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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HP’s PERFECT VINYL COLLECTION #010: Otis Redding – ‘Otis Blue’

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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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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DOUGLAS ADAMS: Buying his Subjective Audio Ltd system

Howard Popeck: Douglas Adams was one of our most gracious, humorous, gentle and fun customers at Subjective Audio. Coincidental with him getting a “serious” advance from his publishers for Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, he commissioned me to put together “almost” the best system money could buy. It was, apart from the turntable, a full […]

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Quill

SPICA: The TC-50 speakers test review

Howard Popeck writes: As it my policy re these mini-reviews, I only write as a consequence of direct personal experience of the product.I sold these during my time at Subjective Audio in the 1980s. The demonstrations followed a fairly predictable pattern. Initially the potential customer would say that (a) the cabinets looked odd and/or unusual […]

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DEAR DIARY 2008: Benchmark, Harbeth, LFD, LAT, Julia Fordham – and a broken Krell

  First published in June 2008 Interesting day, yesterday. Got my first (of many I hope) Benchmark DAC-1 preamp. Looked good straight out of the box., Can it be as good as Ken Kessler said in Hi-Fi News recently? Err, yes, and then some! Hooked it up to my North Star 192 Transport (Philips PRO2 […]

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Quill

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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REVIEWS: Why is it UK mags that the big brands never publish poor ones?

Howard Popeck writes: In the course of dumping the majority of my audio magazine collection, while retaining the occasional review of something I might buy in the future I noticed something odd. Or rather I was reminded of something I’d known for years and forgotten, namely that unlike their US counterparts, UK magazines do not […]

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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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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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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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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. Those Clyde […]

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Why personal laziness is NOT a cause of the audiophile world’s disintegration; and the validity of a decent lamb tikka masala.

Howard Popeck writes: One of the emerging trends I’m seeing is customer desire to have people like me build their systems for them so they don’t have to do the work. Possibly the era of the pre-made system is coming back into vogue? If so, then good! A few of the many emails to me […]

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Transferable warranties as a brand decision incentive?

Originally published here in 2015 Howard Popeck writes: If when considering buying a piece of new audio equipment, the maker made it unequivocally clear that the unexpired portion of the original warranty would be underwritten by them i.e. transferable to the second owner, would this have a positive influence on your decision re that brand? […]

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LOGO MERIDIAN

MERIDIAN: Their 101, 103 & 103D amplifiers revisited and …. the elusive 102

Gentlemen – what can you tell me about the Meridian 101/103D amplifiers from the 1970s? They look like a bargain on e-bay. The 101 series preamps are tremendous value on the used market today fetching ridiculously low prices given the clarity and transparency of the reproduction. They use DIN plugs throughout, other than later versions […]

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UNCERTAINTY: More power = worse sound … or does it?

Howard Popeck … irst encountered this phenomena as a retailer in 1976, and off and off subsequently. Or, more accurately, I first encountered my own incorrect belief re this quite early on. As I learned more about how to achieve meaningful demonstrations for my customers, after a timely intervention, I came to realise I was […]

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DISSONANCE: There’s a major disconnect between the audiophile magazines and their readers – says Howard Popeck

FROM OUR ARCHIVES Well, hello again – and thank you to the thousands of you who each month follow my daily column here. Now then … Overview There is in my view a major disconnect between the audiophile magazines and their readers. It’s an understandable one but in my view an important one – and […]

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HOW VERY STRANGE: Mozart vs. Beethoven?

While working in my office right now I have the internet station beethoven-radio.playtheradio.com playing gently in the background. Why? Because I ‘know’ far less Beethoven than I do Mozart. I use the word ‘know’ in its loosest sense. I can’t play a note! Not even one. There’s a Mozart internet station too – in a […]

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From the archives: The amplifier designer hall of fame / Tim de Paravachini

  Editor-in-chief Neil McCauley in conversation with Howard Popeck: Only one of the designers we’ve discussed so far, and only superficially at that, were valve-men. Why is that? Partly ‘cos I’m intolerant of the hassles associated with valves. Bear in mind I’m talking about this from a retail perspective. This isn’t a comment … not […]

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PREAMPS: The writing on the wall for preamps as we know them? Probably!

Howard Popeck: Recent very positive experiences with the Benchmark DAC-1 pre and the Manley Steelhead have caused me to re-evaluate the necessity of preamps. On only very rare occasions have I ever heard a consistent and noticeable sonic improvement (predominantly bass depth and control, ambience and extreme top end detail) achieved by the inclusion of […]

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