• The Absolute Sound
  • America Online
  • Arizona Audiophile
  • Audiophilia
  • The Audio Critic
  • Audio Video Interiors
  • Audiophile Audition
  • The Audiophile Network
  • The Audiophile Voice
  • AudioXpress
  • The Boston Audio Society
  • Compuserve (CEAUDIO)
  • Hi-Fi News and Record Review
  • Hi-Fi World
  • The High Note
  • Home Theater
  • Journal of the Audio Engineering Society
  • L.A. Audio File
  • Laserviews
  • Listener
  • PAS (Audioletter of the Pacific Northwest Audio Society)
  • Positive Feedback
  • Rec.Audio.*
  • Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity
  • The Sensible Sound
  • Soundstage!
  • Southeastern Michigan Woofer and Tweeter Marching Society - LC
  • SMPTE Journal (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers)
  • Stereophile
  • Stereophile Guide to Home Theater
  • Stereo Review’s Sound & Vision
  • The Tin Ear
  • The Tracking Angle
  • Video Maker
  • Widescreen Review

  • In 1988, we published our first piece on the state of audiophile journalism for Issue No. 38. At that time, we noted the publications which have come and gone during the previous decade (The Audio Advisor, Sound Advice, and Stereopus), and noted that at least one publication had come, gone, and come again (The Audio Critic). A lot has happened since 1988, including the demise of a few more magazines (The Audio Adventure, Hi-Fi Heretic, High Performance Review, Sounds Like..., etc.). Financial hurdles caused The Absolute Sound (arguably, the magazine most responsible for the development of what we now know as the high end) to miss a publication beat or two (others have missed publication dates, but probably due more to procrastination than finances). Also gone since our last survey are some of the long-time commercial "mid-fi" publications. High Fidelity merged with Stereo Review, which in turn merged with Video magazine to become Stereo Review’s Sound and Vision. Between the two ends of the spectrum has emerged a healthy cluster of new audio magazines on the stands as well as the vast electronic network that we now call the Internet.

    At present, just about every niche, nook and cranny is covered by one or more of these publications or bulletin boards-from high tech, home theater digital processing to vacuum tubes and horn-loaded speakers, from black vinyl albums to the silver CD platter, from budget best buys to the ne plus ultra. What follows is our capsule overview (and opinions) of what's available-both on-line and off-as we approach the turn of the century:

    THE ABSOLUTE SOUND - Long considered the benchmark of audiophile publications, The Absolute Sound is often a target for those that criticize the subjectivist bent of the high end. Although TAS is often cited for the high end's "component of the month" syndrome, the magazine has actually been recommending (more or less) the same components for several years. The magazine's earlier reviews probably deserved much of the criticism it received for the lack of standards used in component reviews. However, the reviewers are generally now more learned, albeit just as subjective. Each issue is usually over 200 pages. Subscriptions are $46 for eight issues/one year (Canada, add $9). Available at some newsstands. Contact TAS at Box 6547, Syracuse, NY 13217. Phone 800-825-0061; fax 516-676-5469. TAS also has a web site at http://www.theabsolutesound.com

    AMERICA ONLINE (Consumer Electronics Section) - AOL may be king of the on-line services, but it plays second fiddle to CompuServe in the audio department. AOL has its own Consumer Electronics Section, which provides industry updates and allows E-mail messages to be carried back and forth among AOL subscribers. AOL's CES lacks the activity and sheer numbers associated with CompuServe's CEAUDIO. AOL does carry Stereo Review's electronic magazine, however-and it is quite active. You can call AOL at 1-800-517- 5577 for a free start-up kit, which will provide you with a one-month, 15-hour free trial period. Thereafter, it is $9.95 per month for up to five hours, and $2.95 for each additional hour.

    ARIZONA AUDIOPHILE - Newsletter of the Arizona Audiophile Society. Published monthly, the newsletter is complimentary to members of the Society. Annual membership is $36.00. PO Box 13058, Scottsdale, AZ 85267.

    AUDIOPHILIA - Audiophilia is a quarterly online high-end audio publication which focuses on critical reviews of high-end audio equipment and recordings. You can reach then at http://www.audiophilia.com. For more information, contact Andrew Chasin.

