Athens 2013: PMC, DPS Bauer, Leben


By Dr. Panagiotis Karavitis

Importer Solid Foundation has some impressive brands in his arsenal, including Kondo, Mactone and Blumenhofer but in this year’s show brought a system that was somewhere in the middle between real-life and high-end. Sound was definitely not in the “middle” though.

Speakers by PMC (Model Twenty.24), DPS Bauer-3 turntable/ tonearm and phono stage with ZYX R100 Fuji MC pick up cartridge. Norma electronics were running throughout the entire first day but I had a longer listening session during day 2 with Leben’s CS 600 tube integrated amplifier. Here in Europe, DPS offers its own power supplies and we had the chance of listening to the latest, improved version of the DPS 3, just recently introduced.

I always enjoy going through the record list of every room I visit, not only for choosing a record that I know by heart and will help “assess” the system but also for getting to know a bit more of the dealers personal taste in music. Yes, we both “love” Jacqueline du Pre.

Cello played through valves is always an experience, one should have at least a secondary tube system just for this (I do). Codas were amazing and violins entered the stage in almost a timid way during Elgar’s concerto (EMI). Very touching performance. The only complaint I could find had to do with the room, being way too empty and it responded poorly to the PMC’s transmission line loading when played on higher SPL. Properly set up, this rig should offer great satisfaction. Not to mention that Leben’s electronics offer some of the most unbelievable value for money in the business.