About

Phil13
The title, Music and Miscellany, says it all I hope. I’ve worked in the thick of the consumer and professional audio business, and on the fringes of the music business for well over three decades. I’ve been a loudspeaker designer, design manager, project manager, technical PR, technical writer, and technical journalist. And I’m still doing stuff that falls into those categories – consulting on design and writing technical copy, features and reviews.

I’m also a self-taught bass player and recording engineer, and I’ve been in many more bands and recorded many more musicians than I can comfortably recall. Home in Brighton, UK, incorporates a modest recording and mix facility based on Pro Tools combined with Focusrite mic preamps and convertors, a varied selection of microphones and high-performance monitoring in a comfortable and relaxed environment. There’s some more about my music activities on the Music page.

Along with presenting my various professional activities, the idea with this site is to record some thoughts on music and audio that pass across my desk, through my consciousness, or via my speakers (the identity of which tends to vary).

Lastly, this site isn’t the only place you’ll find me. My LinkedIn profile is here, my Audio Icons print and t-shirt  project is here, my SoundCloud page is here, my late Mum’s diary blog is here, you can find me on Twitter @aphilward and on Instagram @philberish. There’s also a copy of my CV here. If you’d like to get in touch please use the contact form below or send me an email.

 

ASD logo

 

AES Associate_Member-Blue

Any material on this website obtained from other sources is, wherever possible, attributed to its original owner. All other content is copyright © Phil Ward

 

17 thoughts on “About

  1. Just happened to see an old issue of Sound on Sound with your review Of the Unity Audio speaker. I noted your comment on the internal aperiodic loading and its history. Just for your info there were earlier uses of the internal format. Some Dynaco speakers(made in Denmark, of course) used internal aperiodic loading in the early 70s. I recall at least three, the earliest was the A35, followed by the A50 and then the A40XL.

    Like

    1. Hi Allen, thanks for taking the time to comment. Yeah, the general rule on speakers is I think that whatever you think of somebody’s probably already done it! I vaguely remember a UK made Griffin Audio speaker in the 1970s that employed some kind of resistive loading too.

      Like

  2. Somehow there’s always an earlier example. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was one before the Dynacos. In fact I just thought of one in a sub woofer project in a mid 60s Stereo review. The woofer was tightly covered with a couple of layers of Muslim and the box was ported with lots of very small ports that would also be fairly resistive.

    On a similar case but perhaps original. I recall a friend of mine who designed almost everything, some quite odd in audio including all sorts of tube gear. But when David Berning brought out his ZOTL circuit I remember Murray telling me that this was a real invention and that all other circuits for decades whether solid state and tube were all variations on known circuitry.

    Like

  3. Hi Phil,

    I was wondering if you could offer some insight on the Prbblr and Bam Bam monitors?

    I have a set of ex demo P&Bs on order for a steal compared to their release price but I have also just purchased a set of Acoustic Energy AE22s. Would you think these two pairs of monitors are sufficiently different to warrant having both or am I wasting a considerable amount of money on similar products?

    The AE22s are supposed to be a modern day NS10, but in your review of the P&Bs in SOS 2014 you didn’t allude to the NS10, so do you think with your knowledge of the P&Bs they would be a worthy and useful addition to an NS10 sound?

    I do apologise for commenting here but you are the only person I can find that has hands on experience with the Unity Audio monitors.

    I would be most grateful for any advise you might. Be able to impart.

    Regards

    Like

  4. Hi Phil,
    I have been reading your SoS article on the AKG K371.
    Oscillating back and forth between your speaker articles with brilliant technical insight and more audiophile-friendly headphone reviews, I was curious to read your take on this headphone that has caused some hype in audiophile community being +/-1db from Harman Curve. I was urged to buy one as well.. D’oh!

    What I was wondering, not finding a technical equivalent of your reviews for headphones, would you consider writing about the acoustic challenges that a headphone designer might face? I would be very very very interested 🙂

    Thanks,
    Mauro

    Like

    1. Hi Mauro,
      Thanks for the kind feedback. I wasn’t actually aware that the K371 had caused a stir in the audiophile community on account of its adherence to the Harman Curve. All I can say is that the headphones worked extremely well for me. It would be fun to write about the technical challenges of headphone design, sadly however, the knowledge and expertise I have with speakers doesn’t really extend far into the headphone world. I’m simply a user of headphones, not a designer. You have got me thinking though – it is about time Sound On Sound did a feature on headphone technology. I’ll suggest it.
      Regards
      Phil

      Like

  5. Good to hear that! I will keep watching then..

    Just to satisfy my curiosity, what are the main difference in sound between the Sennheiser HD600 and the AKG?
    Never had the HD600 in my hands and on my ears and I was curious to know what were pros and cons.

