BREAKING RANK: Who will be the first big maker to bypass the UK audio retailer network?

Michael Vronski … I don’t claim to be a futurologist. However sometimes it’s possible to read some signs and occasionally for a view of which way the commercial wind is blowing. And I mean the way that wind is blowing, but not necessarily the speed and strength of that wind.My belief is that with the […]

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AUDIO NATIONALISM: Are the English really the natural leaders when it comes to sound quality?

Michael Vronsky asks editor Neil McCauley: Neil –  is it jingoistic to believe that the English really are the natural leaders when it comes to sound quality? That would be a tough one because as an editor I can think of countries all over the world who give anyone a run for their money. I […]

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BUT DID YOU? So, got what you bargained for did you?

Michael Vronsky writes: Did we in the high-end buyers arena get what we bargained for when we chose the lowest price over service and advice? Dealers have always discounted. It’s implicit in the descriptive word ‘dealers’ i.e. ‘to deal’ Perhaps ‘retailer’ might be more appropriate? Anyway – even famous dealers may be obliged to offer […]

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ANYTHING BUT MUSIC: Why do some speakers sound like music while others do not?

  Michael Vronsky writes: Different isn’t automatically better I was trying to find the problem in a friend’s system. It didn’t sound as good as it should have for the money. So we did a lot of cable switching, speaker positioning, isolating this, isolating that – all to no avail. We certainly got different sounds, […]

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DIMINISHING RETURNS: Is audiophile quality diminishing?

Michael Vronsky asks: Neil; Do you think the market for audiophile quality is diminishing, or static or expanding? If I believe the reports I read it’s been diminishing under the onslaught of alternative ways of spending money on home entertainment like home cinema and video games etc. I think there is a very serious core […]

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PREMATURE DEATH: Is the Audiophile dying in the UK … or not?

Hi guys…this question I’m going to pose is not intended to russel up anyone’s feathers, moreover, I ask this question because I have (in recent years) noticed a significant change in the downward trend of attitude/outlook/customer service/passion/integrity/motivation/product knowledge/politeness, and so many other elements from the very people who are serving to sell companies products to […]

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A GRAIN OF TRUTH: Price fixing in the hi-fi industry

One of the reasons manufacturers try to encourage their retailers to sell at RRP is that it can help protect resale values of second hand goods. If you look at the position with a hifi manufacturer that for example encouraged customers to upgrade power supplies and accessories etc then part of the decision for the […]

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SPEAKERS: Active or passive speakers; it’s a no-brainer – right?

So Neil … at heart, are you an active speaker man or a passive speaker man? Well, in my career I have been responsible for the manufacture of active loudspeakers of varying quality. One model I particularly admired and two rather less and lately I have started to be very interested in active loudspeakers again, […]

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Quill

IF: If Editor McCauley was a speaker designer (which he plainly isn’t!) ….

Michael Vronsky writes: Neil; if you were, say, a speaker designer then what would be more important to you when designing , the final subjective sound or the measurements? Oh, I’m afraid very much the sound. I don’t despise or ignore measurements which are essential in the course of designing the thing. They give you […]

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In defence of Ken Kessler in particular and audio writes in general – or at least most of them – by Neil McCauley (part 1 of 2)

From time to time and on some but not all forums an audiophile magazine reviewer is used as a scapegoat for every illness in the industry. It’s an unfortunate fact of life that the more aggressive / virulent posters are those hiding behind anonymity. However that’s not the point of this piece nor indeed that […]

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