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RE: [regsaudioforum] Re: reading TAS - or UNreading TAS

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  • Neal Van Berg
    Hi Group, Happy New Year. Back when I was a freshman EE Student at the University of New Mexico I was a young hifi salesman at Hudson s Audio in Albuquerque
    Message 1 of 36 , Dec 31, 2005
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      Hi Group,
       
      Happy New Year. 
       
      Back when I was a freshman EE Student at the University of New Mexico I was a young hifi salesman at Hudson's Audio in Albuquerque NM.  This was one of the greatest experiences of my life.  Many of my customers worked at Sandia National Labs, Los Alamos National Labs, White Sands Missle Range.  Others were Professors, Lawyers, MDs, Bikers, House Wives etc.
       
      During the Early 80s HiFi was improtant to nearly everyone, it was a part of peoples lives and their homes.
       
      Everything we sold at Hudson's was selected because it offered a particular sound, reliability and we liked it.  Reps came in and auditioned products for us and as a group we chose what we would offer our customers.  We were honest, true blue audio experts.  The commision scheme was so complicated I never knew how much I would make nor did I care, for me it was just too much fun and we never sold things which didn't sound good to us.
       
      When the magazines  like TAS or Stereophile would reccomend things we didn't sell it would hurt us some, same for consumer reports who never had a category for good sound and imaging.
       
      Many people take the word of the reviewers as gospel and no matter how smart and honest and how good a reviewers ears are if you don't audition the stuff before you buy it you are a sucker because seldom do two people hear alike.
       
      So regardless of what becomes of TAS or any magazine make sure you listen for yourself. 
       
      My Wife and I checked out the best stores in Denver today.little that I heard sounded right to me  and I am talking about speakers in the 5K to 20K range per pair.
       
      Neal
       

      Charles Lowe <rowalowe@...> wrote:
      Here's to a Great 2006 for all!
       
      I didn't think so many others felt the same about the "demise" of the old TAS.  And I agree that should Robert et al ever start their own journal (in print no less) I will be subscriber number one.  I am afraid some arguments for the current TAS contents and articles i.e. recommended components are in need of some concrete support.  If one were to look back at the recent past most, if not all, of the reviewed components were recommended in some form of categorical recommendation. 
       
      To review and gush with enthusiasm and praise for a product is fine after all that is the prerogative of the reviewer but TAS cannot honestly and without any guilt continually recommend different products within a price range under different levels of recommendation i.e. reviewers' choice, editors choice,  "under" $XXXXX categories etc.  This sort of product peddling must stop especially for a once TAS journal.
       
      Some say TAS had no choice but to change because the high end has to reach to new comers and attract them into the fold and manufacturers need generate new sales to continue their advancements.  I cannot agree more with this argument but by so doing TAS need not necessarily lower its standards and integrity as far as reviewing and recommendations are concerned.  By the way, what has an audio magazine’s method of reviewing and recommendations have to do with a manufacturer’s growth?  Is it not against the high ethical standards set out by TAS?  Then who is accountable for the reporting as was mentioned here about the online reviewers who, by the way, I never read?  In this age of instant information online we urgently need a source that has integrity, is respected, unbiased and has the courage to be responsible and accountable for its reportage.
      Is it not the reviewer’s duty to report without bias regardless and thereby advance the audio art?  Alas one should avoid such naiveté and understand full well how financial considerations may influence the direction of an organization.
       
      But I digress.  I can safely say that those of us of the "mature” group were once upon a time young and new to the hobby and what attracted us to TAS were word of mouth and the quality of the writers and editorials - even HP's arrogant replies and put downs were quintessentially TAS although there were times I felt he was driving even his ardent readers away.  I read (in the past tense) TAS because as a new audiophile (and admit to being one because besides the music I get a thrill from the components too) I wanted to explore and learn more from a journal who was not afraid to tell me the truth – then.  The argument therefore that TAS should not appeal exclusively to the mature audiophile and as a consequence must change to attract the new does not hold water.  Change is inevitable and the only thing that remains constant but to change for the wrong reasons and become a lesser entity is not an improvement to anyone – new or old.
       
      If an institution such as the original TAS must change because of the points mentioned and in the process of doing so lower its journalistic standards then can I also argue on the same grounds that the distinguish schools of higher learning e.g. Ivy League, Cambridge, Oxford etc should also lower their expectations to reach the masses?  The answer to both is no and this is not to introduce snobbery into the debate but because in every human endeavor there is always those who set the standards because they aspire to a higher goal.  That was what TAS set out to achieve because HP became frustrated and tired with the then crop of audio magazines.
       
