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So last night.....


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I attended another meeting of the Audiophile Club of Athens.

The system was as follows:

Martin Logan SL-3 speakers, driven by Parasound HCA 3500, Symphonic Line 'Enlightenment' preamplifier (+MC module), Teac 700 (soon to be replaced...) transport, Monarchy 22B DAC, Michell Gyrodec t/t, Rega RB300 arm with VdH MC1 cartridge

Interconnects: StraightWire and AudioQuest

Speaker cables: AudioQuest 'Gibraltar'

Speakers were well positioned (almost in the middle of the room and well away from the side walls), everything was properly warmed up and the source music was of suitably audiophile quality.

The owner was quite forthcoming over his efforts to get the sound he wanted and an extremely good host with all the requisite drinks on tap (so to speak) and plenty of nibbles available - a really nice guy.

I arrived fairly early - whilst he and another member were playing around fine tuning the TT. The CD was playing in the meantime. To be frank the sound was not great but I put that down to the fact I am now not a fan of CD.

After what seemed like an age we finally got the TT up and running playing various weirdo turkish recordings I was not familiar with. Hard to tell on the quality of sound (bizzare instruments) but it didnt strike me as anything special.

Eventually I got the owner to put on DSOTM. He has exactly the same recording as I have - the Greek EMI 1982 pressing and I settled down expecting to hear something really impressive in keeping with the size of his speakers, amps etc. not to mention the striking looks of his TT.

You can imagine my disappointment when the sound did not deliver. Can you spell Rolled off? I could not believe my ears.

I have always though that tubes were rolled off (and therefore assumed my own sound was - being all tube now) but here I was in front of some fairly serious looking SS equipment wondering where all the highs went.

Not only that but there was a distinct absence of bass.

All I can say about the mids is that they were there but in a not too involving way.

After a while I began to suspect my own biases were creeping into this. glancing around the now filling room, however, I noticed that no-one was really listening to the music. Everyone was dispersed in small groups chatting.

This is a very expensive way to get background music in my opinion.

As an aside I ran one of the other members home. He owns a very very good record shop (a good guy to keep friends with!!) which I frequent whenever possible.

We stopped off at my house to listen to my system (which he liked) and during listening he came up with several explanations for what we just heard at the club meeting.

He knows the owner very well. Apparently the guy bought most of the items independently on the basis they were going at half price or less. He then effectively through the lot together in the belief they would sound good.

For what its worth I have heard his system:

System: Unity Audio Fountainhead sign. speakers, driven by McIntosh 352 using Technics SP-10 Mk II with Morch DP-06 arm and Grado RS cartridge

Interconnects: Synergistic Research 'resolution' and XLO 'signature'

Speaker cables: Yamamura 6000

Power cables: Essence

and it was absolutely beautiful to listen to (you can see my comments and others at http://aca.gr/forum/viewtopic.php?t=14&sid=b6f82e8096e92f1f14c640be316a2da2

In leaving as we were discussing my upgrade plans he gave me one of the nicest compliments I have yet received about my system. "I dont know much about imaging, staging and the size of the sound Max but I do know I could listen to your system all night."

Now wasnt that a nice thing to say. Cheers Tassos.


My System: http://aca.gr/pop_maxg.htm

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