Paulo Mendes'
Date of "Visit":
25 January 2004

the left side

the right side


Chord CPA4000E preamp

Chord SPM5000E power amp

Musical Fidelity Nuvista


e-mail to:
Paulo Mendes

My name is Paulo Mendes, I'm from Portugal (Terceira island which is an archipelago). I live in Praia da Vitória which is a city in Terceira island on the Azores archipelago of Portugal. It's 9 islands west of Europe. I'm an accountant and I've always loved music since I can remember. I started on real hi-fi maybe a year a go, went to a friend's house (Lourival Cunha) and listened at the time to Audiolab's monoblocs 8000M and had four of them connected to a 8000Q and B&W 's Matrix 803. The sound just blew me away compared to what I was used to (JBL, Sony, Pionner, etc.). So I bought an Audiolab 8000P, 8000C, 8000DAX (still use the audiolab as a second system in my office at home), Rotel 1070 CD player and KEF's 104/2 reference speakers. Despite beeing a great system, it made me start to understand what high-end sound is all about. So after that I bought a Marantz CD-12 (transport and DAC), then I thought maybe I'd stop for a few years. I ordered the Nuvista system (CD and integrated) which made a big difference, then ordered the JM Lab's Electra 936 (another great difference).

And then I said this is it, now I have just to try to improve on the cables and this is it. Wrong, wrong, on a trip to Lisbon I listened to a Chord 1000B (wich I now have for sale). And guess what: it's time to upgrade again. So I listened to Chord SPM0B and CPA2200, great great great sound.

But one day I said I will not go to heaven with sound so I ordered my actual system.

I have around 2000 CD's, now I listen to 65% jazz, 25% classic rock and 10% all the rest.

As for CD's I use the following:

- Keb' mo' - Just like you (great blues album)
- George Benson - Absolute Benson (great guitar playing)
- Clark Terry, Freddie Hubbard and Dizzy Gillespie - The alternate blues (trumpets and saxophone)
- Rachelle Ferrel - Live in montreux 91-97 (voice and all the rest)
- Pat Metheny - One quiet night (great acoutic album)
- Stanley Clark & Friends - Live at the greek (great live album)

System's Components

CD player:

Musical Fidelity Nuvista


Chord CPA4000E

Power Amp:

Chord SPM5000E


JM Lab Electra 936


Wireworld gold eclipse III

Speaker Cables:

Wireworld gold eclipse III


Soundcare antivibration on the every piece of equipment.
And for the preamp the Ceraball anti vibration tweak works great.

Paulo's comments about his system:

AA: "Paulo, how would you describe your system's sound?"

PM: "My system's sound has got great 3D soundstage, very transparent but without being to analytical. It's very fast, soft for the ears as I can listen for hours without getting tired."

AA: "Do you think there is room for improvement?"

PM: "Yes, of course."  

AA: "Have you got plans for upgrading?"

PM: "I'm upgrading to B&W Nautilus 802 and PS audio 1000, so I can get better sound and my investement is protected against surges."


Re-Visit Notes (12 April 2008)

the new system

My upgraded system now consists of the following:

Chord CPA-5000 reference
Chord SPM-14000 ultimate reference
Chord Symphonic phonostage
Aesthetix Rhea with Telefuken Diamond tubes
Rui Borges Turntables Tristar (SME V, SME 312, Graham Robin) (Benz Micro LP, Van den Hul Grasshopper, Denon 103c1) all van den hul cables
Micro Seiki RX-1500 (micro seiki CF-1 with Dynavector D17MKII) Cardas Golden Cross phonocable
Chord Red Reference CD player
Marantz SA14 SACD ver. 2
Finite elemente spider with prom audio's platforms
Hydra 8 and 2
Poth Audio's badman purple power cords
Audio Horizons transparency power cords
Poth Audio custom interconnect cables
Wireworld gold eclipse V all over (sources and speakers)
B&W 800D Jocavi acoustic treatment

What I can say about this system is this (in my humble opinion) it's simply
the best I've heard, they're in the room with you.
The realism is very very very impressive, the dynamics, the Chord amplifiers
are unbeatable in the way they reproduce music.
It's funny if you close your eyes you'll have to open them again just to be
sure that there's no one in the room.