HIFICRITIC - audio review magazine

HIFICRITIC.COM provides the magazine with an opportunity to publish archive material on line. We introduce this section with seven features, firstly a paper by Martin Colloms surveying the eternal debate, objective versus subjective reviewing. The second is a fascinating and detailed examination of the structure of music in respect of musical scales and notes by former long-time editor of Hi Fi News, John Crabbe. Due to the highly detailed nature of his illustrations this is a large PDF download and a broadband connection is advised. With many thanks to Stereophile, five historic audio articles written by Martin Colloms for Stereophile are now made available on HIFICRITIC.COM. Stereophile editor John Atkinson deserves much credit for his erudite shaping and guidance concerning these think pieces, including the useful footnotes and comments. (


(pdf - 132K) Archive A1
The Objective Subjective Review Debate
Martin Colloms, 1991

(pdf - 8.4MB) Archive A2
What's in a Scale?
An examination of the history, rationale and arithmetic of the scales used in Western music
John Crabbe, 1973

(pdf - 249K) Archive A3
A Future Without Feedback?
Considerations of low and zero negative feedback
Martin Colloms, Stereophile January, 1998

(pdf - 182K) Archive A4
The Unseen Variable
SE amplifiers and their high output impedance
Martin Colloms, Stereophile Vol.18 No.4 April, 1995

Archive A5
Book Review: The Complete Guide to High-End Audio
Martin Colloms & Kristen Weitz
Stereophile, Vol.18 No.3 March, 1995

(pdf - 212K) Archive A6
Benefit or Bluff?
An examination of the impact of balanced connections on high fidelity
Martin Colloms Stereophile Vol.17 No.11 November, 1994

(pdf - 142K) Archive A7
Pace, Rhythm, and Dynamics
What they are and how to engineer a system to express them
Martin Colloms, Stereophile Vol.15 No.11 November, 1992

Archive A8
Basso Profundo
Martin Colloms Stereophile, Vol.14 No.12 December, 1991

(pdf - 155K) Archive A9
Working in the Front Line
An approach to equipment reviewing
Martin Colloms Stereophile, Vol.14 No.1 January, 1991

(pdf - 163K) Archive A10
Martin Colloms, Colloms Electroacoustics London, 2006

(pdf - 6.13MB) Archive A11
Brel & Kjr Application Note: Audible Effects of Mechanical Resonance in Turntables
With our continuing technical reviews of turntables it is appropriate to revisit the pioneering work of engineer Brel & Kjr Paul Ladergaard who wrote this comprehensive investigation and which he also presented at the 1977 New York AES Convention. Many thanks to Brel & Kjr for permission to reproduce the paper in PDF form.

(pdf - 20K) Archive A12
Audio Technology Guide: Audio Cables
Paul Messenger, 1999

(pdf - 23K) Archive A13
Audio Technology Guide: DAB Technology
Paul Messenger, 1999

(pdf - 20K) Archive A14
Audio Technology Guide: Loudspeakers
Paul Messenger, 1999

(pdf - 11 MB) Archive A15
Capacitors; Sound and Measurement
Martin Colloms (Oct,Dec 1975 HFN)
Martin Colloms, following Jean Hiraga's lead, began to investigate the sound quality, electrical and resonance properties of passive components during 1985 for Hi Fi News with a two part study of capacitors printed in October and December issues, HFN 1985. It formed part of research into the sound of amplifiers where it was clearly impossible for 'good' amplifiers to sound indistinguishable, as claimed by several researchers and electronic designers (and still claimed by some), when it was and is possible to show that the necessary passive electrical components used to build them had their own sound quality differences. Related investigations were made into audio cables and resistors, with similar results for audible differences. Largely unreported, investigations into mains transformers, volume controls, plugs and connectors, vibration isolation devices, the design of amplifier casings, methods of printed circuit board support and varieties of supply regulator have been done. There is very little in audio engineering that does not affect sound quality.
A partial review of this material is also included in the Martin Colloms article first published in Stereophile 1992 (HFC Archive A7, 'Pace Rhythm and Dynamics (and Timing)' often misquoted as 'PRaT'!


Archive R1
Cary Audio Design CAD-300SE LX20 monoblock power amplifier
Martin Colloms Stereophile, Vol.22 No.8, August, 1999

Archive R2
Wilson Audio Specialties MAXX loudspeaker
Martin Colloms Stereophile, Vol.22 No.5 May, 1999

Archive R3
Cary Audio Design CAD-572SE monoblock power amplifier
Martin Colloms Stereophile, Vol.21 No.10, October, 1998

Archive R4
Conrad-Johnson CAV50 integrated amplifier
Martin Colloms Stereophile, Vol.21 No.8, August, 1998

Archive R5
Bel Canto SET 80 monoblock power amplifier
Martin Colloms Stereophile, Vol.21 No.5, May, 1998

Archive R6
Krell Full Power Balanced 600 power amplifier
Martin Colloms Stereophile, Vol.20 No.4 April, 1997

Archive R7
Classe CA-200 stereo power amplifier
Martin Colloms Stereophile, Vol.20 No.2, February, 1997

Archive R8
Krell KAV-300i integrated amplifier
Martin Colloms Stereophile, Vol.19 No.7 July, 1996

Archive R8
Monitor Audio Studio 50 loudspeaker
Martin Colloms Stereophile, Vol.19 No.3, March, 1996

Archive F10
Wilson Audio Specialties X-1/Grand SLAMM loudspeaker system
Martin Colloms Stereophile, Vol.17 No.12 December, 1994

Archive R11
Sonus Faber Guarneri Homage loudspeaker
Martin Colloms Stereophile, Vol.17 No.7 July, 1994

Archive R12
Sonus Faber Extrema loudspeaker
Martin Colloms Stereophile, Vol.15 No.6 June, 1992

Archive R14
Audio Research M300 monoblock power amplifier
J. Gordon Holt & Martin Colloms Stereophile, Vol.10 No.9 December, 1987

Archive R15
Celestion System 6000 loudspeaker system
Martin Colloms Stereophile, Vol.10 No.2 February, 1987

Archive R16
Magnepan Magneplanar MG3.5 loudspeaker
Martin Colloms Stereophile, Vol.10 No.1 January 1987

Archive R17
Apogee Acoustics Duetta loudspeaker
Martin Colloms Stereophile, Vol.10 No.1 January 1987

Archive R18
Quad ESL-63 loudspeaker
Martin Colloms Stereophile, Vol.10 No.1 January 1987

Archive R19
MartinLogan CLS loudspeaker
Martin Colloms Stereophile, Vol.10 No.1 January 1987

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