Lux (Luxman) PD-300 turntable mini test review

Howard Popeck: Those of you of a certain age will remember I hope the magnificently engineered range of turntables, amps and tuners built by Luxman (formerly Lux) in the 1970s. They were one of the first, if not the first to introduce vacuum clamping for the record against the platter. This was via an inbuilt […]

Read More

LINN: The LP12 and eBay?

Hi Howard. I know you won’t represent Linn, even though you did. However … I am thinking of buying a used Linn LP12. There are loads on eBay and quite a few of hififorsale.com, but none of the Linn dealers I contacted have any for sale. What’s going on? Linn dealers in the main are […]

Read More

MERIDIAN: 101/105 / Revisited

Background: At Subjective Audio, we were the most successful Meridian retailers for six years commencing in 1977 and thus arguably have sold more pairs of Meridian 105 power amps and 101 pre amps than anyone else. We have very happy memories of that era, the reliability of the equipment, the value and indeed the outstanding […]

Read More

Ask Mr. H: “I love classical music, but I don’t have a real understanding of it in terms of the emotion. I’m not looking to learn about the composers and I don’t want to learn an instrument, but I want to know more about how what moves me moves me. Does that make sense? Can you recommend a book or books?”

Howard Popeck: Certainly. Now forgive me for saying this, but it is possible to over-analyse the wonder of music, the magic and the emotion. It’s a danger, but somehow I sense you aren’t going to fall into the trap. The most wonderful book on the sheer unadulterated joy of classical music without the usual patronising […]

Read More

HELIUS: Howard Popeck speaks at length to people with interesting things to say: Geoffrey Owen, main-man at Helius Designs

Hello Geoff, and thank you agreeing to be interviewed about social media in our shrinking audiophile world. So …. my first question; what’s your perception of the importance or irrelevance of Facebook in reaching out to potential audiophile buyers? Ah. Hmm. Howard, I suspect that you’re interviewing the wrong person. When I started writing novels […]

Read More

NIKKO: Gamma V FM tuner test review

Howard Popeck writes: Only a mini test for this one I’m afraid. My notes from that time are not very comprehensive. Anyway … Built in 1978, the Gamma V is a very sensitive and selective rack-mount style digital tuner. It cost around £400 when new, as best I can recall. Construction is all frame and […]

Read More

STAX: UA7 UA-7 tonearm

I write from Italy because I’ve the possibility to buy an old but in very good conditions UA-7 tonearm. I’ve a Denon DP 3000 turntable with the original plinth and I’d like to know if the tonearm can be mounted in this deck (if you have experience in this mode. Is there the possibility to […]

Read More

Ask Mr. H: STAX 2020 + NAIM CD5-X

I have a Stax 20/20 basic system which I have acquired from a friend recently. My problem is when directly connected from my Naim CD5X CD player (RCA output) I get some distortion in sound as I crank up the volume to higher level on the energiser. My interconnects are QED approx £20 according to […]

Read More

STAX: Unreliability?

Gentlemen, which era of STAX headphones are more reliable. Old or new? Howard Popeck writes as follows: First things first, I’ve not been involved in selling STAX equipment for some years and so my comments and observations are based on my experiences then and not currently. They’re called ‘Earspeakers’ incidentally. Old or new is not […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Ask Mr. H: MICHELL ENGINEERING: Orbe versus old Pink Triangle PT2, LFD Audio copper reference, SME 4 – and more

Hello. I am using an Orbe with and Audio Origami breathed-on Zeta arm with a Benz Glider plus an LFD Audio copper reference arm cable. I also have a PT2 which is in need of quite a bit of tlc – I mean to get it working properly – would you expect it to be […]

Read More

Blast from the past: Exactly the way it happened folks: Syrinx PU2. the Mass Ring and Mr. Scott Strachan

Scott Strachan, the inventor and constructor of the Syrinx arm was a very likeable chap. His enthusiasm was infectious. His tonearms looked, frankly, terrible. Not quite as bad as the original Hadcock, but not far off. They were, until the Ittock, the only intelligent and sonically acceptable alternative to the Grace G707 arm on a […]

Read More

Ask Mr. H: STAX: Their 717 & 727 energisers

Hi Howard, Very briefly, could you tell me if there is any significant improvement in sound between the older SRM 717 and the newer 727 solid state amplifiers. Also, I would be interested if you have any opinions on third party energisers for Stax earspeakers. I’ve seen several mentioned such as KGSS and Rudistor (at […]

Read More

Ask Mr. H: STAX – deteriorating gauze on vintage earspeakers

  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 […]

Read More

Ask Mr. H: 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 […]

Read More

Ask Mr. H: MICHELL ENGINEERING: Synchro versus Mycro turntables

I was reading your observations 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 much […]

Read More

Ask Mr. H: STAX: Their vintage SR3 & SRD-5 … and more?

Hi Howard. Just found HFA;  full of useful stuff. I am interested in the differences between the electret and mains powered energisers. I have a pair of Stax headphones labelled “New” SR3 which originally (when I bought them in 1975) came with an SRD-5 energiser. The SRD-5 (which is mains powered) was changed for an […]

Read More

Ask Mr. H: STAX: Their Talent DAC – two versions

Hello Howard and Neil. There are 2 types of STAX Talent DAC – Talent and Talent dB. Do you know the differences? In a word, no, I don’t know the differences. Very few DAC Talent units were imported into the UK and so information is scarce. it had quite good reviews at the time but […]

Read More

Ask Mr. H: STAX – very rare energiser

I recently acquired a set of Stax Lambda’s and a custom built driver unit on eBay from a bloke in New Zealand. The driver unit was quite different from any Stax model I had ever seen. It was quite huge for a start! Once it arrived, I discovered that it was a model 50/1SC and […]

Read More

STAX 4040 system and preamps

Will my SR-4040 system, or any STAX system for that matter sound better if I upgrade my preamp? Well, without wishing to be evasive, there’s no definitive answer to this. Sorry – but I’m happy to share my thoughts with you – and no doubt you’ll draw your own conclusions. First, I have a concern […]

Read More