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19 Apr 2008: Manos Bitsakakis

Bitsakakis-Apr-2008-pic-sys

By Dionysis Plarinos

A sonic revelation!

Bitsakakis-Apr-2008-pic-1 For those of us who decided to extend our visit into the late hours and indulge our palate over cheese cake and Cretan 'raki' were also fortunate enough to witness a sonic revelation that alleviated all former disappointment about this audio system and at the same time it most certainly forced us to question our beliefs about what is possible in audio reproduction by implementing minute details such as proper AC phase alignment.

Velissarios of TLA by tweaking his way through the different components was able to detect and rectify this problem that had given - to our hostManos - a small disappointment over his system since the beginning of the first musical passage. The surprisingly unexpected results contradicted every contentious sonic remark made previously by most guests.

Personal Statement:

Bitsakakis-Apr-2008-pic-2What followed was a listening experience that - once again - raised the goose bump factor almost off the charts as the texturally rich and dimensional soundstage the system projected had not just a general outline of the ensemble but also the spatial relationship between every contributing instrument, its position and orientation in reference to the audience. No matter where you were sitting in the room, there was a peculiar and profound presence of the musicians, conveying the musical drama with a sense of performance that kept each one of us to the edge of our seat. I caught a glimpse of our dear president CS - as well as every one else in the room - shaking his head in great disbelief.
An enlightening portrayal of subtle musical details, effortless dynamics, luscious tone colors, focus and depth combined together to form a seamless sound wave of consistent power and elegance. Enjoyable and fatigue free..

However, bass still remained a bit on the light side but it never lacked agility or tightness as the amplifier provided enough effective power to control the excursions of each driver and also an amazing ability to change its output voltage quickly enough to keep pace with fast transients. This explains the transparency of the highs and how the harmonics of individual instruments were easy to separate.

Another sonic deficit that places the system just a breath on the descriptive rather than on the musical side - and I’m sure most of the guests will agree with me here - is the need for more liquidity and an increased delineation in the stages of developing, blooming, sustained and decayed harmonics. A quality valve phono stage would most definitely contribute to this order of harmonic undulations and deliver that much liquidity necessary to make tones of certain instruments sound far more luscious.

If our host is a typical, restless and curious audiophile-like most of us are- with an insatiable desire for greater musical satisfaction in his home then he should seriously consider taking a step forward and feel confident to upgrade on the most important and musically revealing component in the system. The Source. (Phono stage, DAC). At the moment, this is my only strong suggestion for this particular audio system. Go for it and you won’t regret it.

Good luck Manos and thank you and your wonderful wife Katie for offering us such a kind and generous hospitality. The traditional and most interesting arrangement of Cretan/Corfu food recipes was exceptional. You certainly know how to entertain your guests. Cheers!

Music Program Highlights:

  • SPRING ANTONIO VIVALDI (Quatro Stagioni) VINYL 3:26
  • THE SWEETEST LAD WAS JAMIE BEETHOVEN (Scotish Songs) CD
  • ALL GOD'S CHILLUN GOT RHYTHM GEORGE SHARING - MEL TORME
  • THE INK IN THE WELL DAVID SYLVIAN CD (REMASTER) 4:10
  • GOTTA RIGHT TO SING THE BLUES SARAH VAUGHAN VINYL 4:58
  • AT THE DOUBLE (Fast Polka) JOHANN STRAUSS JR CD (DSD)
  • A REAL MOTHER FOR YA JOHNNY GUITAR WATSON VINYL 5:00
  • MAYBE YOU'LL BE THERE DIANA KRALL CD (XRCD) 5:30
  • JUST THE TWO OF US BILL WITHERS VINYL 3:56
  • SUNRISE NORAH JONES CD/LP 3:21

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