Odyssey, GIK Acoustics, and more
It was all psychedelic retro in Room 9000, as Odyssey’s Klaus Bunge dimmed the lights and headed to Fillmore West as he played Iron Butterfly’s "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.” Given that I was hardly prepared to drop acid in the midst of blogging the show (as in who is that strange person from Stereophile who has spent the last 15 minutes staring at our turntable while muttering something about God being the deepest groove of all?), I didn’t know what was going on equipment-wise until I found Klaus outside the room and asked which way was up.
At that point, he decided to enter the room, turn up the lights and play something else. Before I could make a request or offer one of my CDs, another visitor to the room asked to hear his newly purchased used copy of an Argo LP of Neville Marriner and the Academy of you know what in-the-Fields playing Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending. Around the same time, Jonathan Valin of The Absolute Sound walked past me as he headed to a seat in front row. Within a split second after he passed by, an empty cardboard box fell on my head. “Is this what happens when someone from TAS walks in and spots a writer from Stereophile?” I asked, while musing silently over the fact that this was not my preferred way to get stoned.
After a good laugh, we all settled down to the business at hand. Lots of strings are hardly a good way to evaluate bass, but the system’s highs were warm, gorgeous and transparent. . . until volume increased, and hardness intruded. Klaus informs me that, a half hour later, he and the visitor went downstairs and had the very dirty record cleaned on a Ultrasonic Record Cleaner ($1500). The transformation was so significantKlaus reports that all hardness vanishedthat Klaus resolved to buy a unit for his own use.
Three of the Odyssey components in the systemOdyssey’s Kismet Beryllium Reference loudspeakers ($3900/pair), Candela Tube Reference preamplifier ($1500), and Khartago monophonic amplifier ($1900/pair)are sold as package, along with the requisite Groneberg Quattro cabling, for $6700. Also heard was a 20-year old VPI turntable fitted with a van den Hul cartridge and Odyssey’s Suspiro Deluxe two-piece phono preamplifier ($1900 with outboard power supply). Keeping psychedelic excess under control was a host of room treatment from GIK Acoustics, ranging from TriTraps ($149/each) to the Q7d diffusors ($349/each). I believe Michael Fremer is also commenting on this system at our sister publication, AnalogPlanet.com.