Although we re-worked the look of the
magazine radically last year, you should never stand back to admire your work
too long. Looking back at the results of our survey just prior to the change,
I noticed something. Many readers pointed to different sections as important
within the magazine, but it always came back to the same mantra; reviews,
reviews, reviews. So, by way of a little experiment, this issue plays to our
inner Jerry Lee Lewis – welcome to the Hi-Fi Plus 'All Killer, No
We've deliberately stripped the magazine back to review,
after review, after review for this issue. Apart from a few columns and your
letters and emails, it's all review this month; there are no special
features about new technologies or old, no interviews with musicians you've
never heard of. Nothing.
The idea came to me at the very fine Cool Gales Take Five
event in central Bath. This day-long micro show, featured three systems
stripped back to the very marrow of music. Turntable, CD, amp, speakers...
three different, yet each excellent, ways of making these building blocks of
audio sing. Aside from Diverse Vinyl's stand and a few sarnies from M&S,
the show delivered and needed nothing else, no high-pressure selling or timed
demonstrations, just good music played in relaxed surroundings. Oh, and a
raffle to raise some money for Brake, the road safety charity.
Looking back to that survey we ran last year, it was clear
that audiophiles (like the ones at the Cool Gales show) want to know about
good sound and not much else. But is a magazine of reviews enough? Surveys
tell us a lot, but tell us a lot about those who fill in surveys. We want to
know more. Tell us what you think of a feature-free Plus.
If it's features you want though, we have a special deal
lined up. In our recent office move, we happened upon some long-lost back
issues (we also found that packet of half-eaten Custard Creams that we last
saw in 2004, but decided they were probably best thrown away). We even found
some issues that we thought were sold out. Normally, our back rate is £6 per
issue, but to celebrate our new-found stash, we're practically giving them
away at £4 each, or three issues for just £10! Naturally, this is on a
strictly first-come, first-served basis, but turn to page 94 to help plug
those gaps in your collection of classic copies of Hi-Fi Plus.