ΗΧΟΣ & ΕΙΚΟΝΑ SHOW 2020, ATHENS
SOUND & VISION SHOW 2020, ATHENS
Ihoepilogi’s suite 2020. This is really, really unique… Before I get on with the show, I would like to introduce to all of you, mr. Apostolis Eleftheriou, who is, along with his son, the owners of a relative new company called “Ihoepilogi” or “Sound Selection”. Mr. Eleftheriou was for many years the main director of very large high-end distributors. This year in his suite showroom he decided to set-up not one but two glorious high-end systems, one using Focal Utopia’s flagship line model Scala Utopia Evo III and the other Martin Logan speakers combined with Vitus amplification, newest Auralic digital streamers/servers & DAC & Signal Projects/Harmonix Japan cabling. These systems were sounding good… so good that we can’t think of any better sounding system including these speaker brands on any previous Athens shows since the early 2000s, and there is a reason or two for that… Vitus Audio and the whole attention to details.
Phenomena: Never before Focal Utopia Scala (and Martin Logan, but be patient) performed with such greatness and maturity, free of the last iota of glare or tonal unbalance. The combination was clearly an ear opener, a world-class setup and one of the true high-end experiences on a show’s suite. The coherency of the Utopias, the total absence of any kind of ‘sonic penalty’ from the thirty Class A Vitus watts driving the Scala Evo IIIs was convincing that we did not listen a system.. we were listening as close to a live performance. I got a story to tell: A former salesman of Focal listened to thιs system, admitted that he had never experiences the Utopias EVO performing at this level on a 40-45sq. meter room.
So here it is, Vitus SIA-30 integrated… the heart and soul of the showroom. A new reference level solid-state integrated amplifier with optional internal DAC-Streamer and/or Phono Stage, offering 30 Class A watts or 200 watts in Class A/B, a custom 2.2 kVA transformer (wow) and slightly over 60 kg! It is a pleasure and privilege to be included in the short list for a review of such an audiophile integrated and an honor to meet & interview mr. Vitus itself at Sound & Vision show.
Auditioning the Logans electrostatic speakers, Vitus pre-power amplification and newest Auralic digital source / server.
As for the Martin Logan Classic ESL 9 electrostatic speakers presentation in the same suite and in par with the latest Auralic Vega G2 DAC & Streamer, Vitus Audio preamplifier and power amplifier from Signature Series the match was, again, made in heaven. Repeating myself, for the first time after a decade and even more so on Martin Logan’s showrooms at Sound & Vision previous events, we were auditioning the most holographic, macro-micro dynamically stunning, free of any hint of glare and ‘blessfull’ qualities they had to offer. Not a hint of harshness, not a hint of a diminished body of performers vs a much more airy presentation that some may complained over the years. Is Vitus, Auralic & Signal Projects/Harmonix cable loom the magic filter these speakers awaited for? Probably, Yes.
The “win-win” two systems presentation with Vitus amplification as the musical director of the Suite.
AKu Audio made in Greece. “A lifelong dream and target of our team was to reach the point where our development and design surpass existing solutions in the global soundscape, without cutting corners.” Here is the land of the Almighty AKu model TALOS 3-way active, with a back-loaded subwoofer, big mid-range drivers and 1.5 inch tweeter DSP controlled speakers. The price range varies from 18.000 to ~28.000 euros for the extreme edition with 1100 watts power and 6 channel amplification plus room-eq dsp etc. The sound was clear and transparent, with exemplary transient speed and response, trying to satisfy both kind of audiophiles, such as the monitor-loving ones and the bigger-than-live image-loving ones.
AKu Perix smaller passive satellite speakers, three main variations, 2.1 – 5.1 and 7.2. Active subwoofer included (@250 or 500 watts depending on the edition). Perix 2.1 price is 3.000 euros, 5.1 model sells for 6.000 euros and 7.2 for 9.000 euros. Great design, rigid and well executed.
The rest of the AKu’s made in Greece satellites entered the room. Very interesting.