Dave Berriman

Dave Berriman https://the-ear.net

Could it have been hearing Rimsky Korsakov’s Capriccio Espagnol through the primary school radio, Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture thundering from the home radiogram, or big-band played on my great uncle’s hi fi via Quad ‘57 electrostatic speakers. Was it hearing the left channel through the TV and the right through the radio for one of the BBC’s first stereo broadcasts, mending old gramophones, or his lifelong fascination with physics and science? Whatever the reason, I caught the hi-fi bug early on in life.

Finding a bound book compiling the first year’s issues of Hi-Fi News (1957), and reading articles by the great contributors of the day, such as Ralph West, James Moir, Peter Baxandal, Stanley Kelley, Cecil Watts, and so on, was probably pivotal in firing enthusiasm for a career in music reproduction and, I hoped, loudspeaker design. So, I trained and qualified as an electrical and electronic engineer, little realising that I would end up writing for a living.

After an apprenticeship and college, plus a stint at electronic design, a key career change found me at Hi-Fi Sound Magazine with the grand title of Assistant Editor, while I was in effect a trainee, with absolutely no magazine writing experience. I must have learned something there, because next I had a long spell as Assistant Editor then Technical Editor of Audio, Practical Hi-Fi and Audio and Hi-Fi Today, which sadly closed. After that, I became a freelance writer contributing to to Hi-Fi News, Hi-Fi Choice, Hi-Fi Answers, What Hi-Fi, Hi-Fi World, Home Cinema Choice, etc

Having designed a few kit loudspeakers, I launched into a parallel career as speaker designer for Acoustic Research, Arcam, Celestion and Musical Fidelity to name a few, and became the UK’s Clio audio-measuring-system distributor. There were also spells as book author, PR consultant, copywriter and custom installer.

Then followed long stretches working on innovative and inventive loudspeaker design for NXT, and Project Manager/speaker designer for Epos Loudspeakers. Now, going kind of full-circle, in semi-retirement I’ve taken to servicing turntables part-time for Criterion Audio.

You would think I’d had enough of hi-fi by now, but for some inexplicable reason, I still have a keen enthusiasm for both music and equipment to play it on (hi-fi caught early is a chronic condition) and now I’ve been drawn back to the keyboard to pen more musings on this fascinating pastime. Or, maybe it’s just an excuse to listen to more music.

Dave’s music

My tastes are wide ranging, with works by classical composers including Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninov, Stravinsky, Puccini, Dvorak, Vaughn Williams, Benjamin Britain – Tchaikovsky and Rimsky Korsakov, of course, plus many more.

Then there’s a tranch of popular music, including Motown, Beatles, Stones, The Who, The Police, Carly Simon, Carol King, Joni Mitchell, Roxy Music, Eurythmics, Pretenders, Nick Kershaw, OMD, Kraftwerk, Simon & Garfunkel, Paul Simon, Bob Marley, Gregory Porter, and so on –- plus a smattering of Jazz from the bebop era.  Not a lot of current pop music gets played – but that’s probably a generational thing. In fact I like music from many genres, except country, trad jazz, heavy metal, hip-hop, and grime – though some tracks occasionally slip through this rather tight net.

Dave’s hi-fi

Turntables: Avid Sequel SP and Acoustic Research Legend,
Tonearm: Origin Live Conqueror
Cartridges: Ortofon Cadenza Red, Soundsmith Aladdin
Phono stage: Cyrus Phono Signature with PSX-R2 power supply
CD transport: TEAC VRDS10 SE CD player, with original Trichord-clock
DAC: Burson Conductor
Streamer: Sony HAP-Z1ES
Amplifier: Creek Destiny integrated
Loudspeakers Kudos Cardea Anniversary Super 20 (plus a few old kit speakers lurking in the background)
Cables: Atlas, Wire World and Audioquest