      If we were to read some of HP’s past editorials and comments about the high journalistic standards he expects from TAS and how he berated other lesser journals, magazines and even writers for selling out the ideals the high end set out to achieve, we would not be able to recognize TAS in its current iteration.  I have enjoyed the original TAS for many years and have benefited much from it and wish the current magazine all the success it has set out to accomplish but I cannot consciously say that it is the abso!ute sound – THE journal - anymore. 
      . 
       
      Best,
      Charles

      Richard Tuck <rtuck@...> wrote:
      Hi Tom
       
      You do pay more e.g. HiFi News subscription - UK £37.44 ($64.80) versus USA $93.
       
      Although it's much better now, the prices on things in absolute terms (it was even worse as a function of average wages) where abnormally high.  Hence the term Rip-off Britain.
       
      Cars were a real rip-off compared to the price of identical models in Europe, this was to give high dealer margins and no doubt the car makers did quite nicely.    One of the good things that came from the EU was a move to harmonise car prices.  Prior to that enterprising souls would go over to Germany, buy a BMW and drive it home (they could even buy ones with RH Drive) and save thousands of pounds.  But you could also buy a Nissan made in the UK in Germany and save thousands.  This so called "personal importing" was hard work and could backfire as my brother-in-law discovered  when he drove his shiny new Audi out of the dealer in Germany straight into a major accident!
       
      But let's look at the other way:  A dCS P8i CD/SACD player retails (including 17.5% VAT) in the UK at £6995.  The same device sells in the USA at $13,995 i.e. $2 = £1.
       
      Lets look at what happens the other way:  Take a Martin Logan Clarity Loudspeaker
       
      US RRP $2695 - UK RRP £2498 i.e. £1 = $1.07
       
      So the dollar = pound exchange rate is still happening.
       
      Richard
       
       


      From: regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com [mailto:regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tom Mallin
      Sent: 30 December 2005 15:49
      To: regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [regsaudioforum] Re: reading TAS - or UNreading TAS

      Similarly, I'm sure that we Americans get "ripped off" if we want to subscribe to the paper versions of British audio magazines.  Shipping overseas is expensive.

      >>> rtuck@... 12/30/05 07:12AM >>>
      Hi Robert/Tom
       
      True but the special deals on the paper version only apply in the USA.  Outside the USA it's all much more expensive.  And yes Tom I'm getting ripped off but we Brits are used to that with goods from the USA. 
       
      For me the online version was cheaper by a mile.  Moreover, although I like curling up in an arm chair with a paper magazine, I've found that I've no more storage space for back issues.   So I either rip out key pages (which are not on the greatest quality paper) to file or archive to PDF.  Even with my good fast scanner with a double sided sheet feeder it's still a lengthy process.  So the least of all evils is the electronic version.
       
      Richard 

      From: regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com [mailto:regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of regtas43
      Sent: 29 December 2005 22:16
      To: regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [regsaudioforum] Re: reading TAS - or UNreading TAS

      But you can get paper SPhile for less than that!
      (on the special deals).
      REG


      In regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Tuck" <rtuck@t...> wrote:
      >
      >  " Actually, to reach the potential younger audience, I think that
      TAS and
      > Stereophile must find a means to make full-text versions of the
      magazines
      > available to readers on line either for free or for next to
      nothing.
      > Charging more than the full cover price of a paper edition for a
      current
      > electronic version is scandalous and just won't cut it.  Maybe a
      month or
      > two delay in the on-line availability of an issue, combined with
      on-line ad
      > revenue would swing it financially.  Young people now expect good
      > information to be free or close to it, just as they expect to get
      their
      > music basically for free. "

      > Hi Tom

      > It's already happened I get digital Stereophile via Zinio for
      $15.97 for 12
      > issues.
      >
      > Richard
      >








      Regards,

      Neal Van Berg
      http://moonlight-audio.com

      Castle Rock Co. 80109
      Phone 720 308 4000
      Fax 303 663 1902
               


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    • p.poareo
      The UK price includes VAT, while the US price does not include sales tax (differs by state and county). At an exchange rate of $1.72, the UK price for the C7
      Message 36 of 36 , Jan 2, 2006
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        The UK price includes VAT, while the US price does not include sales
        tax (differs by state and county). At an exchange rate of $1.72,
        the UK price for the C7 is about $2480 sans VAT. So, a bit over
        $200 for shipping and duty is reflected in the US price. Being an
        unreformed capitalist pig, I assume the prices reflect the market,
        and the fair price is whatever the market will bear. It works both
        ways. Back when things were slow and there were only a handful of
        Harbeth fans in the US and no US distributor, I bought new pairs of
        original P3s from the outgoing distributor for less than a used pair
        sells for now. Even better, I bought my C7s from Signals when Alan
        was running some sort of sale.

