This is the last issue of Hi-Fi
Plus in 2013. It's inevitably time to reflect. We've had our
100th anniversary (but we don't look a day over 95). The world is in a
slightly more financially happy and confident place at the end of this year
than it was at the beginning and we have lost some good people both in the
fields of music and audio. The rise of retro continues unabated (who'd have
expected cassette tapes would make a comeback in on-trend indie record
stores?), streaming is on the up, but reports of CD's grand demise might be
greatly exaggerated. Who knows what's in store for hi-fi in 2014?
The only way for you to keep abreast of the changes in this infinitely fascinating world of ours is to subscribe to Hi-Fi Plus. Whether on the printed page, having PDF downloads delivered to your inbox or on an Android or iOS app, Hi-Fi Plus continues to take the pulse of the high-end audio industry, and do that thing with the thermometer that no one likes talking about.
Over the years, hi-fi has survived, changed (and in some
cases, scarred) by the process, but in many ways is stronger than it was. We
see ways the industry will hopefully survive and even thrive now, and much of
that comes down to delivering the best products and even better service to a
select audience. This cuts across all prices, but when you get to the upper
echelons of audio (and they can get very 'upper' indeed), we've seen
distinct paradigm shifts forward in product design and uncompromising
performance, culminating in the remarkable Constellation Audio Virgo II and
Mono tested this issue.
We're also seeing great change. No one would have guessed companies like Meridian Audio would become a maker of quality headphone amplifiers when this downturn started – the company was a CD and active speaker specialist. And who would have put Electrocompaniet down as a loudspeaker brand? Times change... and so does audio.
We think this is a great time to be into audio. Yes, the Golden Age of the early 1960s saw an order of magnitude more people buy into audiophile ideas than we'll likely see ever again, but the sheer rate of change and improvement in performance that's happening across the board today is unheard of. We may live in interesting times, but they are also remarkable times. And Hi-Fi Plus will be tracking these remarkable times!