Archives: Miscellaneous

Blog No. 12: At Last, Another Hi-Fi History!

  Back in 2003, when Quad: The Closest Approach was published – how time flies – the sum total of books about hi-fi companies required less than a foot of shelf space. Aside from scientific tomes about sound or recording, DIY … Continue reading

Theta Carmen DVD Player

Bless Theta’s sense of humour. By naming one player ‘Miles’ and another ‘Pearl’, the company showed how to appeal to a wide cross-section of customers and music tastes. The former could have been named for, say, Miles Davis or Buddy … Continue reading

Hi-Fi By The Decades – the 1950s

So rapidly do things turn around in the world of music playback – the all-conquering iPod is younger than a decent wine – that it’s almost mandatory to review hi-fi’s first half-century in half-decade blocks. There’s nothing arbitrary about the … Continue reading

A Pair of Wharfedales: The Story of Gilbert Briggs and His Loudspeakers

  While writing the story of KEF, Dr Andrew Watson and I were contacted by Prof. David Briggs. He told us that he was working on a history of Wharfedale. His name was not coincidental: Wharfedale’s founder, Gilbert Briggs, is … Continue reading

Natural Born Kessler: On the Eve of DVD

Thanks to Beavis – and, indeed, Butthead – the verb ‘to suck’ has become the arch insult. As in: “Prisoner Cell Block H sucks.” While by no means a newly minted qualitative epithet (the term offered a derisory interpretation even … Continue reading

Natural Born Kessler: Surround Sound Matters

So all is well in Surround-Sound Land, eh? For once, the home entertainment merchants have standardised, right? Not. Huh? Isn’t the world of home cinema already and emphatically Dolby-Surrounded? Stop and smell the matrices, or at least look at the … Continue reading

Hi-Fi News Back Page – Multi-Channel

To demonstrate that multi-channel sucks for pure music, just pull out any studio albums mastered for the original 4-channel formats, circa-1970. You and I know that this is fraudulent, though, because those recordings have the same validity relative to modern … Continue reading

London Heathrow Hi-Fi Show 1993

In the context of this magazine, you’d expect me to say that the Hi-Fi Show, at London’s Heathrow Airport, was tube-laden. That’s because I’m not here to tell you about the CD players, speakers, turntables, solid-state amps or any of … Continue reading

UK News January 1995

It’s taken long enough, but some of the older British manufacturers have finally realised that there’s no better quality to exploit than one’s own heritage. (The younger ones, quite naturally, have no heritage yet worth exploiting.) The revival a few … Continue reading

Boston VR12 Center Channel Speaker Review

Still wary of this industry’s THX sermonizing, I’m at a loss to explain but happy about the proliferation of center-channel speakers that are something other than horizontally-mounted versions of a given manufacturer’s main left-and-right speakers. Weren’t we told time and … Continue reading