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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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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FIDELITY RESEARCH: FR-64S tonearm – owner observations

Howard Popeck: I sold loads of these. Always new, because nobody ever traded one in with me. They were 100% reliable, beautiful to look at, magnificently engineered and looked like $1m. However, truth be told, sound quality was good, very good in fact – but not terrific. Not terrific in absolute terms nor indeed for […]

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Akai GX-747, Phillips N4520, Tandberg TD-20A, Technics RS-1500US, Technics RS-1800 and Teac 7300 – by Howard Popeck

These are notes I made for a letter to the editor of Hi-Fi World after a particularly interesting feature re Reel to Reel machines in the February 2008 issue. I didn’t get around to sending it. Dear David. The Neville Roberts feature “The Reel Thing” ( February 2008) was a joy to read. Not only […]

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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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STAX with NAIM

Hello. Some time next year I intend (God willing) to buy a Stax earspeaker system. I will probably go for a solid state energiser package, and as funds permit go for the best option available. I used to have a Stax system years ago which I bought second hand from a friend, this was sold […]

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LINDA HOYLE: We interview her – part #1 of 2

Howard Popeck writes …. Hello Linda and Mo and thank you both for agreeing to this interview. I’m going to dive right in here re your approach to recording technology, formats, domestic music reproduction and more. Our jazz columnist Tony Andrews in part #2 will be focusing more on the music, your influences and more. […]

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MICHELL ENGINEERING: Synchro versus Mycro turntables

I was reading your blog yesterday on The Michell Synchro. Did you ever hear the Mycro? How was it by comparison? At one time Subjective Audio stocked the entire range of Michell Engineering turntables including the Prisma and the twin-platter Prisma. Sonically we heard little difference between the Mycro and the Synchro. This was pretty […]

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MICHELL ENGINEERING: Synchro turntable test review

Howard Popeck writes as follows: 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 […]

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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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TONE CONTROLS: Howard Popeck in conversation with Neil McCauley about his SAE 2800, Cello Palette, Yamaha C1, Carver 4000 and the Daniel Hertz

This is the next in an occasional series of recorded brief conversations between Howard and myself during snatched time between deadlines and other time issues. Neil: Howard? Howard: Yes! (faking irritability) N: it’s that time again! (faking sarcasm) H: Oh …… good (faking sarcasm) N: So, whatever happened to tone controls? You know, the bass […]

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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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HELIUS DESIGNS: in conversation with Howard Popeck – part one

Geoffrey ….. why is there such diversity between audiophile values and the audio engineering establishment’s values? I’m not sure there is – indeed, I would argue that, more often than not, audio engineers are just audiophiles who have taken their interest to the next level and gone pro. Perhaps I should start by suggesting that […]

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HELIUS DESIGNS: in conversation with Howard Popeck – part two

Geoffrey ….. When it comes to listening to what you’ve designed, do you worry that you can find yourself liking something which is actually wrong? How do you keep yourself on track? In the context of tonearms it’s difficult to imagine what I could do to make it sound ‘wrong’. This part of the system […]

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RADFORD REVIVAL: Howard Popeck speaks at length to people with interesting things to say: Radford Revival’s Will Moores

Hello Will. Anyone with an iota of knowledge of Radford’s place in audio history could not fail the understand your motivation re Radford Revival. However I guess that the behind the scenes discussions, assurances re being the custodian of the heritage and related matters required considerable patience. Would you care to tell us the ‘back-story’? […]

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HELIUS DESIGNS: In conversation with Howard Popeck – part three

Geoffrey – what is your response to the statement ‘How many channels do you think it takes to make a music listener happy; One. Mono’s fine. I’ve never heard anybody bitch about Louis Armstrong, saying, “I would enjoy it if it were only stereo” Now this question is interesting from several perspectives and I’m going […]

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