A magazine like Hi-Fi+ doesn't have regular round table editorial meetings because our reviewers are scattered to the four winds, and seldom see one another except at the occasional audio show or press launch. So, the chances of some disease sweeping through the team is slim. This month, though, contagion spread through the writers like the magazine was a plague ship.
In the week running up to publication, planned reviews were thin on the ground. Frantic telephone calls and emails followed, often a cavalcade of coughing, sneezing, spluttering, and a comparison of symptoms. I spent a lot of February sounding like Hal Douglas (the late, great King of "In a world..." movie voice overs), and I was one of the healthier ones!
The reason for tearing down the fourth wall here is simple. We hoped to cover many products this month, products that are currently sitting in listening rooms temporarily re-tasked as sick rooms! So, that amazing ELAC Debut B5 loudspeaker we were expecting this month... well, it's been pushed back to next issue. This also gave rise to a slightly less balanced spread of products than usual.
This last point is fascinating, though. Because, with a few notable exceptions, the products we tested were mostly at a far more affordable and attainable level than usual. Our high-end grouping, placing products in the thousands to tens of thousands of pounds has been replaced by a number of products that stayed in the hundreds. Setting aside the Marie Celeste like nature of the editorial team this month, I think this might be continuing a trend seen at CES this year.
In other news, March was traditionally something of a quiet month for audio events, but not anymore. Those of you reading this in the US should check out the CanJam So-Cal event on March 19 and 20 at the Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California. For more details, go to: www.head-fi.org/t/784296/canjam-socal-2016-march-19-20-2016. Meanwhile, those in the UK fresh from the Bristol Sound & Vision Show should visit the Bath AudioFest at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, in Queens Square, which runs on March 18 and 19. Details can be found here: www.coolgales.com/bath-audiofest
Finally, congratulations to our lucky winners of the Mad Scientist cable competition. Cliff Perry of Harlington in the UK wins a set of the excellent YANAM interconnects, while Chris DeBrango of Sherman Oaks in California wins a set of ATOH cables. Well done!