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     Newsletter December 2016 

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Musings after another trip to Paradise. Amazing really. After another great holiday in Honolulu, I realized that the three worst meals I have ever come across (I won't say eaten as I didn't or, more to the point couldn't) were from that beautiful State. My fault actually as I forgot the golden rule of eating out - Trip Advisor.  It made me think of the HiFi Industry and how reviews can be helpful in choosing a store to help you with the next purchase for Home Theatre or Stereo. One thing you must remember however is to disregard the two worst reviews as there are always negatives given from competitors or (in the case of Eastwood HiFi) a petulant juvenile ne'er-do-well who we threw out (metaphorically) for being, if you'll excuse the expression, an arsehole. They say that with age come two things - wisdom and pococurantism (you can thank Voltaire for that one). I’m not sure if the wisdom I’ve gained in my 67 years is of any use but my total indifference can be ascertained from any conversation you may have had with me lately via the telephone. It’s not that I don’t love the industry any longer, in fact, with the latest round of technological innovations, I believe we’re in the greatest growth period since the CD was released back in 1982 and certainly the most exciting in terms of music storage, transmission and reproduction. Fun times indeed. It’s just that one grows tired of people not reading or trying to understand how things actually work. I spend most of my time on the phone trying to explain the intricacies of system settings and networking (over 90% of all problems relate to the router – if you have an older model or a freebie from your ISP then you need to shell out and buy something decent!) It’s after a day on the phone, trying to placate customers who just will not listen, that one feels this is a job best left to younger heads with greater tolerance. I read with interest in that tome – Australian Best Buys Audio and AV -  which is sacred to all in this industry, that editor Jez Ford finally Knows His Level (you need to buy and read it to get it). I could have told Jez what that was many years ago, he writes that the bar he sets himself is far lower than most people assume. Don’t short change yourself Jez, we already have that bar set in The Challenger Deep. Sales, Sales and more Sales….. Not much more we can offer on top of our existing specials (check on the web site for those) although next Tuesday (December 27th) we’ll be sending out a list of “open box” stock – you know the deal, repacked store display stock or guy takes it home, missus doesn’t like the colour or it wouldn’t fit etc. – all stock is repacked as new with full manufacturer’s warranty. The list will only be sent to our “Specials” subscribers (if you’re not already subscribed, just Click HERE) Musings From The Claw. What ye sow, also shall ye reap (The Book of The Claw V1.0 Verses 3 to 5 Chapter 7). So, what happened in 2016 anyway? Who’s who at the Zoo… More and more dealers are taking importation into their own hands (not a really good idea for consumers as you’re unlikely to get an unbiased suggestion on suitable equipment or speakers – we refer to this mob as “wholetailers”) and more wholesalers are losing brands to other distributors/wholetailers who promise more sales than the previous distributor (Ha! Good luck with that bullshit). Commiserations to Convoy in that department (how to be a small business in the HiFi Industry? start with a big one and wait a while). Streaming is the new CD Player The only people buying CD players now appear to be those of my vintage and technical ability (low) as the younger generation realise that using a high quality external DAC (or indeed, a good quality internal DAC in some receivers and amplifiers) to process uncompressed digital music files is easier to manage (given a well-designed App) and can sound as good or better than physically grabbing a CD and loading it up into a player. Yamaha have this side of things virtually tied up. 4K - Who Cares! 