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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Benchmark DAC into Meridian G08

Hello Howard. I have read HFA now for some months, deriving great pleasure and stimulation from it’s diverse contents… around the pursuit of the art of listening to music. Interested in recent exchange around the benchmark dac1. I currently have a meridian g08, along with a range of meridian pre power equipment of varying ages […]

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Ask an expert: PD150 speakers in the mid to late 80s

Hello Howard. I came across your very good blog whilst looking for Linn Sara information. I wonder if you have any knowledge of another Speaker Manufacture? I purchased a set of Principal Design PD150 speakers in the mid to late 80s. One drive unit has developed a fault so I have been looking for information […]

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LS3/5a speakers Q&A

At present I listen to the 11 ohms Rogers version of the above speaker. Generally I am pretty happy with the sound. I wonder if there would be any benefit in going over to a newer design from Spendor or Harbeth, perhaps a slightly larger enclosure ( my listening room is 9 X 11 feet)?. […]

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Hi Neil. Want to pass this thought to you “Think Soft Machine versus Motown.”

Really? Re Soft Machine, I sat through too many of their live tedious ramblings at too many 1960’s free gigs waiting for Pink Floyd as the headline act. There were murmuring that some hapless audience members would sooner bite their own heads off rather than sit through another experience. Mind you, the same was said […]

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BENCHMARK MEDIA DAC. Howard Popeck rates it highly!

Hi Howard, Good to see that you are stocking the Benchmark range. I have a DAC1 and it is truly superb. I use it to drive my active ATC 50s directly, or my Stax 717 & Omegas – no preamp necessary anymore! This little Benchmark really does punch far above it’s weight – right? My […]

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Ask an expert: Benchmark DAC

Have you heard a difference between the DAC performance of the Benchmark USB DAC and the Benchmark DAC-1 preamp and if so, which one is superior?  I have done this experiment on a number of occasions and have very rarely heard any difference at all. It might have been my imagination. And so it is […]

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Bowers and Wilkins: All boom and tizz? What’s your view?

The thread starts as follows: I’ve been reading alot of forums etc regarding peoples view of B&W. Main comments gleaned so far bloated bass and enamel stripping treble round earth – no FEP’s for me mass market produced = midfi huge marketing campaign allied to huge number of dealers is reason for their popularity poor […]

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HARBETH: Owner underwhelmed by their performance

Dear Howard. I recently bought a pair of SHL5’s and have been …ahem…under whelmed by their performance, coming from Rogers LS4a’s and Quad 57’s. In particular they seem a very poor match for tube amplification, at least my Jadis Orchestra Reference and KT 88’s.  I wonder if they are worth hanging onto and whether changing […]

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HARBETH: “I’d like it built around Harbeth speakers and I foresee …”

  Hi – I was looking to spend around £2,500 – £3,000 on a new stereo system comprising CD + AMP + Speakers and if possible I’d like it built around Harbeth speakers and I foresee me keeping the speakers longer than the other components. My friend has a set that are 25 years old […]

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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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HARBETH: “I’ve just bought a pair of vintage Quad IIs and love them. I’m thinking about a speaker upgrade and am considering bookshelf Harbeth or Spendors?’

I’ve just bought a pair of vintage Quad IIs and love them. I’m thinking about a speaker upgrade and am considering bookshelf Harbeth or Spendors. I understand sensitivity is an issue with lower power valve amps and note that the smallest Harbeth has a sensitivity of 83. I just wondered if you had a view […]

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LS3/5a SPEAKERS: (11 ohm Rogers version) compared to Spendor, Harbeth, what?

At present I listen to the 11 ohms Rogers version of the above speaker. Generally I am pretty happy with the sound. I wonder if there would be any benefit in going over to a newer design from Spendor or Harbeth, perhaps a slightly larger enclosure ( my listening room is 9 X 11 feet)?. […]

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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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HARBETH: Driven by Marantz Pearl Lite?

I’ve bought from Harbeth the P3ESR and I ask myself if I should buy another amplifier. My listening room is about 9m² and I do not play loud! What do you think about  the brand LFD MKIII. Now I use a Marantz Pearl Lite. Shall I stay at Marantz or consider an LFD Zero LE […]

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JOHN MAYALL: Can you suggest 3 vinyl releases to give me a varied taster?

Hmm. Interesting. JM’s music, although generally categorized as Blues is within that genre pretty variable in terms of interpretation. To me, some of his stuff verges into jazz areas I don’t particularly like. I’m pretty much a novice here myself incidentally. However here are the 3 which I really like: The Turning Point (1969) Bluesbreakers […]

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JAZZ: 153 suggestion (so far) re modern day female jazz recommendations

We all know the classics from decades ago. What are your favorite your more contemporary female jazz singers of today? Living close to Nashville I have the opportunity to see and hear a lot of up and coming artists. Nashville is NOT just country music by a long shot. I’ll start with Diana Krall….” MORE

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Ask an expert: Servo subwoofers; Genesis speakers – and more

  Gentlemen – what can you tell me about Genesis speakers and servo subwoofers please? Paul McGowan writes as follows: When Arnie Nudell and I ran Genesis loudspeakers in the 1990′s a big part of the company’s story was built in servo subwoofers; something both Arnie and I were passionate about (still are).  The way […]

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I purchased one of these Meridian / Linn collaborative active systems from Subjective Audio (Howard Popeck) North London, in April 1981.

  “As the owner of six 105s and a pair of ‘briks I’d be highly interested in the specifics… I purchased one of these Meridian/Linn collaborative active systems from Subjective Audio (Howard Popeck) North London, in April 1981. The system consisted of 6 X Meridian 105S power amplifiers with their own dedicated built-in electronic crossovers […]

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