The Christmas season means many fine things of course, but for me one highlight is
Hi-Fi World's Awards issue arriving on the news-stands. Inside this magazine, you'll find the team dusting down our proverbial dinner jackets, popping champagne corks and going on the record about the best products to have come our way over the past twelve months...
It is a diverse bunch this year, perhaps reflecting the industry as a whole. Thinking back to the first Awards issue done under my editorship in 2004, and there were lots of SACD players and the odd turntable winning the gongs. Compared to this year's winners – which range from network music players and DACs, to turntables, arms and cartridges, and accessories – it was a pretty homogeneous bunch. I also think the overall quality of the winning products has risen too, as has the value for money offered. In these depressing days of economic austerity, if you've got the funds then any one of our Award Winners will put a wall-to-wall grin on your face.
The latest generation of Hi-Fi World Award winners shows great engineering depth, with the engineers behind their designs now way past the stage of thinking that all passive components simply sound the same, or that designing things in a staid way is still good enough to pass muster. We have fewer mass market
'hi-fi marketing' companies now (ones doing unremarkable kit and selling it in a fancy way) and more true hi-fi manufacturers who first design and build their stuff in an innovative manner, then sell them. Competition is tougher, standards higher and the market smaller – but prices stay reasonable. Good news, then!
Now though, after eight and half years in the editor's chair, I am moving on to pastures new. It's been an amazing experience to produce
Hi-Fi World, to meet so many enthusiastic readers, and to do battle with many of them in the letters section every month! I wish everyone involved with this magazine all the best for the future. So long, and thanks for all the... valve amps!
David Price, editor
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