    THE AUDIO CRITIC - This periodical came on board in 1977, making quite a splash for its attempt to correlate subjective sound quality with objective testing, and for its harsh criticism of what it perceived to be a lack of a basic understanding of science within high end audio journalism. One of the more noteworthy contributions of TAC was its writings on tone-arm geometry, which had considerable impact on manufacturers as well as on other publications. In the early 1980s, it disappeared from the face of the earth, only to re-emerge in the late 1980s-but, this time, with a change in its ideological bent. TAC now embraces a position not too dissimilar to the objectivist Boston school of thought that it once dismissed - e.g., concluding that there is little significant difference in the sound of any two well-designed amplifiers (now add CD players to the list). Editor Peter Aczel's periodic denouncement and ridicule of high end audio journalism is legendary. For anyone who considers himself or herself an audiophile, TAC remains a "must read" if for no other reason than to hear the other side (the opposing viewpoint of most of the high end press) as presented in an intelligent (albeit sometimes vociferous) manner.

    Web: www.theaudiocritic.com

    AUDIO VIDEO INTERIORS - The publication is written for those who are interested in decor as much as the performance of their audio/video systems. Some very extravagant setups are shown along with the usual list of a/v components. Video expert, Joe Kane, frequently writes technical articles, making the magazine interesting reading.- Price: $23.95/ year for 12 issues, but is usually $19.95.- Address: Audio Video Interiors, P. O. Box 51604, Boulder, CO 80321-1604 - Phone: 800-289-0649.

    AUDIOPHILE AUDITION - John Sunier is off the air, but his show, Audiophile Audition, continues on as an Internet e-zine. The web zine for high end audio, home theater and classical & jazz collectors.
    Web: http://www.audaud.com
    Email: info@audaud.com

    THE AUDIOPHILE NETWORK - The national audiophile electronic bulletin board that had been on-line since 1984 is finally on the World Wide Web. The Van Nuys, California-based TAN boasts some of the most well-known audio journalists and engineers among its users-and features forums, electronic mail, interactive classifieds, and a host of other services. One notable service is the Orion Audio Bluebook, an industry reference for the pricing of used audio components. Once you've received your bluebook quote, you can then post your ad in the classifieds. $25 per year. To test drive TAN, aim your browser to http://www.tanet.com.


    THE AUDIOPHILE VOICE - Quarterly publication of the exclusive Audiophile Society. One must be chosen for full membership status. Associate membership is available for $50, but associates cannot vote or hold office. Subscriptions to The Audiophile Voice sans membership is available at $18 per year. TAV reads very much like The Absolute Sound, but its editor is former Stereophile Contributing Editor Arnis Balgalvis. For further information, contact The Audiophile Society via Michael Tantillo, 132 Beach Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10306 (718-351-9365).


    AUDIOXPRESS - Formerly Audio Amateur, Audio Electronics, Speaker Builder and Glass Audio. Audio Amateur, Inc., P.O. Box 876 / 305 Union Street, Peterborough, NH 03458-0876 USA, Toll Free: 888-924-9465, Phone: 603-924-9464, Fax: 603-924-9467.

    Web: http://www.audioxpress.com


    THE BOSTON AUDIO SOCIETY - The Boston Audio Society (BAS) is an independent member-supported organization promoting the highest quality of music reproduction in the home and high standards in recording and transmission.

    More than a local society, the BAS speaks to the worldwide community of
    audiophiles. Founded in 1972 and now in its 28th year, the BAS meets monthly to hear and discuss developments in audio. Guest speakers over the decades have included prominent engineers, designers, researchers, editors and reviewers, musicians and critics, and broadcasters and recording producers. Our non-commercial newsletter, the BAS Speaker (BASS), includes comprehensive and lively coverage of these meetings, as well as reviews, news columns, features, letters and other articles on a variety of audio and such related topics as home theater and video.

    Membership is $40 a year and includes 4 issues of the BAS Speaker. For an
    application form, contact Alvin Foster at amfmail@gis.net.