    Regards,
    Mauro

    Like

  6. Hi Phil,

    I am unable to decide between the Fluid Audio FX80 and the T7V. I am at a place where demoing them in a shop is not possible. I read some users complaining that the ADAM Audio T7Vs sounded like a Hi-Fi system rather than proper studio monitors. Which one would you recommend? I also found a deal where the FX80s are about $100 cheaper than the T7Vs. Could you please shed some light?

    Like

    1. Hi Boaz,
      Unfortunately I don’t have any experience of the ADAM TV7 so I really can’t comment on it. I did quite admire the Fluid FX80 however when I reviewed it in Sound On Sound, so if you’ve found it at a good price it’s probably worth taking a punt.
      Cheers
      Phil

      Like

      1. Thanks Phil. Unfortunately the FX80s went out of stock before I could get one. 😦 The dealer, however, suggested I consider the Alpha 65s or the FPX7s. He might offer me a deal on them. Fingers crossed!

        Like

  7. Phil,

    I read your review of the Fluid Audio FPX7. I understand there was an update to that review where you mentioned that the problems you found in the initial review were mostly rectified. My question is can these be the sole monitors I can rely on to write, mix and master a wide genre of music? Will my mixes translate well?

    Like

    1. Hi Boaz.
      Yes, I remember the revised FPX7 was an improvement on the original. I also remember concluding that the FPX7 was a pretty reasonable, if slightly idiosyncratic, small monitor. As to whether they’ll work in the context you describe, I’m afraid that so much depends on other variables – your room, the kind of material you want to produce and your own skills for example, so I can’t really can give you a definite answer. The FPX7 is a competent and inexpensive little monitor though so in those terms probably worth a try.

      Like

  8. Hi Phil,
    I’ve just acquired a pair of Mordaunt Short Project 442s which I’ve cleaned up a bit and have been listening to. It’s a fascinating design that I’m still trying to understand. Do the bass drivers work like an isobaric pair or are the magnetic assemblies just mechanically linked and the cones running out of phase to eliminate vibration? If there are any articles explaining the operation I’d like to read them. The crossover connections are unusual too, you can bi-amp or tri-amp but presumably this doesn’t actually by-pass any of the crossover components.They sound great, despite running their original crossovers and being full of cobwebs and dead woodlice. I’d like to learn more about them but there’s not much out there, and I’m a bit daunted by the thought of trying to dis-assemble them.

    Like

    1. Hi Alan,

      Congrats on the 442s. If they have their original tweeters fitted and working they’re rare so be careful with them (the original tweeters turned out to have a fatigue problem in their voice-coils and would fail). The two bass drivers are not isobaric but work in opposition, with the rear one rolled-off from, I vaguely remember, about 200Hz upwards. On the crossover you’re right – bi-amp or even tri-amp is possible but the passive filters can’t be bypassed. And yes, the 442 is a challenging disassembly. The first thing you have to do is carefully remove the dustcap from the front bass/mid driver to provide access to the tie-rod between the drivers. The dustcap should come away pretty easily once you’ve lifted an edge with a scalpel blade (it can be re-stuck on reassembly with some PVA glue). After that, just follow your disassembly instincts – there’s no particular elephant traps, you just need to be careful.

      Just a thought on the crossovers – the electrolytic capacitors on them should probably be replaced and generally, there’s many much higher quality components around these days. Get in touch via the contact form (https://musicandmiscellany.com/about/) if you fancy doing that and need some help.

      Cheers
      Phil

      Like

  9. Hi Phil,
    Thanks for that, I’ll take you up on your generous offer once I’ve started the project. It may be that the tweeters will have to be replaced too since one does seem to be quieter than the other. MB Quart presumably supplied these originally as well as the titanium tweeters used in the slightly later 25Ti and 35Ti. The latter pair sound excellent, but the tweeter dimensions are different to the 442 originals.
    cheers,
    Alan

    Like

    1. Hi Alan,
      Yeah the tweeters in the 25Ti & 35Ti were not the same as in the 442- they were both supplied by MB however. The failure mode of the 442 tweeter was complete silence rather than a drop in level, so I suspect there’ll be another reason why one sounds a bit quiet.
      Cheers
      Phil

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.