CASTLE: Clyde speakers test review

    Howard Popeck ….. In the early 1980s at Subjective Audio Ltd I took a pair of these in part exchange against a pair of Lentek Monitors, transmission line; a Bert Webb design. Those Lenteks, an overlooked ‘classic’ were exceptional and a substantial upgrade in both performance and cost (and size) to the Clyde’s. […]

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STAX DAC-Talent – Howard Popeck offers his observations and thoughts

What can you tell me about this rare beastie? Yes, I owned one and so I write from direct personal experience. First though – this is what STAX said about the model, And incidentally, STAX use terms here that we’ve never previously come across. Perhaps it was translation and/or typesetting errors? Anyway, here’s what they […]

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MICHELL ENGINEERING: Synchro test review

Howard Popeck writes: The Synchro was mid-priced turntable inspired by the original GyroDec, but with an inverted-pendulum suspension and a glass platter. It looked dazzling 20 years ago, and it still does today. In the John Michell tradition, all the working parts are exposed, superbly engineered and impeccably cosmetically finished. It has a cast-ring sub […]

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Quill

TANGENT: RS4 speakers and the tricky question of appropriate resale pricing

Hi Howard. I own a pair of Tangent RS4 speakers. While searching the web for an approximate price I came across your review. I love these speakers and have owned them since I was in high school ( I graduated in 1980). I am 51 now and I am moving- downsizing. I recently sold my […]

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STAX DA 100, CA-X, SRA 12s, servicing, attitude towards end-users, Audio Research REF75 and 5SE as possible alternatives

Originally published in 2009 Question: Hi. I have à pair of Stax da 100  with ca-x after  having the da80 vwith sra12s I had some problems with the ça-x but none up to now with the  da100 and i had them  for almost  30 years  I like them how ever vu the age and the […]

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REVOX: B750 II integrated amplifier test review

  Try as I might, and frankly I don’t try all that hard that often, I’m rather taken with the look of an audiophile item to the extent that I’ll buy, or covet it. Yes, it’s sad. But … Or put differently, the sound quality takes second place – sometimes. My Yamaha C1 pre amp […]

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FUNK / PINK TRIANGLE & BREUER: A few observations

  Howard – one of…no, the best turntable I ever heard was a special fully funked LP12. Sure it sat on a mountain of Mana, and was part of an awesome system…but it really out-shone the original modified (Ninja) LP12. So..if the Funk Firm could transform a Sondek like that, surely their own decks would […]

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Ask Mr. H: MERIDIAN: Their 101/105 pre power combination?

I read your comments about vintage Meridian equipment, very interesting. I have a 101 preamp and twin 105 power amps, and I’m amazed at how they still sound after 25 years. Such wallop – as close to live as I’ve come across. I recently heard Musical Fidelity’s much-praised A5 pre/power combination – very smooth 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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NAKAMICHI: CA-5EII + Nakamichi PA-5E (and the Nakamichi ST-7 FM tuner, in passing) test review

NB: This was originally published in 2010 Hello, and welcome to the next of my series of reviews of vintage equipment. First, I only write about equipment that I have had extended, direct and personal experience of either as an end-user or retailer – or both. I don’t get involved in measurements. During 34 years […]

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BENCHMARK MEDIA DAC: Into Meridian G08

Hello Howard. I have read HFA now for some months, deriving great pleasure and stimulation from it’s diverse contents… around the pursuit of the art of listening to music. Interested in recent exchange around the benchmark dac1. I currently have a meridian g08, along with a range of meridian pre power equipment of varying ages […]

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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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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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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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THIS MAN: How can modern R&B-singers even pick up a microphone, after hearing him perform?

  Howard Popeck writes:  Quite so. Went to EVERY gig within the M25. Loud? I’ll say. Had to start to learn to lip-read as a consequence. Hard-faced birds, broken glass on the floor, broken teeth and broken noses in the loo – but not on me! ‘ Trrific’ – as the great man would say. […]

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STAX: UA7

I write from Italy because I’ve the possibility to buy an old but in very good conditions UA-7 tonearm. I’ve a Denon DP 3000 turntable with the original plinth and I’d like to know if the tonearm can be mounted in this deck (if you have experience in this mode. Is there the possibility to […]

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SCAPEGOAT: It’s not the recording process itself that is to blame. It’s …..

INTRO: The catalyst for this discussion is both the on-air and off-air discussions between the Lost Immortals team on our FM (streaming too) Sunday show @ 17:00 GMT. Our radio station control room is very far from hi-fi; more like no-fi. Cheap as chips speakers, bygone era headphones and so on. And yet, and yet […]

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MICHELL ENGINEERING: Synchro versus Mycro turntables

I was reading your observations on The Michell Synchro. Did you ever hear the Mycro? How was it by comparison? At one time Subjective Audio stocked the entire range of Michell Engineering turntables including the Prisma and the twin-platter Prisma. Sonically we heard little difference between the Mycro and the Synchro. This was pretty much […]

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Ask Mr. H: “I love classical music, but I don’t have a real understanding of it in terms of the emotion. I’m not looking to learn about the composers and I don’t want to learn an instrument, but I want to know more about how what moves me moves me. Does that make sense? Can you recommend a book or books?”

Howard Popeck: Certainly. Now forgive me for saying this, but it is possible to over-analyse the wonder of music, the magic and the emotion. It’s a danger, but somehow I sense you aren’t going to fall into the trap. The most wonderful book on the sheer unadulterated joy of classical music without the usual patronising […]

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