening pleasure, we were just there to witness it, and it was worth it.

The classical recordings were brought to life as the jazz, and even the Greek playback, as well, with such pizzazz and harmonious note reproduction that it felt at all times that the music was alive, rather than anything else. It was not a separate part of the system, but an integral part of the unified production played for us tonight.

The Ending...

With that notion I will close our wonderful autumn ACA monthly listening session and hope to be as lucky next year as we are this year as to have such a well laid out system to live.

I for one, will be around to come here again and live this very unique and distinguished sound, again!

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