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 […]

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Ask Mr. H: BRINKMANN: La Grange and one of the world’s first fully balanced vinyl replay systems

Originally published here in February 2006 Howard, is it true that way back you were the owner of the World’s first fully balanced vinyl replay system? Possibly the first; certainly one of the first three ….. so I’m told. I purchased the Brinkman 10.5 tonearm before I became a dealer, and paid £2,200 from the […]

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Retrieving both music and data from CDs scratched apparently beyond usability – Howard Popeck

  Introduction This series, written by features editor Howard Popeck is designed to, in jargon-free terms, explain, introduce, educate and otherwise assist anyone who is interested in learning more about how music in the home is produced. Thank you. Neil McCauley / editor in chief Preliminary note: I didn’t try any of this on cherished […]

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Ask Mr. H: LAT Power distribution strips

The idea that a power distribution strip, even a heavily built one like the LAT can make a difference to the sound, let alone an improvement is ridiculous. Where’s the science behind the claims? LAT power distribution block have in my experience always made a positive difference. The degree of improvement, in terms of background […]

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MYST: TMA3 – a few observations by Howard Popeck

Way back in the early 1980s at Subjective Audio I sold quite a few of these. They retailed at around £290 inc vat. It was then, and even by today’s standards a minimalist design. The case was nothing special. In fact somewhat uninspiring. The inside though was, as was the buzz-word of that era “something else” A text book example of well-built design with excellent attention to detail. Frankly, extraordinary for both the time and the price.

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Ask Mr. H: Blast from the past from 2006: Howard, what’s your current system?

Howard Popeck writes: Due to the nature of my work, I use quite a few pieces of equipment in various combinations. So my own answer should be seen in the light of what I am listening to currently rather than my favourite system.At the moment I am using a system comprising all second-hand units bought […]

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Ask Mr. H: 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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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 […]

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PODIUM LOUDSPEAKERS: Lacking bass weight?

Some ‘experts’ on forums said that the Podium’s lacked real bottom end. True or false. Complete rubbish. They had terrific bass. The point is that for some of these forum nutters, if it isn’t a Linn Isobaric type of bass, then it’s no good. Bonkers. There are in my view a few reasons for not […]

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MERIDIAN: Potential input overload on a Meridian 101B preamp?

Howard – help! Just to be clear by overload (on my Meridian 101B preamp) I mean you don’t have to push the volume control very far on either CD or LP to get a decent volume. I do not want to use an attenuator if I do not need to. I thought you meant by […]

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TANGENT: RS4 speakers and the tricky question of appropriate resale pricing

Hi Howard. I own a pair of Tangent RS4 speakers. While searching the web for an approximate price I came across your review. I love these speakers and have owned them since I was in high school ( I graduated in 1980). I am 51 now and I am moving- downsizing. I recently sold my […]

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What really is the ‘point’ about high end hifi?

No, I’m not going to! I’m not going to be discussing Hifi as a male ego trip here. Thus there will be no snide comments about my woofer being bigger than yours, or I’ve got more thousands of watts to play with than you – nor all the other irrelevant nonsense which makes some audiophiles […]

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STAX: UK reliability

How reliable is STAX equipment? There is no quick answer to this. It depends on if we are discussing recent equipment or historic equipment, and also if we are considering the earspeakers or the energisers. My comments here are based on having sold very large quantities of STAX from August 2004 until I decided to […]

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Ask Mr. H: MERIDIAN: 101B preamp potential input overload

Just to be clear by overload (on my Meridian 101B preamp) I mean you don’t have to push the volume control very far on either CD or LP to get a decent volume. I do not want to use an attenuator if I do not need to. I thought you meant by overload that you […]

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Ask Mr. H: Roger Modjeski (Beveridge RM1 preamp and more)

Gentlemen – what can you tell me about this legendary engineer and was he the guy that built the RM1 preamp? Yes, he is the designer of that legendary unit He struck me as seriously grumpy No way does he want to supply the European market with anything, apparently. He has a most interesting history […]

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Ask Mr. H: The WORST sound as experienced by Howard Popeck

Howard, what’s the worst sound you’ve ever heard? Well I guess this is a bit tongue in cheek, right? You want to know about audio makers perhaps? Too many frankly. Especially ones that should have known better. Usually from UK based makers that have just four letters in the names. However, non-audio worst sounds that […]

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From the archives: Yes – I was there says Howard Popeck: The Who, Chuck Berry and, err …. Bodast.

In conversation earlier this year with a sales manager of one of my suppliers of an audio supply company, as always with this gentleman I’m pleased and delighted to know that his primary driver is not selling product to me, although he does take this seriously, but the sheer love of music. In that curious […]

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Ask Mr. H: A proposed UK start-up valve maker. Was I too harsh?

I received this question. My answer follows. I retrospect, I might have been a bit harsh. But then again ……..? Hi. A well known valve supplier and I have discussed putting (a new valve amplifier line) into production. Given your experiences with valve amplification would you be interested in selling same amps? Well, I think […]

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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 […]

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STAX: Vintage better value than modern?

I’d be interested in your opinion of the relative merits of the SRM-001, SRM-252 II and SRD-X energisers and specifically, whether upgrading to the SRM-252 II from either of the others would yield significantly improved audio performance. I ask because I’m thinking about ‘rationalising’ my current Stax kit; SR-001MkII and SR-Lambda Pro/SRD-X. By upgrading from […]

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Mr. H: STAX :4040 or Omega earspeakers for a blues enthusiast?

My system is LP12/ Itok/ Koetsu/Armageddon/Groove/Hi cap/82/250/Kabers.Some time back I bought a Densen 400XS CD player second hand to play a few discs I usually keep in the car. 30 Min’s into the first blues disc it sounded so bad I assumed I had a poor recording.On with another – same terrible sound.Even my wife […]

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