Can Elgiz's 
Date of Visit:
06 February 1999

28 January 2000

Third Visit:
1 July 2000

the System

the amps and the rack

sizes, colors and postures

the listening room

the view

Can Elgiz is one of the ex-Presidents (1997-98) of Istanbul Hi Fi Club. His majestic system occupies the main spacious living room with a wonderful view over the Bosphorus (left bottom picture). Apparently at first Can decided to have a separate listening room for his own but his wife Sevda and his two daughters were concerned: they would hardly see him. That's why they offered him the main living room. Good tactic Can, congratulations!

Can likes to listen from distance, that's why his listening axis is diagonal. Of course this presented a problem for proper speaker placement, but he was fortunate: invited by the distributor Akusta, Wilson Audio's Troy visited his place, spent all his afternoon and gave us all an excellent demonstration about speaker placement.

Can listens to jazz and fusion (90%) and classical (10%)

System's Components
CD Transport: Mark Levinson 31.5
D/A Converter: Mark Levinson 30.5
Line Preamp: Cello Audio Suite
Equalizer: Cello Audio Palette
Power Amps: Mark Levinson 33 (dual mono)
Speakers: Wilson Grand Slamm X-1
Interconnects: Purist Audio Dominus
Speaker Cables:  Purist Audio Dominus
Power Cables: Purist Audio Dominus
Power Conditioner:  MIT Isostrip

Can's comments about his System:

AA: "Can, how would you describe your system's sound?"
CE: "It has a very natural and flat sound. If a live instrument were playing in this room, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference."
AA: "Do you think there is room for improvement?"
CE: "No."
AA: "Have you got plans for upgrading?"
CE: "Not for the time being."

the electronics

Burmester Power Conditioner

the panel

Re-Visit Notes (28 January 2000)

How can you upgrade such a system!? A year ago Can did not think that there was room for improvement (see "Can's comments" above) and he had no plans for upgrading. This was a year ago, though. Time changes our tastes, our perceptions or even if it doesn't we want change or, more precisely, Can wanted change. 

This isn't a major change, though: Cello Audio Suite and Audio Palette are replaced by Mark Levinson 32 Preamplifier. There is also one additional item: Burmester Power Conditioner.

As there is nearly a year interval between my two visits, it wasn't easy for me to comment about the sonic improvements. Haluk Ozumerzifon (he was there during the changeover trials) and Can Elgiz, both told me that Mark Levinson 32 Preamp brought more coherence and musicality. Focus and soundstage were also improved.

Can told me that very soon there will be one more small change, the XLO Limited Edition interconnects that he recently ordered.

Our panel was having excellent time listening to Can's wonderful system, and:

Istanbul was all white,
It was snowing outside.
There was no fire in the fireplace.
If Can wanted to hear the cracklings,
He would have bought a turntable.


system with XS subwoofer

a better view

loads of XLO cables

Third Visit Notes (1 July 2000)

"What!? Is Can ordering a subwoofer? He is really exaggerating this time!" This was my first reaction when I heard about the eccentric news. After all Wilson X-1 speakers had one of the most extended and defined bass response that I have heard. And I happen to have bad experiences with sub-woofer applications. So, I was curious to see and hear the result.

Well, yesterday was the day. Let me first congratulate Can for his abilities to blend and "hide" such gigantic components within his living room. The sub-woofer is called Wilson XS (very rightly so :-). It is huge by any standards (bigger than the speaker itself and weighs approx. 300 kg). Can very cleverly placed it behind the column. I comes with Wilson Audio's active crossover. The sub XS works between 55 to 16 Hz which in fact relieves the X-1 speakers and the power amps driving them from the difficult burden of handling such power hungry area. Can had to buy one Mark Levinson 336 amp to drive the subwoofer in the bridged mode.

Let me very frankly tell you that there was a BIG improvement (I know I was wrong in my first reaction). Bass extension (of course), sound stage, body, overall balance, tonality were all improved. When we switched the sub-woofer off even the violin sounded thinner. Especially orchestral performances were lifelike and very effortless. The transition was seamless and it was practically impossible to notice the existence of a sub-woofer. At this point we must congratulate Wilson Audio for such successful engineering.

Although minor compared to the subwoofer addition, there were some more changes. Can had thrown out all Power Conditioners and special A/C cords. He thinks that they make a change, but not always positive (he is right as well as unlucky in this respect). All his cables are now XLO made:

Interconnects: XLO Limited Edition
Digital cables: XLO Limited Edition
Speaker cables: XLO Limited Edition
"What's next Can?" was my final question. "Listening" he said.