THE ART OF ELECTRONICS (Horowitz & Hill) 3rd ed: Still the best?

Dear Colin, The Art of Electronics (Horowitz & Hill) 3rd ed… … as DIYers probably already know is now out, only 25 years after the 2nd ed. My copy arrived today. I’m not trained in electronics and make no claim to more than a passing knowledge, but have enjoyed these authors’ style of presentation since […]

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Pierre Lurne: Audiomeca’s Turntable Designer

John Atkinson writes: Someone, I forget who it was, once wrote a perceptive essay on how in any field of human endeavor, apparent perfection is attained only when that field is in the process of being superseded. The Palace at Versailles was built when the power of the French monarchy was well into decline; Wagner’s […]

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BOWERS and WILKINS: Dr. John Dibb interview

David Lander writes: Before striding into the future, John Dibb enjoyed considerable exposure to his sceptered isle’s fascinating past. He was born in England’s North Country, in 1948, in a model West Yorkshire village established a century earlier by an enlightened industrialist determined to provide comfortable housing and communal amenities for his employees and their […]

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NOLA SPEAKERS: Howard Popeck speaks at length to people with interesting things to say: Carl Marchisotto at Nola Speakers

  So Carl … how did your interest in music reproduction start? My involvement with music started at an early age. I studied piano for 12 yrs while growing up. My Mom would take me to the Metropolitan Opera. My parents had a deep love for music and I got to hear a lot of […]

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BENCHMARK: Audio application notes – Feed-Forward Error Correction

John Siau writes: The Benchmark AHB2 power amplifier and HPA4 headphone amplifier both feature feed-forward error correction. This correction system is an important subset of the patented THX-AAA™ (Achromatic Audio Amplifier) technology. It is one of the systems that keeps these Benchmark amplifiers virtually distortion free when driving heavy loads. It is also the reason […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN / Tubes and that elusive sound?

Hello Colin, please be patient with me because although I am an experienced listener I’m not very conversant with the technology that is available today. By this I mean I really just plug in and just listen. However recently I started to think about some of the units I use, In particular a Musical Fidelity […]

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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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KILLER SOUNDS ON A BUDGET:

Caleb Denison (Digital Trends) writes: We were excited enough to be among the first to receive Pioneer’s new Atmos-enabled Elite speaker system for review, but when the company sent along legendary audio engineer Andrew Jones to install them, that was something else entirely. The man behind the speaker’s design and engineering — whose name is stamped right on the […]

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BENCHMARK: Audio application notes – Relay-Controlled Volume – The Ultimate Solution for Analog Audio

John Siau writes: Benchmark has introduced the new HPA4 headphone/line amplifier with four 256-step relay-controlled attenuators and four 16-step relay-controlled boost amplifiers. Together these form two fully-independent, fully-balanced stereo volume controls. One volume control is dedicated to the line output and one is dedicated to the headphone output. Each has a +15 dB to -122 […]

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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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…….. but then uncomfortable when we speak of it in absolute terms

Paul McGowan: We’re comfortable suggesting sound is subjective when it comes to our differences in perception, but then uncomfortable when we speak of it in absolute terms. In other words, we believe the source of sound to be absolute. The perception of sound a matter of personal choice. The dictionary describes subjective as a central philosophical […]

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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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TOWNSHEND ENGINEERING: Howard Popeck speaks at length to people with interesting things to say: Max Townshend

From our archives : Howard Popeck: Not many people know you’re a qualified engineer. What engineering discipline was your first degree? Max: Bachelor of Engineering, Electrical, specialising in communications. Where did you study? University of Western Australia So what happened after that? I accepted a commission in the Royal Australian Air Force where I was […]

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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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MISSION: Henry Azima interviewed

John Atkinson writes ….. In its first three years, UK hi-fi manufacturer Mission Electronics employed a number of engineers to reinforce the creative talents of founder and hi-fi enthusiast Farad Azima. The lineup included John Bicht, now with Versa Dynamics, and Stan Curtis, now heading up Cambridge Audio. But when Farad’s brother Henry—”Henry” is actually […]

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MANA ACOUSTICS / JOHN WATSON: Howard Popeck speaks at length to people with interesting things to say: Mana Acoustics’ John Watson – the complete interview

How did your interest in music reproduction start John? I guess I was always into music from a very early age. My Father was an electrical and mechanical engineer and used to build his own Hi-Fi back in the Fifties, so music played a big part in my formative years. You’re probably best known, even […]

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ROBIN MARSHALL: A Modicum of Genius

John Atkinson ….. One of the things that fascinates me about the field of box loudspeaker design is how few original talents there are capable of designing a model from first principles. Yes, armed with the Thiele-Small papers on bass alignment, an understanding of filter theory, and a working knowledge of the OEM drive-unit field, […]

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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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Quill

ALBARRY: Howard Popeck speaks at length to people with interesting things to say: Albarry Music’s main man Mr. Neil Burnett. An Albarry valve amp perhaps?

From the archives Preliminary notes. Neil’s a busy guy and has kindly agreed to us sending him clusters of three questions on a regular basis while bearing in mind that he’ll squeeze his responses in as and when his schedule permits. There are many things we’d like to ask this designer of fine amplification and […]

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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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Howard Popeck speaks at length to people with interesting things to say: Metaxas & Sons SOLITAIRE 2016 amplifier – Redefining what an amplifier can look like in Hi-End Audio

First published in early 2016 Howard Popeck: Hi Kostas. Unusual design, to say the least. What’s led to this? Kostas Metaxas: Hi Howard. After 40 years of creating audio equipment, the last thing that I wanted to produce was “another box with transistors on a heatsink”. I was dreaming of the most spectacular architecture, design […]

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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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SOLEDGE: Howard Popeck speaks at length to people with interesting things to say: Mr. Raphaël Bini, the driving force behind French audio maker Soledge High End Wireless Audio System.

Hello Raphaël. How did your interest in music reproduction start? Well, I suppose everything starts with music listening during as a youth, with a father playing music, either on a piano or guitar, or on his HiFi system. Then, my father being an electrician and repairing TV sets, meant that I grew up with electronic […]

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