    COMPUSERVE (CEAUDIO) - If you're trying to decide whether to get America Online, CompuServe, or any of the other on-line services, conventional wisdom says go with the provider that gives you the least amount of trouble (it varies greatly, depending on where you live vis-à-vis where the nearest local contact is). Both AOL and CS offer free trial periods. If you can get through on AOL much more often than Compu-Serve, go with AOL. If they're all about the same, go with CompuServe. CompuServe's CEAUDIO is worth the price of admission if you're an audiophile. Whereas AOL's Consumer Electronics Section is not used often enough, CompuServe's CEAUDIO is extremely popular with audiophiles, which translates into greater usefulness. You will, of course, need to be a CompuServe subscriber. Call 800-554-4079.

    HI-FI NEWS AND RECORD REVIEW - Many people still regard this monthly British audio magazine as the best in the English language. However, the quality of audio reviews vary, depending on who's doing the reviewing. Most of the reviewers pay careful attention to matters such as timbre accuracy and other quantifiable factors often ignored by the American press. On the other hand, some of the reviewers still talk about factors not easily digested here (slam, tunefulness). The record review section is extensive and quite exemplary. $65 for twelve issues (Canada $75). PO Box 384, Avenel, NJ 07001. For credit card orders, call 800-688-624. U.S. residents interested in a subscription can call toll-free at 800-875-2997.

    HI-FI WORLD - Describes itself as a "mainstream magazine full of product reviews, features and music reviews." Includes a do-it-yourself construction supplement for in-house designed amplifiers and loudspeakers. $66 for 12 issues ($76 in U.S. funds for Canada). Checks payable to FRJ/HI-FI, PO Box 754, Manhasset, NY 11030-0754. 516-627-3836 (fax 516-627-1972).

    THE HIGH NOTE - Newsletter for members of the Bay Area Audiophile Society. It's relatively new, but it looks promising. Membership in the BAAS is $15 per year. Checks should be made payable to BAAS, and forwarded c/o Paul Knutson, 1581 Union, San Francisco, CA 94123.

    HOME THEATER - The style is a bit glossy, but does have some good review information. Products reviewed usually include mid to high-end pieces. The editors are young at heart with their summary ratings which sometimes include; Jaw-Drop Factor, High-Level Crankage and Butt-Kickage along with the normal value and sound quality scales. Price: $23.95 for 12 issues (one year). CurtCo's Home Theater Technology, PO Box 58310, Boulder, CO 80322-8310. 800-264-9872. Web: http://hometheatermag.com/.

    JOURNAL OF THE AUDIO ENGINEERING SOCIETY - The near-monthly academic review for the audio industry. The Journal is published by the Audio Engineering Society, and contains a number of articles addressing the leading edge of all aspects of audio. Much of it is quite technical (some may say boring). This subscription-only publication costs $130/year ($175/year via air mail). The Journal is free if you become a member. Write to the AES at 60 East 42nd Street, Room 2520, New York, NY 10165-0075. Telephone 212-661-8528; fax 212-682-0477. Web: http://www.aes.org/.

    L.A. AUDIO FILE - The bulletin to keep audiophiles abreast of live music broadcasts, free acoustic concerts, seminars, and issues of interest in the Los Angeles area has become a full-time Internet publication. The bulletin featured an examination of why so few women are audiophiles, a critique of Consumer Report's Home Entertainment Guide, an interview with the head of the FBI laboratory responsible for the enhancement of the Rodney King-George Halliday videotape, a directory of high end dealers in Southern California, and a survey of audio engineers picking the best sounding concert halls in the Southland. LAAF may be best known for its Dynaco amp articles (LAAF takes some credit in contributing to the resurgent popularity of the Dynaco Stereo 70 amplifier). Commercial-free. Web address: http://www.laaudiofile.com.

    LASERVIEWS - For those of you who want to know more about the content of a movie and less about the techno-babble, Laserviews may be for you. This is one of the few magazines that concentrates on movie reviews.- Price: $15 per year for 6 issues (published bi- monthly). Address: Laserviews Magazine, 3-A Oak Road, Fairfield, NJ 07004. Phone: 800-899-4116.

    LISTENER - Describes itself as a quarterly consumer hi-fi and record review magazine. Yearly subscription rates are as follows: $17.70 US; $25 (US funds) Canada. To subscribe, send checks or money orders to Listener Magazine, 142 Main Street, Oneonta, NY 13820, or call 607-433-0808 for credit card changes.

