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February 2013
Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
In This Issue....
High-End Audio Sales, New Writers, Gear Diversity And More!
CES / T.H.E. Show 2013 coverage from afar(!) plus top quality writers and much more happing here at Enjoy the Music.com!
Article By Steven R. Rochlin

 

  First, a most humble thanks to everyone for being so very understanding about my recent surgery, subsequent physical relapse, and thus feel you deserve an apology. As much as my desire to attend the Vegas events was strong, my body simply could not muster to move more than perhaps a few hundred feet until nearly total physical exhaustion. Thanks for the many e-mails and well wishes; they were appreciated! Anyone who has attended a show knows to wear comfortable shoes and be ready to walk many miles each day. Obviously this would be impossible and thus stayed home and did everything I could to gather intel and report on all the new products launched in Vegas. If you consider my reporting on nearly 30 products in the pre-show report and 60 more in the main section, the result was not too shabby for a guy who never stood a single foot in Vegas.

So what did I do during the past month of recovery besides the show coverage, daily industry news, plus site updates including The Absolute Sound, Hi-Fi+, Hi-Fi-World, and HIFICRITIC you ask? Plenty! For the first time in years I found myself with actual 'down time’. While my 'down time’ was probably more akin to a 'normal’ reviewer’s full-time work schedule, for me there were many hours available for thought and contemplation. Also, sometimes good timing in life brings you luck. And as luck would have it, am really happy to announce we have a great writer returning after his break away from the industry plus two more highly respected writers coming aboard!

First, Jules Colman is back! Jules has been within the industry for many years reviewing ultra-high-end audio gear. His authoritative writings will once again be appearing on Enjoy the Music.com, with hopes of a World Premiere review within the March or April issue! You can see past reviews from Jules at this link. Another new writer who has immense experience is Len Schneider. As you may recall, Len Schneider literally wrote the book about audio for Rotel and has been very active within the industry for decades. In fact you can read my book review of Len’s Rotel's The Ultimate Guide To High Performance Home Theater at this link. Lens brings with him decades of technical expertise, with concise writings and excellent assessment of equipment. Lastly, we have from Down Under in Aussie my friend Luc Allen! I met Luc many years ago online and we have been friends ever since. Luc enjoys everything from extremely high-end 300B all silver tube amplification and horn speakers from Italy to USB DACs and vinyl. Luc may be new to the public as a writer, yet his many years of experience will easily reveal itself to readers as will  his excellent taste in music and gear!

 

Expansion
During my 'downtime’ last month there were periods to step back and really take a close look at the high-end audio landscape. Not just equipment/technological direction as digital marches forward, nor the many new turntables that are making their appearance every year, but in how we journalists are communicating to our readers in hopes of broaden the industry's overall exposure. In the past two years we have seen more online videos, new personalities and fortunately even the big print guys have been busy expanding their Internet presence. In this regard I felt it would be great to somehow highlight the extraordinary achievements and reviews within our partner magazines. Unlike virtually every other audiophile magazine print or online, as they tend to stay within themselves, i felt it is far better to promote the industry and our partner magazines than be stupidly selfish. Of course no one is suggesting we put on blinders, put our fingers in our ears and/or ignore that fact that anyone else exists. To me that seemed extremely close-minded.

And thus I want to enhance my original goal – begun over 17 years ago here at Enjoy the Music.com – to become a central place for high-end audio information. So this begs the question just how should this site further expand and bring more exposure to as many companies as possible within this industry. For starters, this issue marks the first time we will feature reviews from our partner magazines and link directly to their site. This way you can read their reviews, buy digital download and/or subscribe to their print version (if available).

I can hear you now saying how dumb that idea is. "Steven you stupid schmuck!" you say. What magazine, either print or online, would actively promote their 'competitors’ in every issue? Well, Enjoy the Music.com can, will, and starting this issue is precisely what we are doing! Enjoy the Music.com will be linking to our partner magazine reviews/articles and, thus, highly promoting them. So again we ask what type of company in their right mind would promote their competition? Enjoy the Music.com. Why? Because it is high time to wake up and realize this industry has grown since those early days of the 1970's with just two tiny print guys jabbing one another like small children.. or fleas arguing over who owns the dog.

None of us live in a small bubble and it is impossible to 'firewall’ readers as much as the bean counters would like us to 'maximized profits' and never 'dilute your brand'. Ok, we can generally forget the big conglomerate-owned magazines, as the proverbial red tape is bad enough let alone dealing with parent companies and perhaps regional managers plus of course a call to their marketing teams and... As you can guess, been there, done that, total waste of my time. We have our beloved self-professed "fetishistic expression" guy Scot 'Part-Time Audiophile' Hull doing terrific work on his site and he just got a great gig writing for TAS! Bravo! Adding to that, we have Constantine Soo with his site and topnotch San Francisco event plus of course Jeff Dorgay with perhaps the most polished online-only pdf 'zine out there for the high-end lifestyle.

Added: The day after this article went online Michael Mercer has joined the many other demented high-end audio writers here on Enjoy the Music.com. Welcome to the Funny Farm Michael...and.... room for one more, honey ;-)

 

Diversification And Choice
Today we music lovers have the widest array of choices in the history of mankind. Not just in the actual music itself, which of course always grows over time. We now can get the music we love on vinyl, CD, SACD, DSD, digital download… and perhaps even reel-to-reel, cassette and maybe even on 8-Track tape(!). You can store your music is such a wide variety of ways that a wall full of music can now be stored in a compact 12TB+ NAS device. Forget the NAS and go 100% cloud! For us deep collection of album guys, gone are the days of spending 10 to 20 minutes in hopes of finding that LP somewhere in your 8000+ collection. Today we can type in our choice via app search, stream from the external thumb drive, SSD, NAS, cloud, and too many others ways to detail them all here. At the same time magazines such as Enjoy the Music.com are publishing reviews and articles supporting virtually all these formats. No longer do we have only the turntable and reel-to-reel as high-end music format choices, just as there are more than two print magazines reporting on the industry. Freedom of choice is a great thing and we all benefit accordingly imho.

 

All Aboard!
So what is the bottom line here? Enjoy the Music.com is planning on further expansion in 2013. Whilst we never just stood still per se (apps, customized web browser, daily RSS feed, etc.), the industry is evolving and so should publications and those who review gear and report on it. Sure the 'ancient wisdom’ of the 'old goats’ knowledge is highly valuable from a historic standpoint, yet these young up-and-comers not only have a viable voice, they need to be heard to continue moving the industry forward. So to everyone who are not just keeping the flame alive, but to those who are feeding the fire I humbly salute you! Of course in the end what really matters is that we all…

 

Enjoy the Music (Ch-ch-ch-changes...),

Steven R. Rochlin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
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