We've Finally Done It!
There! We've finally gone and done it! We have redesigned the magazine for the first time since it moved to its A4 size way back in 2009. In fact, if you compare Issue 205 (the last of the older look) with one 120 or so issues earlier, you'll see a very different magazine, in essence the changes to the magazine until today were more subtle evolution than root-and-branch change.
We think the new look at once retains what was good about the magazine while also bringing the best of the 2020s... only without the fire tornadoes, murder hornets, global pandemics and escalating conflicts in Eastern Europe.
Despite – or perhaps 'because of' – the never-ending and ever-unfolding sequence of horrors that are the 2020s, good audio has seen a powerful resurgance recently. The logic being those with disposable income – who spent eighteen months or more unable to spend that money on holidays, expensive dinners, theatre tickets or concerts – still have money to spend. Hobbies and interests that weren't decimated by 'stay at home' demands prospered, and audio was understandably one such beneficiary. This is not without its obstacles, such as supply-chain problems and chip factories burning down, but renewed interest in all things audio has been a thing for a few years now and that includes reading about audio, too!
The lockdowns also gave us all a unique point of introspection, both in professional and social terms. It's why many people have switched careers as a result of Covid; not from contracting it and recovering, but simply because those hours in one's own company focuses your attention on what's important in your life. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the attrition rate was lower in industries where people are driven by their passions, so the audio world has seen more people join companies and move within the business than leave to go and do something more rewarding with their lives. This is a positive thing; it shows we are an industry still driven by passionate people.
We think that some of that passion rubs off in our new design. We've changed because it was the right thing to do and it was the right time to do it. The audio world is changing too and not necessarily in predictable ways; this year saw a rise in CD purchases, bucking a 17-year trend. With the continued interest in streaming, vinyl, solid- and hollow-state amplifiers, personal audio and every design of loudspeaker you can think of and more, it's a fascinating time to be involved in audio, on both sides of the fence.
I'm through with the 'may you live in interesting times' curse. Been there, done that. It's time to put a bit of fun back in our lives, and there are few more lifelong ways of enjoying yourself than listening to great music played well!