4K Video is still in its infancy and most 4K Movies are not as bright or dynamic than a well produced 1080p Blu-Ray or Streamed source. This will no doubt improve over the next year or so but at this stage NBD (No Big Deal). Speaker technology Virtually at a standstill. There are all sorts of claims about performance but realistically, if you can fit an ugly fridge sized black box in your room, a pair of the Cerwin Vega XLS215 twin 15” driver monoliths are the most exciting speaker for the money on the planet (you’ll notice the word “accurate” was not mentioned however). Subwoofers Have improved in that they have become smaller and tighter musically in the affordable range – just make sure the -3dB point is at least 27.5Hz. The other thing to note is that (in general) drivers over 12” are not as musical as there is just too much mass to move and change direction. Amplification Is getting messy with more “D” Class or Switching Amps being rolled out. Most are pretty crap and are suited to lower end systems but there are some listenable units being released with (I suspect) more and more to come as they’re lighter and less complex than their A and B class brothers. As the technology evolves, one would think that they are the Next Big Thing in electronics. We’ll see. All this stuff is my opinion only and as most other industry insiders think I know bugger all – I’d take it with a grain of salt – or in my case, a bottle of Bourbon. Supplier of the Year - Audio Active (I was told to write that by Paul Clarke who suggested dire consequences if not actioned) Funny……………………….? A customer told me this one. A woman is having an affair during the day while her husband is at work. Her 9-year-old son comes home unexpectedly, sees them and hides in the bedroom closet to watch. The woman's husband also comes home. She puts her lover in the closet, not realizing that the little boy is in there already. The little boy says, "Dark in here."  The man says, "Yes, it is."  Boy - "I have a baseball."  Man - "That's nice."  Boy - "Want to buy it?"  Man - "No, thanks."  Boy - "My dad's outside."  Man - "OK, how much?"  Boy - "$250" In the next few weeks, it happens again that the boy and the lover are in the closet together. Boy - "Dark in here."  Man - "Yes, it is."  Boy - "I have a baseball glove."  The lover remembering the last time, asks the boy, "How much?"  Boy - "$750” Man - "Fine." A few days later, the father says to the boy, "Grab your glove, let's go outside and have a game of catch." The boy says, "I can't, I sold my baseball and my glove." The father asks, "How much did you sell them for?" Boy - "$1,000" The father says, "That's terrible to overcharge your friends like that...that is way more than those two things cost. I'm going to take you to church and make you confess." They go to the church and the father makes the little boy sit in the confession booth and he closes the door. The boy says, "Dark in here."  The priest says, "Don't start that shit again." Two scientists walk into a bar. The first one says, "I'd like some H2O." The second says, "And I'll have some H2... wait. Why aren't you just referring to water by its normal name? I mean, I know it's our job, but we're just getting a drink." The first scientist slams the table angrily - his assassination scheme foiled. (For those who don't get it: the second scientist almost said " I’ll have some H2O too. " H2O too = H2O2 = hydrogen peroxide.) Devastated. A very sad day today. After seven years of training in the medical fields and hard work, a very good friend of mine was fired after one minor indiscretion. He slept with one of his clients and can now no longer work in the profession. What a waste of time, effort, training and money... A genuinely nice guy and an absolutely brilliant mortician. On that note, I think I’ll cut my losses and wish you a very happy Christmas and New Year. Steve To Unsubscribe, please click HERE and put “unsubscribe” in the subject line.
Review us here! Call us on: 02 9651 4922

Newsletter

December 2016 Musings after another trip to Paradise. Amazing really. After another great holiday in Honolulu, I realized that the three worst meals I have ever come across (I won't say eaten as I didn't or, more to the point couldn't) were from that beautiful State. My fault actually as I forgot the golden rule of eating out - Trip Advisor.  It made me think of the HiFi Industry and how reviews can be helpful in choosing a store to help you with the next purchase for Home Theatre or Stereo. One thing you must remember however is to disregard the two worst reviews as there are always negatives given from competitors or (in the case of Eastwood HiFi) a petulant juvenile ne'er-do-well who we threw out (metaphorically) for being, if you'll excuse the expression, an arsehole. They say that with age come two things - wisdom and pococurantism (you can thank Voltaire for that one). I’m not sure if the wisdom I’ve gained in my 67 years is of any use but my total indifference can be ascertained from any conversation you may have had with me lately via the telephone. It’s not that I don’t love the industry any longer, in fact, with the latest round of technological innovations, I believe we’re in the greatest growth period since the CD was released back in 1982 and certainly the most exciting in terms of music storage, transmission and reproduction. Fun times indeed. It’s just that one grows tired of people not reading or trying to understand how things actually work. I spend most of my time