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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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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SUBJECTIVE AUDIO: The great sounds; Radford, Spectral, Lecson, Infinity, SoundLabs, JBL Century, Beveridge, Beard and more

Neil McCauley asks Howard Popeck: What were the best reproduced sounds you ever heard in the early days? Not easy to answer. Depends on one’s definition of best. If you take just listenability i.e. the customer’s sound is so good right now that I’m not going to unpack my demo gear, then it would have […]

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From our archives: The amplifier designer hall of fame (part #11) – John Curl, Mark Levinson (again), Dr. Richard Bews, Bob Stuart (again)

Hmm. Okay So anyway, a little while later were ushered into the listening room and were confronted by man-sized monoliths we later came to know as The Apogee, from Apogee. And a pair of the previously mechanically buzzing power amps, powered up with the preamp at max without a source playing and mechanically silent. Seeing […]

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From the archives: The amplifier designer hall of fame (part #10) – Chris Bryant, Antony Michaelson (again), Allen Boothroyd,

So no, we aren’t coming to the end. Not yet. (Long pause) Okay. I used to sell the Albarry monoblocs. Damn fine sound. Clever designer. Still sounds good today. Not a hero as such but worthy of an honourable mention. Then whoever designed the A&R A60. A truly great product. In its way a classic. […]

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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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COLIN WONFOR: HB100 mono power amps test review

Neil McCauley / editor in chief Why no images? Because the test review that follows here are of a pre-production pair in casework that doesn’t properly represent the finished product which, so we are told, should be available in early March 2017. Priced, including VAT @ £4.6k per pair. A bit of history Please note […]

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COLIN WONFOR: MC-V power cord (silver plated pins) test review

Neil McCauley / editor in chief There’s an old saying that you can judge a person by the company they keep. It’s a truism and a cliché but that doesn’t mean it’s incorrect. Applied to the hi-fi industry, you can make a reasonable stab at the true nature (behind the carefully crafted façade) of the […]

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ACCIDENTAL MAGIC: What does it mean in practice?

Neil McCauley asks Howard Popeck Howard, Historically, what did you mean by ‘accidental magic’? Well …….. a combination of equipment that previously you’d not encountered and which sounds right immediately. Unusual combinations. Amps and speakers that just by chance sound magical together – even though the makers probably hadn’t used each other’s equipment. That kinda […]

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A POINT OF VIEW: Conrad Johnson amp; Audio Research private sellers; greedy, misguided orjust plain unlucky?

Arguably CJ and AR are natural rivals in the valve/tube market. They’ve been around for many (in audiophile terms at least) years and so there are plenty of items available on the used market. The accepted places to look online are eBay and Audiogon. Sellers on eBay specify a minimum selling price. Sometimes they’ll be […]

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Talent spotting: Great British HiFi manufacturing talent, the little guys usually ignored in the paper mags

It seems to us that small innovative British makers really don’t receive much editorial coverage in the paper magazines. It’s easy to speculate why this might be. Possibly those that are marginalised suffer because they don’t have a marketing / advertising budget. Our suspicions though are that: The interests of the ‘big boys’ i.e. those […]

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ASK THE EDITOR: NVA – Nene Valley Audio

Q: Hello Neil. I saw your piece re great British HiFi makers, the really small ones that get marginalised. I notice you have never published anything about Mr. Richard Dunn’s little outfit NVA. Also, did you really tell a colleague editor that your thought the acronym NVA really should mean ‘Not Very Advanced’? Thank you […]

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THE EDITOR’S VIEW: Oh Richard (Dunn) – It started out with the best of intentions it seems and then …..

http://hifisubjectivist.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=45189 starts as follows: This forum room is going to go through *yet another* spate of attacks by the look of it, so perhaps it is time to make its purpose plain. The purpose is to shine a light on the bullshit, conmen, egotists et al who populate this industry and are also trying to […]

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A POINT OF VIEW: Loudspeakers with thin walls, or inert ones?

Gentlemen. Are you strong advocates of thin-walled speaker cabinets that vibrate in a predictable way, rather than massively inert cabinets? Interesting. we took a poll here of many of our contributors. There is a sort of common view here. In summary – as a group, albeit with many uncommon listening experiences between us we believe […]

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Is the industry through social media simply preaching to the converted?

Mr Editor McCauley – are we simply preaching to the converted and the cynical? Is social media, in this market a waste of time and money in terms of profit-generation? We asked contributing editor  Howard Popeck to respond, and he did. An interesting and highly relevant rhetorical question. My answer is that yes we are […]

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In defence of Ken Kessler in particular and audio writes in general – or at least most of them – by Neil McCauley (part 2 of 2)

Previously Not only is the Editor’s decision final, but … His decision is not up for debate or interpretation. Let me explain. Years ago it was not uncommon for a reviewer to act as a talent scout for a magazine. He / she might have spotted a new maker and/or new technology at a show […]

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