Re-Tales

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Julie Mullins  |  Apr 13, 2021  |  10 comments
New York's Lyric Hi-Fi & Video is one of high-end audio's longest-standing and most legendary institutions. In a recent telephone conversation, Leonard Bellezza, Lyric's owner and president, confirmed what many in this industry have long heard rumored: Lyric is closing.
Julie Mullins  |  Mar 22, 2021  |  10 comments
"I'm going to be making as much of a commitment to the brick-and-mortar [dealers] as we can," says Bryston's James Tanner.

In Re-Tales and in Industry Update, I've written about some of the ways the pandemic has accelerated changes in the hi-fi business. Government-mandated safety measures, the absence of audio shows, and a marketplace that was already changing have combined to force companies to get creative about how they reach customers, both to sell products and to provide service.

A few established dealers have closed or are preparing to. Some can no longer afford inventory. Some have just retired. Others, though, report that 2020 was an extraordinarily good year.

Julie Mullins  |  Mar 04, 2021  |  7 comments
It's 2021, and the audio business marches ever onward. Accelerated by the pandemic, economic transformation continues apace; online sales are burgeoning across all industries. This includes hi-fi, which is under pressure to facilitate more online sales, and—maybe, for some—move away from the traditional dealer-based sales model.
Julie Mullins  |  Feb 02, 2021  |  37 comments
Why is there so much separation between the professional audio and audiophile worlds? Is that separation by design, or even necessity? Is it naïve to believe that more crossover could benefit both sides?
Julie Mullins  |  Jan 04, 2021  |  27 comments
Walter Swanbon has had a lot on his mind lately. Like many dealers, he's been busy adapting to changes, but the pandemic has also offered time for reflection.
Julie Mullins  |  Nov 25, 2020  |  7 comments
Several audio shows have been canceled or postponed since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in early 2020: Munich, AXPONA, RMAF, Montreal, and the 2021 Florida Audio Expo, among others. The next scheduled show is the Finest Audio Show, slated for January 9–10 in Zurich. The next one in the Americas is the inaugural Seattle Audio Fest, planned for July 30–August 1. AXPONA, America's biggest show, near Chicago, was recently postponed for the second time until late August. Depending on how the pandemic evolves, it's possible those shows will not be able to take place as planned, either.
Julie Mullins  |  Oct 19, 2020  |  1 comments
The sense of hope I've been feeling may have started with those Sinatra swells, the on-hold music I heard when I called to interview the first audio dealer I talked to for this story. I wanted to know what's been happening with their businesses during the pandemic. Are there reasons for at least cautious optimism?
Julie Mullins  |  Sep 24, 2020  |  15 comments
Access to musical information isn't guaranteed, whether it's limited by the resolution of a recording, your audio system, or an oppressive political regime. George Vatchnadze, concert pianist and dealer in high-end audio equipment, has experience with all three.
Jana Dagdagan  |  Mar 29, 2017  |  10 comments
This past weekend, John Atkinson, Herb Reichert, and I drove down to Philadelphia to visit audio retailer Doug White of The Voice That Is. In this video, Doug and JA discuss the challenges of a rapidly changing internet based market, the differences between buying online versus buying from your local dealer, and much more.
Larry Archibald  |  May 28, 2010  |  First Published: Sep 28, 1992  |  0 comments
People of my generation have learned that change is certain. You can't know what the change will be, but you can bank on the fact that there will be serious change over the next ten years. Look at the historically most important change in ten years: microcomputers.
John Atkinson  |  Sep 19, 1997  |  First Published: Sep 19, 1993  |  0 comments
"To be an influence in any society...one can be a little different, but only a little; a little above one's neighbours, but not too much."---C.P. Snow, The Masters, 1951
Barry Willis  |  Jun 22, 1996  |  0 comments
Some folks claim to have actually seen the legendary Bigfoot, the enormous, manlike beast said to roam the backwoods of the Pacific Northwest. Others have stood in his footprints or plucked foul-smelling patches of hair from trees he has recently passed. A few have gotten close enough to take vague snapshots or shaky video clips of the beleaguered creature. One or two attest to frightful chance encounters with him. His size alone has given rise to rumors that he is dangerous, but no firm evidence has ever been produced to substantiate this.
Evelyn & Neil Sinclair  |  Mar 01, 1986  |  0 comments
In his April 16, 2001 website essay "Where's Our Freedom of Audio Choice?" reader Jim Tavegia railed against the ubiquitous policy of manufacturers only allowing their products to be available through selected retailers. "If I'm willing to pay the UPS costs, it should be my prerogative to buy equipment anywhere I please," he wrote. This echoes a controversy that appeared in the print magazine 15 years ago. The affair started with some innocent-looking text written by Audio Cheapskate Sam Tellig in the December 1985 Stereophile (Vol.8 No.8):
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