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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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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Audiophile interview: Ms. Nathalie Fougues, senior designer at newly emergent French audio maker Why Not

Hello Nathalie. How did your interest in music reproduction start? My interest in music is natural; I am as thrilled by the music of nature as I am the sounds of people and their music. From birdsong and wind to industrial rhythms; all sounds interesting me. For a few years I studied music theory and […]

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Challenging listening, to say the least – but certainly worth the £3.00 I paid. Yes, its Jan Garbarek time again

Yes, its Jan Garbarek time again. Another of my £3.00 bargain bin finds. Not what you might call ‘easily accessible ‘ – but it did survive the 3-in-a-row consecutive plays on my office system last Saturday by quite a high margin. Perhaps I was in the right mood for a bit of ‘ethereal’? Anyway – […]

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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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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 […]

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ROB BUCKLAND: Howard Popeck interviews this Musician | Composer | Arranger | Educator

ROB BUCKLAND is internationally acclaimed as one of the most distinctive and versatile Saxophonists of his generation. Appearing as concerto and recital soloist, with his Equivox Trio (with pianist Peter Lawson and percussionist Simone Rebello), and with the Apollo Saxophone Quartet, Rob performs throughout the UK, Europe and Japan. Recent highlights include the British Premiere […]

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CAMBRIDGE: All you might want and need to know about: The Cambridge R40-2 loudspeakers – review and/or test if you prefer – by Howard Popeck

Shortly after starting Subjective Audio in 1976 I came across my first pair of Cambridge Audio speakers. A not unhappy experience. I made some notes at the time. Thus what follows here is a combination of facts (manufacturer’s specifications) plus my subjective impressions derived from deciphering my notes. And after that, memories of the experiences. […]

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WILSON AUDIO: An encounter in London with a $0.35m USD audio system including the Wilson Audio Alexx loudspeakers

From our archives Summary: I started out by musing on a working title; ‘Higher-end redefined?’ I knew within moments it only had to be adjusted slightly to ‘Higher-end redefined!’ A magnificent achievement. As engaging, thrilling and inspiring a performance as I’ve yet heard in the UK. There may be other combinations up there, Magico for […]

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BOSENDORFER: VC-7 Loudspeakers test review

Howard Popeck writes: Bosendorfer have been making concert pianos for 175 years. This is their first venture into Hi-Fi. Their aspiration was to produce the most authentic sound possible from loudspeakers. So they researched carefully with leading artists and prominent concert halls to help achieve their ambition. Hans Deutsch, their acoustician uses unusual design techniques […]

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NAKAMICHI: CA-5EII + Nakamichi PA-5E (and the Nakamichi ST-7 FM tuner, in passing) test review

NB: This was originally published in 2010 Hello, and welcome to the next of my series of reviews of vintage equipment. First, I only write about equipment that I have had extended, direct and personal experience of either as an end-user or retailer – or both. I don’t get involved in measurements. During 34 years […]

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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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MICRO SEIKI: DQX1000 turntable test review by Howard Popeck – Part 1

Previously published on June 19, 2013 Overview: In 1978, in the early days of Subjective Audio I sold quite a few of these. And for a while I always had one on demo. The reasons why people bought them, and the reason I had one are, well …. not much to do with sound quality. […]

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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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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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