Oguz Dortok's 
Date of Visit:
03 December 2000

the system


Cabasse Pacifique 600

Bel Canto DAC-1 under test

"Active Shielding" cables

Oguz has been into hi-end audio for the last 15 years, but he thinks that his last two years have been the most active. In fact his involvement with audio partly switched to professional domain as he became the distributor of Synergistic Research cables and Audire amplifiers a year ago.

His system sits comfortably in the main living room (9 x 6 m).  Even though his wife doesn't find it to be aesthetically appealing, she does not object. "WAF has never been a real issue" says Oguz. 

Besides his own Mark Levinson 39 CD Player, Oguz had in hand one Jadis JP3 CD Player and one Bel Canto DAC-1 Converter. He had borrowed them for a home trial.  During my visit we also had the occasion to compare them using my own test CD's. We first listened with Jadis than switched to Mark Levinson 39 used as transport feeding Bel Canto DAC-1. Mark Levinson / Bel Canto combination was clearly better than Jadis with more relaxed and effortless presentation and having more neutral tonal balance. Then Mark Levinson / Bel Canto combination was compared with Mark Levinson 39 used as an integrated player. Here the winner was Mark Levinson player used alone. It had even more natural tonality, more inner detail and more open presentation. I have a great respect for the Bel Canto DAC-1 which I had recently tested with my own system but within the above combination though it brought some sweetness, it tended to slightly thicken the sound. Of course in the case of a separate DAC one has to experiment with different digital cables as well, because what we hear is the combination of a DAC plus a digital cable which, in my opinion, is as important as the DAC.

Oguz made also a demo of the "active shielding"'s (a feature of Synergistic Research cable) contribution to the sound. If you look at the bottom picture you will see a bunch of white cables coming out of a black box to be connected to dedicated plugs which are located on the interconnects. Yes, although subtle, "active shielding" made a positive difference. The sound became slightly cleaner, less dry and more alive. 

Oguz is a member of Istanbul Hi-Fi Club and listens to 70% classical and 30% jazz music. He does not have particular CD's that he uses for testing purposes.

System's Components

 Main System:
CD Player: Mark Levinson 39
Preamp: Sonic Frontier Line 3
Power Amp: Audire Parlando (2 x stereo bridged amps with 800W rms @ 4 ohm, pure class A).
Speakers: Cabasse Pacifique 600
Interconnects: Synergistic Research Designer's Reference (with active shielding)
Speaker Cables:  Synergistic Research Designer's Reference
Power Cables: Synergistic Research Designer's Reference

Oguz's comments about his System:

AA: "Oguz, how would you describe your system's sound?"
OD: "Natural, detailed, with well controlled bass and big/deep sound stage."
AA: "Do you think there is room for improvement?"
OD: "I think that the bass is a bit too tight, but the speakers are not broken-in properly. I guess they will loosen a bit and sound more natural once the break-in is in place."
AA: "Have you got plans for upgrading?"
OD: "I think of buying a new CD player but I don't know which one yet ."