on the phone trying to explain the intricacies of system settings and networking (over 90% of all problems relate to the router – if you have an older model or a freebie from your ISP then you need to shell out and buy something decent!) It’s after a day on the phone, trying to placate customers who just will not listen, that one feels this is a job best left to younger heads with greater tolerance. I read with interest in that tome – Australian Best Buys Audio and AV -  which is sacred to all in this industry, that editor Jez Ford finally Knows His Level (you need to buy and read it to get it). I could have told Jez what that was many years ago, he writes that the bar he sets himself is far lower than most people assume. Don’t short change yourself Jez, we already have that bar set in The Challenger Deep. Sales, Sales and more Sales….. Not much more we can offer on top of our existing specials (check on the web site for those) although next Tuesday (December 27th) we’ll be sending out a list of “open box” stock – you know the deal, repacked store display stock or guy takes it home, missus doesn’t like the colour or it wouldn’t fit etc. – all stock is repacked as new with full manufacturer’s warranty. The list will only be sent to our “Specials” subscribers (if you’re not already subscribed, just Click HERE) Musings From The Claw. What ye sow, also shall ye reap (The Book of The Claw V1.0 Verses 3 to 5 Chapter 7). So, what happened in 2016 anyway? Who’s who at the Zoo… More and more dealers are taking importation into their own hands (not a really good idea for consumers as you’re unlikely to get an unbiased suggestion on suitable equipment or speakers – we refer to this mob as “wholetailers”) and more wholesalers are losing brands to other distributors/wholetailers who promise more sales than the previous distributor (Ha! Good luck with that bullshit). Commiserations to Convoy in that department (how to be a small business in the HiFi Industry? start with a big one and wait a while). Streaming is the new CD Player The only people buying CD players now appear to be those of my vintage and technical ability (low) as the younger generation realise that using a high quality external DAC (or indeed, a good quality internal DAC in some receivers and amplifiers) to process uncompressed digital music files is easier to manage (given a well-designed App) and can sound as good or better than physically grabbing a CD and loading it up into a player. Yamaha have this side of things virtually tied up. 4K - Who Cares! 4K Video is still in its infancy and most 4K Movies are not as bright or dynamic than a well produced 1080p Blu-Ray or Streamed source. This will no doubt improve over the next year or so but at this stage NBD (No Big Deal). Speaker technology Virtually at a standstill. There are all sorts of claims about performance but realistically, if you can fit an ugly fridge sized black box in your room, a pair of the Cerwin Vega XLS215 twin 15” driver monoliths are the most exciting speaker for the money on the planet (you’ll notice the word “accurate” was not mentioned however). Subwoofers Have improved in that they have become smaller and tighter musically in the affordable range – just make sure the -3dB point is at least 27.5Hz. The other thing to note is that (in general) drivers over 12” are not as musical as there is just too much mass to move and change direction. Amplification Is getting messy with more “D” Class or Switching Amps being rolled out. Most are pretty crap and are suited to lower end systems but there are some listenable units being released with (I suspect) more and more to come as they’re lighter and less complex than their A and B class brothers. As the technology evolves, one would think that they are the Next Big Thing in electronics. We’ll see. All this stuff is my opinion only and as most other industry insiders think I know bugger all – I’d take it with a grain of salt – or in my case, a bottle of Bourbon. Supplier of the Year - Audio Active (I was told to write that by Paul Clarke who suggested dire consequences if not actioned) Funny……………………….? A customer told me this one. A woman is having an affair during the day while her husband is at work. Her 9-year-old son comes home unexpectedly, sees them and hides in the bedroom closet to watch. The woman's husband also comes home. She puts her lover in the closet, not realizing that the little boy is in there already. The little boy says, "Dark in here."  The man says, "Yes, it is."  Boy - "I have a baseball."  Man - "That's nice."  Boy - "Want to buy it?"  Man - "No, thanks."  Boy - "My dad's outside."  Man - "OK, how much?"  Boy - "$250" In the next few weeks, it happens again that the boy and the lover are in the closet together. Boy - "Dark in here."  Man - "Yes, it is."  Boy - "I have a baseball glove."  