Home | Audio Reviews | Audio Shows | Partner Mags | News     


Enjoy the Music.com
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
January / February 2015
In This Issue...
No Decline In High End Sales
Editorial By Greg Borrowman


Australian Hi-Fi Magazine January / February 2015  I was recently bemused to read an editorial written by the late J. Gordon Holt (JGH), when he was editor of Stereophile magazine, in which he apologised to subscribers for the delay in the latest issue (it was a six month delay, which makes me look very good indeed) and also for the necessity of increasing the cover price. Along with the apologies and the entreaties to subscribers to forgive all and re-subscribe (obviously not effective, because he sold the magazine to Larry Archibald with the very next issue) he wrote: 'When we bannered this issue as a "special CES issue" we meant it. It is entirely devoted to the 1981 Summer CES because, if high-end audio continues to decline economically, there may not be another high-end audio CES.' [My italics]

So according to JGH, the high-end was declining economically 'way back in 1981. If it was, it's been declining very nicely for the past 30-odd years! Yet still the pundits still persist with their predictions of high-end gloom and doom. A well-known journalist who visited both the 2014 New York and Australian Audio shows, posted on his highly popular blog: 'The warning signs are to be found down every hallway: the 40-plus-yr-old-white-middle-class-male demographic; the tendency for exhibitors to spin the same inoffensive tunes they've always spun; the multi-thousand dollar pricing. These are all hallmarks of a journey's end.'

As I see it, (thanks JGH!) everyone rabbits on about the high-end declining but I don't see any monetary evidence of such a decline (indeed if I had the space here I'd argue the exact opposite), nor is there any sound sociological basis for predicting one. The simple fact is that there will always be rich folk, and they will always buy expensive hi-fi equipment. And the more we populate the planet, the more rich folk there will be, and therefore ever-more expensive hi-fi equipment will be sold in ever-increasing quantities. The corollary of this is that at the other end of the sociological scale, there will always be poor people, and the number of people on the planet who are poor will also continue to increase. This means that cheap and crappy audio gear will also be around for ever.

The silver lining in all this (and the reason I am writing this editorial at all) is that the rich person/poor person paradigm means that all of us who are neither very rich nor very poor (a demographic that encompasses most readers of Australian Hi-Fi Magazine according to our most recent survey) will continue to be able to purchase well-made, well-designed, high-quality hi-fi equipment capable of delivering true high-fidelity sound, at prices well within our budgets, because the simple truth is that you do not need to spend 'high end' money to get 'high end' sound.

To prove this, ask your hi-fi dealer to put together his most expensive system, plus another at around half the price, then put on a blindfold and compare the sound. Don't be surprised if you don't hear much of a difference, or if you think the more expensive system isn't worth twice the price. In some cases, you most likely could assemble yet another system at half the price again and end up with exactly the same results. The moral of which is that given careful listening and informed component selection, high-end sound is within the reach of everyone… 


--- Greg Borrowman
















































Quick Links

Audiophile Review Magazine
High-End Audio Equipment Reviews


Equipment Review Archives
Turntables, Cartridges, Etc
Digital Source
Do It Yourself (DIY)
Cables, Wires, Etc
Loudspeakers/ Monitors
Headphones, IEMs, Tweaks, Etc
Ultra High-End Audio Reviews


Enjoy the Music.TV


Editorials By Tom Lyle
Viewpoint By Roger Skoff
Viewpoint By Steven R. Rochlin
Various Think Pieces
Manufacturer Articles

Show Reports
Salon Audio Montréal Audiofest 2023
Florida Intl. Audio Expo 2023
Capital Audiofest Show 2022
KL International AV Show 2022
Toronto Audiofest Show 2022
CanJam SoCal 2022 Show Report
Pacific Audio Fest 2022 Report
T.H.E. Show 2022 Report
HIGH END Munich 2022
AXPONA 2022 Show Report
CanJam Singapore 2022 Report
Click here for previous shows.


Audiophile Contests
Cool Free Stuff For You
Tweaks For Your System
Vinyl Logos For LP Lovers
Lust Pages Visual Beauty


Resources & Information
Music Definitions
Hi-Fi Definitions


Daily Industry News

High-End Audio News & Information


Partner Print Magazines
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
hi-fi+ Magazine
HiFi Media
Sound Practices
The Absolute Sound
VALVE Magazine


For The Press & Industry
About Us
Press Releases
Official Site Graphics


Contests & Our Mailing List

Our free newsletter for monthly updates & enter our contests!




Home   |   Industry News   |   Equipment Reviews   |   Press Releases   |   About Us   |   Contact Us


All contents copyright©  1995 - 2023  HighEndAudio.com and Enjoy the Music.com®
May not be copied or reproduced without permission.  All rights reserved.