VANDERSTEEN: Richard Vandersteen: Keep on Truckin’ – by Ken Kessler

First published in 1988 Richard Vandersteen doesn’t look like a typical loudspeaker designer. True, he wears glasses, but his presence suggests a longshoreman or somebody who’d be played by Gene Hackman. And sure enough, he tells you in a quasi-Dukes of Hazzard drawl that he’s been a construction worker, plumber, truckdriver, and electrician. Electronics had […]

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HARBETH: Alan Shaw on amplifiers…

From the archives, but still relevant I believe. Neil —//— The latest on this ongoing ‘amps are all the same’ thing on the Harbeth User Group forum – ‘The last word on audio amplifiers – Jan 2015’ http://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/showthread.php?2505-The-last-words-on-audio-amplifiers-Jan-2015[/URL] The comments are getting quite heated on this one but Shaw will not be moved stating that […]

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HARBETH: Bass response – how deep should my speakers go for a lifelike sound at home?

Mr. Alan Shaw writes ….. Ah! That old chestnut again. OK, you probably won’t believe me if I say ‘not as deep as you’ve been led to believe’ so let’s actually make some audio clips and you can hear and judge for yourself. First: I’d like you to forget all about the numbers you see […]

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SPEAKER DESIGN: Guru David Smith

Rahul Athalye (TNT-Audio ezine) writes: TNT-Audio caught up with noted speaker designer David Smith, ex-JBL, McIntosh, KEF, Snell, and PSB. Join TNT and Speaker Dave on a journey into the heart of speaker design, its history and current trends. Rahul Athalye (RA):Tell us about how you got started in the audio business. David Smith (DS): […]

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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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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN: External power supplies

  Hello Colin. I seem to have read somewhere that you feel that external power supplies for audiophile equipment Is really an irrelevance if the original power supply design has been correctly implemented. Have I got that right? If not, can you put your views to us? Thanks in advance, Nigel Okay, I did say […]

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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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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN / ELSDON – WONFOR: Boutique brand, or mass-market?

Hi Colin. First. Congratulations on rising phoenix-like from a difficult time with difficult people! From what I have read my impression is that you are intent on keeping Elsdon Wonfor Audio small; a boutique-brand if you will. However for the sake of conversation, or curiosity or whatever, if you wanted to, could the company be […]

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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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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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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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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN: Audiophile industry heroes

Hi Colin. Who if any are your audio designers heroes and why? Thanks. Nigel Beethoven (no jokes please) Hello Nigel. Heroes is a bad thing to have as it puts normal humans on a dais and yet they are human. But the gents and ladies in this complex industry that I put up with; the […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN: Transformer noise through speakers … when switched off!

Dear Colin, step up transformer noise. I purchased an amp from Europe that needs 240v [ I am on north American voltage].. I bought a step up/step down transformer to equalize the voltage. it works, but the transformer produces noise through the speakers, even when the amp is turned off. the transformer I bought was […]

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STAR EARTHING: What is it and what’s the point?

Hello Howard. Can you ask Colin please what is star earthing and does he / will he using it in his new designs? Ta muchly J.N Peterson {Colin} Dear J.N.Peterson star earthing should be used in all analog designs, that is a single zero or earth for every component on the circuit board and normally […]

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ON or OFF: How often do we have to turn off our equipment?

Dear Colin, power supply question. How often do we have to turn off our equipment such as power amp, pre amp. cd player , power conditioner ……? Can we leave them on for days while listening on and off or do we have to turn them off after every session of listening? As a general […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN / BI-WIRING: A daft idea or what?

Gentlemen – what is this ‘thing’ called bi-wiring and will Elsdon Wonfor Audio be making speaker cables that use this tecnique? Thanks. Ron McQueen. {Colin} Dear Ron, bi-wiring is used to stop the reflection signal of one or more transducers affecting the movement or control of another. This can happen and it is caused by […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN: To what extent – if any – can exceptional interconnects compensate for a mediocre CD player?

Dear Colin, An audiophile friend made the following argument to me: “Stop looking for a new CD player. With a very good to excellent high-end interconnect you will not only improve the performance of the CD, but other downstream components.” I had to disagree with my friend claiming a $400 or $500 IC is not […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN: Impedance – match of pre / power amps

Dear Colin, impedance match of preamp and main amp. I am considering mating a McIntosh Mc602 with a Bat Vk 51se. I noticed the input impedance on the Mc602 is 10K. While most Bat amps are much higher. Do you see a problem with this? It seems I remember at Stereophile I used to know […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN: The value of mains regeneration?

Hello Colin and may I congratulate you on your resurrection. My question is this. As it is generally agreed that as a consequence of the variation of the mains waveform systems sound different at different times of any twenty four hours, do you do your fine-tuning at a similar time each day for continuity? Or […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN: What really are computer grade parts?

Dear Colin, Computer grade parts? What are computer grade parts.. such as Computer grade power-supply caps? Are these type of parts an upgrade and/or better than audiophile grade parts? For example, I’ve heard some people say, “I’ve upgraded my power supply caps in my amp to computer grade caps”. I don’t think I’d want computer […]

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OUTPUT TRANSISTORS: What is it that causes them to blow?

Dear Colin, Generally speaking, what is it that causes output transistors to blow? Do they tend to die a natural death? Bad drivers? Emitters? Problems with the rectifier circuit? Assuming there wasn’t shorted speaker wires or excessive moisture. The amp bias and the +/-77 voltage was fine before they blew. It happened on power up. […]

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