Added to the Archives This Week

In his essay "Let's Face the Music and Dance," John Marks, founder of John Marks Records, asks: "Does high-end audio have a future?" Of course it does, he says. But will it be one worth the price? Marks writes, "for most of its potential consumers, high-end audio is now a matter of sharply diminishing economic returns. A large incremental expenditure guarantees only a relatively modest, even marginal improvement in sound quality." How to forge ahead anyway? Marks offers his advice to our "dysfunctional" audio family.

"You know, Wes," exclaims John Atkinson, "you can't describe us setting up the gear again. You did that last year." JA is referring to the liner notes to be published with Stereophile's Serenade: The 1996 Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival CD. "True," replies Wes Phillips, "but people will want to know where we placed the microphones. This year, I thought we might describe your recording philosophy in greater detail." JA complies with Wes's request, and even offers calibration notes to ensure that you're hearing the exact playback level heard in the original venue!