HARBETH: Alan Shaw in conversation with Howard Popeck

Hello Alan and thank you for finding the time to respond to the following question: Why is there such diversity between audiophile values and the audio engineering establishment’s values? “This can be explained by an almost total lack of appreciation that physics – basic high school physics – governs every single aspect of audio bar […]

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LECSON: AP1, ProAc, Celef, Lentek Monitors, Sonab, LS3/5a and Harbeth HL1 Mk3

Hello Howard. Memory test! I remember a couple of years ago you recommended a speaker that mated particularly well with the Lecson AP1 power amplifier.  Hope all is well, John Hello John. Oh wow. At my age, trying to remember? You are kidding, right? On a more serious note though, here are the ones that […]

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KINGREX: Howard Popeck speaks at length to people with interesting things to say: Audiophile maker and design-house KingRex makers of the T20, DDC, UC 384 USB DDC and the JB3

Regarding the inventor. How did their interest in music reproduction start? During my high school days, pop music industry was rapidly booming and I was, like other teenagers, very obsessed with it. Yes, it was eighties. The first thing I did when I returned from school was to turn on the radio and listen to […]

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Howard Popeck speaks at length to people with interesting things to say: Mr Phillipe Bernard, the driving force behind French audio maker Atelier de Synergie Acoustique

Hello Philippe. How did your interest in music reproduction start? It started when I was very young! First, listening to my father’s big valve radio and then to his mono record player (I lightened the phono cartridge…) In 1970, I bought a turntable, the Braun PS500 – the best in Europe! It cost me four […]

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STAX DA 100, CA-X, SRA 12s, servicing, attitude towards end-users, Audio Research REF75 and 5SE as possible alternatives

Originally published in 2009 Question: Hi. I have à pair of Stax da 100  with ca-x after  having the da80 vwith sra12s I had some problems with the ça-x but none up to now with the  da100 and i had them  for almost  30 years  I like them how ever vu the age and the […]

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ARGENTUN: Howard Popeck speaks at length to people with interesting things to say: Mr. Richard Szafraniec of newly emergent Polish audiophile company Argentum

Preliminary note: We’ve been both amazed and delighted by our readership’s positive response to our series of interviews with innovative small, intellectually agile makers from outside of the traditional countries associated with state-of-the-art audio / stereo. In particular our series on newly emergent French makers. Today we turn our attention to Polish organisations you might […]

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LINN: Exactly the way it happened folks: LP12 and a/b demonstrations

From and including the 1970s, Linn popularised the concept of the A-B demonstration. It was, on the face of it, a faultlessly logical ethos. It was adopted by reviewers and dealers alike, myself included. It was rumoured they had mystery shoppers in circulation, prepared to report back any deviation from the dogma. For a while […]

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Ask Mr. H: SACD, DVD-A and CD. Howard Popeck answers a reader’s question

Howard. were the public remiss in not giving more support to SACD and DVD-A – or is CD sufficient? SACD was flawed; there’s no question about that! It wasn’t a good medium. It never sounded right to me. None of the players that were available gave the comprehensive performance that the advanced CD players gave. […]

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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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Ask Mr. H: MERIDIAN: Their 101/105 pre power combination?

I read your comments about vintage Meridian equipment, very interesting. I have a 101 preamp and twin 105 power amps, and I’m amazed at how they still sound after 25 years. Such wallop – as close to live as I’ve come across. I recently heard Musical Fidelity’s much-praised A5 pre/power combination – very smooth and […]

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SOLEDGE: Howard Popeck speaks at length to people with interesting things to say: Mr. Raphaël Bini, the driving force behind French audio maker Soledge High End Wireless Audio System.

Hello Raphaël. How did your interest in music reproduction start? Well, I suppose everything starts with music listening during as a youth, with a father playing music, either on a piano or guitar, or on his HiFi system. Then, my father being an electrician and repairing TV sets, meant that I grew up with electronic […]

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Ask Mr. H: DUMB IDEA? A proposed audiophile start up in a saturated market

Hi. A well known valve supplier and I have discussed putting (a new valve amplifier line) into production. Given your experiences with valve amplification would you be interested in selling same amps? Well, I think it fair to say and with some regret too that currently the economic situation facing the UK audiophile industry in […]

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Ask Mr. H: “The Levinson ML-2 is good. At present there are a pair of Mark Levinson 20.5 …”

From our archives Hello. The Apogee Scintillas are a pain to drive but produce seamless music with emotion when driven by appropriate amplification. The Levinson ML-2 is good. At present there are a pair of Mark Levinson 20.5 for sale on ebay through Hart Audio at almost £5000-what is your advice on amp and price? […]

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Ask Mr. H: Neil McCauley: STAX: 5 and 6-pin interface issues via the SRA-14S preamp

Dear Howard. Grateful for your views as to whether the captioned extension cable (6-pin in/female & 5-pin out/male) will work with a pair of SR-3 earspeaker into the normal socket of a SRA-14s.Many thanks in advance. I am finding this a very difficult question to answer with any confidence. First, despite many years of intimate […]

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LINN: ‘we have our own way of walkin’ and talkin’ – circa 1983

Lacking the grace and calm agility of a latter-day Fred Astaire, it was beyond my ability to rise to my feet while foot-tapping, finger clicking and ……. head nodding – all at the same time! I just didn’t have the necessary co-ordination. Clearly some did though. Last night I received an amusing phone call from […]

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MANA ACOUSTICS / JOHN WATSON: Howard Popeck speaks at length to people with interesting things to say: Mana Acoustics’ John Watson – the complete interview

    How did your interest in music reproduction start John? I guess I was always into music from a very early age. My Father was an electrical and mechanical engineer and used to build his own Hi-Fi back in the Fifties, so music played a big part in my formative years. You’re probably best […]

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STAX DAC-Talent – Howard Popeck offers his observations and thoughts

What can you tell me about this rare beastie? Yes, I owned one and so I write from direct personal experience. First though – this is what STAX said about the model, And incidentally, STAX use terms here that we’ve never previously come across. Perhaps it was translation and/or typesetting errors? Anyway, here’s what they […]

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TOWNSHEND ENGINEERING: Howard Popeck speaks at length to people with interesting things to say: Max Townshend

From our archives : Howard Popeck: Not many people know you’re a qualified engineer. What engineering discipline was your first degree? Max: Bachelor of Engineering, Electrical, specialising in communications. Where did you study? University of Western Australia So what happened after that? I accepted a commission in the Royal Australian Air Force where I was […]

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RACHEL FULLER: The full interview

  From our 2005 archives ….. Without doubt, one of my 3 most played CDs last year is the debut album from Rachel Fuller – ‘Cigarettes and Housework’. It’s my personal choice for 2004. Her music is hard to categorize. I hate putting music in pigeon holes, but occasionally an indication of genre helps. It […]

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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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PAUL BURTON: Howard Popeck speaks at length to people with interesting things to say: Burton Somervell – marginalised magnificence

Howard Popeck writes: This is, as far as I know, the final interview with the late Colin Howard, former production director of BS Meridian, founder of London HiFi Services, innovator, designer and the co-founder of Burton Somervell speakers. I conducted this interview some years ago and only discovered it yesterday. It has never previously been […]

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