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George Papadimitriou

Reviewer

My first encounter with audio was when I was about eight years old. I was born in Greece in a small village of about 1,500 people, just outside Sparta, the famous military city-state. I was staying with my uncle’s family for the week and they had an old 78-rpm gramophone, you know, the one with the large megaphone and a crank at the side, which winds a circular coil leaf spring, providing the rotational force to turn the platter. Well, I was so amazed at how this machine actually made music, I just had to find out how this thing worked. So conspiring with a friend, we took the gramophone to a nearby field where the mules and donkeys were tied up. I wanted to find out how this thing worked, I was so intrigued with it. So I started to take the gramophone apart. I took off the tonearm, then the megaphone and then I finally removed the platter. Well, little did I know that the circular ribbon spring was contained underneath the platter. When I pulled the platter up, the spring went “boing” and the ribbon spring unwound all over the place. At that defining moment, I knew I was in deep do-do, because I realized there was no way I would be able to put this thing back together before my uncle would realize that we had confiscated the machine. At that moment, my supportive friend realized this as well, so being the supportive kid he was…he took off and ran from the site. I was so scared to face my uncle, because of what I’d destroyed, that I stayed up there with the mules and the donkeys until dusk, when my worried uncle finally found me, worried that I was lost or missing. After he was relieved that I was okay, he was furious that I had broken the gramophone. He didn’t know how to fix it either. The entire village had learned to dance with this machine, the only one in town. My uncle said to me later, that was the closest he ever came to “killing” me, which in Greek slang means, beating the living daylights out of me. But you know, he never did. He was, and still is, one of the finest men I have ever known in my life. He was my “second father” and I have a huge respect for him, and cherish him with all my heart. He is 88 years old now, and he still lives in the same family house, in the village in the mountains, that his father lived in. This megaphone experience should have been an omen of things to come. I started in audio in Grade 11 electronics class when each student built a Heathkit amplifier, a whole one watt of power. I think it cost us $10 each at the time. This is where I learned to solder. I hooked this amp up to an old, cheap record console machine and I was amazed how much better it sounded. I later bought my first stereo system, a Pioneer turntable, a receiver, and a pair of KHL 17 speakers. I attended Ryerson University and studied Architectural Science. My profession is a private home inspector, helping people who buy homes and buildings. I started my company, Homeworks Home Inspections, in 1986. With the exception of a year and a half living in Florida, I have lived in Toronto since the age of ten. I am a mature man now, born November 12, 1953. I am indeed a passionate Scorpio. I am single, have never been married and I do not have any children. One of my goals is to find a wonderful, beautiful woman to share my life with. I am also an actor. I have acted in 12 plays in community theatre and have had small roles in television shows like “Curious and Unusual Deaths”, “Breakout” and “Mystery in Paradise.” I have also acted in several small films including “Love Never Dies”, “Numb” and “A Day in the Life of a Psychopath.” I have been reviewing audio equipment for more than a decade now, having previously written for enjoythemusic.com and positive-feedback.com. I love audio and more importantly, I love music, which soothes my soul. Even after a difficult, challenging day, I play a record or CD and 15 minutes later, that day doesn’t matter, and everything is just fine. That is the power and gift of music in my life. I've noticed that Chinese last names are very short in English. Easy to spell, which makes things easier. Why, it took me till grade 7 to spell my last name! My last name is Papadimitriou. It means "Papa" for "priest", "dimitri" a first name that is generally converted to "Jim/James", "ou" which sort of means "of" or "belonging to". My late late grandfather's name (I'm told) was Dimitri who, was a priest in the village. So his off-spring became known as papa- dimitri-ou, ou means "of" or "belonging to", literally, "of/from priest Dimitri". My first name is "Georgios" or George in English. Georgios comes from two greek words, "geo" which means "earth", as in geo-logy or geo-graphy, plus "ergos" which means "the workings of" or "work", as in ergo-nomics. So there you go! More information than you would care to know.

System
						Analog Front End
Turntable: SOTA Sapphire (the original), modified with a Goldmund Relief Mat, Oracle screw-down record-clamp and record elevating washer, Cardas power cable, new SOTA clear dust cover, SOTA composite armboard, SOTA zirconium ball bearing Tonearm: Audioquest PT-9, Rega RB-250 modified with Origin Live rear stub and counterweight, Van Den Hul MCS-150M silver internal wiring, 1877 copper rhodium cartridge clips and 1877 DIN connector for Rega's, Easy Rider VTA adjuster Cartridge: Benz Micro Ruby 3H Phonostage: Audio Research PH-2 solid state balanced (XLR's only) Magnum Dynalab MD-108t (tube output stage)
						Digital Front End
CD Player: Audio Electronics (Cary) CD-1 (tube output stage) CD Player/Recorder: Tascam (Teac) CD-RW700
						Amplification
Audio Research Reference 1 - tube amplification with solid state power supply Denon POA-6600 monoblocks (1 pair), upgraded with Cardas copper rhodium binding posts, Furutech copper gold-plated IEC connectors Harman Kardon hk 880vxi
						Cabling
Interconnect: Audioquest Sky - silver, Jenna Labs (custom made, Xhadow connectors), Vampire Wire (custom made, Xhadow and Cardas connectors), Cardas (custom made, Xhadow and Cardas connectors), UP-OCC - Ohno Continuous Cast solid-core copper (custom made, Xhadow XLR connectors), Silver solid-core (custom made, Xhadow XLR connectors) Phono: Audioquest LeoPard - silver, Cardas (custom made) Speaker: Audioquest Everest - silver, Vampire Wire (custom made), Cardas (custom made) Power: Audioquest NRG-5 - copper, Vampire Wire (custom made), Cardas (custom made)
						Speakers
KEF Cresta 1 mini-monitors, upgraded with Vampire Wire copper gold-plated binding posts, upgraded crossover components Currently looking for loudspeakers
						Headphones

						Home Theater

						Accessories
Demagnetizer: Sumiko Flux Buster FB-1 Stylus Cleaner: Audio Technica AT-637
						Room Treatment

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