Julie Mullins

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  |  Aug 25, 2021  |  5 comments
Phono preamplifiers could be compared to children as viewed by a previous generation of adults: They are expected to be small in stature, and they should stay out of the way, seen but not heard and maybe not even seen. With the simpler models typically encountered at lower price points, there's little to do except "set it and forget it."
Julie Mullins  |  Aug 10, 2021  |  0 comments
Crossing borders and genre boundaries is never easy, but for Bryce Dessner, it's become a familiar experience.

Dessner, 45, a classically trained guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, and composer, has racked up multi-hyphenates over the last couple of decades of his musical career. Arguably best known for his work with indie rock band The National—where he shares lead guitar, piano, songwriting, and other duties with his identical-twin brother Aaron—he's also an accomplished arranger and producer and cofounder of two record labels.

Julie Mullins  |  Jul 13, 2021  |  0 comments
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  |  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  |  May 20, 2021  |  16 comments
To borrow Lyric Hi-Fi owner Leonard Bellezza's words from last month's Re-Tales, the traditional audiophile customer base "is graying."

That doesn't mean the future is bleak—not necessarily. Many in the industry have hope for hi-fi's future. For that potential future to be realized, however, audio dealers must adapt. Interest in better sound seems to be rising. Consider vinyl's resurgence; regardless of your views on vinyl's ultimate fidelity, it's a big step up from the earlier fashion for MP3s and cheap earbuds. (There's good news on that front, too: Those earbuds morphed into Beats headphones, then Beats into good-quality headphones.

Julie Mullins  |  Apr 13, 2021  |  19 comments
New York's Lyric Hi-Fi & Video is one of high-end audio's longest-standing and most legendary institutions. In a recent telephone conversation, Leonard Bellezza, Lyric's owner and president, confirmed what many in this industry have long heard rumored: Lyric is closing.
Julie Mullins  |  Mar 25, 2021  |  20 comments
All my earliest hi-fi memories involve tube amplification: as a young girl, staring at the tubes' glowing filaments and listening to music with my audiophile father. I was mesmerized by the glow of those tubes, too hot to touch, but even more so by the music, which often was classical or opera. How those tubes worked was a mystery to me, but I knew they played a big part in the magic coming from the speakers.
Julie Mullins  |  Mar 22, 2021  |  10 comments
"I'm going to be making as much of a commitment to the brick-and-mortar [dealers] as we can," says Bryston's James Tanner.

In Re-Tales and in Industry Update, I've written about some of the ways the pandemic has accelerated changes in the hi-fi business. Government-mandated safety measures, the absence of audio shows, and a marketplace that was already changing have combined to force companies to get creative about how they reach customers, both to sell products and to provide service.

A few established dealers have closed or are preparing to. Some can no longer afford inventory. Some have just retired. Others, though, report that 2020 was an extraordinarily good year.

Julie Mullins  |  Mar 04, 2021  |  7 comments
It's 2021, and the audio business marches ever onward. Accelerated by the pandemic, economic transformation continues apace; online sales are burgeoning across all industries. This includes hi-fi, which is under pressure to facilitate more online sales, and—maybe, for some—move away from the traditional dealer-based sales model.

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