ReMusic visits Gianfranco Pellas

23.03.2015..

Man is a bear. He looks like a bear, strong and majestic. He behaves like a bear, rough and kind at the same time. Always apparently trustworthy, but also direct and spade a spade.

 

Man is a bear, powerful and impetuous, and it has always been like that.

 

This is, in synthesis, Gianfranco Pellas. A resourceful man with a tumultuous life, plenty of interests and hobbies. Great realizations with a flood of resources, time and devotion. We can mention photography, scuba diving, carpentry, fountain pens, and horology. He has also made his house by himself. If you are curious click here to see Gianfranco’s hobbies.

 

Here we want to speak of Pellas as a great audiophile, with a good manufacturing experience. Many can remember the past production of Ikarus Audio. Now these projects are back in the daily work of Gianfranco, always with his mind in air-wiring, unusual tubes and assorted music.

 

Many reviewers like Gianfranco Maria Binari, or designers and manufacturers like Fabio Camorani, Luca Chiomenti, Leonardo Lamberti or Ciro Marzio, have been inspired or have learned something by Gianfranco. Well, this is not a charge or a polemic. It is only speaking of the generosity and joviality of our guest, of his will of sharing with others and his friendship.


The realizations

As our readers should know, this kind of articles is photographic. Actually, it begins from this link and goes on in the gallery below the text. Here it is enough to say that Gianfranco prefers high efficiency and broadband one-way in the speakers, and tubes, preferably single-ended triodes, in the amplification. If he overthinks on Amperex, Chatham, Fivre, or Mullard, he often indulges on unusual and unknown tubes. On the other hand, the market is full of amps with the 6550/KT88, ad example, so it makes no sense commissioning them to him.

Consequently, the designs are the simplest, but not trivial. A real, pure Made in Italy.

 

The sound

In these articles, I would like to suggest, transmit and communicate the “sound” of the systems I test. I did it in the articles with the title “ReMusic visits…”that you will find here. Said that, I want to add that, dealing with devices and speakers extremely revelator but also very different in components, tubes and drivers, we will try a hyperbolic synthesis rather than a punctual analysis.

 

The first data speak of a wide, direct, exuberant, vital, euphonic sound, with a bodied mid-range and a “warm”, velvety overall tone. From my notes could emerge the usual considerations about the systems with single-ended tubes plus broadband one-way speakers. The limit here comes from the designing choices. To take into account a sort of attenuation of the extremes, bass and acute. I personally believe that even the extreme current realization of the “Lowther-like” driver, which is the Voxativ, has this kind of limits together with some compression in the sound stages. It is not surprising: when you listen to the Voxativ speakers you cannot turn the volume up…This is the price you have to pay for the advantage of being close to the musical message, a priceless advantage. No filters, in Gianfranco’s realizations. Great is the sense of immediacy, palpable is the closeness to the instruments, overflowing is the sound mass. It is a high efficiency sound without the use of the horns, which, in Gianfranco’s opinion, “yell” too much.

 

The sound

In these articles, I would like to suggest, transmit and communicate the “sound” of the systems I test. I did it in the articles with the title “ReMusic visits…”that you will find here. Said that, I want to add that, dealing with devices and speakers extremely revelator but also very different in components, tubes and drivers, we will try a hyperbolic synthesis rather than a punctual analysis.

 

 

Advices for purchasing

Which is the target of this kind of manufacturer?

 

First, I want to stress the fact of the continuing increase in price of the audio devices. In a Facebook group, an audiophile says that, with the equivalent in money of many audio devices, you can buy cars or even apartments…

 

On the contrary, with the small manufacturer or local TDYer the purchase is of a good quality/price ratio. Nothing against the big brands, though. We base our passion on them. Do not forget, however, that the entire production cost of a machine – conception, engineering, line production, distribution, communication, warranty, replacements, post-sale services, etc. – must not exceed ten per cent (10%) of the final cost, if you do not want being cut out from the foreign markets.

 

The other great advantage is that, from someone like Gianfranco, you could expect “your” device or speaker. A unique tailor-made product, built with elegance, involvement and commitment.

 

Are you tired of the “branded” products? You trust more your ears than the logo? You have a listening maturity that keeps you away from the trends and the supermarket stuff? Are you interested in a human and direct relationship with the manufacturer of your High-End devices?

 

Then Gianfranco is right for you. He starts and ends things. He thinks them and make them. He puts passion and devotion.

In this meaning, the design is “your” design, shared with you in all its aspects.

The man is exquisite, always available. He has inventive, determination and patience. Just a final piece of advice: be careful and do not take advantage of Gianfranco. The bear could awaken.

