The view from here – Tweaks, differences, improvements and wishful (self-delusory?) thinking – by Howard Popeck

A frequent question I receive is “Will I hear the difference?” My answer is simple. “How should I know?“ A bit curt you might think. At face value, it is. But if you look beneath the superficiality, my answer is both objective and rational, to say nothing of truthful. This is because I am not […]

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From the archives: What value should be placed on the absence of UK servicing when considering a brand?

Howard Popeck writes: Mail-order bride anyone? All purchases, from cars to mail-order brides carry a risk. Audiophile gear is no exception. However there are unavoidable and avoidable risks when it comes to imported equipment. This article seeks to shed light on an unacceptable risk in the hope that readers are alerted and that some importer/distributors […]

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Equipment reviews; why is it UK mags that the big brands never publish poor ones?

Howard Popeck writes: In the course of dumping the majority of my audio magazine collection, while retaining the occasional review of something I might buy in the future I noticed something odd. Or rather I was reminded of something I’d known for years and forgotten, namely that unlike their US counterparts, UK magazines do not […]

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Neil McCauley (editor in chief) talks to Howard Popeck (features editor) about his respect for some vintage analogue receivers.

Q: So Howard, you’ve from time to time mentioned, in the context of receivers, the “good old days”. What does that mean? In the “good old days” the electronics for a hi fi system was all in one box that usually included a power amp, preamp and radio tuner. They were very convenient. Q: Convenient, […]

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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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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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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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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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Benchmark DAC into Meridian G08

Hello Howard. I have read HFA now for some months, deriving great pleasure and stimulation from it’s diverse contents… around the pursuit of the art of listening to music. Interested in recent exchange around the benchmark dac1. I currently have a meridian g08, along with a range of meridian pre power equipment of varying ages […]

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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 […]

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

Howard, did you sell the Breuer 8? Yes. After 19 years of use I got £1,750 for it. I bought a Brinkmann 10.5. Never looked back! Which cartridges did you find worked well with the Breuer? Loved the Van Den Hul MC-1. Denon DL-103 was great. Koetsu Black, Supex 901 too. Is it, in your […]

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The inside track on the LNM (Linn Naim Mujahedeen), converting the PRaT Kafirs and foot-tapping finger-snapping staff who really should have known better.

Howard Popeck writes: I was in a particularly foul mood when CV emailed me this question a while back. My choice of language as shown here is not necessarily what I might use today. However, I stand by every word regarding the sentiment. Channa Vithana asked: Can you give an example of Original-Selling-Point hyperbole in […]

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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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CASTLE: Clyde speakers test review

Howard Popeck ….. In the early 1980s at Subjective Audio Ltd I took a pair of these in part exchange against a pair of Lentek Monitors, transmission line; a Bert Webb design. Those Lenteks, an overlooked ‘classic’ were exceptional and a substantial upgrade in both performance and cost (and size) to the Clyde’s. Those Clyde […]

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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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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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From the archives / Dear diary – Borders bargains, The Temptations, valves and ribbons in perfect harmony, no new Buddy Guy and just too many magazines!

An unexpected pleasure this weekend! Found time to sit and listen to music, and to start making inroads into an ever increasing pile of magazines. Record Collector magazine, music mags (Mojo and Uncut), science mags (Focus), car magazines, New Statesman, Spectator and more. Come to the conclusion yet again I’m a magazine junkie. Reflect on […]

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“How can modern R&B-singers even pick up a microphone, after hearing this man?”

Howard Popeck writes:  Quite so. Went to EVERY gig within the M25. Loud? I’ll say. Had to start to learn to lip-read as a consequence. Hard-faced birds, broken glass on the floor, broken teeth and broken noses in the loo – but not on me! ‘ Trrific’ – as the great man would say. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzgDz04bv38 […]

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Live performances – Howard Popeck wonders if audience expectations are realistic, unrealistic, reasonable or unreasonable?

Me, as part of an audience: I’m not talking here about the performer turning up on time, or indeed not turning up at all. Actually what I have in mind is more prosaic than that! I tend wherever and whenever possible to attend live music. Among many other genres such as classical, folk-rock and grunge […]

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Live performances – Howard Popeck wonders if audience expectations are realistic, unrealistic, reasonable or unreasonable? (Part #2 of #2)

And then – ladies and gentlemen – The Who: So what about The Who’s ability or indeed inability, to reproduce note-perfect their more well know tracks? How about speculating on their prerogative to interpret the tracks as they see fit –notwithstanding how they and bands like them must surely strive hard not to be bored […]

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