Howard Popeck speaks at length to people with interesting things to say: Kea Audio a high-end New Zealand speaker manufacturer: Designer Jo Lang in conversation. Part #1

      Howard Popeck: Hello Jo. At short notice, thank you for taking the time … Jo Lang: I have a bit of time right now so I thought I would respond to your kind invitation. You are as I understand it, that rare individual who is an audiophile maker blogger; am I correct? […]

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Flat vs. good

Paul McGowan: If you were designing a product used on small speaker systems (without full bass response) would you modify the design to make up for the system’s lack of bass at the expense of being “flat”? Let me ask the question in reverse. Would you design a product knowing that when it’s played there […]

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Selling direct to the public: Maker expresses frustration about being fora-banned

“There is much word of mouth promotion and also forum discussion elsewhere in Europe, but there is also politics on those forums, but at least NVA can be discussed. Here we are banned from the three forums that carry weight of membership numbers, so how do I break past this censorship, which is deliberate to […]

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JAZZ: Why does Jazz Loft sound so good?

  Can anyone enlighten me as to why this internet station sounds so exceptional? http://jazzloft.de/ I listen through my system via Squeezebox Touch. It doesn’t appear compressed to me, always warm, relaxed yet dynamic. I’ve purchased CDs of artists I’ve heard here, ripped them and played them back through the Touch via powered hard drive; […]

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“What’s fascinating to me is that from a manufacturer’s perspective, the equipment we design and build is essentially the same for both groups”

  When we compare customer types like Audiophiles vs. the custom installation crowd, we find some interesting similarities and differences. What’s similar between these two groups is that both want high-end sound for their homes. What’s different is the level of involvement in the process of acquiring and using the equipment. Audiophiles are enthusiasts, the […]

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PS AUDIO: Borrowed slogans

Paul McGowan writes: I smiled when one of the posters on our Community Forums quoted another company’s slogan “no cable is better than any cable” explaining how their wireless approach is superior to a hard wired ethernet  connection.  I smiled because they lifted one of our long term slogans “there’s no preamp like no preamp”. […]

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The impact of background music on adult listeners?

Background music has been found to have beneficial, detrimental, or no effect on a variety of behavioral and psychological outcome measures. This article reports a meta-analysis that attempts to summarize the impact of background music. A global analysis shows a null effect, but a detailed examination of the studies that allow the calculation of effects […]

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We cling to our statements not out of an absolute truth, but out of truth as it has applied to you.

Paul McGowan: We all love to wrap thoughts and conclusions in blankets. It’s our brain’s way of categorizing complex data into chunks that can be more easily managed. But there’s often a downside to this. It can hold us back from experiencing that which is new to us. Silver is always bright, copper is always […]

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Squeeze my lemon? Pop’s five oddest sexual lyrics

Danny Wright: From Thom Yorke’s self-love shenanigans to Justin Timberlake’s nativity nookie to Led Zep’s fruity metaphors, here’s our pick of cringeworthy lines from writers who really should know better When Alt-J unveiled their new single, Every Other Freckle, last week, there was one lyric that stood out. “Turn you inside out and lick you […]

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Howard Popeck listens to people with interesting things to say: Bob Rapoport – the public face (and a lot more besides) of Essence Electrostatic Speaker Systems

  HP’s introduction: More often that not, I go straight into posting the interview without too much, if any history. However in order to avoid confusion and to minimise misunderstand, I’ve lifted this maker’s history from their site. Here it is – and please take time to read because it is relevant. Thanks. Company history: […]

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Now you know why I don’t have an SACD player. I would be forced to listen to an analog output from a product I do not think sounds that great as such.

Originally published in 2015 Paul McGowan: Super Audio Compact Disc, better known as SACD, is the Blu-Ray based optical medium that Sony developed as a next generation storage mechanism to the original Compact Disc. Instead of PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) as the format, like that of CD’s and most high resolution audio today, SACDs use […]

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Soundstage – Blues Summit In Chicago 1974 (DVD) by Muddy Waters And Friends

Muddy Waters (1913-1983) was frequently considered the father of Chicago blues.  Born in Mississippi and discovered there in 1941 by musicologist Alan Lomax, he moved to the Windy City in 1943 and proceeded to refine and redefine the sound of the blues, inspiring not just future artists in the genre but, significantly, those who later […]

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Was 1876 classical music’s most important year?

Mike Ashman writes: 1876 was a melting-point for music, a watershed year in both concert hall and opera house. With the premiere of Wagner’s four-evening Ring cycle, and the composition of Bruckner’s 65‑minute Fifth Symphony, it saw great peaks of Romantic operatic and symphonic writing. The appearance of Mahler’s first significant score, a Piano Quartet, […]

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Bloch/Dallapiccola/Ligeti: Cello Suites – melancholy vignettes and beautiful melodies

Kate Molleson writes ….. The lone cello has played gateway to many a composer’s soul. Bach and Britten, most famously. Ernest Bloch wrote his three solo cello suites in the 1950s, near the end of his life, and they are fleeting and strange. As performed by Natalie Clein, their small scale is poignant – melancholy […]

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