A New Size For Stereophile More Letters

For & against

Editor: If I may make a couple comments on Stereophile's new size:

1) Quite frequently I read while sitting on the throne. The old Stereophile used to fold itself up and jump off my lap. The new Stereophile, if placed just right—ie, spine between thighs—stays put. Score: 1-0, new Stereophile.

2) Always, I bring Stereophile (or, ahem, The Abso!ute Sound) to work. (Sort of like a security blanket.) The old Stereophile fit perfectly in my lab-coat pocket. The new one is too big. Score: 1-1.

3) At work, the old Stereophile was stealth-like. If I left it lying around at work, no one bothered to read it, since it looked like a Westinghouse Sweepstakes brochure. The new one, by contrast, is too conspicuous. Consequently, my colleagues/co-workers read the mag. Some faint after seeing the price of the Krell KSA-300S, others start fantasizing and inquiring about my income. Score: 1-2, old Stereophile.

4) At home, the new Stereophile is stealth-like. When I read the old magazine, my wife, with one quick glance, could always tell that I was "burying my nose in that magazine" again. That's because I don't read Reader's Digest, and no other journal is the same size. The new Stereophile blends in perfectly with my academic journals. With proper camouflaging of the front and back cover (damn those AudioQuest ads!!), even the wife is now confused as to what I am reading. Score: 2-2, a tie. —Can Quang Phan, Torrance, CA

It suuuuuuucks!

Editor: Your new format suuuuuuucks!

I have been a Stereophile subscriber for many years. One of the things that first attracted me to the magazine was its digest size. It set Stereophile apart from the more mainstream publications; it gave the impression that this was a publication to keep for future reference. Sadly, Stereophile now looks like any other stereo magazine...You no longer seem as concerned as you once were about setting yourself apart from the pack, about being the leader in critical component reviews. Indeed, I have noticed it's getting harder and harder to find a negative review in your pages...

Please return to your previous format.—John J. Johnson, Covina, CA

A vote against

Editor: Your larger magazine was so unexpected that I initially threw it in the garbage without opening it, thinking that I had somehow received a copy of Stereo Review as a freebie subscription solicitation! The only thing that eventually saved your issue from oblivion was my curiosity as to what Stereo Review was currently up to, as I had not seen one of their issues for about a decade. At last I recognized your magazine by its content! Great joke!

I preferred your smaller format, as it "felt" more "elite." I also preferred the smaller format because it allowed for very compact storage (I have saved every issue since I started subscribing 10 years ago). Now, so much more advertising per cubic inch will be a disincentive to hoarding.—Anthony Jasaitis, Orland Park, IL


Editor: Your "new-style" magazine recently arrived in my mailbox. I was appalled. I thought I had been sent Stereo Review by mistake. I cannot believe that you folks would compromise the individualism and quality you had in order to make a few bucks. I guess you are like everyone else—greedy.

And as for Larry Archibald's comment that the magazine should arrive in relatively pristine condition, mine was mangled and unreadable...I want what I paid for: a two-year subscription to a digest-sized, plastic-covered, non-mangled magazine. Put it back! If you don't, ask Coca-Cola about change.—David Carnevale, Harrisville, RI

Overblown horror!

Editor: When I received my big, new January 1994 issue, I thought it was a new "big and excellent" Stereo Review. Then, to my horror, I realized that it was an overblown, more expensive, and garish Stereophile.—Ron Blaskovich, Blue Hall, PA


Editor: Opening my mail box, I thought someone had mistakenly sent me a January '94 Stereo Review...No, it's really Stereophile! Having always felt that Thomas J. Norton was Julius Hirsch's doppelganger, why not go all the way and complete the cycle?

What was once J. Gordon Holt's cutting-edge publication has now been reduced to mass-market drivel, physically and editorially. Congratulations on the new look.—Mark Angioletti, Chicago, IL

Cancel my subscription

Editor: I've just received your newfangled Stereo Review with advertisements twice the size; junk ads for multi-disc CD players; 10% restocking fees; all neat and clean inside; reviews all starting at the top of the page—like TV networks cutting away movies to fit a predetermined time slot (check out Citizen Kane). I remember when The Village Voice first took bank ads.

I will have no part of it. Cancel my subscription and refund my money.—Richard Sheppard, Fox, AR