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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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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From the archives: Dear diary – Lentek • Christopher Breunig • Editor Messenger • Harbeth • PRaT – and a piece of fan mail.

This first appeared here in 2008 Good day, yesterday. No sales, but no cause for concern either. Happily noticed that this site has just recorded the highest number of unique visitors and the highest number of visitor actions so far this year. I wonder why? Took a quick look at Hifi Critic magazine. Very pleased […]

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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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HARBETH: ” …. mind you we would be remiss to remember the true designer Dudley Harwood.”

A true and little known fact regarding all of DH’s designs was that his strong religious conviction (Plymouth Brethren) precluded him from listening to any music of any form through his designs. Apparently all his designs were quite literally “voiced” using playback of very high quality analogue tape recordings of his beloved wife. Once the […]

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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 […]

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Howard Popeck wonders if the makers that focus on building products they want to own doomed to oblivion?

I’ve eaten at many restaurants and for this post I’ll focus in Indian ones because I know these best. In some I’m confronted by what seems to be hundreds of options and in others somewhat fewer. I’m working on impressions here; I have no inclination to count the options! In my experience the more choices […]

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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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From the (2008) archives / Stax earspeakers – broken headbands and glue that is melting

Howard Popeck writes: I’ve received a number of calls recently regarding broken headbands on some models of STAX earspeakers and to a lesser extent, glue which is not keeping the ear pads in place. My advice to people is as follows: If your purchase is within the warranty period, then you should phone Mr. Crump […]

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From our archives: The amplifier designer hall of fame (part #1) – “… gifted at self promotion and bullshit and …”

Editor McCauley in conversation with Howard Popeck: Hi Howard. I’ll start if I may with I hope an inoffensive comment that you’ve been around the audiophile ‘block’ a few times. You are I guess a survivor from the old school. Would you care to comment? Okay, that’s true. I started in the business in October […]

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From our archives: The amplifier designer hall of fame (part #2) – “They were the ones that saw the market niches …”

Editor McCauley in conversation with Howard Popeck: So there are more figureheads than gifted designers. Is that what you’re saying? Not quite like that. In my direct personal experience I’ve met more figureheads than gifted designers. But that’s not to say that my experiences are representative of the entire industry. One has to take into […]

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From the archives: The amplifier designer hall of fame (part #3) – Mark Levinson, Antony Michaelson, Dr. Richard Bews, Bob Stuart, Roger Modeski.

Editor McCauley in conversation with Howard Popeck: Yes. But can you expand on this a bit? Okay. In my direct personal experience many of the finest amplifier designers are first and foremost gifted in their field and are not entrepreneurs through choice. They become entrepreneurs through force of circumstance i.e. there was no other intelligent […]

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BEVERIDGE: 2SW speakers

I read one of your posts about the Beveridge speakers. I am located in Chicago have recently purchased a pair of Beveridge 2sw speakers. Before running the Beveridges, I was using Apogee Scintilla speakers. As good as the Scintillas are they are no match for the Beveridge speakers. I feel like I have died and […]

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APOGEE: Amplifiers suitable for 1 ohm Scintilla loudspeakers

Howard – help please! WHICH vintage Krell? —//— Certainly. I sold many pairs of these magnificent but tricky-to-drive speakers when I ran Subjective Audio. I was, so I’m told Apogee’s most successful UK retailer. i mention this because I have a lot of direct, personal hands-on experience. The simple part of my 2-part answer is […]

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From our archives: The amplifier designer hall of fame (part #4) – Antony Michaelson (again), Mark Levinson (again)

Editor McCauley in conversation with Howard Popeck: From that standpoint then, is Antony Michaelson a UK version of Mark Levinson? Yes, possibly. Antony is a very unusual man and again is the sole occupant of a rare and special ‘box’. He’s very gifted in many ways and yes he’s an audio designer as well as […]

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From the archives: The amplifier designer hall of fame (part #5) – Musical Fidelity

Editor McCauley in conversation with Howard Popeck: Okay. Got it. But can we return to the mercurial Mr. Michaelson at some point today? Possibly. Possibly not. Depends on what your questions are. Some matters are strictly off limits. He is though a bit of a hero for me frankly. (HP makes direct eye contact as […]

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From the archives: The amplifier designer hall of fame (part #6) – Tim de Paravachini

  Editor-in-chief Neil McCauley in conversation with Howard Popeck: Only one of the designers we’ve discussed so far, and only superficially at that, were valve-men. Why is that? Partly ‘cos I’m intolerant of the hassles associated with valves. Bear in mind I’m talking about this from a retail perspective. This isn’t a comment … not […]

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From the archives: The amplifier designer hall of fame (part #7) – Tim de Paravachini (again), Bill Beard.

Editor McCauley in conversation with Howard Popeck: So EARs were the best valve amps in the world and by implication their designer was a designer-hero, right? Possibly. That’s a bit of an inference; I didn’t say that. However ….. ARC was touted as being the finest tube gear that money could buy, in the UK […]

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