Phew! Looking back at the past year's worth of reviews can be a mind-boggling experience! This is exactly what happens as our staff contemplates the annual Blue Note awards. Adding to that, having our ever-growing quality, and quantity, of staff members choosing what they feel makes the grade further increases my duties as editor. Frankly, this has been the busiest month in my career of being professionally involved within the industry! Once you get a look at the quantity of new articles and show reports you'll see what i mean.
First up is our ever-growing show report count, now reaching over 110 to date! Yada yada my usual comments that no other audiophile magazine has even half the quantity we do yada yada yawn. Reporting on shows is a very time consuming and expensive venture, though it is something that must be done IMHO if a magazine truly cares about their readership. Sadly, it appears most online magazines refuse to invest into content that is of great service to their readers. Makes me wonder what those other magazines are doing with all that revenue?
Within September i personally reported upon Italy's Top Audio & Video show. Ok, so Italy is one of my favorite countries and with friends nearby, plus my International drivers license in hand, life is good. Still, there were photos to take, reports to be written, and equipment to procure that will appear in review in the upcoming months.
Following my Top Audio & Video Show report we had audio and video phile Bill Gaw chiming in. Bless Bill for traveling to Denver for may have been one of those shows. Well... ever been to a show and realize things are not what you had hoped? While Bill tells the tale in his assessment, i can only reach out my heart to him for trying. It seems those CEDIA folks may only be concerned with selling boxes over actually achieving what many would call sound quality. Read Bill's show report to learn more. Again, bless Bill for trying, though as the saying goes you can lead a horse (CEDIA member) to water....
With a pair of shows under our belt in September, our remarkable staff of writers was hard at work reviewing, writing, and sending me their assessments and articles. Each and every one of them deserves massive thanks from me for sending in their articles by the deadline, which is always the 10th of the month. Color me not the most, well, warm and fuzzy kinda guy at times as the deadline approaches. Frankly, i can be... like i tell my amazing woman, "i do not play hard to get, i play hard to want." So please send an e-mail to your fave writer(s) and thank them for putting up with me. Well, at least i do pay them for articles, feed them at CES, and do my best to get them drunk on my private stash of aged Dom Perignon.
The October issue of Superior Audio is the largest issue to date! We have a grand total of six new reviews now online covering everything from ultra-fi tube amplification to a USB DAC, a legendary manufacturer's preamplifier, a complete system from another manufacturer... and a turntable/tonearm review. That is nearly two complete system's worth of equipment!
As for the Review Magazine, it is indeed that time of year folks. But before i get to that, we should also note the two new equipment reviews, ten music reviews, two editorials, and another great installment by Bill Gaw with his AA series. As for the awards...
Awards are one of those hate, love, hate, and love things for me. You see, it reminds me of a Formula 1 driver who comes in fourth at a race, only a mere 30 seconds behind the first place finisher. Mr. Fourth Place does not receive a trophy or even the ability to stand on the podium. As i see it, if you have the talent to get into the game and make a great go at it... that is an amazing feat. After driving at breakneck speeds for over 70 minutes you are a mere 30 seconds behind the winner yet receive no press or trophy. Ok, so everyone loves a winner and that is all well and good, but there are times i question who has the right to choose and how did they earn that right?
On the other hand i admit there are products within their spectrum that do indeed stand out above others. So how are we, as journalists, to provide an avenue in making sure our feelings are known? And so is the rub, eh? Well, ok, so fine boys and girls we do indeed award products that we feel stand above the others. On the other hand, we will not take this responsibility for granted. You will never see each and every product we reviewed, or nearly that quantity, make the list. That is a cop out or perhaps industry pandering. Fortunately, our entire staff still have their dangling bits firmly attached so they can make the hard choices (pun intended, or not? You decide). And so i proudly announce our Best Of 2006 Blue Note Awards for equipment and for music.
As i always say, in the end what really matters is that we all....