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28 Sep 2019: Kyriakos Kougioumtzoglou

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By Manos Bitsakakis

Monthly Meeting ACA at Kyriakos Kougioumtzoglou

Prologue...

With a wonderfully electric and oxygenated Saturday evening in the making, I walked out of my home knowing very well, that tonight would be a night I would keep deeply in my soul until next summer.

This is it. Kyriakos is having an ACA meeting and it is pumping notes along with alcohol through my veins just by me thinking about it.

It’s September 28, 2019 the first club members meeting in autumn is about to happen in Kyriakos home. The epic event last year was one of the most successful of the decade and there were many reasons for this I cannot write about, but I will mention the obvious.

Firstly, the change of the season. The sun was giving way to the cooler fall nights and the parties that were about to behind.

Secondly, for most of us, to finally say goodbye to the summer, which for us in Greece is an insatiable ride into the heavens with our Greek Islands and our never ending fun, yet our return to being productive also meant a return to our gear and our listening sessions.

Bottles of the best drinks being opened and countless discussions about what to change and how to get better sound from what we have, or how to help someone else in the group to get what they wanted. Either case is more than adequate in ACA.

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To be honest though, tonight offered enigmas which were about to be explored by the president of ACA and since the renewed system with additional professionally treatment in the field of spatial arrangement was going to be on everyone's mind as they would be driving to the Kyriakos's home, not to mention the digital bliss his new domain with the software swap from Windows to Linux would bring.

Another hair rising reason that this superfluous night was different is the fact that I would finally see my buddies again. My friends of ACA, who are always great company, consisting of known and unknown music always playing with insane picks which are purposely chosen to drive us to the highest levels of nirvana for the entire evening.

I won’t mention the SPL that we achieve at points, but I can say is that, if it were not a Saturday night, it would be illegal even in Manhattan!

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About the Host...

Kyriakos the previous President, a nice man who needs only a sentence to be said as to know the open heart and energizing bunny this guy must have been young, but still is today in many ways.

Kyriakos is an analogue gear authentic lover, and has passed all his knowledge to his system, that is an obvious thing when someone observes his personality and then his system.

As he is in life, he has kept all his gear in tip top condition, perfectly and detailed tuned, from the gorgeous vintage Micro Seiki turntable with double air pumps, to the three arms it fits!

Last but not least, his lustful sin, otherwise known as the best R2R decks fully functional and running tonight, the spectacular Tascam BR-20...

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The System...

This is where I would love to yawn, only to see his face frown as he is a true lover of his gear is:

Analog SourceMicro Seiki RX-1500 FVG
SME V+Dynavector XV-1S Ruby
Kuzma Airline+Dynavector XV-1T
FR64fx+Kiseki Purpleheart Sapphire
Digital SourceJadis JD1 MKII (Transport)
D/A ConverterMetronome C2A Signature
iFi audio, Micro–iDAC2
iFi audio, iPurifier2
iFi audio, iUSB Power
Master Tape RecTascam BR-20
PreamplifiersTLA Reikon (phono)
Ypsilon VPS-100 (phono)
Jadis JPS 2 (line preamplifier)
Amplifiers TubeJadis, JA 200 (monoblocks)
SpeakersWilson Audio, Alexandria X2
CablesSiltech 4-80 (interconnects)
Siltech 4-56 II (interconnects)
Hitachi QAX 211 (interconnects)
Siltech Phono 3 (phono)
Esoteric 8N Reference (phono)
Tara Labs ZERO (digital)
Siltech The Emperor II (speak)
Siltech SPX-30 (power)
RackCustom made steel and wood
Record CleanersClearaudio, Double Matrix
Professional Sonic

Nitty Gritty, Mini-Pro 2
CD CleanerAudio Desk

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The audition, the sound & the program..

Although the majority of the music selections we heard during the night were digital files and vinyl records, the performance was stolen in an absolute and unique way by the excellent R2R Tascam BR20 ... there was an insane sound quality accompanied by a life like performance from the 'mother' of all analogs, the Reel To Reel tape, proving and make further clear that there is not a comparison, between any reach between that analogue source and any digital source regardless of philosophy, cost or design.

But of course we have to mention, this particular R2R tape was a true 1st generation master tape from the hands of our Italian friend Roberto Vigo at studio analogy records in Italy. I had to say something as to leave some room for reflection and further improvement in some way only he can come up with.

Despite the analog pioneering the digital chain, which was done firstly by switching from Windows10 to Linux, and also adopting the Daphile software as his musical streamer. The Ifi dac, despite it being a very reasonably low cost device was more than respectable.

If we combine this with that set up of the Linux and Daphile, it did play all high and standard resolution files in a test session we had accomplished a few days ago for the trial for this evening.

All kinds of formats were tested, red book, HD up to 24/192, DSD and DXD. Digital combination’s performance made all of us consider the idea of what could we hear if Kyriakos was swapping to a high class modern DAC to play all the high resolution files.. an I dare say high res files because for red book 44.1/16 there is the excellent and absolutely top notch Metronome C2A Signature and more at his disposal.

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1 to 13 excellent selected musical selections we listened at Kyriakos

  • 01 LOVE OVER GOLD – Privet Investigations, Dire Straits (VINYL) Time 7:00
  • 02 SOMETHING AMAZING - Fascinating Fear, Andrea Celeste (OPEN REEL) Time 4:10
  • 03 VERSE – Regular Pleasures, Patricia Barber (FILE) Time 5:44
  • 04 REQUIEM – Dies Irae, Giusepe Verdi (CD) Time 4:10
  • 05 WISH YOU WERE HERE- Wish you were Here, Pink Fpoyd (VINYL) Time 3:57
  • 06 ΨΊΘΥΡΟΙ – Η πιο Μεγάλη Ώρα, Χάρις Αλεξίου (CD) Time 3:15
  • 07 ROOTS – Rain is Such a Lonesome Sound, Jimmy Witherspoon (VINYL) Time 4:20
  • 08 JUN FUKAMACHI AT STEINWAY – Ran-man, Jun Fukamachi (VINYL) Time 4:10
  • 09 BLUES IN TIME – Line for Lyons, G. Mulligan-P. Desmond (VINYL) Time 3:04
  • 10 BLACK PARIS BLUES – The Boy who stole the blues, Mighty Mo Rodgers (FILE)Time 9:53
  • 11 A TOUCH OF SPICE – Fire In the Harbour, Natassa Theodoridou (VINYL) Time 3:11
  • 12 COULDN'T STAND THE WEATHER - Tin Pan Alley, Steve Ray Vaughan (FILE) Time 9:11
  • 13 GRANDES ETUDES DE PAGANINI - Etude III in A♭ minor, Georges-Emmanuel Lazaridis (FILE) Time 4:50
 

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Conclusion

Getting rid of technicalities, or succumbing to insane pleasurable moments, not allowed to be reviewed, we certainly know that good company and good music also needs its accompaniments. Thus as usual our hostess made us enough food to feed our bodies and replenish our minds with food, snacks and delicacies which were of all colours and cultures worldwide.

To conclude, I can only say that this night is, still a moving part of my winter. I still go back to it when I have clouds in my mind, or when I need the power of that which only ACA and its members can give me.

A family is not only blood, proof is the Audiophile Club of Athens. Kyriakos has made sure of it. God bless music and its power to make men better people.

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  • MEETING 28 SEP 2019 KOUGIOU Vid 01
  • MEETING 28 SEP 2019 KOUGIOU Vid 02
  • MEETING 28 SEP 2019 KOUGIOU Vid 03

Kyriakos Kougioumtzoglou' Member Page

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