I read with great interest the new E-newletter from WP and found it very enlightening on more than one front. The question that keeps coming up is what has happened to the passion of audio for the masses?
I was interviewing for a postion with a very successful electronics chain. They are forcing the closing of many competitors around their trading areas. It is not their audio passion or presentations that have anything to do with it. Truthfully, audio is hardly on the radar. It is video, video, and more video that is driving it all. When audio is included it is "dumbed down" as to be nothing more that an afterthought, not quite meaningless, but nontheless not as near important as the "picture".
I could not help but wonder why this is accept when I asked my general manager/interviewer what he listened to and on. He said he was more pasionate about audio thtn video, but that he really didn't have anything worth talking about and that he was going to have an associate put together a system for his new "theater room" at his house. I found it hard that he could put the word "passionate" in that sentence. Where ever I have moved or where ever I went audio was a major part and was the first thing set up.
I thought it is not wonder why audio and the interconnected music sales in tanking. If the people who are charged with being the "experts" and the "go-to" people to help customers travel the trecherous audio purchasing road and really don't have the "passion" or general interest and move then down the "Isles Of Mediocrity" and pick up the swell, dreaded, Home Theater In The Box, you can gain an understanding.
I then asked him," If someone walked in with a pile of $2000 and asked you to pick a great audio system, could he given them the most bang for the buck"? His answer was he did not know!
He then asked me a pointed question," If I had been in their stores, and if saw what they offered would I want to own anything there"? I said I have been in many times to buy other things, but, no audio there intested me on any level! He was shocked. I told him based on what I saw none of the buyer for their chain were audiophiles on any level and that certainly their speaker choices left much to be desired on any level. I also said that given the same money for their speaker offerings there were many better choices at every price point that would be easily discernable by any listner. It was clear that no one in purchasing agonized over any lines they were carrying. He admitted that video easily topped their audio sales, at which I replied that I was not surprised. I said all too often the same people who by video with their eyes (appropriate), do the same thing with audio (pretty cabinets and drivers), rather than closing their eyes and making their sense of hearing more accute. What an awful mistake.
The issue is is that if the MP3 playing world is not exposed to great audio where they do much of their eloectronics shopping how can the public be anything but dumbed-down to what the promise of audio really is. The passion in gone. The table radio wins!!!!!