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15 May 2010: Stamatis Giannoulis

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By Nikos Protonotarios

Economic Crisis…..Pay Cuts……Austerity Measures…..
These were the words echoing through my head as I made my way to Stamatis’ house for our monthly meeting. What effect would they have for our hobby? For our club, ACA?

The session

Giannoulis  may-2010-pic-3 However I was in a good mood since I was looking forward to meeting old and new friends, relax with a drink and spend the evening listening to some nice music. Well, I thought, this is also a way to address the crisis, for us audiophiles. With only the obligation to host one evening every two years and with a subscription costing less than a dinner for two at an average taverna we could look forward to wining, dining, seeing our friends and enjoying high quality music every month for two years! Plus one has the chance to exchange info, evaluate products and borrow LP’s and CD’s. That is really a smart way to be a cost efficient audiophile in present day Greece !

Audiophile's destination

Giannoulis  may-2010-pic-2 We all know that audiophiles are rather consumer orientated. The ones I know have changed at least one component during the last year and of course this is over and above the expense of new LP/CD purchases. It occurred to me that perhaps the crisis would force us to reevaluate our goals regarding music reproduction. After all, most of the members of ACA already have very hi-end systems that they have painstakingly assembled after years of effort. I really do not know if the small incremental differences we squeeze out of our systems result in significant increases in musical enjoyment. Of course we can always convince ourselves that we absolutely need these enhancements but I think, in many cases, this is just a placebo effect. We are continually looking for something “better” which does not allow us to enjoy something that is already quite good. In fact, I have found the majority of the systems in ACA to be more than capable of communicating the musical message as well as being very transparent to the source.

The System

Giannoulis  may-2010-pic-1Stamatis’ system was more than capable in this regard. I was rather surprised that the combination worked quite despite misgivings about the capability of the ART AUDIO JOTA (only a single ended amp after all) to drive the Kharma Ceramiques. I noted very good musical flow, nice extension in the highs and in the lows and very good soundstaging. In fact, after a while, I stopped taking pointless notes and just got into the music which goes to show how well the system was playing and communicating.

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