From our archives: The amplifier designer hall of fame (part #1) – “… gifted at self promotion and bullshit and …”

Editor McCauley in conversation with Howard Popeck: Hi Howard. I’ll start if I may with I hope an inoffensive comment that you’ve been around the audiophile ‘block’ a few times. You are I guess a survivor from the old school. Would you care to comment? Okay, that’s true. I started in the business in October […]

Read More

From our archives: The amplifier designer hall of fame (part #2) – “They were the ones that saw the market niches …”

Editor McCauley in conversation with Howard Popeck: So there are more figureheads than gifted designers. Is that what you’re saying? Not quite like that. In my direct personal experience I’ve met more figureheads than gifted designers. But that’s not to say that my experiences are representative of the entire industry. One has to take into […]

Read More

From the archives: The amplifier designer hall of fame (part #3) – Mark Levinson, Antony Michaelson, Dr. Richard Bews, Bob Stuart, Roger Modeski.

Editor McCauley in conversation with Howard Popeck: Yes. But can you expand on this a bit? Okay. In my direct personal experience many of the finest amplifier designers are first and foremost gifted in their field and are not entrepreneurs through choice. They become entrepreneurs through force of circumstance i.e. there was no other intelligent […]

Read More

From our archives: The amplifier designer hall of fame (part #4) – Antony Michaelson (again), Mark Levinson (again)

Editor McCauley in conversation with Howard Popeck: From that standpoint then, is Antony Michaelson a UK version of Mark Levinson? Yes, possibly. Antony is a very unusual man and again is the sole occupant of a rare and special ‘box’. He’s very gifted in many ways and yes he’s an audio designer as well as […]

Read More

From the archives: The amplifier designer hall of fame (part #5) – Musical Fidelity

Editor McCauley in conversation with Howard Popeck: Okay. Got it. But can we return to the mercurial Mr. Michaelson at some point today? Possibly. Possibly not. Depends on what your questions are. Some matters are strictly off limits. He is though a bit of a hero for me frankly. (HP makes direct eye contact as […]

Read More

From the archives: The amplifier designer hall of fame (part #6) – Tim de Paravachini

  Editor-in-chief Neil McCauley in conversation with Howard Popeck: Only one of the designers we’ve discussed so far, and only superficially at that, were valve-men. Why is that? Partly ‘cos I’m intolerant of the hassles associated with valves. Bear in mind I’m talking about this from a retail perspective. This isn’t a comment … not […]

Read More

From the archives: The amplifier designer hall of fame (part #7) – Tim de Paravachini (again), Bill Beard.

Editor McCauley in conversation with Howard Popeck: So EARs were the best valve amps in the world and by implication their designer was a designer-hero, right? Possibly. That’s a bit of an inference; I didn’t say that. However ….. ARC was touted as being the finest tube gear that money could buy, in the UK […]

Read More

From the archives: The amplifier designer hall of fame (part #8) – Eva-Anne Manley, Bob Stuart (again), Meridian 107 power amp.

Editor McCauley in conversation with Howard Popeck: Can we stick with potential valve amp hero-designers for a moment? Certainly. If only I could think of any. (Long pause). Well ….. Hmm. I very much love the sound of Manley amps. Their preamps and their power amps and the magnificent Stingray. Their idiosyncratic site alludes to […]

Read More

From our archives: The amplifier designer hall of fame (part #11) – John Curl, Mark Levinson (again), Dr. Richard Bews, Bob Stuart (again)

Hmm. Okay So anyway, a little while later were ushered into the listening room and were confronted by man-sized monoliths we later came to know as The Apogee, from Apogee. And a pair of the previously mechanically buzzing power amps, powered up with the preamp at max without a source playing and mechanically silent. Seeing […]

Read More

From our archives: The amplifier designer hall of fame (part #12) – Julian Prendergast Verreker

Editor McCauley in conversation with Howard Popeck: More? More! Well, I never met Julian Verreker. Because of my public loathing for the Linn ‘culture’ in the 1980’s; he and I would never have seen eye to eye. It wasn’t to be. However he was a self-taught designer. That’s gotta mean something, right? I took a […]

Read More