Paul Van Dyck
Paul is from Antwerpen
(Belgium) and is on his second assignment to Turkey since November 1998
for his company. The first time he stayed in Ankara in the 80's. Thanks
to his Turkish wife Fatma, Paul speaks very fluent Turkish. Paul first
found me through my web page, sent me an e-mail to ask about someone who
could fix a voltage related problem of his Gryphon power amplifier. Fortunately
this problem is now 100% solved.
I asked the Van Dyck couple about the eternal
domestic issue: Fatma said that she's got a high "AF" and that she likes
to listens to music with decent systems, but Paul thinks that there is
room for improvement. My impression is that there is perfect harmony.
Paul is at the same time a DIY person:
he made his own D/A Converter (which was based on an Elektor supplied schematic).
His project lasted three years. Paul says that the most difficult part
was finding the components. He gave me the following technical details
about his DAC:
"It uses two torroidal
transformers: one for the digital part and one for the analogue part. It
has 12 regulated power supplies, and uses separate grounds for the digital
and analogue sections. The digital filter is a Burr Brown DF1700, 8 times
over sampling. The DACs are the Burr Brown PCM63P-K 20 bitters. I-V conversion
is the Analog Devices AD844, and the output stage is a Burr Brown
bifet OPA627, configured for an output impedance of 50 ohms. The analog
output circuit is completely DC coupled and uses a DC servo to control
the DC output offset."
Paul thinks that Gryphon's built quality and
circuitry is top quality. I thought that I made a compliment when I said
that its sound is very tube like but he corrected me saying: "there is
no such thing: there is only right or wrong sound."
Paul is not yet a member of the Istanbul
Hi Fi Club but wishes to join soon. He listens to blues / jazz (30%), pop
(30%), classical (25%), world music (10%) and Turkish music (5%).
||Sony CDP XA50 ES
||DIY - (based on Burr Brown PCM63P-K)
||B&W Matrix 802 S3
||Aural Symphonics AS-One Plus, Kimber Select
||Audioquest Digital Pro
||Kimber 8TC (bi-wired)
about his System:
AA: "Paul, how would you describe
your system's sound?"
PVD: "Natural, clear and very life
like on human voices. My selection criteria has always been human voice."
AA: "Do you think there is room
PVD: "I would wish to have a little
more inner detail and some more bass extension."
AA: "Have you got plans for upgrading?"
PVD: "Speakers, but this is a medium
Re-Visit Notes (13 November 1999)
If you look above, at "Paul's comments about his System" section's last
answer, you will read Paul's medium term wish for upgrading his speakers.
This was on 6 June. Well we now know that medium term is 5 months for Paul.
He's now got a pair of new speakers: Aerial 10T. Another novelty
is the speaker cables: Nordost Red Dawn. The rest of the system
remains the same.
I noticed a big improvement in the area of the bass which had become
well extended and controlled. In general the system sounded very balanced
with a natural warm tonality. The new Aerial 10T speakers seemed to have
a very good synergy with the Gryphon amplification.
One more change: Paul has now joined the Istanbul Hi-Fi Club.
Well done Paul, happy listening.
Third Visit Notes (09 December 2000)
It has been a year since my second visit. I noticed that Paul has now
adopted a minimalist approach to hi-end audio. Minimal in terms of quantity,
as there are now only three main components (if we don't count the cables)
and minimal in terms of size (see the size of the Chord power amp).
His new (French made) CD player, Audio Aero Capitole, is in fact
a CD Player / Preamp combination. It incorporates a 24 bit / 192 kHz upsampler
and its analog output stages use tubes.
Paul replaced his very dear Gryphon power amp by Chord SPM 1200C
stereo power amp. We all know that Chord manufactures some huge looking
amps but this one is not one of them, it has relatively small dimensions
and weighs only 14 kg. But it still delivers 315 W rms @ 8 ohm. Quite an
The speakers and the cables were the same as my previous visit.
Let me tell you that I heard an important improvement in the area of
openness, stage size and depth and liveliness. Inner details were better
and the bass was more controlled. There was a sense of ease and effortlessness
(amazing when you look at the size of the Chord amp). The mids' tonality
was slightly on the lean side but we experimented with different cables
(I can't reveal their names at the moment as I'm preparing a review about
them) and could cure this shortcoming very easily. There appear to exist
an important potential for further improvement just by inserting cables
with the right synergy.
So overall a very worthwhile upgrade which one more time proved that
"Less is More!".