        Paul



        --- In regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com, "Ian Boyd" <ianboyd@n...>
        wrote:
        >
        > Just to emphasise what Richard says, the exchange rate at the
        moment gives US $1.72 for £1. So if US audio components are sold in
        the UK at $1 = £1, that means UK customers are paying 72% extra.
        There are lots of examples of this kind of pricing still. For
        example the Benchmark DAC1 is $975 in the US, $939 in the UK.
        >
        > Going the other way, a pair of Harbeth HL Compact 7ES2 costs £1695
        in the UK, and £2695 in the US, I gather. That's a rate of $1.59 -
        so they're actually cheaper in the US! The P3 ES2 is even more
        extreme: £1195 in the UK, $1595 in the US, which is only $1.33 to
        £1. (I don't know for sure if these US prices are up to date - but
        they are the prices shown on the Fidelis web-site.)
        >
        > Higher taxation is a fact in the UK, but it doesn't go anywhere
        near explaining these kind of prices!
        >
        > Ian
        >
        >
        >
        > Richard Tuck <rtuck@t...> wrote:
        > Hi Tom
        >
        > You do pay more e.g. HiFi News subscription - UK £37.44
        ($64.80) versus USA $93.
        >
        > Although it's much better now, the prices on things in
        absolute terms (it was even worse as a function of average wages)
        where abnormally high. Hence the term Rip-off Britain.
        >
        > Cars were a real rip-off compared to the price of identical
        models in Europe, this was to give high dealer margins and no doubt
        the car makers did quite nicely. One of the good things that came
        from the EU was a move to harmonise car prices. Prior to that
        enterprising souls would go over to Germany, buy a BMW and drive it
        home (they could even buy ones with RH Drive) and save thousands of
        pounds. But you could also buy a Nissan made in the UK in Germany
        and save thousands. This so called "personal importing" was hard
        work and could backfire as my brother-in-law discovered when he
        drove his shiny new Audi out of the dealer in Germany straight into
        a major accident!
        >
        > But let's look at the other way: A dCS P8i CD/SACD player
        retails (including 17.5% VAT) in the UK at £6995. The same device
        sells in the USA at $13,995 i.e. $2 = £1.
        >
        > Lets look at what happens the other way: Take a Martin Logan
        Clarity Loudspeaker
        >
        > US RRP $2695 - UK RRP £2498 i.e. £1 = $1.07
        >
        > So the dollar = pound exchange rate is still happening.
        >
        > Richard
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > -------------------------------------------------------------------
        ---------
        > From: regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com
        [mailto:regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tom Mallin
        > Sent: 30 December 2005 15:49
        > To: regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: RE: [regsaudioforum] Re: reading TAS - or UNreading
        TAS
        >
        >
        > Similarly, I'm sure that we Americans get "ripped off" if we
        want to subscribe to the paper versions of British audio magazines.
        Shipping overseas is expensive.
        >
        > >>> rtuck@t... 12/30/05 07:12AM >>>
        >
        > Hi Robert/Tom
        >
        > True but the special deals on the paper version only apply in
        the USA. Outside the USA it's all much more expensive. And yes Tom
        I'm getting ripped off but we Brits are used to that with goods from
        the USA.
        >
        > For me the online version was cheaper by a mile. Moreover,
        although I like curling up in an arm chair with a paper magazine,
        I've found that I've no more storage space for back issues. So I
        either rip out key pages (which are not on the greatest quality
        paper) to file or archive to PDF. Even with my good fast scanner
        with a double sided sheet feeder it's still a lengthy process. So
        the least of all evils is the electronic version.
        >
        > Richard
        >
        > -------------------------------------------------------------------
        ---------
        > From: regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com
        [mailto:regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of regtas43
        > Sent: 29 December 2005 22:16
        > To: regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [regsaudioforum] Re: reading TAS - or UNreading TAS
        >
        >
        > But you can get paper SPhile for less than that!
        > (on the special deals).
        > REG
        >
        >
        > In regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Tuck" <rtuck@t...>
        wrote:
        > >
        > > " Actually, to reach the potential younger audience, I
        think that
        > TAS and
        > > Stereophile must find a means to make full-text versions of
        the
        > magazines
        > > available to readers on line either for free or for next to
        > nothing.
        > > Charging more than the full cover price of a paper edition
        for a
        > current
        > > electronic version is scandalous and just won't cut it.
        Maybe a
        > month or
        > > two delay in the on-line availability of an issue, combined
        with
        > on-line ad
        > > revenue would swing it financially. Young people now expect
        good
        > > information to be free or close to it, just as they expect
        to get
        > their
        > > music basically for free. "
        > >
        > > Hi Tom
        > >
        > > It's already happened I get digital Stereophile via Zinio
        for
        > $15.97 for 12
        > > issues.
        > >
        > > Richard
        > >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
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