 

Addenda as an homage

Behind a great man, there is a great woman. Mrs. Pellas, Gabriella, has a carbon backbone. So it must be to indulge and feed Gianfranco’s passions and excesses…

She gave me an illuminating definition.

 

Complaining about the many improvised and pretentious people that crowd the market with poor production, Mrs Pellas said – sorrowful - that “everything plays”.

 

In that contest, the sentence was vivid. Unfortunately, many people in our field put the pieces together without thinking. “Everything plays”, means that anyone who wants to assemble an amp, a pair of loudspeakers, or whatever audio product and sells it as Hi-Fi, if not High-End, can do it. And often it does it. “How” it is made, makes the difference between a good product/manufacturer and a fraud/fraudster.

 

Everyone has the right to be in the market. Believe. Invest. Try. But, please, do not try to fool with me.

I think that - between the company with workers and real production, and the single manufacturer, who makes by his own and with a direct relationship with the customer - there is no room for other business roles.

You are a company with all the warranties you can offer, or you are the tailor with a tailor-made product.

In between only false pretenses.

 

 

The bear’s den.
previous slide next slide
In the back, the line preamp and the Mythos power amp. In the front, My Dream three pieces with the 810 tube:<br /> one line preamp and two monophonic amps. The system delivers about 40 watt RMS on each channel.
In the back, the line preamp and the Mythos power amp. In the front, My Dream three pieces with the 810 tube:
one line preamp and two monophonic amps. The system delivers about 40 watt RMS on each channel.
My Dream power amp connected to the Giotto speakers.
My Dream power amp connected to the Giotto speakers.
On the left, the Giotto. A horn speaker with a round tractrix shape, without internal folds or corners, to maximize<br />efficiency and velocity of emission. On the right, the Swinghorn.<br /> With its 94 dB sensitivity it can adapt to any tube amp and its horn configuration offers maximum transparency and facility of emission.
On the left, the Giotto. A horn speaker with a round tractrix shape, without internal folds or corners, to maximize
efficiency and velocity of emission. On the right, the Swinghorn.
With its 94 dB sensitivity it can adapt to any tube amp and its horn configuration offers maximum transparency and facility of emission.
Particular of the Giotto and of the Lowther PM2A.
Particular of the Giotto and of the Lowther PM2A.
From the dark (photographer’s fault), emerge Minihorn, Swinghorn and Giotto, a sample for each one.
From the dark (photographer’s fault), emerge Minihorn, Swinghorn and Giotto, a sample for each one.
A TDY turntable. Totally machined with gold and black nickel finish, with a 40 mm spindle that revolves on starred bearing brasses to reduce friction.<br /> The total weight is 50 kg, whereas the platter is 20 kg. The tonearm is a carbon unipivot.
A TDY turntable. Totally machined with gold and black nickel finish, with a 40 mm spindle that revolves on starred bearing brasses to reduce friction.
The total weight is 50 kg, whereas the platter is 20 kg. The tonearm is a carbon unipivot.
The Cucciolo, a small entry-level integrated amp with two 4-4W inputs. To stress its musicality, dynamics and transparency,<br /> it is suitable for mid-high efficiency speakers.
The Cucciolo, a small entry-level integrated amp with two 4-4W inputs. To stress its musicality, dynamics and transparency,
it is suitable for mid-high efficiency speakers.
On the left a final amp with LP2 Marconi tube: a triode of the ‘30s with direct heating and, as preamplifying tube, the 6F8G, a double triode with<br /> electric characteristics similar to the 5692, although with a warmer and more detailed sound. The power is about 3W, therefore a final amp to match to high<br /> sensitivity loudspeakers. The final amp on the right is the design of the 5998 with whom Pellas has honored and remembered Cristiano Ielasi,<br /> great audio enthusiast and scuba diver, gone in Ischia during an immersion.<br /> 
The currant design goes back to the famous Triodino – Cristiano Ielasi and Ciro Marzio’s design – revisited by Pellas.
On the left a final amp with LP2 Marconi tube: a triode of the ‘30s with direct heating and, as preamplifying tube, the 6F8G, a double triode with
electric characteristics similar to the 5692, although with a warmer and more detailed sound. The power is about 3W, therefore a final amp to match to high
sensitivity loudspeakers. The final amp on the right is the design of the 5998 with whom Pellas has honored and remembered Cristiano Ielasi,
great audio enthusiast and scuba diver, gone in Ischia during an immersion.
The currant design goes back to the famous Triodino – Cristiano Ielasi and Ciro Marzio’s design – revisited by Pellas.
The Ercolino, in Pellas’ opinion the best power amp he had designed.
The Ercolino, in Pellas’ opinion the best power amp he had designed.
The mighty 810 line preamp.
The mighty 810 line preamp.
by Giuseppe Castelli
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