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Issue 177    November 2019

Modern Hi-Fi And Circular Logic
An an ever-increasing number of audio brands today.
Editorial By Alan Sircom


Hi-Fi+ Issue 177 November 2019


  The interesting thing about modern audio is just how diverse and international it has become. Back in the old days, the products of one country tended to stay in that country. Granted there were always exceptions (and many of those exceptions came from America, Japan, and the UK) but for the most part, the idea of a truly international audio system is an almost uniquely 21st Century concept. The big question is – is it actually real?

There are more products from an ever-increasing number of audio brands today, but they seem to be trying to reach out to a market that, if not in decline, is at best static. At the same time, retailers have become perhaps understandably over-conservative in their selection of products to support. They go with what they always used to go with, or with brands they always wanted to go with. New often doesn’t get a look-in.

We strive to avoid such ruts, but even so, it’s not easy. Because a lot of good audio has concentrated on its home market until recently, we often find those audio ‘overnight sensations’ have actually been in business for decades, and we just never knew because we were in our own little silo!


Hi-Fi+ Issue 177 November 2019


There’s some circular logic at play here. Audio needs new blood. New blood buys new brands. But the dealers sell old brands to old hands, and then complain about the absence of new blood! A good dealer should stock the classics and keep an eye open for what will please the next generation, but this is not a common practice.

Unfortunately, because we buy so conservatively, most newcomers are left burned out and penniless in only a few years. It doesn’t need to be that way, howerver, but it needs to be a group effort. We all need to embrace more than just the popular choices; that doesn’t mean we should prop up brands because of their novelty, but neither should we support older companies simply for the sake of rose-tinted brand history.

Or we can just climb back into our silos and ignore the rest of the world!

Our congratulations to Paul Comforth, who wins an outstanding Audiodesk Systeme Pro record cleaning machine, to Kevin Allen who receives a cleaner on loan, and to Roger Seaman who receives vouchers for cleaning his records on an Audiodesk Systeme Pro. Our congratulations also go out to Paul Joseph who wins the excellent Melco N100 digital music library. Well done, all!


Alan Sircom, Editor Hi-Fi+




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