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12 Jan 2019: Sotiris Papakonstantinou

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By Vagelis Issichopoulos

Monthly Meeting ACA at Sotiris Papakonstantinou

The first 2019 meeting of the Audiophile Club of Athens took place with great success and was combined with the cutting of the delicious New Year Cake in the apartment of our new member Sotiris Papakonstantinou.

We all met in a welcoming space, where a High-end stereo system was installed, nicely combined with a home cinema.

As is well known by anyone engaged in a major and expensive hobby, reaching their own Ithaca involved quite a lot of travelling and wandering through many difficult destinations before they completed the ‘journey.’

So, seeing this particular sound system, I spontaneously thought of asking its owner about his 'journey'!

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Eager and friendly as always, he replied that from about the age of 12 he started constructing speakers for himself and his friends! Well, when you start at such a young age, you are surely bound to end up somewhere good later.

Furthermore, besides other hi-fi electronics from Japan, Sotiris later used Audio Spectrum, the Greek speaker manufacture, twice.

Then, with the help of a well-known distributor of the time, he added, the USA made, Alon’s speakers on his list of preferences, starting from the model 5, then moving on to the famous ‘Circe’, and ending up with the unique Phalanx, which we listened to together with the set-up mentioned at the end of the article.

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Note: The power amplifiers he used before the McCormack were Music Reference’s tube powered amplifiers modified into 200-watt monoblocks each! I met Sotiri around the time he bought three 'Audiodesign' racks which he still uses on the system we heard.

The wood choice perfectly matched TEAC’s unique CD-player front side modified by YAMAMURA. But I did not have the opportunity to listen carefully to the result...

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The Listening System...

  • Turntable: Well Tempered Reference
  • Phono Cartridge: Lyra Titan
  • Phono-pre: Lyra Arion
  • Transport:Yamamura
  • Dac: Yamamura
  • Blue Ray: Oppo 95
  • Preamplifier: Vac Renaissance
  • Speakers: Alon Phalanx
  • Power Filter: Tice Signature
  • Cables: Yamamura 5000,6000 interconect and power-Yamamura Quantum for speakers
  • Power amplifier: Mc Cormack DNA-2 Deluxe
  • Radio Receiver: Fanfare FT-1
  • Audio Rack: Audiodesign

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The Listening..

The listening space was about 50m2 of sharply rectangular shape but with relatively good acoustics since special vibration reduction material had been placed on the floor when the apartment was being built!

The host basically started and finished the presentation with vinyl records. Well Tempered Lab’s turntable took the floor with the superb Lyra Titan.

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While listening to the famous Carmen opera adapted for percussion, the system's ability to comfortably present the musicians on the virtual sound stage and to deliver the timbre of the various percussion instruments with fluidity immediately became apparent!

Afterwards, with Modeste Mussorsky's symphonic work ,Pictures at an exhibition, the ability of the turntable to reproduce easily all the instruments of the orchestra, and especially the music microdynamics that make listening very enjoyable, was made even more apparent!

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Nevertheless, I noticed a relative lack of body and presence in the low frequencies, which I believe was due to the medium volume speaker in such a big space! But the music was there.

On the next album, the mixed voice with the accompanied music, of the great bluesman Sonny Boy Williamson bewitched me! Continuing on the Yamamura CD player and the Oppo DVD, which I listened to very carefully, showed more or less the same virtues and behavior in the low frequencies as the analog source ... As the owner told me, it is perhaps the only sound spectrum he would rightly like his system to have.

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In general, the system represented almost perfectly the soundstage ,the rhythm of each played music program, filling the room with a harmonious and pleasant sound.

 

The Ending

Of course, other adventures awaited us in the kitchen where the hostess had laid out delicious festive dishes! The evening ended festively with the traditional and delicious New Year Cake!

A Big thank you from a.c.a and me to new member Sotiris Papakostandinou and his wife for their unforgettable hospitality and for being such good company!

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