Our Editor thanks you for your feedback at the recent Show, but he’s ignoring you, just for now.
At the recent Australian Hi-Fi & AV Show, one kind Sound+Image reader stopped by our stand to put in a request for “more reviews”. And I’m with him — I love reviews, always want more of them. Mind you, going through our back issues in preparation for this special 30th Anniversary Souvenir Edition of Sound+Image, I was struck by the fact that back in the permed-hair blue-jacket era, you’d be lucky to find five or six full reviews per issue, whereas sometimes these days we hit 20 in a busy issue, and twice a year we publish our sister publication Best Buys Audio &
AV, which has absolutely nothing but reviews (bar a few extended focus pieces and the usual rant from me at the front). But OK, we’ll try for even more reviews!
This current issue, however, is exempt from that, because it is no ordinary issue. We are looking back on 30 years of audio and AV, mainly by way of an Ultimate 30 collection which picks from the last three decades for an eclectic set of ‘wow’ moments, vital forks in the road of hi-fi, beautiful bends in the AV river, ahem. Most of the 30 are products; some are whole categories of products; one is just a company; one is just a person. The title encapsulates them all, and they will forever be our Sound+Image Ultimate 30. (Even come the day we pick an Ultimate 40, these will still be our Ultimate 30.) We held an event during the recent show and were pleased to present many of the winners with awards (pics above) by which they can take pride in our recognition.
Now clearly with any picked list, it’s subjective, and there may be many who say ‘What’? or ‘You should have picked this…’ So to test the waters of dissention, on the presentation night I fashioned a ‘You Forgot’ box, with pens and ‘You Forgot’ slips for the industry invitees to write down any glaring omissions. Spoiled ballots aside (there were several), the one clear mention was for Halcro, and its dm58, perhaps the first Australian high-end amplifier to gain worldwide recognition, including a US Stereophile cover calling it “The Best Amplifier Ever”. So I shall now officially declare the Halcro dm58 as being number 31 in our Ultimate 30, with our congratulations, but unfortunately getting no cigar, or in this case, no golden plaque on rather fetching ebony-veneered chipboard.
Meanwhile I hope you enjoy our anniversary diversion of Ultimate 30 and company histories, the latter of which were created largely by our editorial team in league with the historical resources of the companies involved, some of which were magnificently curated, while others had only a misplaced filing cabinet which might not have anything inside anyway. So the primary research in these cases was often an education.
Normal service will resume next issue, and I would direct anyone facing review withdrawal to seek out the current Best Buys Audio & AV, or to suck down some of our massive and everexpanding review archive at AVHub.com.au. Until next time, then, it’s a big thanks for all your support and readership, and here’s to another 30 years of great music and movies delivered through real hi-fi and immersive AV systems!
ULTIMATE 30 AWARD-WINNERS
From top left: Gareth Weller for Cambridge Audio; Don MacKenzie for Krix; Brian Rodgers and Dr Martin Gosnell for Richter Audio; Nigel Ng for KEF; Jackie Pugh for AktiMate; Nigel Macara for Musical Fidelity; Mark Döhmann; the Kyron Audio team; Angus Fischer and John Martin for B&W; Steve Burton for NAD; Heather Reid for Sennheiser; Chris Murphy and Dan Poulton for Naim Audio, Samantha Mikhael for LG; and George Poutakidis for Astell&Kern.