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The Absolute Sound

January 2007
By Robert Harley

Changing Times

  I'm thrilled to welcome Dick Olsher to the staff of The Absolute Sound. Dick makes his debut this issue with an appraisal of the MartinLogan Vista loudspeaker. After you read his review I'm sure you'll share my enthusiasm for Dick's writing. He combines deep technical understanding of audio technology with a keen musical sensitivity and the rare ability to draw correlations between the technical and the aesthetic. His Vista review also left me with a vivid impression of how the product sounded, always the hallmark of great audio writing.

I briefly shared a listening room with Dick back in 1989 when I had just joined Stereophile as Technical Editor. I was new to high-end reviewing, and looked up to Dick's reviews as models of clarity, technical insight, and high standards for what products could be recommended. His reviews significantly shaped the way I approached product evaluation. Watch for more of Dick Olsher's writing in upcoming issues of The Absolute Sound.

Many of you wrote to me in the past month expressing frustration with the new graphic design, specifically text legibility Although the overall design is a big step forward, I agree that the type was too small and didn't always have adequate contrast with the background illustrations. Beginning this issue, we've increased the font size, given the text more room (no more use of "condensed" type, and made sure that there's adequate contrast between the text and the rest of the page. This approach brings greater readability to the type while keeping the overall graphic elements that work so well. Thanks to all of you who wrote for your feedback.

I'm also happy to report that beginning with Issue 170, I will be able to devote my full time and attention to The Absolute Sound. I've been Editor-in-Chief of both TAS and our sister publication, The Perfect Vision, since becoming EIC of TAS more than five years ago. When I took on both roles we published six issues of each magazine a year, making the job only a little more challenging than editing a traditional 12-times-per-year publication. But the success of both magazines has allowed us to increase that rate to ten issues of each title per year, a schedule that is best served by separate editors of each magazine.

Bob Ankosko, the former editor of Sound & Vision, has been appointed Editor-in-Chief of The Perfect Vision, allowing me to return to my first love: music and the technology that brings it into our homes. Consequently, I will be able to increase my editorial contribution to TAS, including more reviews, interviews, Roundtables, and feature articles.

As part of my increased presence in TAS, I'll be writing a weekly high-end audio blog on our Web site, AVguide.com. The blog will embrace widely diverse topics, including first impressions of products we're working on, follow-up reports on previously reviewed products, behind-the-scenes news from TAS, manufacturer and designer anecdotes, technical tidbits, tweaks and set-up hints, discoveries in accessories and music, and whatever else comes to mind. The weekly blog makes its debut December 1. I also invite you to join our reader forum at AVguide.com and post questions or exchange ideas with other audiophiles as well as with The Absolute Sound's writers and editors.

As part of our increased use of the Web to communicate with our readers, we've begun posting show reports live from show venues. Rather than waiting ten weeks between the show and our print report, you can now log onto AVguide.com and see daily updates from our editorial team of interesting new products and great-sounding systems. Our first effort in that direction is our report from last October's Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. If you can't wait for our print report in the next issue, check out our coverage at AVguide.com. You can even post comments and questions about specific products right in our reports, and get answers from our editorial team.

We'll be posting our coverage of the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show on
AVguide.com starting January 9, 2007. Of course, we'll still bring you a comprehensive print report, which will appear in Issue 171. Until then, see you on the Web.

 

 

     
 

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