PETER GREEN: What should I avoid in his releases?

Well, first off, looking at his Fleetwood Mac career, avoid nothing other than Mr. Wonderful. From his Splinter Group years, most of it is pretty good although the first album, Peter Green’s Splinter Group is a bit weak. Nevertheless everyone was pretty forgiving about this because it was a miracle he could stand on stage, […]

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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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JAPANESE SERIOUS LOUDSPEAKERS: Apart from the Yamaha NS1000? How about the NS2000?

Gentlemen; other than the Yamaha NS1000, have the Japanese every built credible loudspeakers? I guess you are speaking historically, right? Well, yes, they did. Sony in fact. In the very early 1980s they released the SSG1 Series 2. It wasn’t cheap. Around £200 from memory, which was a small fortune then. However … This isn’t […]

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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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GOOD: What is a good recording and does ‘good’ = appropriate?

I recently received a private email asking me “what exactly is a good recording?” Great question and here’s what’s interesting: we all know a great or poor recording the moment we hear one. At one of my recent demonstrations I was demonstrating a decent transport and DAC through the customer’s much loved and really rather […]

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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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Quill

MUSICAL FIDELITY: The amplifier designer hall of fame?

Editor McCauley in conversation with Howard Popeck in 2008 Can we return to the mercurial Mr. Michaelson at some point today? Possibly. Possibly ….. not. Depends on what your questions are. Some matters are strictly off limits. He is though a bit of a hero for me frankly. (HP makes direct eye contact as if […]

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Live performances – Howard Popeck wonders if audience expectations are 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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RADFORD REVIVAL: Howard Popeck speaks at length to people with interesting things to say: Radford Revival’s Will Moores

  Hello Will. Anyone with an iota of knowledge of Radford’s place in audio history could not fail the understand your motivation re Radford Revival. However I guess that the behind the scenes discussions, assurances re being the custodian of the heritage and related matters required considerable patience. Would you care to tell us the […]

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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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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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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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MICHELL ENGINEERING: Synchro turntable 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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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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MICHELL ENGINEERING: Synchro test review

Howard Popeck … 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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LOGO MERIDIAN

BOOTHROYD STUART MERIDIAN: Their ultra-rare 107 power amp and … a powerfully incontinent white dove

Q: Gentlemen, whatever happened to the Boothroyd-Stewart ‘Orpheus’ pre and power amp? Did they ever make into production? The preamp was a gorgeous looking precursor to the ‘rainbow’ Lecson pre. Very ’70s (should suit André) with a Nextel suede finish. Can’t find an image, but it had the sort of design aesthetics that would, I’m […]

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Long interconnects and short speaker cables versus the opposite. Howard Popeck expresses a view

My opinion is consistent and contrary to the prevailing view. These days I use long speakers cables and short interconnects. This is because as far as I can tell, based on my own experiences and the writings of others with genuine expertise most modern power amps have a better ability to drive a complex load […]

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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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HP’s PERFECT VINYL COLLECTION #009: John Lee Hooker – ‘Dimples’Blues,

Out of my thousands of vinyl pressings the thought struck me that it might be interest, for me and perhaps for some of you to try and list my favourite 100. A big task, but not an unpleasant one. But for sanity’s sake I have to set a few limits. First, an era restriction. So, […]

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HP’s PERFECT VINYL COLLECTION #014: Bruce Springsteen – ‘Darkness On The Edge Of Town

Out of my thousands of vinyl pressings the thought struck me that it might be interest, for me and perhaps for some of you to try and list my favourite 100. A big task, but not an unpleasant one. But for sanity’s sake I have to set a few limits. First, an era restriction. So, […]

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