It is funny how things work out. A decade ago, the idea of putting a turntable on the cover of a hi-fi magazine was a questionable one. Sales of vinyl were in the doldrums, new products were relatively rare and people were discussing their ‘final vinyl’ system. Many took the ultimate step and sacked both turntable and – a fatal error in my opinion – their LPs to move into the bright future of the polycarbonate disc.
In 2011, the reverse is true. Sales of LP and record players are growing once more and people of all ages – even those who were born long after LP was scheduled for termination – are getting back into the format. Its perceived biggest weaknesses of a decade ago (the inherent clicks and pops of vinyl, the ‘cumbersome’ sleeve) are now its greatest strengths (those clicks are organic and the sleeve is a physical thing in a virtual world) and as for CD, well now it’s CD’s turn in the doldrums.
I suspect CD’s fortunes are due for a revision soon. The backlash is growing and people are not quietly migrating to ripped and file-base music in the sort of numbers expected. Sales of streamer hardware are buoyant, but revenue for the music companies is still lower than expected. More significantly, there’s a small group of ‘tried it, no thanks’ rebels beginning to mount a ‘hands off’ campaign in favour of keeping digital
discy. No riots in the streets (as a Londoner, we’ve had enough of those lately), but just asking the question ‘are we really ready for this yet?’ And many are pointing that question directly at the sound quality of ripped files, compared to their polycarbonate originals.
Is CD still better? Many people think so.
It is with great sadness that we write to report the death of our Office Manager, Jackie Williams. After a long battle, fought with great stoicism, Jackie passed away in July. She maintained a positive attitude throughout her illness and will be greatly missed by all at
Hi-Fi+. Many friends of Hi-Fi+ knew Jackie, be they subscribers or clients. She was the face of the magazine at all of the UK shows and the voice behind the phone to whoever called the office.
She was a tremendous colleague, always willing to work outside her remit in order to keep the office running smoothly. All who knew her both personally and through the magazine will sorely miss Jackie’s friendly face.
Our thoughts at this time go to John, her partner, Dylan, her son, and her daughter in law,
Alan Sircom, Editor Hi-Fi+
Pete Trewin, Associate Publisher Hi-Fi+