Changes of Everything

As of February, 1982, the ownership of this publication passed to other hands. In total despair about its precarious finances, JGH accepted with alacrity an offer by Larry Archibald (an occasional contributor in recent years) to purchase the magazine. This has now come to pass, and it is because of the resulting infusion of money that you are holding this issue in your hot little hands now instead of three months from now (and that is probably being a little optimistic about the way things were).

As is customary when such transactions take place, we are assuring our loyal subscribers that the magazine's editorial policies will remain unchanged, except of course for the better. We've all heard that before. But in this case, it is probably true. Although he is now a publisher, Larry is not a publishing empire, with the cynical pragmatism so characteristic of so-called "media-oriented" corporations. He is an idealistic audiophile who also happens to love music (like JGH), and a shrewd businessman (unlike JGH). He recognizes what the magazine has to offer the way it is now, and hopes to preserve that by retaining JGH as Editor and Chief Equipment Reviewer. Larry will on the other hand, be taking over those other aspects of publishing that JGH hated but did only because he had to. The arrangement is supremely satisfactory to both parties. And I think you'll be very happy with its effects on the magazine.

So, let us all rise and welcome Larry to the hectic world of audio publishing. May he be more successful at it than I was.—J. Gordon Holt

And Now A Word from LA...
This issue marks the first major change in the Stereophile's fiscal structure since 1962. We are hoping it is entirely a change for the better. Certainly no reader can have remained unaware of the financial troubles the magazine has been having, nor the irregularities in its publishing schedule. I have purchased the magazine from J. Gordon Holt and spouse MEH, and have, of course, the highest ambitions with regards to its future publishing schedule and financial stability. But in those respects I will let my actions speak for me rather than make bold promises.

My other goal is to see virtually no change in editorial policies. My own viewpoint is that JGH's comments on equipment and on the audio scene in general are the most enjoyable and reasonable to be found, and I will do what I can to further their promulgation. Additionally, I hope to see more comment in the magazine from outside contributors, many of whose published observations I have found of great interest in the past. Never fear, though; no amount of outside comment will displace those golden jewels which sparkle from the pen of JGH (footnote 1), however infrequently they have come to light in the past.

Seriously, though.... It may be helpful for readers to know a little about my background. Following a college education in the Boston area, I entered the field of auto mechanics, apprenticing at one of the more prestigious Boston dealerships. Two years of apprenticeship, and and an additional two years fixing cars abroad, led me to Santa Fe, where I've operated two auto repair businesses over the last ten years.

My interest in audio harks back to the early 1960s, actually from the time I walked into a store called Audio Lab in Cambridge and was bowled over by a pair of KLH Nines. My systems (until about four years ago) have been modest and often misguided—Bose 901s for spaciousness, a Yamaha preamp for clarity, and that kind of thing—so an important part of what I can bring to the magazine is an understanding of how and why many of us make buying mistakes.

The advantage conferred here is the ability to recognize in myself that rush of enthusiasm when exposed to a sound that is new and different, and being able to force myself to wait until that first blush is past before making a judgment. And although enthusiasm is certainly essential in audio reporting, I have a feeling that consumers are fed up with the repeated cries of ecstasy over products which really have nothing to offer but newness and are usually very expensive as well.

I think our enthusiasm needs to be tempered by the realization that our goal is very far off and that the successful deception of our auditory faculties is still as much an unattainable ideal as it was 20 years ago (although that goal is closer now than it was then).

As JGH is wont to observe: "Yes, it's gorgeous sound, but the instruments just don't sound real," at which point I mention how rarely that happens outside of live-music situations.

Lest the question be raised about the degree of my commitment to musical fidelity, I feel that my position lies about midway between fanaticism and indifference. I enjoy superb sound and I enjoy good music, but I have little inclination to listen to either without the other. Which happens to be very close to JGH's position.—Larry Archibald

Footnote 1: Oh Judas priest! Where's the purple ink?—JGH