Struck by a Tornado? Letters

Dennis Had's "Manufacturers' Comments" Letter:

Cary on Two-Channel Audio

Editor: We have all heard from numerous sources that two-channel audio is dead. In fact, some are proclaiming that "High-end audio is on its way out...." It never ceases to amaze me how industries and industry leaders can bring on a self-fulfilling prophesy of gloom and doom. I further find it almost comical that the naysayers, just about without exception, own or run "stale," lifeless companies. It takes no talent to be a critic. It takes a great deal of talent and courage and desire to keep a company running at "move ahead" speeds.

All the verbiage and hot air being wasted on predictions of the demise of high-end audio will eventually alienate the present market's core enthusiasts. The enthusiasm and passion shown today by audiophiles will spread to others if the participants feel they are participating in a worthwhile hobby. Instead of embracing our fellow enthusiasts, we are uttering words of condolence! To continue this barrage of negativism about high-end audio and the demise of two-channel audio is certainly the most expedient method of distorting the appetite for our products.

[Dan D'Agostino's] proclamation that the "Generation X audiophile doesn't exist" [Stereophile, April 1999, p.3] is misleading and outrageous! We can challenge just about any other high-end specialty industry with the same denunciation in regards to Generation X. Have we become so naive (or greedy) that we believe Rolex, Mercedes, Armani, or Cary Audio products, just to name a few, would appeal to Generation X? The Generation X folks who have not come to the realities of this world want cheap computers, cheap (or used) baggy jeans, cheap video games, cheap housing (live with parents), cheap jewelry, and free anything! These folks, bless their hearts, are not even remotely prospective customers for high-end anything, let alone audio. Oh yes, a cheap boombox from Kmart.

The fact is, the majority of the hi-fi market is two-channel. With a majority of two-channel products being shipped and sold, how in the world do these naysayers find their predictions? I can only assume they look into what I call stinkin'-thinkin', clouded, failing crystal balls.—Dennis J. Had President, Cary Audio Design