Howard Popeck asks: How important is the absence of UK servicing on top audiophile gear?

  Let me set the scene. One of the reasons I gave up representing STAX equipment, at the time I was the global #1 for the brand was not, as is sometimes reported, the unreliability of the Omega-2 earspeakers and certain batches of the 717, but that on a number of occasions, the defective items […]

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From the archives: Dear diary – Lentek • Christopher Breunig • Editor Messenger • Harbeth • PRaT – and a piece of fan mail.

This first appeared here in 2008 Good day, yesterday. No sales, but no cause for concern either. Happily noticed that this site has just recorded the highest number of unique visitors and the highest number of visitor actions so far this year. I wonder why? Took a quick look at Hifi Critic magazine. Very pleased […]

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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 […]

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STAX: 4040 or Omega earspeakers for a blues enthusiast?

My system is LP12/ Itok/ Koetsu/Armageddon/Groove/Hi cap/82/250/Kabers.Some time back I bought a Densen 400XS CD player second hand to play a few discs I usually keep in the car. 30 Min’s into the first blues disc it sounded so bad I assumed I had a poor recording.On with another – same terrible sound.Even my wife […]

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MARK LEVINSON: The man, ML equipment in the distant past in the UK

Question for Mr. Popeck. Hi.  You were a Levinson dealer at Listen Carefully. No reviews and no adverts for months. Are Levinson still in business and if so, are they represented in the UK. What is their vintage gear like? Hmm. In hi-fi terms, Listen-Carefully was a long time ago. However, I’ll do my best […]

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NAKAMICHI: PA-7 200 Watt Power Amplifier – a few thoughts

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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EQUIPMENT SUPPORT SPIKES: More smoke and mirrors? Part #3

Ah yes indeed. I experienced the identical demo. I had the same experience as you. Max did have some theories, but although he was able to predict the effect, he was at a loss, other than in general terms, to explain the mechanics of it. Or perhaps I didn’t undertstand his explanation. Quite possible actually. […]

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PODIUM LOUDSPEAKERS: Lacking bass weight?

Some ‘experts’ on forums said that the Podium’s lacked real bottom end. True or false. Complete rubbish. They had terrific bass. The point is that for some of these forum nutters, if it isn’t a Linn Isobaric type of bass, then it’s no good. Bonkers. There are in my view a few reasons for not […]

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BOSENDORFER: VC-7 Loudspeakers test review

Howard Popeck writes: Bosendorfer have been making concert pianos for 175 years. This is their first venture into Hi-Fi. Their aspiration was to produce the most authentic sound possible from loudspeakers. So they researched carefully with leading artists and prominent concert halls to help achieve their ambition. Hans Deutsch, their acoustician uses unusual design techniques […]

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STAX: SRD5

Dear Sir … I found your website and thought that I would let you know that I still have the SRD5 Energiser but seem to have mislaid the headset. I bought them in 1969 and thoroughly enjoyed listening but I think the energiser developed a fault and I stopped using them. Your website made me […]

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GIGS: Those I really wished I had been to and … for whatever reason … didn’t. Part #1. Led Zep and The Who

Probably top of the list is Led Zeppelin appearing at UMIST for the princely sum of 7s 6d, or in today’s money about 33p. I have to say, with some acute embarrassment, that I didn’t go simply because I didn’t like the spelling of the name. I thought it pretentious. Turns out that it wasn’t […]

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STAX: The 717 & Stax 313

Hi Howard. My question relates to both the 717 and 313 energisers. What can you tell me? Hmm. Well … I had to look up my notes from 2005 from my SimplySTAX days because off the top of my head I just couldn’t remember. Anyway verbatim, here are my notes from that period. I hope […]

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STAX: From the (2008) archives / Stax earspeakers – broken headbands and glue that is melting

Howard Popeck writes: I’ve received a number of calls recently regarding broken headbands on some models of STAX earspeakers and to a lesser extent, glue which is not keeping the ear pads in place. My advice to people is as follows: If your purchase is within the warranty period, then you should phone Mr. Crump […]

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STAX: 4040 system and preamps

Will my SR-4040 system, or any STAX system for that matter sound better if I upgrade my preamp? Well, without wishing to be evasive, there’s no definitive answer to this. Sorry – but I’m happy to share my thoughts with you – and no doubt you’ll draw your own conclusions. First, I have a concern […]

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Blast from the past – July 2008 / Dear diary …….. Trio KT 917, DAB vs DDB, Squeezbox, declining mental powers, Mcintosh vs Bel Canto, TACT RCS 2.2XP, Richer Sounds getting a thumbs up …. and more – by Howard Popeck.

Taken from my diary for 17/7/2008: Bit of an up ‘n down day yesterday. Slightly disturbed to discover that my ‘must buy’ list of CDs now runs to 59! It’s not so much the money; but how am I going to find the tine to listen? Ho hum. Hooked up my wonderful old and massive […]

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Blast from the past from 2006: Howard, what’s your current system?

Howard Popeck Due to the nature of my work, I use quite a few pieces of equipment in various combinations. So my own answer should be seen in the light of what I am listening to currently rather than my favourite system.At the moment I am using a system comprising all second-hand units bought off […]

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From the archive / Dear diary – Me as Tony Hancock, Jack Bruce and Andy Fraser -but not all at the same time. Lucid dreaming, Stevie Nicks (unrelated),self-indulgence and, err – that’s it.

Dear me. What a miserable day last Friday was. Too much paper work. Either that or I’m just plain inefficient. Probably the latter. Not only do I feel like Tony Hancock, when I glance in the mirror I look like him too. S**t! Gloom relieved by some very kind emails. Now receiving at least 20 […]

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STAX: Talent DAC in two versions

Hello Howard and Neil. There are 2 types of STAX Talent DAC – Talent and Talent dB. Do you know the differences? In a word, no, I don’t know the differences. Very few DAC Talent units were imported into the UK and so information is scarce. it had quite good reviews at the time but […]

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WILSON AUDIO: An encounter in London with a $0.35m USD audio system including the Wilson Audio Alexx loudspeakers

From our archives Summary: I started out by musing on a working title; ‘Higher-end redefined?’ I knew within moments it only had to be adjusted slightly to ‘Higher-end redefined!’ A magnificent achievement. As engaging, thrilling and inspiring a performance as I’ve yet heard in the UK. There may be other combinations up there, Magico for […]

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