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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A SERIAL KILLER CUSTOMER: Exactly the way it happened folks

HOWARD POPECK: Some years after the demise of Subjective Audio, and I can picture the scene even now, I was driving along the M25, listening to the lunchtime news. The lead story was the arrest of a person suspected of murdering at least one little girl, possibly more. I think she was either Susan Maxwell […]

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MICHELL ENGINEERING: Orbe versus old Pink Triangle PT2, LFD Audio copper reference, SME 4 – and more

Hello. I am using an Orbe with and Audio Origami breathed-on Zeta arm with a Benz Glider plus an LFD Audio copper reference arm cable. I also have a PT2 which is in need of quite a bit of tlc – I mean to get it working properly – would you expect it to be […]

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FUNK FIRM: Mr Arthur Khoubesserian

Hello Howard. I have been meaning to ask you for some time what has happened with your association with the Funk firm products. I was also particularly looking forward to your proposed interview with Arthur. In my opinion Funk remain one of the most musically credible and musically convincing turntable designs of all time. However […]

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STAX: Unreliability of vintage items?

Gentlemen, which era of STAX headphones are more reliable. Old or new? Howard Popeck writes as follows: First things first, I’ve not been involved in selling STAX equipment for some years and so my comments and observations are based on my experiences then and not currently. They’re called ‘Earspeakers’ incidentally. Old or new is not […]

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Quill

From the archives / Dear diary – Borders bargains, The Temptations, valves and ribbons in perfect harmony, no new Buddy Guy and just too many magazines!

An unexpected pleasure this weekend! Found time to sit and listen to music, and to start making inroads into an ever increasing pile of magazines. Record Collector magazine, music mags (Mojo and Uncut), science mags (Focus), car magazines, New Statesman, Spectator and more. Come to the conclusion yet again I’m a magazine junkie. Reflect on […]

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LIVE: Howard Popeck wonders if audience expectations are realistic, unrealistic, reasonable or unreasonable?

Me, as part of an audience: I’m not talking here about the performer turning up on time, or indeed not turning up at all. Actually what I have in mind is more prosaic than that! I tend wherever and whenever possible to attend live music. Among many other genres such as classical, folk-rock and grunge […]

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JOHN MAYALL: News

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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STAX: Useful information regarding the use of STAX Omega 2 earspeakers

Howard Popeck writes: Part of the considerable expense of the Omegas is the fact that the driver membrane is phenomenally thin, in fact thinner than STAX have ever built before. Around 1.6 microns thick. Far lighter than even the thinnest tissue paper. Consequently the membrane can respond to draughts, sudden movements of air and so […]

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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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STAX: “The sound was pretty unimpressive, – dark, slow, and very uninvolving and not very transparent”

Dear Howard, I hope you are well. Yup – pretty good (but far from pretty!) all things considered. I remember you shut down simply Stax in the late 1990s, and I can remember reading somewhere that one of the reasons for that might have been because the quality control of the Stax equipment you were […]

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Quill

PINSH: Were Howard Popeck’s ears ‘flat?’ He didn’t know; didn’t care and neither did they. However ………

May I take you back with me to 2005? Oh go on – let me. It wasn’t all bad; did you know that? I’m going to tell you a true story. It has a moral of sorts and yes it relates to editorial arrogance, blindness and in a very small way a bit of redemption […]

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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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LIVE PERFORMANCES: Are audience expectations realistic, unrealistic, reasonable or unreasonable? (Part #2 of #2)

And then – ladies and gentlemen – The Who: So what about The Who’s ability or indeed inability, to reproduce note-perfect their more well know tracks? How about speculating on their prerogative to interpret the tracks as they see fit –notwithstanding how they and bands like them must surely strive hard not to be bored […]

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Quill

LINN: Exactly the way it happened folks: LP12 and a/b demonstrations

From and including the 1970s, Linn popularised the concept of the A-B demonstration. It was, on the face of it, a faultlessly logical ethos. It was adopted by reviewers and dealers alike, myself included. It was rumoured they had mystery shoppers in circulation, prepared to report back any deviation from the dogma. For a while […]

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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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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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SPEAKERS: Active or passive speakers; it’s a no-brainer – right?

So Neil … at heart, are you an active speaker man or a passive speaker man? Well, in my career I have been responsible for the manufacture of active loudspeakers of varying quality. One model I particularly admired and two rather less and lately I have started to be very interested in active loudspeakers again, […]

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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 […]

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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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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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