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WHAT IS HAPPENING TO STEREOPHILE?

Several websites are discussing the restructuring of Stereophile and associated websites after AVtech Media acquisition. Why is there no information coming for you only to leave it open to rumors?

John Atkinson
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Re: What is happening at Stereophile?
Following the acquisition, Stereophile's new owners took a long, hard look at the value each full-time employee brought to our ventures. As result, Stereophile music editor Robert Baird and AudioStream editor Michael Lavorgna were let go. In addition, they decided that at least for a while, our editorial coordinator and talented videographer Jana Dagdagan would stay but as a contractor rather than a full-time employee.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

oldmustang
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Brilliant!
John Atkinson wrote:

Following the acquisition, Stereophile's new owners took a long, hard look at the value each full-time employee brought to our ventures. As result, Stereophile music editor Robert Baird and AudioStream editor Michael Lavorgna were let go.

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. Let the music editor go. And the guy whose platform also covered digital music as much as equipment. After all, covering music doesn't bring much value.

Idiots.

Steve Z

hollowman
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Stereophile has LEGACY music content
oldmustang wrote:
John Atkinson wrote:

Following the acquisition, Stereophile's new owners took a long, hard look at the value each full-time employee brought to our ventures. As result, Stereophile music editor Robert Baird and AudioStream editor Michael Lavorgna were let go.

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. Let the music editor go. And the guy whose platform also covered digital music as much as equipment. After all, covering music doesn't bring much value.

Idiots.

Steve Z

Well there are plenty of other sites for music. I'm sure AVTech looked at the traffic logs for the various AVTech web sites (Stereophile, IF, AS, AP, etc.) .... and based on those stats they decided who/what to keep/dump.

About Stereophile music ... there's a HUGE "database" of pre-Internet content. Unlike equipment reviews, most of that legacy music content remains offline.

volvic
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Just learned

I think this is a shame, long looked to Mr. Baird for musical ideas and well thought out articles. Same for Mr. Lavorgna, while I found his responses to readers' comments to have been a little acerbic at times, I did nevertheless enjoy his regular updates and reviews on Audiostream. I thought him to be an extremely intelligent and thoughtful writer with eclectic tastes in music and art. I am very sorry to see both of them go and do hope they get back on their feet ASAP. Been there over the course of my career and it is a gut wrenching moment. Do convey my thoughts to those affected.
Thank you
volvic
aka Nick Lakoumentas
NY,NY

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I'm gonna miss Michael Lavorgna

I admit that Mr. Lavorgna is a bit eccentric and out of the ordinary – but in fact – that’s what I like about him. Streaming is the future?? So how the hell can anybody sane person let Mr. Lavorgna go?? It's like saying - well the internet isn't going to be a hit. It will pass - so comforting that Stereophile's new owners doesn't have a clue what this hobby is al about - I hope that Mr. Lavorgna get's a much better deal elsewhere and that Audiostream loses all its trafic because of this. Unbelievable imcompetent management.......sad sad world.

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Fortunately, we still have

Fortunately, we still have the political commentary to look forward to in Stereophile.

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Not a good start

You have to be pretty dumb to dump Lavorgna and the front end of the streaming/digital side of the business. That does not bode well for the future of Stereophile. Wherever Lavorgna ends up, that's where I'll be looking in future.

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Missing Lavorgna

I have greatly enjoyed and valued Michael's contributions. Ultimately, business speaks, although not always intelligently. I will miss your particular and well-articulated voice greatly, Michael. Stay weird, as they say in my neck of the woods.

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Audiostream

With due respect to Mr. Lavorgna , I never saw the logic behind having the Audiostream site (i.e., as part of the 'Stereophile group').
First, Stereophile has had a strong "digital department" for decades -- and continues to review digital gear (and cover digital topics, like MQA). Audiostream is, at most, an internal competitor; and, at least, a fifth wheel.
It should be _completely independent_ from Stereophile. Then, it can compete with likes of Computeraudiophile, Head-Fi, etc.

hb72
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Michael Lavorgna et al

I have to say, I am as much desturbed as one can be when reading that my favourite online magazine just underwent fundamental changes. Audiostream to me always felt most like Mr ML's baby. its mostly related to Mr MLs quite special personality, his spirit and his broader view on arts, his mix of technical background, refined taste in music, and his way of being outspoken. This is a big loss. for this site and audiostream.

ah, and one general comment. I guess I do spend more time and money on music, than on improving kit. AND one necessitates the other, especially when very expensive: would not listen to middle of the road music when the kit costs what it does, cutting on music is double dumb.

