Audio Ideas: Some Year End Thoughts from Andrew Marshall

      Date posted: January 1, 2008

2007 has been an eventful year for all of us at AIG. The transition from print publication to expanded online presence has occupied quite a bit of it, and I am both delighted and relieved that it has been accomplished with only the expected growing pains, for the most part. Aaron called upon some more expert help than himself to get it all done, and you may have read about it in our earlier post on the subject, so I won’t go into specifics about it here.

The net result, so to speak, is worth talking about here. Our traffic numbers have steadily risen since the Summer, now amounting to over 2000 unique visitors a day, and still growing as we continue to add more different features, reviews, and other editorial material. Much credit for this must go to Aaron for his constant work on rebuilding and improving the site while also maintaining his day job in feature film post production.
UHF on Nagra/Lyrec  with ZOOM H2
These efforts, and both our editorial contributions have included reviews in many A/V categories, as well as larger explorations like my FM Tuner Project, which has just passed the halfway point at our end, with just over 40 bought and evaluated, and over 20 or more sold off again on eBay, with reviews of many of these already up on the site. I have a few more to polish up in the next week or two, but it is, I think, shaping up to be a fairly large look at the best years of FM tuner design and manufacture (about 1973 to the early 80s), and will continue into the new year.

I’m not necessarily leaving the best for last, but some key Kenwood models will be assessed soon, including a flagship KT-8300, along with its European counterpart ,the almost identical KT-9900, the KT-7500 in 3 variations, including one with DX filter mods, and the Audiophile Series KT-900, an analog/digital hybrid model. We’ll also have some very fine Yamaha models, specifically, the CT-800, CT-1010, T-7, and T-17. There are also a few Onkyo models, 2 T-4s, and a T-9, as well as a T-4040, all classic analog designs, and some more Sonys, including the rare ST-A6B, an ST-J55, and some lesser analog models.

Standouts among those already covered include the Accuphase T-100 and T-101, the Sony ST-5150, McIntosh’s MX-113 Tuner/preamp, the Luxman T-110U and digital T-02, and a couple of Pioneers, the TX-9500, and digital F-90. In the process I’ve managed to set up and standardize 2 high-gain antenna systems, one a highly directional multi-element Channel Master Yagi, the other an omnidirectional Canadian-made Lindsay crossed (or double) dipole array. But, enough about this particular personal obsession.

AIG celebrated its 25th anniversary in late 2006, and our colleagues and friends at UHF, Ultra High Fidelity magazine did the same in late 2007. I’ve provided a photo of their newest issue, which I received recently, #82, against a small personal background of recording history as reflected in the AIG/AIR studio: the analog Nagra IV-S (bottom left) with its 12″-reel adjunct, the Lyrec FRED (at top), and the brand new ZOOM H2 96-kHz handheld digital recorder (review forthcoming) at right below the magazine.

Our two magazines have followed quite distinctly different paths, with many intersections in editorial coverage along the way, and have thus been largely complementary over the shared quarter-decade, I think. I’m not sure I want to dwell on the differences, except to say that we’ve tended to some larger audio and video brands, while they have concentrated on smaller ones, with a fairly substantial overlap in between. The common element, I believe, has been quality and innovation in our shared field of interest and expertise.

As publisher/editor Gerrard Rejskind has pointed out to me many times, their UHF Audiophile Store has been a mainstay of their financial survival, while ours has been helped by sales of our own accessories and recordings on a somewhat smaller scale. I believe we both enter 2008 strongly oriented to the future, and I expect that, unlike a few other more ephemeral Canadian print publications in the field, we will continue to serve our broad and informed readerships as they continue to grow online for the foreseeable future.

And, as we enter another sure-to-be-eventful year, I offer my affectionate and collegial congratulations to Gerrard, Reine, Albert, Paul, and other UHF staff on their successful 25 years, and wish them at least another 25 in this 21st Century so full of promise and peril. I also offer similar New Year’s Greetings and hope to ALL who read this message. May Peace and Reason prevail in 2008!

Andrew Marshall

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