Ask Mr. H: STAX 2020 + NAIM CD5-X

I have a Stax 20/20 basic system which I have acquired from a friend recently. My problem is when directly connected from my Naim CD5X CD player (RCA output) I get some distortion in sound as I crank up the volume to higher level on the energiser. My interconnects are QED approx £20 according to […]

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COLIN WONFOR: HB100 mono power amps test review

Neil McCauley / editor in chief Why no images? Because the test review that follows here are of a pre-production pair in casework that doesn’t properly represent the finished product which, so we are told, should be available in early March 2017. Priced, including VAT @ £4.6k per pair. A bit of history Please note […]

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LFD AUDIO: Bews views: The thoughts, opinions and observations of Dr. Richard Bews:

Dr. Bews – as I understand it, volume controls of all kinds affect sound quality in negative ways, some more than others. Is there one type of level control that’s better than all others and if so, why? Also, how do your findings impact on future LFD designs? A: All pots have different sounds, even […]

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Ask The Experts: Directional engineering – what is it and is it important?

Paul McGowan: There are two types of engineering directions if we take a broad stroke view: forward and reverse. Forward engineering might look like engineering a new product from a simple idea from scratch. Reverse engineering would look like the opposite: start with something that already works and take it apart to figure out how […]

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COLIN WONFOR: Howard Popeck speaks at length to people with interesting things to say: Colin Wonfor (Inca Tech, Magnum, Proac-Magnum, T.O.C.A, Naim and Tellurium Q) sets the record straight (Part #1)

The image above is one of just six gold plated issues. Note: This was originally published here in April 2015 Neil McCauley (HFA editor in chief) writes an introduction: Colin was and remains one of the UK audio industry’s gentlemen. No one in our office has heard a negative comment about him nor a negative […]

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JAPANESE SERIOUS LOUDSPEAKERS: Apart from the Yamaha NS1000? How about the NS2000?

Gentlemen; other than the Yamaha NS1000, have the Japanese every built credible loudspeakers? I guess you are speaking historically, right? Well, yes, they did. Sony in fact. In the very early 1980s they released the SSG1 Series 2. It wasn’t cheap. Around £200 from memory, which was a small fortune then. However … This isn’t […]

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Ask Mr. H: MICHELL ENGINEERING: Orbe versus old Pink Triangle PT2, LFD Audio copper reference, SME 4 – and more

Hello. I am using an Orbe with and Audio Origami breathed-on Zeta arm with a Benz Glider plus an LFD Audio copper reference arm cable. I also have a PT2 which is in need of quite a bit of tlc – I mean to get it working properly – would you expect it to be […]

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COLIN WONFOR: MC-V power cord (silver plated pins) test review

Neil McCauley / editor in chief There’s an old saying that you can judge a person by the company they keep. It’s a truism and a cliché but that doesn’t mean it’s incorrect. Applied to the hi-fi industry, you can make a reasonable stab at the true nature (behind the carefully crafted façade) of the […]

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Ask Mr. H: IS IT POSSIBLE: To set-up a thriving new business selling audio equipment of good quality?

  The thread starts: Is it possible to set-up a thriving new business selling audio equipment of good quality? ‘Richer Sound’ have got the low and midrange pretty well sewn-up. And can the ‘high-end’ survive, apart from a handfull of already well-established dealers? Personally, I doubt it. The market is shrinking,costs are rising. Dealers get […]

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Ask Mr. H: MICHELL ENGINEERING: Synchro versus Mycro turntables

I was reading your observations on The Michell Synchro. Did you ever hear the Mycro? How was it by comparison? At one time Subjective Audio stocked the entire range of Michell Engineering turntables including the Prisma and the twin-platter Prisma. Sonically we heard little difference between the Mycro and the Synchro. This was pretty much […]

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Ask Mr. H: The golden era of Apogee + Krell; the KSA 80 and the pursuit of RMS quantity over RMS quality. And in passing, the Boothroyd Stuart Meridian 107

  Dear Howard, I purchased a Benchmark DAC Pre from you some time ago – it is the best purchased I have ever made. My question relates to power amplifiers. Can you suggest power amplifiers which will be suitable for Apogee Scintilla loudspeakers which present a 1 ohm load. I should be grateful for any […]

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Ask Mr. H: “I love classical music, but I don’t have a real understanding of it in terms of the emotion. I’m not looking to learn about the composers and I don’t want to learn an instrument, but I want to know more about how what moves me moves me. Does that make sense? Can you recommend a book or books?”

Howard Popeck: Certainly. Now forgive me for saying this, but it is possible to over-analyse the wonder of music, the magic and the emotion. It’s a danger, but somehow I sense you aren’t going to fall into the trap. The most wonderful book on the sheer unadulterated joy of classical music without the usual patronising […]

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COUNTERPOINT: Whatever Happened to them?

First published in Stereophile in 1998 For the last few months, random postings kept appearing on internet newsgroups and in my e-mail box: “Anybody know what happened to Counterpoint?” At last count there were 10,000 Counterpoint preamps, power amps, and loudspeakers fanned out across the planet, some dating back to 1977, when the company launched […]

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In this occasional series I ‘interview’ our editor in chief Neil McCauley. Today’s topic is stereo subwoofers

Q1: So Neil ….. does size matter? By and large and in my direct personal experience, the answer’s yes. Moreover size matters greatly. Q2: A practical example, perhaps? So, If you have a couple of 8″ drivers in a box you’re calling a subwoofer, you’re going to be disappointed if you follow the setup steps […]

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Ask Mr. H: JBL: I have a pair of JBL L100 Century loudspeakers. They claim they are bookshelf size. 37Kg and big. Are they kidding?

  Howard, I have a pair of JBL L100 Century speakers. They claim they are bookshelf size. 37Kg and big. Are they kidding? First – 37Kg per pair, not each! Well, sort of. Blame JBL’s over-enthusiastic marketing department in the 1970s and the studio environment from which these speakers, the domestic version of the JBL […]

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COLIN WONFOR: The value of mains regeneration

Hello Colin and may I congratulate you on your resurrection. My question is this. As it is generally agreed that as a consequence of the variation of the mains waveform systems sound different at different times of any twenty four hours, do you do your fine-tuning at a similar time each day for continuity? Or […]

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Ask Mr. H: “I realise this might seem an eccentric thing for a retailer to say. However I do firmly believe in telling the truth – as I understand it – even if it means that a sale doesn’t result.”

Hi Howard, I am impressed by your web site. If I were to up grade to build on my Hi-fi support table,  interconnects would be considered and the C.D. player, then the Amplifier. The speakers are Trinity, the interconnects are Chord solid silver, £120 new. The loudspeakers leads are Chord by wire. £183 terminated new […]

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