LINN: The LP12 and eBay?

Hi Howard. I know you won’t represent Linn, even though you did. However … I am thinking of buying a used Linn LP12. There are loads on eBay and quite a few of hififorsale.com, but none of the Linn dealers I contacted have any for sale. What’s going on? Linn dealers in the main are […]

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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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ROGER MODJESKI: Beveridge RM1 preamp and more

  Gentlemen – what can you tell me about this legendary engineer and was he the guy that built the RM1 preamp? Yes, he is the designer of that legendary unit He struck me as seriously grumpy No way does he want to supply the European market with anything, apparently. He has a most interesting […]

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Exactly the way it happened folks: A small piece of education, at the hands of a customer

Howard Popeck … It’s with considerable embarrassment that I recall both my musical ignorance and my inverse snobbery about musical styles. Styles that I neither understood nor wanted to understand, for no good reason at all in the early days of Subjective Audio. I call those days my irrational time. They’ve been a recurring event […]

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HARBETH: ” …. mind you we would be remiss to remember the true designer Dudley Harwood.”

A true and little known fact regarding all of DH’s designs was that his strong religious conviction (Plymouth Brethren) precluded him from listening to any music of any form through his designs. Apparently all his designs were quite literally “voiced” using playback of very high quality analogue tape recordings of his beloved wife. Once the […]

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From the archives – when UK Vat was 17.5%. Ask an expert: Why are UK prices so much higher than US for the same audiphile gear?

Gentlemen. The Manley Stingray looks fabulous does it sound as good as it looks? In the past you have queried the difference in US and UK prices and I notice the Stingray is nearly £500 dearer in the UK than the states, but what happens the other way round when a British manufacturer sells to […]

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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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VINTAGE FM RECEIVERS: Neil McCauley (editor in chief) talking to Howard Popeck (features editor)

Q: So Howard, you’ve from time to time mentioned, in the context of receivers, the “good old days”. What does that mean? In the “good old days” the electronics for a hi fi system was all in one box that usually included a power amp, preamp and radio tuner. They were very convenient. Q: Convenient, […]

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Lux (Luxman) PD-300 turntable mini test review

Howard Popeck: Those of you of a certain age will remember I hope the magnificently engineered range of turntables, amps and tuners built by Luxman (formerly Lux) in the 1970s. They were one of the first, if not the first to introduce vacuum clamping for the record against the platter. This was via an inbuilt […]

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ROGERS LS3/5a speakers Q&A

At present I listen to the 11 ohms Rogers version of the above speaker. Generally I am pretty happy with the sound. I wonder if there would be any benefit in going over to a newer design from Spendor or Harbeth, perhaps a slightly larger enclosure ( my listening room is 9 X 11 feet)?. […]

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MERIDIAN / LINN: Collaborative active systems from Subjective Audio (Howard Popeck) North London, in April 1981.

“As the owner of six 105s and a pair of ‘briks I’d be highly interested in the specifics… I purchased one of these Meridian/Linn collaborative active systems from Subjective Audio (Howard Popeck) North London, in April 1981. The system consisted of 6 X Meridian 105S power amplifiers with their own dedicated built-in electronic crossovers tailored […]

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MARK LEVINSON: ML5 reel to reel. His literally incendiary visit to Howard Popeck’s music room, a long time ago.

When the Quad 63 was announced, the makers had the foresight to anticipate a high level of demand. A carefully thought out waiting list system was introduced and dealers were warned that demo units were, initially at least, like gold dust. The clear implication being not to sell them, despite the ludicrously inflated offers made […]

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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. 003

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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AUDIO INSIDER

Buying stereos and avoiding really dumb decisions 005- 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 […]

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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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AUDIO INSIDER

How to avoid buyer anxiety – by Howard Popeck. 002

So, following on from the previous part of this series, why 1976? Quite simply, it was my first foray into buying an audio system. I discovered first hand the need for proper research prior to visiting a retailer or more accurately, a certain type of retailer – and the realisation that in so doing I […]

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Buying stereos and avoiding really dumb decisions 004

Previously So hopefully you’ve agreed that logically the two amplifiers must at all times be compared at identical SPLs? Good. Now then I’m not suggesting that you are exposed to a fixed spl throughout demo – unless you want to. Before revealing a simple strategy to bypass this all too common problem let’s consider how […]

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AUDIO INSIDER

ACCIDENTAL MAGIC: What does it mean in practice?

Neil McCauley asks Howard Popeck Howard, Historically, what did you mean by ‘accidental magic’? Well …….. a combination of equipment that previously you’d not encountered and which sounds right immediately. Unusual combinations. Amps and speakers that just by chance sound magical together – even though the makers probably hadn’t used each other’s equipment. That kinda […]

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Exactly the way it happened folks: Howard Popeck’s encounter with a serial killer

Some years after the demise of Subjective, 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 or Caroline Hogg. […]

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TONE CONTROLS: Howard Popeck in conversation with Neil McCauley about his SAE 2800, Cello Palette, Yamaha C1, Carver 4000 and the Daniel Hertz

This is the next in an occasional series of recorded brief conversations between Howard and myself during snatched time between deadlines and other time issues. Neil: Howard? Howard: Yes! (faking irritability) N: it’s that time again! (faking sarcasm) H: Oh …… good (faking sarcasm) N: So, whatever happened to tone controls? You know, the bass […]

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