The lover remembering the last time, asks the boy, "How much?"  Boy - "$750” Man - "Fine." A few days later, the father says to the boy, "Grab your glove, let's go outside and have a game of catch." The boy says, "I can't, I sold my baseball and my glove." The father asks, "How much did you sell them for?" Boy - "$1,000" The father says, "That's terrible to overcharge your friends like that...that is way more than those two things cost. I'm going to take you to church and make you confess." They go to the church and the father makes the little boy sit in the confession booth and he closes the door. The boy says, "Dark in here."  The priest says, "Don't start that shit again." Two scientists walk into a bar. The first one says, "I'd like some H2O." The second says, "And I'll have some H2... wait. Why aren't you just referring to water by its normal name? I mean, I know it's our job, but we're just getting a drink." The first scientist slams the table angrily - his assassination scheme foiled. (For those who don't get it: the second scientist almost said " I’ll have some H2O too. " H2O too = H2O2 = hydrogen peroxide.) Devastated. A very sad day today. After seven years of training in the medical fields and hard work, a very good friend of mine was fired after one minor indiscretion. He slept with one of his clients and can now no longer work in the profession. What a waste of time, effort, training and money... A genuinely nice guy and an absolutely brilliant mortician. On that note, I think I’ll cut my losses and wish you a very happy Christmas and New Year. Steve To Unsubscribe, please click HERE and put “unsubscribe” in the subject line.

Newsletter

December 2016 Musings after another trip to Paradise. Amazing really. After another great holiday in Honolulu, I realized that the three worst meals I have ever come across (I won't say eaten as I didn't or, more to the point couldn't) were from that beautiful State. My fault actually as I forgot the golden rule of eating out - Trip Advisor.  It made me think of the HiFi Industry and how reviews can be helpful in choosing a store to help you with the next purchase for Home Theatre or Stereo. One thing you must remember however is to disregard the two worst reviews as there are always negatives given from competitors or (in the case of Eastwood HiFi) a petulant juvenile ne'er-do-well who we threw out (metaphorically) for being, if you'll excuse the expression, an arsehole. They say that with age come two things - wisdom and pococurantism (you can thank Voltaire for that one). I’m not sure if the wisdom I’ve gained in my 67 years is of any use but my total indifference can be ascertained from any conversation you may have had with me lately via the telephone. It’s not that I don’t love the industry any longer, in fact, with the latest round of technological innovations, I believe we’re in the greatest growth period since the CD was released back in 1982 and certainly the most exciting in terms of music storage, transmission and reproduction. Fun times indeed. It’s just that one grows tired of people not reading or trying to understand how things actually work. I spend most of my time on the phone trying to explain the intricacies of system settings and networking (over 90% of all problems relate to the router – if you have an older model or a freebie from your ISP then you need to shell out and buy something decent!) It’s after a day on the phone, trying to placate customers who just will not listen, that one feels this is a job best left to younger heads with greater tolerance. I read with interest in that tome – Australian Best Buys Audio and AV -  which is sacred to all in this industry, that editor Jez Ford finally Knows His Level (you need to buy and read it to get it). I could have told Jez what that was many years ago, he writes that the bar he sets himself is far lower than most people assume. Don’t short change yourself Jez, we already have that bar set in The Challenger Deep. Sales, Sales and more Sales….. Not much more we can offer on top of our existing specials (check on the web site for those) although next Tuesday (December 27th) we’ll be sending out a list of “open box” stock – you know the deal, repacked store display stock or guy takes it home, missus doesn’t like the colour or it wouldn’t fit etc. – all stock is repacked as new with full manufacturer’s warranty. The list will only be sent to our “Specials” subscribers (if you’re not already subscribed, just Click HERE) Musings From The Claw. What ye sow, also shall ye reap (The Book of The Claw V1.0 Verses 3 to 5 Chapter 7). So, what happened in 2016 anyway? Who’s who at the Zoo… More and more dealers are taking importation into their own hands (not a really good idea for consumers as you’re unlikely to get an unbiased suggestion on suitable equipment or