Haluk Ocal's 
Date of Visit:
27 January 2001

the speakers

D & B Lab Reference A-4

the electronics

D & B Lab power amps

the best sound!

Haluk has always had an interest in Hi-Fi systems but his real involvement with Hi-End audio only took place in 1997. This was the year he met Deger Terem (the owner and designer of D&B Lab products, see also "The Artisans of Music" section for more information about Deger Terem). The same year he bought D&B Lab tube amplifiers and speakers. 

Very recently he replaced his speakers with Deger Terem's brand new design: the Reference A-4 "Grand Orchestra" model. The same pair of speakers were under construction when I had visited Deger Terem's workshop in 25 November 2000. The speakers had only played for 50 hours and therefore they needed proper (at least 300 hours) break-in before making a serious assessment but still they gave a very positive first impression: they sounded neutral, detailed, had weight and extension in the low frequencies. Very promising indeed!

As with most other audiophiles, Haluk's system also sits in the main living room (6 x 6 m). When I asked him about WAF issues, he was so confident about himself that he told me to direct the question not to him but to his wife Tijen (this was a first!). Of course I did not miss the opportunity. Haluk's wife Tijen told me the following: "I respect his hobby and I also enjoy it, although not as much as him. I have few reservations but I try to keep them at a moderate level. Besides my daughter plays cello and practices most of the time, so I'm used to music in this space. Of course I prefer cello's sound to Haluk's system."

I was lucky, Haluk's daughter, Gozde, was also there. I've learnt that she has studied cello for 8 years in the Istanbul University Conservatory and has two more years to finish the university. After that she wants to continue with master level. She plays with different orchestras and chamber music groups. She did not refuse us and gave us a delightful mini recital by playing Bach Cello Sonata No.2 (see picture). She thinks that her father's system's sound is very natural. I think Haluk is very lucky to have such a magical instrument's sound in his household to calibrate both his ears and his system.

Haluk is a member of Istanbul Hi-Fi Club. He listens to 50% classical and 50% jazz music.

The CD's that he is using for system evaluation purposes are the followings:

  • Moussorrgsky / Pictures at an Exhibition / Maazel, The Cleveland Orch. / Telarc 80042
  • Branford Marsalis / Trio Jeepy / CBS 465134-2

System's Components

 Main System:
Turntable: Technics SL 1310 Mk.II with Pickering XV15 / 625E
CD Player: Onkyo Integra DX7711
Cassette Tape Recorder:  Nakamichi Dragon
Preamp: D & B Lab SP4
Power Amps: D & B Lab (2 x mono, using two Svetlana 6550C power tubes each)
Speakers: D & B Lab Reference A-4 "Grand Orchestra"
Interconnects: Linn Silver, MIT Tube Terminator Series II
Speaker Cables:  NeoTech OFC KS 1008

Haluk's comments about his System:

AA: "Haluk, how would you describe your system's sound?"
HO: "Natural, detailed and with big/deep sound stage."
AA: "Do you think there is room for improvement?"
HO: "Maybe, but I'm well satisfied with the sound now."
AA: "Have you got plans for upgrading?"
HO: "I may consider the CD player and some new cables one day."

e-mail to: Haluk Ocal