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THE field of high-fidelity sound reproduction in all its aspects is a vast one, and one of the most difficult problems in planning a book of this kind is that of deciding just how far each branch of the subject can be explored within the space available. A whole volume could, in fact, be written on the subject of each section, but then a good deal of perspective would be lost. It has been my aim in the present work not only to give a kind of bird's eye view of the subject as a whole, but also to provide the reader with a fair idea of the operation of the various items of equipment, and knowledge which will enable him to secure the best results from his own and-if he is a service technician--his customers' equipment.
The guide is not concerned solely with servicing matters, though it contains much information of a servicing nature which, it is hoped, will assist the reader who is already a radio service technician, but has only just entered the high-fidelity field. Such information should prove useful to the many dealers and their engineers who have recently entered, or intend to enter, this branch of trading and servicing work. It is hoped that the guide will clearly bring out the difference which exists between accepted standards in trading in radio and television receivers and the retailing and servicing of high-fidelity equipment. The enthusiast in this field invariably possesses a keen understanding of high-fidelity matters, which makes it essential that the knowledge of the dealer and technician should attain the same standard.
Owing to the very nature of "hi-fi", the enthusiast can only get the best from his equipment by understanding how the various sections work and how they are integrated into a perfectly matched system; it is also important to understand the adjustments which are required to maintain optimum performance. In this respect, the book is directed also to the enthusiastic amateur. It explores in a practical manner all the links in the chain, from the original sound at the microphone to the reproduced sound at the loudspeaker. It does not embrace frequency-modulation tuners, however, since these have been described in detail in my book "F.M. Radio Servicing Handbook'', issued by the same publishers.
I have included a full section on the subject of stereophony, which will undoubtedly become of major importance in the future. During the preparation of this book, stereophonic sound reproduction graduated from tape to disk, and I have thus been able to include the very latest information on this development.
Owing to its essentially practical presentation, one or two slight ambiguities may be noticed in the text; it is hoped that these will not be held against me by the purist, but ignored in the interests of simplicity of description.
My thanks are due to many manufacturers of high-fidelity equipment for their co-operation in placing so much information at my disposal and for supplying photographs of their equipment. I also wish to record my thanks to my wife Barbara for her tolerance and encouragement during many late hours spent in the writing of this Guide, to my colleague Peter Berry for his splendid work in preparing certain photographs, and to Mr. N. S. Hyslop, who has prepared excellent drawings from my very rough sketches.
Finally, I am indebted to Mr. L. C. Holmes who has been faced with the formidable task of editing not only the MS. of this work, but also my previous books, "F.M. Radio Servicing Handbook" and "Television Servicing Handbook". Oxford, 1959.
This Guide is absed on the 1959 book: The Practical Hi-Fi Handbook ...