Julie Mullins

Julie Mullins  |  Apr 13, 2021  |  19 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 25, 2021  |  20 comments
All my earliest hi-fi memories involve tube amplification: as a young girl, staring at the tubes' glowing filaments and listening to music with my audiophile father. I was mesmerized by the glow of those tubes, too hot to touch, but even more so by the music, which often was classical or opera. How those tubes worked was a mystery to me, but I knew they played a big part in the magic coming from the speakers.
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  |  35 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  |  Dec 22, 2020  |  14 comments
I'm a sucker for materials, whether it's finishes for loudspeakers and other audio equipment, a shoe's fine, supple leather, a crisp cotton shirt, or a cozy cashmere scarf.

Apart from their inherent sensuousness, materials can make a difference in the sonics of audio components, especially loudspeakers.

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  |  Oct 01, 2020  |  7 comments
The fog hung ominously thick as I climbed the 194 steps leading up to Red Rocks Amphitheatre. I'd been in Denver for the 2018 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, and the weather had suddenly turned damp and cold—unusually so for early October. Due to dense fog and possible ice, my drive in from another Colorado city had been slowed. Though I'm in good shape, I was unaccustomed to the altitude, which also slowed my pace. So, I was arriving shortly after the opening act had started.

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