It's easy to get caught up in the gloom and doom of the time. Winter blues, earthquakes, unexpected snowfalls, economic nastiness and music charts dominated by glorified karaoke acts and their high-trousered
Svengali... it's enough to drag anyone down. But not everyone; for, despite the tales of woe, some companies are actually laying down roots for the future.
'Green shoots of recovery' is a parliamentary cliché, but the first such shoots (try saying that after 15 tequilas) can be seen in the audio industry. Custom Electronic Design of Egham in Surrey is that rare
thing... a high-end audio and home cinema studio and custom installer that opened with a flourish at the beginning of 2010. And the regular front-of-the-year CES show was more successful than anyone hoped. And we too have something to shout about
-- in line with the growth of our business, we are moving to larger premises soon.
It's worth being pragmatic about this. This does not mean the whole world is suddenly waking up to hi-fi once more and for every one good step forward, the audio world seems intent on taking one half step back and one step sideways. But, these small positive signs show that some people are not willing to let audio go gentle into that good night. And hopefully these are not isolated incidents, but the start of people reengaging with the passion and the excitement of hearing music played properly once again.
A lot of that will come down to you, dear reader. It's time to stop being an audio apologist and start being an audio evangelist. We tend to underplay just how remarkably important music is to people and forget just how much of a life-changing thing hearing music played properly can be. So, we need to start telling people
-- when did you last invite someone over to listen to some music? Next time you invite friends round, don't tell them to bring a bottle… bring a disc, and a bottle. You'd be surprised at how many people have remarkable audio systems and never play them to anyone apart from other audiophiles.
Just remember not to be a hi-fi bore; you may want to know who made the triodes in your phono stage, but you can guarantee your 'muggle' friends will not. At least, not at first.
It's a call to (tone)arms, because we, the audiophiles need to remind people that there's more to music. Because if we don't, no-one else will.
Finally, a correction: In a issue 69, we stated that Waterfall's loudspeaker designs do not use safety glass in their construction. This was incorrect; Waterfall uses safety glass in the manufacture of all its loudspeakers. The error was purely mine
-- I had croissants lodged in both ears when discussing this with the designer. Our apologies to those inconvenienced by this error.