HELIUS DESIGNS: in conversation with Howard Popeck – part two

Geoffrey ….. When it comes to listening to what you’ve designed, do you worry that you can find yourself liking something which is actually wrong? How do you keep yourself on track? In the context of tonearms it’s difficult to imagine what I could do to make it sound ‘wrong’. This part of the system […]

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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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MERIDIAN: Thoughts invited re a curious phenomenon re pre-owned gear

 Howard Popeck … There has been for some while a curious trend re the sale prices achieved for BS Meridian pre-owned equipment. The 500 series and 600 series do attract rather high prices whereas the G-series rarely do. Even the comparatively modest 200 series, now circa 28 years olds, achieves surprisingly high prices. The 101/105 […]

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JOHN MAYALL: Three vinyl releases to give a varied taster?

Hmm. Interesting. JM’s music, although generally categorized as Blues is within that genre pretty variable in terms of interpretation. To me, some of his stuff verges into jazz areas I don’t particularly like. I’m pretty much a novice here myself incidentally. However here are the 3 which I really like: The Turning Point (1969) Bluesbreakers […]

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From the 2003 archives: A frankly disturbing demonstration courtesy of a Musical Fidelity Tri-Vista KWP driving KEF Reference 205s

Howard Popeck writes: Following a frankly disturbing demonstration courtesy of Musical Fidelity at a recording studio recently I’m now listening to music via my £18k system in a totally different and increasingly unflattering light. Some of my cherished preconceptions have been overturned. Moreover I foresee implications for how the public and dealers might in future […]

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MYST: TMA3 – a few observations by Howard Popeck

Way back in the early 1980s at Subjective Audio I sold quite a few of these. They retailed at around £290 inc vat. It was then, and even by today’s standards a minimalist design. The case was nothing special. In fact somewhat uninspiring. The inside though was, as was the buzz-word of that era “something else” A text book example of well-built design with excellent attention to detail. Frankly, extraordinary for both the time and the price.

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Principal Design PD150 speakers, Dr Penfold and possiblity of clones of Linn Sara speakers. Part #1 of 2

Meyer Lansky …. Hello. I came across your very good blog 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 […]

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JBL: I have a pair of JBL L100 Century loudspeakers. They claim they are bookshelf size. 37Kg and big. Are they kidding?

  Howard, I have a pair of JBL L100 Century speakers. They claim they are bookshelf size. 37Kg and big. Are they kidding? First – 37Kg per pair, not each! Well, sort of. Blame JBL’s over-enthusiastic marketing department in the 1970s and the studio environment from which these speakers, the domestic version of the JBL […]

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How to avoid buyer anxiety – by Howard Popeck. Part #1.

First, some background: I’ve been thinking about writing something like this since 1976. I’ll explain why that date tomorrow. I have in the past written a number of articles on a related series of issues, but not for public consumption. I mention this because although I cannot in all honesty claim to be a world […]

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HOWARD POPECK: Musical explorations during the previous week

Howard Popeck writes ….. My office system is a pair of JPW bookshelf speakers, a Denon DRA-445 receiver, a Yamaha CDX-496 CD player, a STAX SRD-6 energiser and a pair of SRX Mk3 STAX earspeakers. I use the cheapest possible cable. The combination works to my complete satisfaction – given the constraints of the room […]

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HOW TO: Avoid buyer anxiety – by Howard Popeck. Part #3.

Welcome back. Hopefully you’ve read the previous two parts.So, where are we going with this? I ask on your behalf because of course whether to accompany me (and everyone else on this path) is a decision in itself. So to help you reach a quality decision then here are a few extracts from future parts […]

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APOGEE / KRELL: Their golden era. The KSA 80 and the pursuit of RMS quantity over RMS quality. And in passing, the Boothroyd Stuart Meridian 107

  Dear Howard, I purchased a Benchmark DAC Pre from you some time ago – it is the best purchased I have ever made. My question relates to power amplifiers. Can you suggest power amplifiers which will be suitable for Apogee Scintilla loudspeakers which present a 1 ohm load. I should be grateful for any […]

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Ask Mr. H: MERIDIAN: M1 Mk2 active loudspeakers

    I have a pair of Meridian M1 mk2, I am the original owner from new although I sold them at the time Bob Stuart messed things up with balanced cables and Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday I’ve definitely got it right now modules for the 101. I bought them back a few of years ago […]

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APOGEE: Amplifiers suitable for 1 ohm Scintilla loudspeakers

Howard – help please! WHICH vintage Krell? Certainly. I sold many pairs of these magnificent but tricky-to-drive speakers when I ran Subjective Audio. I was, so I’m told Apogee’s most successful UK retailer. i mention this because I have a lot of direct, personal hands-on experience. The simple part of my 2-part answer is re […]

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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 […]

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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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LECSON: AP1, ProAc, Celef, Lentek Monitors, Sonab, LS3/5a and Harbeth HL1 Mk3

Hello Howard. Memory test! I remember a couple of years ago you recommended a speaker that mated particularly well with the Lecson AP1 power amplifier.  Hope all is well, John Hello John. Oh wow. At my age, trying to remember? You are kidding, right? On a more serious note though, here are the ones that […]

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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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