Affordable Audio Takes Several Steps Forward
It's strange; really good audio equipment is like London buses; you wait for the longest time, then several come along all at once. So it is with this issue. We had already arranged reviews of some really high-performance audio (such as the Magico) when from out of almost nowhere, Linn approached us with the striking new Klimax DSM streamer. These and others are truly ground-breaking products, born at a time when good audio had become popular for the same reasons designing and making good audio had become difficult!
It's exciting and interesting to see just what's been happening during the planet's most fallow period in more than a century, and those products are finally coming to fruition. Granted there might be some problems along the way – right now, it's hard to find enough decent cardboard to package up new products because Amazon bought all it could in 2020 – but what were a few months ago giant icebergs in the way of getting good audio are increasingly melting away.
Better yet, while some of us made lockdown promises that went entirely unachieved (thank you Babble for reminding me that I am still at the 'ciao!' stage of learning Italian), others took the time to take stock of what was good and make it a lot better. OK, so for every brand new design, there are models that were announced early in 2020 and are still in final stages of production, but they are proving increasingly rare now. The audio world seems to be coming out of solitary confinement, and is coming out fast and coming out pulling no punches!
For once, this seems to be right across the board. Good, affordable audio has taken several steps forward over recent years and latest products show no sign of that changing, and in the high-end, we are seeing products that show what the best in audio was always supposed to be capable of delivering, but never quite lived up to the promises. In particular, we've seen that point of inflexion happen to streaming audio that happened to CD in the early 1990s; when suddenly products almost all took several steps forward. While I still think a lot of the next year will be spent making up for lost holiday time, we are in for some true audio brilliance this year. It's almost been worth the wait.
We'd like to congratulate Dimitrie Jelisavcich and Dr Ralph Würthner, both of whom win an all-expenses paid tour of Gryphon's factory, museum and listening rooms. Congratulations!