Aytekin Ercin's 
Date of Visit:
17 June 2000

14 April 2001

the system

the electronics

with Mark Levinson 39

Furkan Model 1


e-mail to:
Aytekin Ercin

I was glad to find out that Aytekin is one of the rare DIY hobbyist amongst audiophiles from Istanbul. He made his own speakers based on a design by the French company Focal. He selected the best quality components for his crossover, internal cables and the drivers, he used thicker than specified wood for the cabinet. The woodwork and the finish is excellent, at best professional standards. He called them Furkan Model 1 (Furkan is the name of his son). Congratulations Aytekin!

He is now working on a new speaker project based on Scanspeak (revelator) drivers and KEF passive radiators. The original design belongs to Daniel Emonts who was the ex-partner of Laurent Labat-Camy.

His system is located in the main living room (7 x 7 m). Aytekin says that WAF can be an issue from time to time but he knows how to handle it (you may write to him to find out how).

Emre Tekmir brought his Mark Levinson No.39 as Aytekin wanted to try and compare it with his own Meridien transport / DAC CD system. Let me summarize the result: with Mark Levinson No.39 the sound had a better stage depth, was more open, more detailed and had a more natural tonality. 

Aytekin is not a member of Istanbul Hi-Fi Club but plans to join soon. He listens to jazz and blues (60%),  classical (30%) and to pop/rock (10%) music.

The CD's he uses for equipment evaluation purposes are the followings:

  • Focal Demo Disc No.4 / Le Grand Spectacle du Son / 7412
  • Side by Side / Itzak Perlman, Oscar Peterson / Telarc CD-83341
  • Al Grey / Center Piece / Telarc CD-83379

System's Components
CD Transport: Meridien 500
D/A Converter: Meridien 563
Passive Control: DIY based on Alps pot
Power Amp: Gryphon DM 100
DIY Speakers: Furkan Model 1
Interconnects: Audioquest Diamond, vdH MC Gold
Digital Cable: XLO Reference
Speaker Cables:  Audioquest Sterling (mid + treble), vdH SCS 6 (bass)

Aytekin's comments about his System:

AA: "Aytekin, how would you describe your system's sound?"
AE: "Sweet, natural and detailed."
AA: "Do you think there is room for improvement?"
AE: "Yes, I could have a bigger and deeper sound stage."
AA: "Have you got plans for upgrading?"
AE: "Yes, I would like to have an "active" preamp in lieu of my passive one and eventually upgrade my CD player."

the new system

the electronics

who is taller?

the panel

Re-Visit Notes (14 April 2001)

My first visit to Aytekin's place took place less than a year ago. See above his reply to my "have you got plans for upgrading" question. He is talking about replacing the preamp and the CD Player. Well he did that, but he also did much more: HE CHANGED HIS WHOLE SYSTEM!

I should start by listing his new system's components:
Turntable: Nakamishi Dragon, with Shure V15 VX cartridge
CD Player: Mark Levinson 39
Phono preamp: Sonic Frontiers SFP-1
Line preamp: Gryphon Sonata (with separate power supply)
Power Amp: Gryphon Antileon
Speakers: ProAc Response 4
Interconnects: Kimber Select 1120, Purist Audio Design Maximus, Cello String 1 (phono)
Speaker cables: Nordost SPM Reference
Power cable: Synergistic Audio Master Coupler

As you may notice there is no single component common to his previous system. Aytekin being a speaker builder and knowing all the difficulties behind it, says he can better appreciate when he hears an exceptional speaker. Well this is what happened ("love@first-note"?) when he heard the ProAc Response 4 speakers. He bought them and then he had to change the rest of his system in order to drive them properly and get the best out of them.

I must sincerely congratulate Aytekin: the synergy was close to ideal and the overall sonic result was very natural, detailed, dynamic and effortless. The timbral accuracy was excellent. 

Aytekin placed four wheels underneath the base plate of each speaker (see picture). When his system is off he pushes the speakers against the back wall and close to the rack. He needs to do that as the speakers are blocking the entrance to the living room in their listening positions. But this also has an important shortcoming: I noticed that the wheels are not so rigid in their resting status, so the speakers rock slightly when a pressure is applied from one side. This may affect the speaker's bass performance. The second point is that Aytekin places the speakers nearly randomly each time he pushes them to their listening places. I think he needs to find their precise ideal spots and mark this location on the floor (with a high WAF marker, I presume!). Thus he will take advantage of the full potential of the speakers, and it will be consistent at each audition.

Aytekin had also invited two of his close friends (that I met for the first time): Onder Aydingoz and Baki Sezen (see the bottom picture). I was glad to learn that both of them were audio enthusiasts and that Onder was using the monitor speakers made by Aytekin. 

On the way back home the same question kept coming to my mind: "why on earth has ProAc discontinued such a beautiful speaker???"