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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COLIN WONFOR: HB100 mono power amps test review

Neil McCauley / editor in chief Why no images? Because the test review that follows here are of a pre-production pair in casework that doesn’t properly represent the finished product which, so we are told, should be available in early March 2017. Priced, including VAT @ £4.6k per pair. A bit of history Please note […]

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From our archives: The amplifier designer hall of fame / “They were the ones that saw the market niches …”

Editor McCauley in conversation with Howard Popeck: So there are more figureheads than gifted designers. Is that what you’re saying? Not quite like that. In my direct personal experience I’ve met more figureheads than gifted designers. But that’s not to say that my experiences are representative of the entire industry. One has to take into […]

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Is audiophile quality diminishing?

Michael Vronsky asks: Neil; Do you think the market for audiophile quality is diminishing, or static or expanding? If I believe the reports I read it’s been diminishing under the onslaught of alternative ways of spending money on home entertainment like home cinema and video games etc. I think there is a very serious core […]

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IF: If Neil McCauley was a speaker designer (which he plainly isn’t!)

Michael Vronsky writes: Neil; if you were, say, a speaker designer then what would be more important to you when designing , the final subjective sound or the measurements? Oh, I’m afraid very much the sound. I don’t despise or ignore measurements which are essential in the course of designing the thing. They give you […]

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Neil McCauley expresses a view re power cords

Neil, have you been surprised by the effects of different types of mains cable and IEC termination on the sound that comes from electronics driving speakers? I have been rather surprised because I don’t reckon I have anything like the acuity of some of my friends for acoustic things, I will usually arrive at conclusions; […]

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Neil McCauley (editor in chief) talks to Howard Popeck (features editor) about his respect for some vintage analogue receivers.

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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My office & holiday playlist

The hard (but fun) work behind the scenes in our editorial office becomes more enjoyable through listening to music in the background. Our playlist varies of course, depending on the prevailing mood. Sometimes it’s predominantly blues, rarely jazz, occasionally Mozart, and so on. And sometimes like today, a bit of a mixed bag. The music […]

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SUBJECTIVE AUDIO: The great sounds; Radford, Spectral, Lecson, Infinity, SoundLabs, JBL Century, Beveridge, Beard and more

Neil McCauley asks Howard Popeck: What were the best reproduced sounds you ever heard in the early days? Not easy to answer. Depends on one’s definition of best. If you take just listenability i.e. the customer’s sound is so good right now that I’m not going to unpack my demo gear, then it would have […]

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From our archives: The amplifier designer hall of fame / John Curl, Mark Levinson (again), Dr. Richard Bews, Bob Stuart (again)

Hmm. Okay So anyway, a little while later were ushered into the listening room and were confronted by man-sized monoliths we later came to know as The Apogee, from Apogee. And a pair of the previously mechanically buzzing power amps, powered up with the preamp at max without a source playing and mechanically silent. Seeing […]

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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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COLIN WONFOR: MC-V power cord (silver plated pins) test review

Neil McCauley / editor in chief There’s an old saying that you can judge a person by the company they keep. It’s a truism and a cliché but that doesn’t mean it’s incorrect. Applied to the hi-fi industry, you can make a reasonable stab at the true nature (behind the carefully crafted façade) of the […]

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From the archives: The amplifier designer hall of fame / Chris Bryant / Antony Michaelson (again) / Allen Boothroyd,

So no, we aren’t coming to the end. Not yet. (Long pause) Okay. I used to sell the Albarry monoblocs. Damn fine sound. Clever designer. Still sounds good today. Not a hero as such but worthy of an honourable mention. Then whoever designed the A&R A60. A truly great product. In its way a classic. […]

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In defence of Ken Kessler in particular and audio writes in general – or at least most of them – by Neil McCauley (part 2 of 2)

Previously Not only is the Editor’s decision final, but … His decision is not up for debate or interpretation. Let me explain. Years ago it was not uncommon for a reviewer to act as a talent scout for a magazine. He / she might have spotted a new maker and/or new technology at a show […]

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The counterintuitive benefits of fatigue during component evaluation

Neil McCauley / editor in chief – my point of view: Overview Yesterday I received an email reminding me that one of the best means of evaluating equipment is fatigue. Yes, I know that sounds counterintuitive but I guess we’ve all experienced our system’s sounding so good that we could listen for hours. And we […]

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In polite conversation with our editor Neil McCauley

Neil, As a listener, a civilian if you like and not an editor how important, in your view, is it for a speaker design to sound full bodied and detailed at low sound pressure levels? Well I think it’s rather important that, because so many people live in our overcrowded island in restrictive circumstances where […]

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