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 […]

Read More

From our archives: The amplifier designer hall of fame / Julian Prendergast Verreker

Editor McCauley in conversation with Howard Popeck: More? More! Well, I never met Julian Verreker. Because of my public loathing for the Linn ‘culture’ in the 1980’s; he and I would never have seen eye to eye. It wasn’t to be. However he was a self-taught designer. That’s gotta mean something, right? I took a […]

Read More

Ask Mr. H: SACD, DVD-A and CD. Howard Popeck answers a reader’s question

Howard. were the public remiss in not giving more support to SACD and DVD-A – or is CD sufficient? SACD was flawed; there’s no question about that! It wasn’t a good medium. It never sounded right to me. None of the players that were available gave the comprehensive performance that the advanced CD players gave. […]

Read More

From the archives: The amplifier designer hall of fame / Eva-Anne Manley, Bob Stuart / Meridian 107 power amp.

Editor McCauley in conversation with Howard Popeck: Can we stick with potential valve amp hero-designers for a moment? Certainly. If only I could think of any. (Long pause). Well ….. Hmm. I very much love the sound of Manley amps. Their preamps and their power amps and the magnificent Stingray. Their idiosyncratic site alludes to […]

Read More

From our archives: The amplifier designer hall of fame / 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 […]

Read More

MUSICAL FIDELITY: From the 2009 archives: My small part in the story – by Howard Popeck

Hi Howard. What’s your part in the Musical Fidelity story. And what do you think of their current offers? Thanks. Ronnie Hmm. Interesting question. Thank you. In a nutshell … It’s all too easy to associate the brand with the man (or woman) behind the brand. Easy, but unproductive. The point being that currently, and […]

Read More

From the archives: The amplifier designer hall of fame / Tim de Paravachini / Bill Beard.

Editor McCauley in conversation with Howard Popeck: So EARs were the best valve amps in the world and by implication their designer was a designer-hero, right? Possibly. That’s a bit of an inference; I didn’t say that. However ….. ARC was touted as being the finest tube gear that money could buy, in the UK […]

Read More

DILLARD & CLARK: Train Leaves Here This Mornin’

Howard Popeck: The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark is a country rock album by Dillard & Clark. The album was recorded in 1968, shortly after Gene Clark departed the Byrds for the second time, and Doug Dillard left the Dillards. The album is hailed by critics and musicians as a unique masterpiece at the […]

Read More

PRINCIPAL DESIGN: PD150 speakers in the mid to late 80s

Hello Howard. I came across your very ezine whilst looking for Linn Sara information. I wonder if you have any knowledge of another Speaker Manufacture? I purchased a set of Principal Design PD150 speakers in the mid to late 80s. One drive unit has developed a fault so I have been looking for information about […]

Read More

TANGENT: RS4 loudspeakers

Previously published on June 11, 2013 This image comes from a VERY interesting site devoted to Tangent. ========= Howard Popeck writes: This brief review and non-technical focuses on what I truly believe was, and possibly remains (by today’s standards and the low used prices for these speakers, if you can find them in working condition) […]

Read More

FORUM BASHING: The practice of ‘bigging-up’ a brand on some audiophile forums

Hi Howard. I know your opinion that when it comes to forums your advice and personal practice is to ‘look and never, ever touch’. I understand where you are coming from. Your comments re the obvious and less obvious ‘bigging up’ of chosen brands by the genuine and those in the ‘pay’ of those makers […]

Read More

A dream system? Certainly is. Cello, Beveridge, LFD, Teac and yes, utterly appropriately upholding the UK, Boothroyd Stuart Meridian. Not a piece of Linn or Naim to be seen!

On the only forum I subscribe to, I was asked a question about my dream system. Here’s my reply. You’ll notice that some of the items are many years old. The plain fact is that in some instances, nothing, literally nothing made today can achieve the spectacularly wonderful sound from this bygone era. That type […]

Read More

STAX 2020 + NAIM CD5-X

I have a Stax 20/20 basic system which I have acquired from a friend recently. My problem is when directly connected from my Naim CD5X CD player (RCA output) I get some distortion in sound as I crank up the volume to higher level on the energiser. My interconnects are QED approx £20 according to […]

Read More

BUYING AND: Avoiding really dumb decisions #5 – for £16 or less

Hopefully: 1.  You’ll agree that it’s essential that your amplifier or amplifiers being auditioned should be as close to tonally consistent across the spl (volume) band as possible i.e. no bass, or mid or treble emphasis (or dropout) as the volume is changed. 2.  That the only fair comparison between any two components (amps in […]

Read More

BENCHMARK DAC: LFD Audio LS3 linestage, an irritated wife, Joni Mitchell and … a lesson learned!

Originally published June 2006 Just like you I understand that our connection to music comes from multiple angles: emotional, analytical, as a student, as a teacher, as a critic or just casually. Moreover irrespective of how we are connecting we can easily tell when we like something or we don’t Neither you nor I need […]

Read More
Quill

BURTON SOMERVELL: Their remarkable and short-lived hybrid cone & ribbon speakers

I have just read the article ” Interview with the Gods”, and loudspeakers “Burton Somervell” were mentioned.  I can not find any info on them.  Can you help ! Thank you so much for your enquiry. Usually I’m able to answer incoming queries to everyone’s complete satisfaction first time. But sometimes I don’t. And sometimes […]

Read More

“It’s only the music I’m interested in” – Howard Popeck wonders just how true this is

I hear this mantra / protestation rather a lot. Yes, I’m sure it’s true for some of us; but me – surely I know better, right? Over the years though I’ve concluded that most of us like the gear, the kit, just as much as we like the music. I’m no exception; I’ve bought vintage […]

Read More