may not be the fastest moving stream in technology, but it's not stagnant.
Significant changes do occur in the audio world periodically, and we are
witnessing one of those changes in the pages of this issue. Because this
month, two of the products featured are loudspeaker systems designed to work
either on a wall or actually in the wall itself.
The logic is inescapable. Floor space is fast becoming a
valuable commodity in modern life, increasingly people are using their
wall-mounted TV set as an entertainment hub (even if surround sound didn't
prove quite the high-end draw it was expected to be) and people want their
audio systems to be the opposite of Victorian children; heard, but not seen.
Traditionally, this has meant compromise, usually in terms of performance, but
some of the latest designs work with the boundary to provide first-rate sound
as well as nothing to see. Yes, this will probably always be a minority topic
in specialist audio, and is often difficult to demonstrate, but it's an
important aspect of today's audio system that should not be overlooked.
There is also a couple of significant trends in audio. The
first is the call for digitising your analogue – as more people move to a
computer-based audio solution, so vinyl is staging yet another comeback. Many
subsequently feed the output of their audio system into a computer, for a
variety of very logical reasons. However, there are a number of different ways
to achieve this goal and it's high time we outline the procedures involved.
Next is the rise of the mini-show. Day or weekend long
events – often run by a single dealer – have established a firm foothold
in today's audio world. This issue, we look at three such events. And there
are more to come...
Hi-Fi Plus was
saddened to learn of the death of George Bartlett (1946-2012), of Bartletts
Hi-Fi in Hackney Road, North London. His enthusiasm for audio and his
professionalism as a retailer were only matched by his infectious sense of
humour and his warm and friendly demeanour. He is survived by his wife Wendy
and his children, Warren and Sarah.
Errata: Last issue, bad photography gremlins invaded our
review of the Ensemble Natura loudspeaker. Sorry for any confusion caused.
Alan Sircom, Editor Hi-Fi+