I am 100% certain about why it’s not sensible to be 100% certain – writes Howard Popeck

Occasionally I get a call or email from a potential customer with a problem and he’s “100% sure” it cannot be this or it cannot be that causing it. This causes a smile here; but not an attitude of condescension. Why? Because I used to be like that and as you’ll see below still am […]

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The outside edge

Reader Tom Richard writes “As a long-time bass player, I’ve always used cymbals to judge music reproduction. The worst systems give you white noise; the best present so much information. Can you hear the difference between standard wood tip drumsticks and nylon-tipped? The amazing differences between cymbals struck near their edge, in the middle and […]

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It’s why so many legitimate reviews of equipment today express an opinion on sound and ignore the details of performance.

And continuing our thought from a recent post, only this time in reverse, isn’t it obvious that just because something has all the right stuff it doesn’t necessarily qualify as great itself? And doesn’t this observation help explain one of the age old mysteries in audio about how something can measure great and sound poor? […]

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Fly Translove Airways (5CD Limited Box) by Jefferson Airplane

We are told ….. Limited edition 5CD Box Set featuring live FM broadcasts from 1966 to 1970 Doyens of the lysergically charged San Francisco Ballroom scene, Jefferson Airplane reigned supreme at their home turf clubs; The Matrix, Fillmore, Avalon, Winterland. Witness these classic WOUR, KSAN, KMPX broadcasts bringing the sonic tapestry of the band, in […]

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Blast from the past: Exactly the way it happened folks: Syrinx PU2. the Mass Ring and Mr. Scott Strachan

Scott Strachan, the inventor and constructor of the Syrinx arm was a very likeable chap. His enthusiasm was infectious. His tonearms looked, frankly, terrible. Not quite as bad as the original Hadcock, but not far off. They were, until the Ittock, the only intelligent and sonically acceptable alternative to the Grace G707 arm on a […]

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But I got to thinking about how anyone could have nominated such tripe for best anything and it occurred to me this happens a lot, even in our industry.

I am mindlessly working out at the gym on the elliptical trainer, watching the many TV’s and there it appeared. Out of nowhere. I nearly fell off the machine. It was an ad for The Wolf Of Wall Street, proclaiming it’s been nominated for Best Picture. This in the face of actually having watched the […]

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Mains extension block; he heard the difference, but were his ears deceiving him?

  I’ve never been the type to worry about cables, power chords or separate spurs and that malarkey. Mainly because the system generally sounds fine as it is, I’m not made of money and I also don’t have the time to be constantly ABX testing these things to make sure I’m not getting ‘snake-oiled’. However […]

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Best on-ear headphones

What Hi-Fi tell us: These are the best on-ear headphones money can buy. We’ve got the lot, from wallet-friendly to money-no-object, noise-cancelling and wireless models. On-ear headphones are a middle ground between in-ears and over-ears. They provide better sound than in-ears, and tend to be less bulky than over-ears. So if you want the best of […]

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Best headphone amplifiers

What Hi-Fi write: When it comes to headphone amp circuitry, most amps and smartphones are pretty basic. That’s why you should pair your shiny new headphones with a dedicated headphone amp – so they can really sing. Here are our favourites, from under a ton to nigh-on eight grand. And as a bonus, many headphone amps […]

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In Japan (4CD) by David Bowie

We are told ….. This powerful anthology starts with Bowie’s Tokyo broadcast of his 1990 Sound + Vision performance. Bowie’s 1990 Sound + Vision tour was billed as a greatest hits tour. He intended this to be a live swansong for his catalogue of old favourites, after which Bowie declared that they would disappear from […]

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These hand-crafted systems are kind of like craft beer

Our home stereo systems are one of a kind. We craft them together based on reviews, evaluations, word of mouth, discussion forum comments, and dealer advice. They are personal creations. These hand-crafted systems are kind of like craft beer: Individually brewed with our own personal recipes. Each of us is anxious, perhaps a little nervous, […]

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