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Business... As Usual?
Article by Steven R. Rochlin
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  Normally i refrain from discussing the inside happenings within the industry. There are so many false rumors and, at times, mean spirited backstabbing that my longstanding stance is to have others avoid discussing any of them with me at any time. This type of defamation of character/company is not limited between manufacture-to-manufacture (or distributor), but also finds its way between one member of the press putting down another. While there may be some valid points made every now and then, what i generally find is a reoccurring theme... When a person within the industry becomes successful, sadly, there appears to be a backlash.

Within many industries they proudly cherish when someone succeeds after many years of hard work. No matter what you may feel about the pop singer MC Hammer, his great success combined with hiring many friends (plus his eventual diversification within various media) had other rap artists fight back. It was not the fact that sales of his products were eating away at the sales of others. It was merely the fact of MC Hammer becoming so famous that other artists began a wholesale initiative of lashing out negatively as often as possible. No one put him down for hiring his friends, no one could fault him for being spiritual and including a religious song on each album. In fact no one could argue that he implemented one of the best live shows of its time! What other rappers did do was to simply down talk him not just within the industry, but also within their songs that reached consumers. So what does this have to do with audiophiles?

Many of us within the industry have seen people such as David Wilson, Lew Johnsen, Neil Sinclair and many others begin from their garage to now becoming highly respected staples within the trade. Sometimes such great success has pitfalls. There may be others who have also "paid their dues" by working hard for many more years than others. Sometimes these "less successful" people who have worked for a longer period of time backlash against the "newcomer". After all, how dare anyone become more "successful" in a shorter period of time. How dare they! As you may have noticed within my writings above, there are parenthesis around key words/phrases.

How does one truly define someone else who has "paid their dues"? How does one define "success"? As there are no absolutes in "the best in the world" product or writer, there is no set standards for success. It is a relative term my friends. To some, success may (sadly) be strictly financial. (Said to make a point) How dare your neighbor get a new swimming pool only working 35 hours a week when you work 60 hours weekly and are just barely making ends meet. What gives your neighbor the right to "enjoy life" more than you... the person who works almost twice as hard. Why does it seem to be human nature in various countries including America, and to a greater extent Britain, to become so enthralled at putting down others who are "more successful" or have the appearance of a higher status within the community?

i beg you to ask yourself, how do you define success? Is success what one has materialistically, or is it more along the lines of the intangibles such as a happy personal/family life? Is the family living down the street in a home 50% larger than yours truly more successful than you? Maybe he hates his job and is about to get divorced? What if your marriage is dream-like and your children are angels? Given this scenario, who would you say is more successful? So why have i written so many words on this? Because over the years, as Enjoy the Music.com® progressed, there have been underpinnings by those within the press/media. They have ranged from an overall distain for the Internet to unfounded personal attacks against myself. There were a few who could feel the tide turning from print to Internet and they were fearful of the ramifications. Hey, "it is just the Internet, it will never catch on" said many in the early years. "Any schmuck can have a website" said one reviewer during that period. While it is indeed true that most Internet providers give free website space and, hence, virtually anyone can have their own website. A website in and of itself does not quality and popularity make.

Have a very careful look at who are the reviewers within any publication. Look at the overall qualifications of writers and the content delivered. Who is this website hiring to offer more articles? It brings me immense joy to be much like MC Hammer. Over the years i have been very pleased to have close friends' writings appear within these cyberpages. As the years have gone by at Enjoy the Music.com®, we have all benefited from hiring more diverse, talented writers into or cast of characters. Naturally each audiophile has their preferences. The music lover who enjoys huge giga-driver loudspeakers and monster solid-state amplification will find many of my equipment reviews nearly worthless. My forte is, happily, single-ended tube amplification and minimalist loudspeaker designs. This is why we here at Enjoy the Music.com® have a well-rounded staff of writers. Each writer has their preferences, just like audiophiles all round the world. The same can be said concerning industry publications. No single magazine can truly be everything for everyone, and we all benefit from (and deserve) diversity. Getting back to the subject at hand...

While looking at my computer's thesaurus function, it provides other meanings for the word success such as "accomplishment", "victory", and "triumph". In my humble opinions success is not necessarily triumph. That word seems so final. And as for victory, what is there to win? This is not a game and there is no prize. Sorry and all Mr. Audio Reviewer, do not expect some type of "Best Of" award for your efforts and you can quickly be forgotten as your current readership simply moves on to find new information (remember Fi, Ultimate Audio, Audio...).  

For me, there is an immeasurable amount of pleasure in having my friends' writings published because it has helped other music lovers all around the world to further enhance their life's enjoyment. There is no "i" in the world team my friends. The press and manufacturers alike, as a whole, should act more as a team and not as individual players attempting to become a "victor" and "triumph" over all others. This team attitude, for me, is plainly obvious as Enjoy the Music.com® has partnered with a very diverse team of print magazines. Longstanding and highly respected publications The Absolute Sound is very different from The $ensible Sound. Each has their own viewpoint and we all benefit from this. Those on the other side of the pond may enjoy Hi-Fi+ while The Audiophile Voice has their own esteemed following.

My hopes of this article is that it reaches not just our loyal readers, but to a greater extent, industry insiders. These are not easy times for us and if we are to have continued strength and growth, we need to be like the proverbial bundle of sticks. While no one (including myself) is totally puritan in every way at all times, we each need to take a look at what we are doing to promote this industry. If we have something negative to say, are the motives honest or are the less that positive comments simply a backlash for someone else's perceived "success" and "victory". Now is the time. Today is the day. Please allow me to say this here and now. If something negative and dishonest is said about another within the industry, they had better be prepared to backup their words... possibly in a court of law. And if they tell lies to others, only to lie once again when directly confronted... there are ways of dealing with this type of individual. Mean spirited gossip and lies in hopes of brining down a company, fellow writer, or magazine may indeed spur certain legal actions. The aforementioned gossiper would be well-advised to avoid this situation no matter where they may attempt hide in this world of ours.

Ending this article on a positive note, Enjoy the Music.com has been very well received by virtually all within the trade. Our extensive coverage of many audiophile shows proves how well we are able to promote many great people and products... bringing me deep personal joy to be part of this industry. Fact is, i recently (at no charge) gave Stereophile's editor John Atkinson a photo i took of him during a previous audiophile show. This photo now appears in their new Editor's Choice: Sampler & Test CD. This is only one example of the type of teamwork we all need to grasp. This is no competition, there is no victory or prize to be won. As they say, "You are only as good as the most recent article written". In the end what really matters is that you...


Enjoy the music (Pink Floyd The Wall right now),

Steven R. Rochlin


"All alone, or in two's
The one's who really love you
Walk up and down outside the wall

Some hand in hand
And some gathered together in bands
The bleeding hearts and the artists
Make their stand

And when they've given you their all
Some stagger and fall, after all it's not easy
Banging your heart against some mad bugger's wall"













































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