For anyone who wants to be up to date on all the audio products available in North America, Audio's Annual Equipment Directory is an indispensable source of information. (So is the publication you're reading now, of course.) The 1992 Directory (aka Audio's October issue) arrived when I was finishing up the review of the Acarian Alón IV (see February 1993, Vol.16 No.2) and about to start seriously listening to the Unity Audio Signature 1s. As I leafed through the issue, I wondered how fledgling loudspeaker manufacturers feel reading the section on loudspeakers. According to the Directory, there are 329 makers of speakers (17 more than in 1991) producing no fewer than 2286 different models. How can a new loudspeaker manufacturer compete with the established makes and their marketing clout, brandname recognition, and economics of scale? You'd better have a really good productor be a genius at promotion.
One is a well-established reissue label, known the world over for its completist black boxes filled with beautifully remastered jazz recordings from the 1930s through the 1960s.
The other is a new label that records only new jazz, released in elaborate packages that include a poem and original artwork, not to mention transparent 180gm pressings, tying into the newly fashionable idea of a vinyl lifestyle.