Not the most pleasant of subjects, but one that needs a little perspective.
‘THE REPORTS OF MY DEATH ARE GREATLY EXAGGERATED’
Mark Twain quotation after hearing that his obituary had been published in the New York Journal.
Replace ‘my’ with ‘high end audio’. So much doom and gloom about it, and the numbers just don’t add up. Also, I’ve been reading about its death for 25 years! People said the same about orchestras, the movie theatre, and on and on. In the here and now, I can buy quality turntables from almost 100 companies. Esoteric, single ended tube amps from Europe, North America and Asia. If so inclined, I can order cables costing a mortgage payment from all over the world. And, I can read about audio at hundreds of websites, most amateur but many professional outfits.
Audio designers’ passion outstrips naysayers every time.
A big problem is some dealers, distributors, designers, etc, projecting their sales numbers on the avocation as a whole. What fails are companies with outdated sales models, lack of capital, lack of vision, or, simply, bad luck. But, many of the ‘legacy’ companies’ and hundreds of new ones continue to advance high end audio more than the coiner of that phrase, the great Harry Pearson, could have imagined.
Look, fine wine, quality food, opera, classical music, good cars, good watches have always been owned by those with the taste and money for such things. They are niche markets, as is high end audio.
No matter what we say, most ‘civilians’ think of us as anomalies, not living in the real world. For them, they have the iPhone, the MP3, ear buds and Kanye West. Let them have them. The popularity of such things will not ’save’ high end audio. It doesn’t need saving. Audiophiles are so passionate, they’d never let the thing die, anyway. So, just relax. Order your thousands of LP reissues at the five or six incredibly good online retailers, download your high res computer files at HiRes Tracks, and listen. It’s on. And well beyond the life span of Mr. Pearson, myself, The Absolute Sound, Stereophile and every audiophile I know.