".... the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed
him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour.
"All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me." "
While I'm sure Srajan Ebaen at 6 Moons doesn't want 'worship', the reviews on 6 Moons sometimes have the effect of tempting us excessively?
In Summer 2007. Srajan visited PHY and Ocellia in France and published his VERY tempting "Ocellia tour" review.(Sept)
The words alone!
Such as - "Between what I heard at Ocellia and PHY, I'm supremely comfortable to pronounce already that absent of ultimate bass extension and heft below about 35Hz, the Sound From Panjas was the most refined, non-mechanical, liquid, organic and resolved sound I've experienced yet."
"Having romanced various wideband drivers, these PHYs to me seem to operate in a different league than any Lowther, Fostex, Supravox, Eminence or Jordan I've heard thus far. Naturally, folks familiar with Western Electrics or Altecs will have a more suitable context.
"The sound at Samuel's was stupendous. Based on my current listening room which is rather smaller than his, the big dual-concentric would seem overkill however. Using four of my own compilation CDs, Samuel's silver 8-incher with optional tweeter (mandatory to my ears) will be the one to be reviewed. It has more speed, detail and resolution though a bit less of that mysterious ease and humanity on voices the pater familias of the line espouses."
The rest of the Ocellia article was lovely of course; the countryside; the barn; the whole zeitgeist of it! Oh, especially of interest to me as a Caterer, the FOOD!
Srajan's review of the Ocellias hit the spot for all sorts of reasons. The hand-made artisan produced cabinets, the old, but better technology -"I didn't invent anything. I just didn't forget. I went back to the roots. I resurrected an art which was in danger of being lost forever to present-day hifi generations who are reared on modern loudspeaker drivers." (Bernard at PHY). The 'degustations', etc. etc.
The feeling that somehow, simple, but exquisite could be better.
I wasn't exactly suffering anyway. After 25 years of Klipschorns, my ownership of Avantgarde Duos had me fixed firmly in the hi-eff/low wattage camp, with dynamics and that BIG sound a priority.
It had taken me a four day round trip to fetch the Duos in 07- (yes, that kind of distance IS possible in the U.K., if you visit Scottish islands!.)
And the sound was impressive. (It must be; Srajan once owned them. Marja and Henk still do.)
But....there was the feeling that I was missing something?
The Ocellia-visit review began, like a worm, to niggle at me! So I waited impatiently for the full review.
The Ocellia concept somehow rang a bell, aided by the Solovox review.
Horn dynamics and impact seemed somehow not to grip my attention for too long. Gone were the days of yore when I spent whole evenings lost in music.
But; was it the Duos? Harvey Rosenberg's comment about hearing separate speakers, not a 'whole'? Or was my attention span getting atrophied with age? Tricky!
But, reading the limited information available on the web seemed to indicate that the full range, single unit concept had a fanbase. And comments like this only reinforced my feeling.
"Ultimately and obviously. the choice is simply a personal one. For me, [the SoloVox-also PHY] sat at the crossroads of every audio thread I was following. And these threads go back years. You can trace my interest in PHY-HP back to my first review for 6moons in March '05. I'd owned single-driver speakers and single-ended amps for years prior to joining 6moons and have made it a point to hear as many as I can...... So in some ways, it was nearly inevitable that I listen to the SoloVox. And the most telling conclusion to this aspect of the story is, I bought 'em." (Michael Lavorgna's Solovox review in 6 Moons).
I was having identical emotions.
I took to looking for used Ocellias on-line.
Daily. Weekly. Monthly.
After reading in the 'Letters' page on 6 Moons, early in 09, that Srajan hadn't immediate plans to review Ocellias for various reasons, it looked like I'd have to trace Srajans steps to France and have a 'degustation' of my own.
To someone whose activities over the past 25 years have been regular loooong trips across Spain, and occasionally France, that was no hardship!
Missed my chance last Autumn (08), so began to plan for May this year. I contacted Panjas to ensure that Samuel Furon would be in residemce.
Then, serendipitously, I found the magic word Ocellia on a 'Used equipment' page!
Eureka! Contacted the dealer and arranged a price and time. Spent all week hoping not to be gazumped. Got the hired van and off in the sunshine to outer London with bundles of cash!
Nice friendly exchange and I drove home with a van that the boxes JUST fitted into! (Would have preferred the 'incolore' shade, but, hey! at least I found them!)
Memories of buying Klipschorns in 1980 when we drove home grinning in a V.W Combi van FULL of speaker!
Had to turn the room around to face the Calliopes DOWN the room which meant a (long-overdue) time to clear the whole room of detritus and set it all up properly.
After the dynamics of the Duos, I was wary of a let-down with these elegantly made boxes.
But things were fine. Wonderful depth of field. Voices in their own space. Fado guitars sounding even more plangent. Flamenco even crisper and somehow more 'real'. The lack of crossover aspect? The numerous positive comments in the reviews I can only encourage people to read, rather than effuse again here!
You noticed? I bought them unheard!. So great weight (I'm sure!) off Srajan and Michael's shoulders? Their reviews were helpful, reassuring and not overblown (though rearranging ones bookshelves 3 times WAS a bit excessive , Michael, to prove a point!)
I'm still at early days with the Calliopes. I read that they gradually get better once 'broken in'. Can hardly wait! I can sit here with wonderful depth of music tingling my aural follicles.
Thank you 6 Moons guys for the tasters/tempters. NO thanks for the months of time spent re-reading, searching, and WAITING for that promised review!!......but things worked out fine!
Thanks to James at Sound Practice. Hello To Bruce Toerien in Sweden whose enthusiastic ownership comments and 'mails to me recently, kept me on the track.
Great thanks to Samuel and Bernard for their great composite efforts in producing a work of audio art. The pleasure is not just in the sound, which is ......human?
The wonderful woodwork pleases the eye, gives aesthetic appreciation daily, plus of course, the lovely PHY unit.
I used to own a Citroen DS23 and, every day I thought "What a beautiful car".
The same feelings are inspired by the Calliope's craftsmanship.
Some times in hi-fi, you have to know when to stop?
Time to listen.
"I seek not to know the answers, but to understand the questions"? I think I eventually did AND found a great answer!