    PAS - Monthly newsletter. Summaries of audio society meetings. Many articles of general audiophile interest. Membership into PAS will bring you a subscription to their newsletter. $18 per year. PO Box 435, Mercer Island, WA 98040.

    POSITIVE FEEDBACK - This independent bi-monthly journal was formerly a publication of the Oregon Triode Society (the name should provide you with a big clue as to the focus of the publication). Positive Feedback is $30/year (USA), $45/year (Canada), and $75/year elsewhere. For more information, contact Positive Feedback at 2939 N.E. 155th, Portland, OR 97230. Editorial Office: 503-257-2002. Business Office (voice): 503-256-1300. Business Office (FAX): 503-254-3866. Back Issues: 503-234-4155. E-mail : david@agora.rdrop.com(Editorial matters) or lilarits@aol.com(Business Office). Web: http://www.audioweb.com/newsstand/positivefeedback

    REC.AUDIO.* - The Internet has a wealth of information that is of interest to audiophiles. One of the most heavily traveled routes on the audiophile superhighway are the rec.audio.* usenet groups, which includes rec.audio.high-end and rec.audio.opinion. The rec.audio groups cover almost every imaginable topic of audiophile interest. Since it is essentially a massive bulletin board, much of what you see is unadulterated and unedited. Accordingly, take what you read with a grain or two of salt. One the other hand, much of the information on rec.audio can reach you quicker than any printed magazine. Best of all, it's free to Internet users with news reading (usenet) capabilities.

    SECRETS OF HOME THEATER AND HIGH FIDELITY - Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity was the world's first home theater audio/video magazine to be published on the Internet. Founded in 1994, this publication has been highly regarded by audiophiles and videophiles alike. Their in-depth coverage on DVD player technology has been recognized by the industry. Each new issue (3 month period) is assembled by the addition of new articles each week, so you will be more up to date than with any paper printed magazine in existence. If you are looking for reviews of the newest and hottest electronic components for your home theater or hi-fi setup, you are likely to find them here first. Phone: 650-366-1644, Fax: 650-367-9630, Website: www.hometheaterhifi.com, E-Mail: staff@hometheaterhifi.com

    THE SENSIBLE SOUND - "Helping audiophiles and music lovers to spend less and get more" reads the subtitle of this magazine. T$S was created in the 1970s in reaction to the ultra expensive tastes exhibited by much of the audiophile press at that time. Accordingly, the emphasis is on the audio best buy. The editorial content tends to be moderate-i.e., the publication takes the middle path between the anti-digital camp and the pro-digital camp; between the so-called subjectivists and objectivists. Available at some newsstands and high end stores. $6.00 for a single copy; $29 for six (bimonthly) issues. 403 Darwin Drive, Snyder, NY 14226. E-Mail: Sensisound@aol.com.

    SOUNDSTAGE! - Soundstage! was created by some subscribers of The Audiophile Network who wanted to create a comprehensive Web site for U.S. audiophiles (The Audiophile Network was still just a non-Internet bulletin board at the time). It’s got everything the typical audiophile publication would have (equipment reviews, show reports, music reviews, etc.), but it takes advantage of the Internet medium, offering links to various sources in cyberspace. Web address: http://www.soundstage.com.

    SOUTHEASTERN MICHIGAN WOOFER AND TWEETER MARCHING SOCIETY - LC - This is a newsletter for any audio society with a distinctive and provocative ideological bent. SMWTC-LC writers poo-poo much of the subjective findings by The Absolute Sound, Stereophile, et al. Indeed, the writers are quite vehement about what they consider groundless sonic distinctions and unscientific conclusions described by many audiophile reviewers. Instead, the LC writers rely more on orthodox factors, such as frequency response deviations. The viewpoint tracks what some label as the traditional Boston audio school of thought. The newsletter comes with membership into the organization, and its the only one we know of with a yearly rate lower than L.A. Audio File-i.e., $7. Write to SMWTS at PO Box 1464, Berkley, Michigan 48072-0464.

