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

 

Enjoy the Music.com

HIFICRITIC

Volume 15 Number 4
July / August / September 2021

 

HIFICRITIC Volume 15 Number 4 October / November / December 2021

 

What The Audio Industry Can Do....
A flavour of exploring ways of making more of what you have.
Editorial By Martin Colloms

 

  Alan Sircom, editor at HI Fi+ (issue 198, November 2021), prompted by COP26, asks what the audio industry can do to combat climate change. It's an interesting question, but may run contrary to traditional business models for audio, where upscaling and upgrading drives the hi-fi economy. Magazines thrive on a seemingly endless stream of new and improved product and audio technology, while a large proportion of readers continue to prefer paper copies made from trees and finished with inks, laminates and varnishes made from petrochemicals. And then there is the physical transportation.

Perhaps we should resist the call for the new, for endless renewal, which is unfortunately a habit encouraged by our industry claiming just a bit more of this and a bit more of that for improved audio reproduction. And we don't help by reviewing and publicising still more new introductions in seemingly endless new product reviews. Possible solutions include greater product retention, resisting the temptation to get more and better. Also, we should aim to lengthen renewal cycles: some products are very long-lived and may be overhauled every five or ten years, essentially reviving them, rather than being chucked and replaced. Naim Audio, amongst others, have a comprehensive programme where older designs are eligible for a primary service, notably replacing the power supply capacitors plus other odds and ends, contact cleaning and the like.

That's a sensible policy: the condition of the main power supply capacitors is key. These 'chemical' electrolytic technology components age – even if little used, but more so if used a lot. Moreover capacitor quality has improved over the years with lower ESR (equivalent series resistance) now maintained over a wider frequency range. Indeed, your favourite long-serving product may even come back from overhaul sounding better than new, due to the installation of these improved components. If you buy new, something may well get scrapped, but not if you buy 'serviced and secondhand' and pass the superceded product back into the 'pre-loved' market.

On the plus side, consumer audio equipment has a much longer lifetime than most products, and the scrap rate is low, sustaining that healthy second- and third-user market. Yet we need to audit how much raw material and energy is required to construct audio equipment. A huge proportion is imported: even if the product is assembled in the UK, most of the parts save the casework are imported.

 

HIFICRITIC Volume 15 Number 4 October / November / December 2021

 

Loudspeakers are an obvious exception where the UK is strong and a greater proportion of the build is originated here, although the use of imported drive units is relatively common, along with the electronic components used in the crossovers. For other products nearly all of the parts are imported, 'shipped' in and made with exotic – and environmentally costly – materials, including neodymium, nickel, copper, cadmium, silver, and advanced polymers and structural resins.

Perhaps we should think twice about 'large and heavier', and perhaps choose 'smaller and better'. Just how important is that almost imperceptible 2dB of extra loudness from a more powerful amplifier, or that particular nuance of quality identified by a bat-eared critic? With apologies to the valve-tube aficionados, over the medium term these amplifiers consume – for the same output power as solid state – perhaps four or even six times the supply current from the wall socket, and inevitably enjoy a shorter working life.

Notwithstanding the above, as you can see opposite for this issue we offer an ambitious program of product reviews and features, beginning with our interview with the redoubtable Andy Whittle, who has helped steer Rogers through structural and economic storms to its present UK-based revival, complete with local manufacturing of its new products. Meanwhile, there's also a flavour of exploring ways of making more of what you have: after much prevarication I've tackled the versatile Townshend Podium vibration-isolating platforms for loudspeakers, while Kevin Fiske considers the benefits of improved grounding when it comes to optimising system performance.

However you listen in these interesting times, may I wish you – on behalf of the whole HIFICRITIC team – the compliments of the season, and a peaceful and prosperous 2022.

 

 

– Martin Colloms
     Editor-In-Chief

 

 

 

Subscribe To HIFICRITIC!


Click here to subscribe to HIFICRITIC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
 

Quick Links


Audiophile Review Magazine
High-End Audio Equipment Reviews

 

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

 

Videos
Enjoy the Music.TV

 

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


Show Reports
HIGH END Munich 2022
AXPONA 2022 Show Report
CanJam Singapore 2022 Report
Salon Audio Montréal / Audio Fest 2022
Florida Audio Expo 2022
AudioCon Los Angeles 2022
Capital Audiofest 2021 Show
The HiFi Summit Q2 2021
T.H.E. Show 2021 Report
The HiFi Summit Q4 2020
The HiFi Summit Q2 2020
Bristol Hi-Fi Show Report 2020
Florida Audio Expo 2020 Show Report
Click here for previous shows.

 

Other
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
audioXpress
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
hi-fi+ Magazine
HIFICRITIC
HiFi Media
Hi-Fi World
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 - 2022  HighEndAudio.com and Enjoy the Music.com®
May not be copied or reproduced without permission.  All rights reserved.