MICHELL ENGINEERING: Synchro turntable test review

Howard Popeck writes: The Synchro was mid-priced turntable inspired by the original GyroDec, but with an inverted-pendulum suspension and a glass platter. It looked dazzling 20 years ago, and it still does today. In the John Michell tradition, all the working parts are exposed, superbly engineered and impeccably cosmetically finished. It has a cast-ring sub […]

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STAX – deteriorating gauze on vintage earspeakers; ask an expert

  How can I replace the gauze on my old STAX earspeakers? These are the key points: 1.    The gauze is purely cosmetic. It is lightweight and open so as not to influence the sound. However because of this it offers no physical protection nor protection from dust. Or put differently, you can safely use […]

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Ask an expert: Stax “The sound was pretty unimpressive, – dark, slow, and very uninvolving and not very transparent”

Dear Howard, I hope you are well. Yup – pretty good (but far from pretty!) all things considered. I remember you shut down simply Stax in the late 1990s, and I can remember reading somewhere that one of the reasons for that might have been because the quality control of the Stax equipment you were […]

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BURTON SOMERVELL: Their remarkable and short-lived hybrid cone & ribbon speakers

I have just read the article ” Interview with the Gods”, and loudspeakers “Burton Somervell” were mentioned.  I can not find any info on them.  Can you help ! Thank you so much for your enquiry. Usually I’m able to answer incoming queries to everyone’s complete satisfaction first time. But sometimes I don’t. And sometimes […]

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Blast from the past from 2006: Howard, what’s your current system?

Howard Popeck writes: Due to the nature of my work, I use quite a few pieces of equipment in various combinations. So my own answer should be seen in the light of what I am listening to currently rather than my favourite system.At the moment I am using a system comprising all second-hand units bought […]

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NAKAMICHI: CA-5EII + Nakamichi PA-5E (and the Nakamichi ST-7 FM tuner, in passing) test review

NB: This was originally published in 2010 Hello, and welcome to the next of my series of reviews of vintage equipment. First, I only write about equipment that I have had extended, direct and personal experience of either as an end-user or retailer – or both. I don’t get involved in measurements. During 34 years […]

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Mains filters – Howard Popeck keeps it simple

Introduction This series, written by features editor Howard Popeck  is designed to, in jargon-free terms, explain, introduce, educate and otherwise assist anyone who is interested in learning more about how music in the home is produced. It’s a growing archive. Thank you. Neil McCauley / editor in chief ++++++++++++++++   There are two types Series […]

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Q&A: Blues Magoos

Hi Howard. I know you are into this type of 60’s music and so what can you tell me about The Blues Magoos please? What should I avoid of theirs?  Thanks Laurence Rode. Hmm, well ….. the short answer is ‘not much’. But yes, I am into this genre and many similar ones too. I […]

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Ask an expert: Pink Triangle & Breuer 8 Dynamic (Part #1 of 2)

Howard, Many thanks for replying to my email. Would you perchance be the renowned Howard Popeck? Well, yes. It’s me – but far from renowned though. I have a PT Anniversary/SME V/Ortofon Rohmann which I’m shortly upgrading with the aid of the Funk Firm. I may change tonearms and cartridge – I’ve read somewhere once(the […]

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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 Studio […]

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Ask an expert: Audio Power Cables & Cords – Do they really make a difference?

I believe that power cable can change the sound, but how is possible to spent more than you amplifier itself in a power cable….? Hello and thank you for your most interesting question. It’s not an easy one to answer because there are so many variables. First, I am of the total belief that every […]

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Ask an expert: Principal Design PD150 speakers, Dr Penfold and possiblity of clones of Linn Sara speakers. Part #1 of 2

Hello. 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 about […]

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