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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CROSSOVERS: Types of resistors for crossovers?

Dear Colin, I have just fitted stock 2R7 Panasonic 0.1% metal film resistors to replace the “green” 2R2 wirewounds in series with the Millennium tweeters in my WD25Tex speakers. I expected a change ( a bit warmer) but was not prepared for such a drastic change – is this due to the 0,5R increase or […]

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MARK LEVINSON: His Milestone Year

This piece originally appeared in Stereophile in May 2002: Mark Levinson, born December 11, 1946, celebrates an important anniversary in 2002. Exactly 30 years ago he jogged onto the playing field of high-end audio, so early in the game that fans, then few and far between, could count the players on their fingers. The high-fidelity […]

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AUDIO RESEARCH: Meet Your Maker: Hi-Fi+ Visits Audio Research Corporation

Chris Martens: Reviews of products from the US-based firm Audio Research Corporation have frequently graced the pages of Hi-Fi+, so that I was pleased to have the opportunity to visit the ARC factory in Plymouth, Minnesota (a suburb of the greater Minneapolis metropolitan area) to see how the firm’s components are made. What follows is […]

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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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BS – MAYBE: Power cord optimum length … a scientific basis or merely hype?

Here’s one for you electric wizards to kick around. Whilst attending a recent hifi exhibition I was doing some power cord shopping. At one particular display I was being told by a very well known cable company representative, I’ll not mention the name so it doesn’t influence any responses, that the rule of thumb is […]

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IMPEDANCE: How to measure it?

Dear Colin, Zero autoformers; how to measure impedance please? I got a pair of Speltz zero autoformers recently but when I measure the total impedance, my multimeter sees only 0.4-0.6 ohm no matter what I do. It seems the multimeter could only read the DC resistance from the autoformer itself but not the total impedance […]

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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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QUAD: What wire for rewiring their power amps please?

Dear Colin, I’ve just picked up a Quad 405 ready for service. When I serviced my previous 405 I used the Dada kit which came with the necessary wire. Can you tell me please what size / gauge wire I should use to replace the existing power wires? Would this be suitable? http://www.rapidonline.com/design-te…0m-reels-62317 or could […]

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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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SUMO: Audiophile interview with Rich May of Sumo; an audio dynasty

John Atkinson writes ………… Way back in the mists of time, around 1980 to be exact, the Marantz company in Europe introduces a range of ostensibly cost-no-object solid-state electronics under the “Esotec” banner. Manufactured in Japan, but apparently designed in the USA, these ruggedly constructed components are noteworthy in that the power amplifiers are capable […]

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HELIUS DESIGNS: Magic Pebbles, an explanation of tonearm bias and …

In my first article, I wrote about those wizened beings who occasionally materialise from the ether, intent on stretching the boundaries of plausibility with their over-active imaginations. These people would have us believe that a generous sprinkling of their particular flavour of fairy dust on your hi-fi will transport it to the realms of godliness. […]

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PS AUDIO: Ignorance and confidence

When we set our sights far in the future the world looks nice and rosy. Imagine that new pair of speakers gracing your living room, the new amplifier, the rebuilt room. According to Mark Twain imagining the future takes a combination of things. “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind […]

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HELIUS: The evolution of tonearm design and consider aspects of various designs that most influenced my approach to Helius

Geoffrey Owen – head of Helius Designs writes: In this episode I’m going to discuss the evolution of tonearm design and consider aspects of various designs that most influenced my approach to Helius. My own hi-fi journey started with the most classical of 1970’s choices – an SME 3009 mounted on a Thorens TD125 MKII […]

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HELIUS DESIGNS: VTA – “As a starting point, when people refer to Vertical Tracking Angle, VTA -they usually mean Stylus Rake Angle, SRA – in other words, the perpendicularity of the stylus with respect to the groove”

Geoffrey Owen: Somewhat like Terry Wogan and his listener, I feel my first article secured one noble reader. My hope now is to double that number in this follow-up. In my last piece, I suggested the audio industry was populated by three distinct stereotypes, these being gods, gurus and mystics; the first two I’ve covered […]

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HELIUS DESIGNS: in conversation with Howard Popeck – part one

Geoffrey ….. why is there such diversity between audiophile values and the audio engineering establishment’s values? I’m not sure there is – indeed, I would argue that, more often than not, audio engineers are just audiophiles who have taken their interest to the next level and gone pro. Perhaps I should start by suggesting that […]

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HELIUS DESIGNS: In conversation with Howard Popeck – part three

Geoffrey – what is your response to the statement ‘How many channels do you think it takes to make a music listener happy; One. Mono’s fine. I’ve never heard anybody bitch about Louis Armstrong, saying, “I would enjoy it if it were only stereo” Now this question is interesting from several perspectives and I’m going […]

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NAIM: Julian Vereker – the interview

This piece was originally published in Stereophile in 1998: One of the big industry stories of 1985 was the split, both personal and commercial, between the British Linn and Naim companies. Led by Ivor Tiefenbrun and Julian Vereker (footnote 1) respectively, both companies had started up in the early 1970s. Both men held similar views, […]

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MORSIANI: Carlo Morsiani – italian builder of precision Morsiani tonearms and turntables interviewed

Carlo Morsiani (TNT-Audio) writes: Could You explain to our readers when and how You started your interest about hi-fi and turntables building? CM > I started my interest in the sixties end, when in Italy the only review with a section dedicated to hi-fi was “Discoteca hi-fi”. In 1971 I visited the first Italian hi-fi […]

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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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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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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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