Home | Audio Reviews | Audio Shows | Partner Mags | News     


Enjoy the Music.com
Volume 9 No. 3

The Hi-Fi World Has Become Fragmented
Editorial By Paul Messenger


HIFICRITIC Volume 9 Number 3 July / August / September 2015  I'd like to ask readers to spare a thought for Malcolm Steward, a regular contributor to these pages and the dear husband of our makeup artist and designer Philippa, who suffered a very serious road accident back in July. Malcolm is still in intensive care, and the prognosis at the time of writing remains uncertain.

HIFICRITIC wants some feedback from readers, on the sort of content that would be most valued. I'll continue to try and include worthwhile features to counterbalance the inevitable hardware reviews, but am particularly interested in finding out whether readers want to read more about analogue or digital sources, and if digital whether it's about DACs, servers, downloading or streaming services.

The hi-fi world has become fragmented, and the dividing line seems to be related to the prime music source being used. That in turn seems to vary according to the age of the individual reader and customer. Those born before the mid-1960s will probably have accumulated a fair amount of vinyl before CD became the dominant carrier in the late-1980s. (It might have started in 1983, but took some years to get going.) Barely a decade later, file-sharing began to erode the primacy of CD as the most universal music storage medium, even though the widespread use of MP3-coded material was well short of hi-fi (or for that matter CD) quality. However, MP3 filesharing helped home computers get their foot in the music door, which has had huge implications. The continuing development of both computers and the internet constantly increases the range of possibilities.

But this constant change can also be a problem, albeit one that seems to be a characteristic of a 21st century, where nothing has to be right first time, as it can always be fixed by a subsequent update. Although Paul Rigby's piece on page 48 did give me pause for thought, it's undeniable that a vinyl disc made more than 50 years ago is still playable today. One reason why the guys who invented vinyl got it right first time (apart from the mono-to-stereo change) was maybe because they didn't have the option to go back and change it later. In contrast, digital media in general seems to be in a constant state of flux today, always changing from one day to the next via further software upgrades.

This ability to download updates from the internet may perhaps bring improvements, but the negatives are no less valid. Indeed, a neighbour who works at the very sharp end of computer technologies recently told me that he never installs updates on his computer because they simply slow it down and clog it up. (This view is not generally accepted due to the need for up to date virus protection.)

Furthermore, despite the considerable growth of new digital prospects and techniques, the last few years have also seen a significant revival in enthusiasm for analogue vinyl for music storage and replay. The reasons are numerous and various, but among the more significant observations are that the customers for new vinyl replay equipment are not merely 'old fogeys' resuscitating their record collections, but cover a wide range of ages. Whether analogue vinyl simply sounds more natural and musical than digitally processed material will doubtless remain a bone of contention for the foreseeable future.


– Paul Messenger



Click here to subscribe to HIFICRITIC













































Quick Links

Audiophile Review Magazine
High-End Audio Equipment Reviews


Equipment Review Archives
Turntables, Cartridges, Etc
Digital Source
Do It Yourself (DIY)
Cables, Wires, Etc
Loudspeakers/ Monitors
Headphones, IEMs, Tweaks, Etc
Ultra High-End Audio Reviews


Enjoy the Music.TV


Editorials By Tom Lyle
Viewpoint By Roger Skoff
Viewpoint By Steven R. Rochlin
Various Think Pieces
Manufacturer Articles

Show Reports
Florida Intl. Audio Expo 2023
Capital Audiofest Show 2022
KL International AV Show 2022
Toronto Audiofest Show 2022
CanJam SoCal 2022 Show Report
Pacific Audio Fest 2022 Report
T.H.E. Show 2022 Report
HIGH END Munich 2022
AXPONA 2022 Show Report
CanJam Singapore 2022 Report
Salon Audio Montréal Audiofest 2022
Click here for previous shows.


Audiophile Contests
Cool Free Stuff For You
Tweaks For Your System
Vinyl Logos For LP Lovers
Lust Pages Visual Beauty


Resources & Information
Music Definitions
Hi-Fi Definitions


Daily Industry News

High-End Audio News & Information


Partner Print Magazines
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
hi-fi+ Magazine
HiFi Media
Sound Practices
The Absolute Sound
VALVE Magazine


For The Press & Industry
About Us
Press Releases
Official Site Graphics


Contests & Our Mailing List

Our free newsletter for monthly updates & enter our contests!




Home   |   Industry News   |   Equipment Reviews   |   Press Releases   |   About Us   |   Contact Us


All contents copyright©  1995 - 2023  HighEndAudio.com and Enjoy the Music.com®
May not be copied or reproduced without permission.  All rights reserved.