Re-Tales

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Jana Dagdagan  |  Mar 29, 2017  |  10 comments
This past weekend, John Atkinson, Herb Reichert, and I drove down to Philadelphia to visit audio retailer Doug White of The Voice That Is. In this video, Doug and JA discuss the challenges of a rapidly changing internet based market, the differences between buying online versus buying from your local dealer, and much more.
Larry Archibald  |  May 28, 2010  |  First Published: Sep 28, 1992  |  0 comments
People of my generation have learned that change is certain. You can't know what the change will be, but you can bank on the fact that there will be serious change over the next ten years. Look at the historically most important change in ten years: microcomputers.
Barry Willis  |  Jun 22, 1996  |  0 comments
Some folks claim to have actually seen the legendary Bigfoot, the enormous, manlike beast said to roam the backwoods of the Pacific Northwest. Others have stood in his footprints or plucked foul-smelling patches of hair from trees he has recently passed. A few have gotten close enough to take vague snapshots or shaky video clips of the beleaguered creature. One or two attest to frightful chance encounters with him. His size alone has given rise to rumors that he is dangerous, but no firm evidence has ever been produced to substantiate this.
Evelyn & Neil Sinclair  |  Mar 01, 1986  |  0 comments
In his April 16, 2001 website essay "Where's Our Freedom of Audio Choice?" reader Jim Tavegia railed against the ubiquitous policy of manufacturers only allowing their products to be available through selected retailers. "If I'm willing to pay the UPS costs, it should be my prerogative to buy equipment anywhere I please," he wrote. This echoes a controversy that appeared in the print magazine 15 years ago. The affair started with some innocent-looking text written by Audio Cheapskate Sam Tellig in the December 1985 Stereophile (Vol.8 No.8):
Julie Mullins  |  Jun 23, 2021  |  6 comments
Change, it seems, is a byword for audio dealerships that aim to stay afloat, and Hanson Audio Video has seen its share of changes. Events and unconventional outreach are now integral to the company's approach.
Julie Mullins  |  Jul 13, 2021  |  0 comments
Photo: John Atkinson

As the pandemic abates and reopening progresses, times are still uncertain. Industries worldwide continue to be obstructed. Parts and materials costs have risen sharply. Shipping rates, and shipping demand, have spiked. The recent Suez Canal blockage didn't help. All this has led to widespread supply-chain difficulties.

The audio business is not immune. Disruption and delays have troubled manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and customers for several months.

Julie Mullins  |  Sep 01, 2021  |  2 comments
A few audio retailers have recently closed their doors due to pandemic-related hardship or retirement—Lyric Hi-Fi in NYC is a landmark case. So it's refreshing to hear about a longstanding bricks-and-mortar dealer- ship that has avoided that fate: House of Stereo in Jacksonville, Florida.
Julie Mullins  |  Sep 30, 2021  |  44 comments
Lately I've been hearing stories about people getting back into hi-fi, often from the people themselves. Some are buying new gear, but others have dug out and dusted off older equipment. Demand for electronics repair services was surging even before the pandemic. Once it struck, once and future audiophiles stuck at home plumbed their basements, attics, and storage units and pulled out old hi-fi components, hoping to resurrect them, only to find they weren't working, or not well.

Should they get 'em fixed?

Julie Mullins  |  Oct 28, 2021  |  5 comments
As I noted in previous Re-Tales columns, audio dealerships that stick to outmoded models after the world has changed may find themselves in danger of extinction. Such conflict between old and new has been with us since the beginning of time, or at least since the internet became ubiquitous. But the pandemic and its economic stresses and stimuli have accelerated the pace of change. So, how are dealers, um, dealing?
Julie Mullins  |  Nov 18, 2021  |  14 comments
Finding fresh approaches to doing business isn't easy, especially in the current climate. But now it's becoming essential. Audio manufacturers, distributors, and dealers must figure out how to attract new customers while continuing to provide service for existing customers. Neither thing is easily accomplished in an era of change. But failure isn't an option. People with something to sell must connect with customers, and vice versa. Access is key.
Julie Mullins  |  Sep 24, 2020  |  16 comments
Access to musical information isn't guaranteed, whether it's limited by the resolution of a recording, your audio system, or an oppressive political regime. George Vatchnadze, concert pianist and dealer in high-end audio equipment, has experience with all three.
Julie Mullins  |  Oct 19, 2020  |  1 comments
The sense of hope I've been feeling may have started with those Sinatra swells, the on-hold music I heard when I called to interview the first audio dealer I talked to for this story. I wanted to know what's been happening with their businesses during the pandemic. Are there reasons for at least cautious optimism?
Julie Mullins  |  Nov 25, 2020  |  7 comments
Several audio shows have been canceled or postponed since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in early 2020: Munich, AXPONA, RMAF, Montreal, and the 2021 Florida Audio Expo, among others. The next scheduled show is the Finest Audio Show, slated for January 9–10 in Zurich. The next one in the Americas is the inaugural Seattle Audio Fest, planned for July 30–August 1. AXPONA, America's biggest show, near Chicago, was recently postponed for the second time until late August. Depending on how the pandemic evolves, it's possible those shows will not be able to take place as planned, either.
Julie Mullins  |  Jan 04, 2021  |  27 comments
Walter Swanbon has had a lot on his mind lately. Like many dealers, he's been busy adapting to changes, but the pandemic has also offered time for reflection.
Julie Mullins  |  Feb 02, 2021  |  35 comments
Why is there so much separation between the professional audio and audiophile worlds? Is that separation by design, or even necessity? Is it naïve to believe that more crossover could benefit both sides?

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