What seems to be the recurring theme in today´s society is that if it isn´t new – the „latest“ idea – it is easily displaced by things marketed as newer and better. And the audio world is no exception. Over the years we have seen the comings of so many components and witnessed their promotion to stardom, only to see their goings a few months later, and their roll-off in classified ads at half their original price. Not that they were defective or failed to do the job – they may well have been a very musical reproducer, but they were no longer the latest trend. They had simply fallen from the cutting edge of promotion.
Audio dealers themselves are susceptible to this same attitude – they often take on the latest and most highly promoted products, and move away from those that they perceive to have fallen from the rising tide of adulation as new and better. Their concern is that of having a dated product in their offerings.
While the dealer is a key component in this market reality, blame must be shared by the press, and ultimately the audio consumer. It seems that the latest consumer trend is rather than trusting his own ear, he prefers to live with the latest „super performer“ as defined by the reviewing press and reinforced by the audio retail community. In the end he pays the price!
The upshot of this piece is that there is a strong argument for „classic components“ – products that show, and hold, their value with the test of time. Also for consumers taking responsibility for being thoroughly informed and making buying decisions based on a deep affection for a product that not only does it´s job admirably, but that has been shown to do so over time. Beware of the latest trends. Paul Klipsch summed it up in one of the industry´s most illustrative phrases: „Ho Hum, another breakthrough!“