Mario Pohlmann's 
Date of Visit:
12 August 2000

the system

both systems

Mal Valve Power Amp One

Mal Valve Output Transformer

Mal Valve Preamp Two

Micro Seiki turntable

Audiodata - Elance Anniversaire

and the view!


e-mail to:
Mario Pohlmann

Mario has been living in Istanbul since the beginning of this year. He works for a company which is in direct competition with Paul Van Dyck's. Very recently a friend of his informed him about my web page and shortly after Mario wrote me an e-mail stating his wish to get in contact with our group of people, himself being an incurable audiophile. I immediately called him to learn the kind of equipment he's got. Most of the brands were unknown to me. My curiosity was such that I wanted to visit his place on the same weekend and he accepted.

Mario is German, his wife and two kids live in Dusseldorf. He lives alone in a house overlooking the Tarabya bay, on the Bosphorus. What an exquisite view (see picture)! He says that he doesn't have WAF, FAF or NAF to worry about, but only room acoustics.

Mario has two different systems which he uses depending on the type of music he listens. The speakers of the main system are driven by Mal Valve Push-Pull tube amplifier with Siemens PL519 output tubes. This amp has a very peculiar feature: its Output Transformers (OPT's) are remote. They can be placed near the speakers and thus shorten the speaker cables (see picture). In fact it is a stereo amp which acts like a mono one. Very clever indeed. Dieter Mallach is the owner and designer of Mal Valve which is a rare, German and tube devoted company. As Dieter Mallach lives in Mario's neighborhood (in Germany) he had the opportunity to meet him on many occasions. Mario says that Mal Valve amps are the best sounding tube amps he has heard to date. His preamp is also Mal Valve. They just look and feel gorgeous!

Both pair of speakers are Audiodata (Elance Anniversaire are the main ones and Bijou Mk.III's are the smaller ones), which is another German company based in Aachen. The owner Peter Schippers is also an acquaintance of Mario. 

Mario uses solid state electronics (Fidelity) to drive his second (smaller) pair of speakers (Audiodata Bijou Mk.III). CD and LP source equipment are common to both systems. Mario likes to use his second system to listen to smaller scale music like jazz trios or chamber music. At other times he just moves the inner pair of speakers elsewhere and listens to his main system.

Mario's biggest complaint is the room acoustics. His living room has very little furniture (very understandable for a person who plans to live there for a very limited period), no fabric curtains and just one "kilim", so you can well guess that it has a very "live", resonant , "bathroom like" acoustic. He wants to dampen this room as fast as possible in order to fully enjoy his excellent system.

Mario will become a member of Istanbul Hi-Fi Club. He listens to jazz and acid jazz (45%),  soul (40%) and classical (15%) music.

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

  • Tomato Kiss / Tomato Kiss / Nbl 8624
  • Warren Bernhard Trio / Ain't Life Grand / DMP CD-478
  • Maysa / Maysa / BTR 70052

System's Components

 Main System:
Turntable: Micro Seiki RX/RY/RS 1500
Arm: Helios Scorpio
Cartridge: Shure Ultra 500
CD Player: Proceed CDP3
Preamp: Mal Valve Preamp Two
Power Amp: Mal Valve Power Amp One
Speakers: Audiodata - Elance Anniversaire
Interconnects: Oehlbach NF12, VdH 102 Mk.III
Speaker Cables:  Straightwire Wave Guide 8 (with WBT terminations everywhere)
Second System:
Preamp: Fidelity - Opal
Power Amp: Fidelity - Topaz
Speakers: Audiodata - Bijou Mk.III

Mario's comments about his System:

AA: "Mario, how would you describe your system's sound?"
MP: "Open, natural and without a trace of fatigue."
AA: "Do you think there is room for improvement?"
MP: "Yes, my room needs improvement."
AA: "Have you got plans for upgrading?"
MP: "I may upgrade my CD player, but like everyone else I'm waiting for the system war to settle down."