    SMPTE JOURNAL (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) - The SMPTE Journal is highly technical and is intended for those in the engineering community involved with establishing motion picture and television standards. The SMPTE Journal covers video much like the AES (Audio Engineering Society) Journal covers audio.- Price: $20/year included in membership dues. $90/year (non-members) for 12 issues (published monthly).- Address: Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, 595 West Hartsdale Avenue, White Plains, NY 10607. Web: http://www.smpte.org/

    STEREOPHILE - J Gordon Holt started this magazine in the mid-1960s after deciding that the existing publications failed to adequately describe the sonic performance of audio components with sufficient candor. Holt had been writing for High Fidelity and finally decided to quit after the HF editor edited some of Holt's more candid comments once too many times. Since then, the publication has grown to become the largest circulating and most comprehensive of the high end audio magazines. Stereophile has a little bit of everything for everyone-e.g., the well-heeled, the technophile, the budget-conscious. The emphasis is on subjective listening evaluations. Each issue is over 200 pages. Available at many newsstands and audio stores. A one year (12 issue) subscription is listed at $35, but discounts (usually $19.95) and premiums (a free CD) are often offered. 208 Delgado, Santa Fe, NM 87501. Call 800-334-8152 for credit card orders. Web site: http://www.stereophile.com.

    STEREOPHILE GUIDE TO HOME THEATER - Although only three issues have been published thus far, the publication covers, in good detail, both mid-fi and high-end products. Anyone serious about buying a new product should check to see if the Stereophile Guide to Home Theater has reviewed it.- Price: $19.95 per year for four issues (published quarterly). Address: 208 Delgado, Sante Fe, NM 87501. Call 800-358-6274 for credit card orders.

    STEREO REVIEW’S SOUND & VISION - Stereo Review was often characterized as the Will Rogers of the audio press - i.e., they never met an audio component they didn't like. To be fair, they've probably reviewed a number of components they didn't like - it's just difficult to know that they didn't like it. The magazine has now merged with its video counterpart, Video magazine. The new magazine is called Stereo Review’s Sound & Vision. The editors generally consider sonic differences between amplifiers, CD players, and other electronic components to be insignificant. Accordingly, there is greater emphasis on convenience features and the like. There have been attempts to court the high end. Subscriptions are $17.94 per year, but newsstand 1/2 price specials ($8.97) are common. Subscriptions: P.O. Box 52033, Boulder, CO 80323-2033. Stereo Review’s Sound & Vision is also on-line at http://www.soundandvisionmag.com.

    THE TIN EAR - A joint newsletter of the Detroit Audio Society and the Ford Audiophile Club. The Tin Ear is issued approximately every 2-3 months. For information on how to obtain copies, send inquiries via E-mail to detaudio@aol.com or to the Detroit Audio Society at 45051 Indian Creek Drive, Canton, MI 48187-2527. Phone/fax: 313-459-2161.

    THE TRACKING ANGLE - Consumer-oriented magazine that covers the world of popular recordings on LP and CD from a performance and sound perspective. Edited by former TAS staffer Michael Fremer. Too Many Brochures! Publishing Company, PO Box 6499, San Jose, CA 95150. Information: 408-297-7686 (fax: 408-283-0893) or E-mail at nickdespot@aol.com.

    VIDEO MAKER - If you ever wanted to shoot and edit your own videos, you may want to pickup a copy. This is for the serious video hobbyist and/or semi-pro. The issues include articles on desktop video editing as well.- Price: $22.50/year for 12 issues, but is usually $19.97.- Address: Videomaker, P. O. Box 469026, Escondido, CA 92046- Phone: 619-745-2809.

    WIDESCREEN REVIEW - Gary Reber, Editor & Publisher, focuses his periodical on the technical aspects of audio and video. Joe Kane is a regular with his multi-part articles on The Science of Imaging. Dale Cripps reports on the latest HDTV updates. Marc Wielage frequently has articles on the topic of telecine. There have been extensive technical articles written on Digital Theater Systems' Coherent Acoustics as well as Dolby Labs' AC-3 technology. This periodical is highly recommended for those who want to acquaint themselves with the cutting edge technologies in home theater.- Price: $25/ year for 6 issues.- Address: Widescreen Review, 26864 Mandelieu Drive, Murrieta, CA 92562 - Phone: 909-676-4914.

    Our sincere apologies if we missed anyone in this survey. We do plan to update this survey and post it onto the World Wide Web. Accordingly, we certainly welcome your suggested additions, annotations and comments.

    Annotations to this survey were by KN (home theater), RN (audio), with assistance from RMS

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