The power of monitors / Every single decision in a recording is by ear

Not until we got deeply immersed in the building of a state-of-the-art recording label, Octave Records did it occur to us just how important the recording/mixing monitors are to the final outcome. Consider that every single decision made in any recording is 100% determined by ear. No measurement arguments live here. If the guitar sounds too bright […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN: Sources used in product development?

Hello Colin What sources and speakers does you use in development and why please? Thanks. Mike Hi Mike, Now that is a tricky question I like my old Ruark Sabres, they are old friends made for me by my old friend. I also use Spendors, and borrow others makes depending on what I am designing. […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN: Ideas are stolen everyday by people that could not imagine nor design anything new

Dear Colin, Can you tell us a little – or a lot if you wish – about the Integrated Amp design you are most proud and why please? The Claymore come to mind – the Inca Tech Claymore – it was designed on a whim for a US based company that never came back to […]

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SPEAKER CROSSOVERS: Active vs. passive

Which is better and why? An active crossover or a passive built-in crossover? And how do each of these two electronic frequency dividing networks actually do their job? Watch Now  

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN: Equipment break-in. Fact or fiction or a combination of both?

Hi guys. Is there or will there be an ‘official’ Elsdon Wonfor Audio policy on this. Here’s my view. I’m an adherent to the psychological theory of so-called break-in; it’s simply one’s brain adjusting to a new piece of audio equipment. I also like to compare it to the ancient therapy of acupuncture; break-in apparently […]

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THE AUDIO INSIDER: Unlocking dynamics?

Dynamic range describes the difference between soft and loud. What’s not defined is how soft or how loud—only the magnitude between the two—which is a problem if the softest sounds fall below the threshold of audibility. When that happens the range of dynamics is truncated, a fact not apparent when quoting dynamic range figures. I’ll […]

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NAKAMICHI: The PA7 power amplifier … a few observations

An inconvenient truth – rarely acknowledged I have a great interest in vintage equipment. From my retailing perspective it’s an inconvenient fact of life that occasionally, vintage equipment sounds every bit as good as brand new equipment and for far less money too! And then, the value. When you take into account the fact that […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN: Marketing as an influence on audiophile design?

Hi Colin. To what extent – if any – does marketing influence your designs? It has ….. for a few things. I’ve not really taken much notice of marketing and to be honest, if an audio business is run by money grabbing twits like those I’ve met in the past then … no thanks. I […]

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WHARFEDALE OPTION ONE: Yes folks, it happened just like this:

One afternoon in the early 1980s I demonstrated a system to a distinguished, immaculately suited American who was a high-flyer. His employers had phoned me to tell me that on his behalf they would pay for his chosen system – and there was no budget limitation. His chauffer waited outside while I went through the […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN: Why sell an under-optimized item that can be easily improved upon by the owner or a modder?

Dear Colin, If audiophile grade feet, power cords, and fuses can really improve sound quality, why don’t high end designers/manufacturers just incorporate these audiophile grade components at the time of build? Why sell an under-optimized item that can be easily improved upon by the owner or a modder? I guess you don’t do that at […]

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NAKAMICHI: 680ZX dual-speed cassette deck – test review

Howard Popeck … Launched in 1980, the maker’s claims were, on the face of it, outrageous; “True high-fidelity performance at half-speed”. Although cassette recording and play-back technology were, through outstanding engineering, approaching the theoretical limits of what could be achieved, and enthusiasm for the medium was probably at its peak, true audiophiles rarely accepted that […]

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DAMPING FACTOR: Explanation

HI-FI WORLD tell us … This typical example gets the issue of Damping Factor into perspective. Amplifiers commonly have an output impedance of 0.1 Ohms. Loudspeaker cables will add 0.3 Ohms or so, and the low pas bass inductor of a loudspeaker – in this case a World Audio Design KLS9 measures 0.66 Ohms even with a […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN: Is material now the limiting factor perhaps?

Hello Colin. From reading your very cogent and helpful answers to those questions here I appreciate that you take the design of power supplies very seriously. I’m writing here out of ignorance of the design process and indeed materials used but I wonder if it’s coming to the point where the next set of advances […]

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