speakers – we refer to this mob as “wholetailers”) and more wholesalers are losing brands to other distributors/wholetailers who promise more sales than the previous distributor (Ha! Good luck with that bullshit). Commiserations to Convoy in that department (how to be a small business in the HiFi Industry? start with a big one and wait a while). Streaming is the new CD Player The only people buying CD players now appear to be those of my vintage and technical ability (low) as the younger generation realise that using a high quality external DAC (or indeed, a good quality internal DAC in some receivers and amplifiers) to process uncompressed digital music files is easier to manage (given a well- designed App) and can sound as good or better than physically grabbing a CD and loading it up into a player. Yamaha have this side of things virtually tied up. 4K - Who Cares! 4K Video is still in its infancy and most 4K Movies are not as bright or dynamic than a well produced 1080p Blu-Ray or Streamed source. This will no doubt improve over the next year or so but at this stage NBD (No Big Deal). Speaker technology Virtually at a standstill. There are all sorts of claims about performance but realistically, if you can fit an ugly fridge sized black box in your room, a pair of the Cerwin Vega XLS215 twin 15” driver monoliths are the most exciting speaker for the money on the planet (you’ll notice the word “accurate” was not mentioned however). Subwoofers Have improved in that they have become smaller and tighter musically in the affordable range – just make sure the -3dB point is at least 27.5Hz. The other thing to note is that (in general) drivers over 12” are not as musical as there is just too much mass to move and change direction. Amplification Is getting messy with more “D” Class or Switching Amps being rolled out. Most are pretty crap and are suited to lower end systems but there are some listenable units being released with (I suspect) more and more to come as they’re lighter and less complex than their A and B class brothers. As the technology evolves, one would think that they are the Next Big Thing in electronics. We’ll see. All this stuff is my opinion only and as most other industry insiders think I know bugger all – I’d take it with a grain of salt – or in my case, a bottle of Bourbon. Supplier of the Year - Audio Active (I was told to write that by Paul Clarke who suggested dire consequences if not actioned) Funny……………………….? A customer told me this one. A woman is having an affair during the day while her husband is at work. Her 9-year-old son comes home unexpectedly, sees them and hides in the bedroom closet to watch. The woman's husband also comes home. She puts her lover in the closet, not realizing that the little boy is in there already. The little boy says, "Dark in here."  The man says, "Yes, it is."  Boy - "I have a baseball."  Man - "That's nice."  Boy - "Want to buy it?"  Man - "No, thanks."  Boy - "My dad's outside."  Man - "OK, how much?"  Boy - "$250" In the next few weeks, it happens again that the boy and the lover are in the closet together. Boy - "Dark in here."  Man - "Yes, it is."  Boy - "I have a baseball glove."  The lover remembering the last time, asks the boy, "How much?"  Boy - "$750” Man - "Fine." A few days later, the father says to the boy, "Grab your glove, let's go outside and have a game of catch." The boy says, "I can't, I sold my baseball and my glove." The father asks, "How much did you sell them for?" Boy - "$1,000" The father says, "That's terrible to overcharge your friends like that...that is way more than those two things cost. I'm going to take you to church and make you confess." They go to the church and the father makes the little boy sit in the confession booth and he closes the door. The boy says, "Dark in here."  The priest says, "Don't start that shit again." Two scientists walk into a bar. The first one says, "I'd like some H2O." The second says, "And I'll have some H2... wait. Why aren't you just referring to water by its normal name? I mean, I know it's our job, but we're just getting a drink." The first scientist slams the table angrily - his assassination scheme foiled. (For those who don't get it: the second scientist almost said " I’ll have some H2O too. " H2O too = H2O2 = hydrogen peroxide.) Devastated. A very sad day today. After seven years of training in the medical fields and hard work, a very good friend of mine was fired after one minor indiscretion. He slept with one of his clients and can now no longer work in the profession. What a waste of time, effort, training and money... A genuinely nice guy and an absolutely brilliant mortician. On that note, I think I’ll cut my losses and wish you a very happy Christmas and New Year. Steve To Unsubscribe, please click HERE and put “unsubscribe” in the subject line.