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johnny p.
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History of Stereophile

I just read an old interview with J. Gordon Holt and in it, he said that back in the early 80s, Stereohile had only 2500 subscribers. Was this indicative of the number of audiophiles at the time ? If it was, then there are a *lot* more enthusiasts today than we had back then.

Was Stereophile sold in bookstores back then ?

Many complain that our niche market is on a down slope. Based on history, it's just the opposite......

JoeE SP9
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History

I started subscribing to Stereophile in the early 80's IIRC it was available only by subscription.

John Atkinson
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Re: History of Stereophile

johnny p. wrote:

I just read an old interview with J. Gordon Holt and in it, he said that back in the early 80s, Stereohile had only 2500 subscribers. Was this indicative of the number of audiophiles at the time ?

No, it was indicative of Gordon's lamentably poor ability as a businessman. Throughout the 1970s, Stereophile issues appeared increasingly infrequently and the circulation declined until Gordon moved to New Mexico in 1978, at which point things almost ground to a halt. At the end of 1981, with the magazine heavily in debt, Gordon sold Stereophile to Larry Archibald, who finally put the magazine on an upward path. You can find a timeline of the magazine's history at www.stereophile.com/features/708.

Quote:
Was Stereophile sold in bookstores back then ?

No.

Quote:
Many complain that our niche market is on a down slope. Based on history, it's just the opposite...

Sadly, no. High-end audio remained relatively small with small but consistent growth  until the beginning of the 1980s, when it tsarted gowing significantly. The terrific growth continued through 1997, when the Japanese economic collapse virtually eliminated a major market for US products for many years. The pendulum swung back in the early years of this decade, but the audio market collapsed again in 2009. There were some signs of regrowth in 2010 and 2011.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

johnny p.
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If I read you correct, the

If I read you correct, the loss of Japan for U.S. exports hurt high end. Well, Japan collapsed in 1990-91. The stock plunge was historic. I think you mean the East Asian currency crisis of 1997-98. This only lasted one year - but the economies may have lagged on after.....

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