I guess that is a real complement to Stereophile & Audiostream as I know it. Really wish it wouldn't change.

rzr
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latest stereophile

This mag has took a nose dive for many months now. Compared to TAS or HIFI+, it's 1/2 the size, 1/2 the number of reviews, and the format is much larger than Stereophile's. Last issue, not only did we get very few reviews compared to TAS or HIFI+, we got a whole page listening to Art how it took him 1/2 a day to put together an Ikea storage module. We don't need that kind of crap taking the place of real equipment reviews. Also, every other issue, we get 1/3 of the mag full of recommended equipment which is comprised of 90% of the same equipment from the last recommended issue. This is an easy way out for Stereophile to publish 'X' number of pages in an issue.

Maybe, the new management should look at TAS and HIFI+ to see what works and modify Stereophile. Maybe it will cost more, if each issue doubles in size with more equipment reviews, that's fine, i'll pay the difference. If we get more pages on how to put together a storage system, then the new management should just sell the mag to the DIY network.

John Atkinson
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rzr wrote: Also, every other
rzr wrote:
Also, every other issue, we get 1/3 of the mag full of recommended equipment which is comprised of 90% of the same equipment from the last recommended issue. This is an easy way out for Stereophile to publish 'X' number of pages in an issue.

You are entitled to your opinions of what we do, of course, but to address this specific criticism: Stereophile's "Recommended Components" listing is published twice a year, not "every other issue." And the pages devoted to it are in addition to a regular issue's content, not instead of it.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Lack_of_credibility
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I will miss Robert

As I've gotten older, I've gotten more and more out of Stereophile's music reviews. They actually are one of the main ways I use to find out about music I might not have otherwise learned about. (One big win was Oded Tzur.)

I was just telling a buddy too, I don't care what Art writes about, for whatever reason his writing *style* just clicks with me. He could be writing about the problems he had sanding down the arm board for a new/old Garrard turntable from the '60's, and while that's a turntable I would never choose for myself, don't care, love his writing!

Stereophile is one of the only audiophile mags I read any more, mostly because of the presence of John's objective measurements to balance the subjective writing in each equip review.

I really was wishing for one more Attention Screen record though. :-) (I do have all 3 CDs, and really like them!)

rzr
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Reviews going downhill

I read the review of the Bricasti amp and there were some major flaws in it IMO and then when Bricasti wrote there comments, I had to respond. Bricasti, you weren't the 1st manufacturer to get XXXXXX over by a stereophile review, look at what they did to Totem years ago. I thought it was very strange to compare a 125 watt amp to a pair of 500 watt mono-blocks that were many times the price of the Bricasti. Stereophile reviewers do this quite often: you will see a reviewer comparing a TT rig that cost retail $250k to a $10k dac and they prefer the TT setup. The reviewers have a very hard time comparing like equipment, meaning close in price, or power, SS or tube, etc... Also, How was the preamp connected to the Bricasti? Did he use RCA or XLR? If RCA, did he use the XLR shorting plugs, which BTW, did not come with the unit, so they probably weren't used. Also, if the preamp is truly a single ended design preamp, then why did he use it against a true balanced amp? there are many good balanced preamps that could have been used.
1 more thing, why do you have to revisit a pair of speakers that are 6 years old that haven't been updated by the manufacturer? (They are a nice pair of speakers). Isn't there any new products that you can review?

John Atkinson
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The Bricasti review
rzr wrote:
if the preamp is truly a single ended design preamp...

It wasn't. The Lamm preamp is a balanced design, as I explained in my response to Bricasti's comment.

rzr wrote:
why do you have to revisit a pair of speakers that are 6 years old that haven't been updated by the manufacturer?

The speakers used were the new Wilson Alexia 2s.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Oldsport
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Robert Baird'S Departure

JA, I am only just seeing this after searching on why I wasn't seeing articles by Robert lately. I think letting him go was shortsighted of the new management. I always enjoyed and learned from what he had to say, and still have him to thank for many cherished albums I would otherwise never have know about. Hope to catch him elsewhere...

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Robert Baird's departure

Echoing Oldsport's comment, I too am sad to see Robert Baird leave. His encyclopædic knowledge of music has always entertained me, even when I'm not particularly interested in the music itself. Of course life goes on, and sadly some are no longer with us, but I have had this idealized view of Stereophile with JA at the helm, sporting the necessary green eyeshade along with all that great test gear and huge experience, and really great writers like Art Dudley, Wes Phillips (may he rest in peace), Robert Reina (may he rest in peace), and Robert Baird banging away feverishly at their keyboards, churning out unforgettable reviews sprinkled with thoughtful commentary on the way things are...

So. Thanks, Robert. I hope you find a new and cool thing to do. And thanks, JA and Art, for still being there. Keep up the good work!

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Download music
JoeE SP9
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new ownership

I wonder if the change of owners has had an effect on printed edition subscriptions. Since the takeover I haven't received a single issue.

Kal Rubinson
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JoeE SP9 wrote:
JoeE SP9 wrote:

I wonder if the change of owners has had an effect on printed edition subscriptions. Since the takeover I haven't received a single issue.

Could be. I just started getting 2!

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