Welcome to the new-look, new-size Hi-Fl
Plus. I hope you like it. Magazines have to modify their design on a regular basis,
to stop them from looking stale. And Hi-Fl Plus has remained essentially untouched for almost a decade. So,
it's high time for a change. We've responded to your complaints about the
magazine's visibility on the newsstand by moving to a larger size. We've resisted the temptation to add lots of colourful devices and
'page furniture', though... we want to change the magazine, not break it.
What's not changing, though, is the brace of excellent products we test
every issue. That stays constant, whether it's the latest, greatest loudspeakers
from America, top valve amps from Switzerland, solid-state amps from Japan, floorstanding loudspeakers from
Germany or cables from Whitehall... it's in here.
With all this change going on, you might have missed the name above
the logo — The Absolute Sound. For the last few years, Hi-Fl Plus has been
a part of the NextScreen group, which includes magazines like Playback and The Absolute Sound in the US. This is an
important partnership that we've been singularly under-exploiting since we came
under their wing.
As you can probably guess by the increased signage,
that's going to change. Both magazines have their own direction, their own audience and the
differences between UK and US rooms mean a very different set of products on sale in both countries. As changes
occur on both sides of the pond, the two magazines can react faster to new products and trends, while retaining that
unique UK or US flavour. Or flavor.
And, on the subject of change, perhaps the biggest shift in the UK audio
market at the moment is the change going on with the Audio Show 2009. No more Heathrow... this year the
September Show moves north — to the Wittlebury Hall Hotel, not far from the Silverstone racetrack, near Towcester
in Nottinghamshire. The event runs across the whole of the last weekend in
September (26-27), and you can read more about it on pages 58-59. We'll be there, will you?
Finally, we hope UK readers will be delighted with our sublime cover-disc, made by Crystal Cables to
celebrate the launch of the Arabesque loudspeaker. The 19-track, full-length classical compilation is a minor musical
masterpiece. Unfortunately, the album is only available to UK readers of the magazine, but we have a treat in store for
all readers... next issue, we get to check out the Arabesque loudspeaker in its full