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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COLIN WONFOR: His new power cord(s) and their specifications

Colin writes ….. The Inductance in Common Mode is 20uH/M Capacitance is 100pF Leakage inductance is less than 1uH/M at rated at 10A RMS with insulation voltage of over 3500VAC. Normal mains cable in Common Mode is less than 1uH and a capacitance of less than 20pF but can be a high of 1nF/M and […]

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Howard Popeck admits to being guilty, guilty and … guilty!

I am a magazine addict. Yes, I’ve said it. It’s relief – and I’m unashamed. Will you read on after this revelation? I very much hope so. Details; well not just hifi mags but ones on both analogue and digital photography, rock music, cars, blues music, classical music and, err, that’s about it. So what’s […]

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What is it that causes output transistors to blow?

Dear Colin, Generally speaking, what is it that causes output transistors to blow? Do they tend to die a natural death? Bad drivers? Emitters? Problems with the rectifier circuit? Assuming there wasn’t shorted speaker wires or excessive moisture. The amp bias and the +/-77 voltage was fine before they blew. It happened on power up. […]

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COLIN WONFOR: Do very good interconnects compensate for an only so-so CD player?

Dear Colin, An audiophile friend made the following argument to me: “Stop looking for a new CD player. With a very good to excellent high-end interconnect you will not only improve the performance of the CD, but other downstream components.” I had to disagree with my friend claiming a $400 or $500 IC is not […]

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COLIN WONFOR: Zero autoformers; how to measure impedance please

Dear Colin, Zero autoformers; how to measure impedance please? I got a pair of Speltz zero autoformers recently but when I measure the total impedance, my multimeter sees only 0.4-0.6 ohm no matter what I do. It seems the multimeter could only read the DC resistance from the autoformer itself but not the total impedance […]

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Ask Mr. H: Is it this sort of pointless navel-gazing that makes the audiophile community looks like such sad old geezers in the eye (and ears) of the i-pod generation?

No wonder Steve Jobs laughed all the way to the bank as the remnants of this once great British industry cling to the wreckage of nostalgia. Re the next chapter in the industry suicide note HERE The question that started the thread is not the issue. The issue is the sanctimonious clap-trap masquerading as rational […]

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COLIN WONFOR: Battery drive for amplification

Hi Colin. Fashions, come fashions go and from time to time the market has been presented with battery powered devices from preamps, phono stages and power amps. As far as I’m aware you’ve never thought of anything battery driven. Is any particular reason for this? I’m wondering if you think the claimed sonic benefits are […]

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The simple (yes, really) arithmetic of importing used audiophile equipment via e-bay and others into the UK

I’ve just go off the phone to a very pleasant person and our discussion took us to the perils, pleasures and pitfalls of buying used audio equipment off the internet, including of course e-bay. Anyway, this conversation was a catalyst for the ‘rule-of-thumb’ I used to use when I was a ‘civilian’ i.e. during the […]

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External power supplies?

Hello Colin. I seem to have read somewhere that you feel that external power supplies for audiophile equipment Is really an irrelevance if the original power supply design has been correctly implemented. Have I got that right? If not, can you put your views to us? Thanks in advance, Nigel Okay, I did say that […]

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COLIN WONFOR: An active speaker perhaps?

Hi Colin. Have you ever considered getting involved in active speaker design? From what I can gather, this is quite a complex task to get it right which is why, apparently so few companies get involved. I’m wondering if perhaps at some point in the future you might consider taking a good quality passive speaker […]

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Used audio equipment on eBay offered at bargain prices in the USA into the UK. Good idea or what?

Good morning Howard. I have seen new and used audio equipment on eBay offered at bargain prices in the USA into the UK. Good idea or what? Buyer beware! First, remember you will have to pay import duty, plus vat at 20% when the purchase comes into the UK. So add at least 23% to […]

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COLIN WONFOR: High quality “audiophile” grade sub panel

Dear Colin, audiophile grade sub panel and breakers? Do you know of a high quality “audiophile” grade sub panel? I read an article from someone in the audio industry where he mentioned having used a GE industrial grade 225 amp panel with a super duty silver plated copper bus bar and bolt on low noise […]

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Ask Mr. H: LINN: Sara speakers – a true story

I never really cared for or about Linn Sara speakers, but some reviewers did and that drove prospects through our doors at Subjective Audio, most of whom had already decided to buy them – so sales were pretty much a foregone conclusion.I carried out a number of Sara installations, never thinking to peel back the […]

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COLIN WONFOR: Bi-wiring

Gentlemen – what is this ‘thing’ called bi-wiring and will Elsdon Wonfor Audio be making speaker cables that use this tecnique? Thanks. Ron McQueen. {Colin} Dear Ron, bi-wiring is used to stop the reflection signal of one or more transducers affecting the movement or control of another. This can happen and it is caused by […]

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COLIN WONFOR: Replacing ceramic resistors in Monitor Audio GXC350 speaker

Hello Colin. Great series so far. Thank you. A little background info: I own a Monitor Audio GXC350 centre speaker and have discovered the midrange driver produces no sound. Swapping the driver over with one from a GX200 confirms it’s ok. A volt meter shows there’s no output to the midrange driver which points to […]

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Ask Mr. H: BRINKMANN: La Grange and one of the world’s first fully balanced vinyl replay systems

Originally published here in February 2006 Howard, is it true that way back you were the owner of the World’s first fully balanced vinyl replay system? Possibly the first; certainly one of the first three ….. so I’m told. I purchased the Brinkman 10.5 tonearm before I became a dealer, and paid £2,200 from the […]

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COLIN WONFOR: Power cord optimum length. A scientific basis or merely hype?

Here’s one for you electric wizards to kick around. Whilst attending a recent hifi exhibition I was doing some power cord shopping. At one particular display I was being told by a very well known cable company representative, I’ll not mention the name so it doesn’t influence any responses, that the rule of thumb is […]

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COLIN WONFOR: Time coherence

Mr. Wonfor / Mr. Elsdon. Am I correct in thinking that correct time coherence of all frequencies is inherent in music? If I have understood this them I guess it means that the sound of a human voice, for example, is time-coherent in all frequencies in a waveform that in itself is a specific time […]

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Ask Mr. H: LAT Power distribution strips

The idea that a power distribution strip, even a heavily built one like the LAT can make a difference to the sound, let alone an improvement is ridiculous. Where’s the science behind the claims? LAT power distribution block have in my experience always made a positive difference. The degree of improvement, in terms of background […]

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DECCA: XMS specifications

Hello Mr. McCauley. What can you tell me about the Decca XMS please? Well now – a blast from the past eh? Okay, here goes: Plug-in type head was available separately for either Standard or LP Records. Brown head was standard. Red was for microgroove. The seal plate colour identified the impedance as follows: Gold […]

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