25 March 2001
Mustafa, a very old friend of mine, has always been more "a music lover" than an "audiophile". He had a huge CD collection that he listened to with his minimalist system. Here I'm referring to his previous system that he kept for nearly ten years without changing a single piece of it. It consisted of Meridien 208 CD Player (that he also used as preamp due to its variable output), Musical Fidelity MA-100 (2 x mono) power amplifiers and Rogers LS 3/5a monitor speakers. The midrange was very neutral and the soundstage very three dimensional to the point that it was extremely difficult to pinpoint the speakers with eyes closed. But the trouble was that the music only consisted of midranges (at least for Mustafa of yesterdays). I even thought (wrongly) that WAF was the main issue here as Mustafa, the "music lover" was condemned for so longtime to midranges only.
Very recently Mustafa felt the need to add the "foundation", the "basso continuo" to the sounds of his domestic environment. I really don't know (and neither does Mustafa) who or what triggered the decision for this sudden change, but I nevertheless think that I may be one of the catalysts.
He first bought the JM Lab Mezzo Utopia speakers, then he added the Conrad-Johnson 12 power amps and at a second stage the Conrad Johnson Premier 17 LS preamp. Finally came the famous Marantz SA-1 SACD Player. Thus he could appreciate the contribution of each component to the sonic result. I think this way is far better than buying a complete system in one go.
Mustafa seems very happy with the end result, he says that the difference is so huge in comparison with his previous system that he can't even think of any upgrades for the time being. I tested the system with few of my evaluation CD's and found that it is very natural and extended at both extremes. There was no hint of hardening or harshness or fatigue. "Musical" can be a good word to summarize my impressions. I still think that the system can further benefit from an alternative speaker placement. Well done Mustafa, better late than never (I think I heard this before :-).
Like most audiophile families Mustafa & Fatos have a cat which they call Kedi (meaning Cat). Or a "no-name" cat (see the bottom picture, I'll soon open a gallery of "digital cat pictures").
Mustafa is a member of Istanbul Hi-Fi Club
and listens to classical (60%), jazz (20%) and other (20%) musics.
Mustafa's comments about his System:
AA: "Mustafa, how would you describe your system's sound?"
MT: "Natural, sweet and dynamic"
AA: "Do you think there is room for improvement?"
MT: "It seems to me that I would need slightly more detail in the mids, but I may be wrong."
AA: "Have you got plans for upgrading?"
MT: "Everything is so brand new
and I'm so pleased with the result that I can't think of any upgrades for
now, but I may want to experiment with different cables at a later stage."