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Open letter to Editor...

admin_exported

New member
Aug 10, 2019
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Please can we have a moratorium on WHF covers dominated by televisions! I rarely buy the magazine now because the near-identical covers are just so off-putting.

And come to that, why a TV test in every single issue??? I've always bought WHF for the HiFi, and while I appreciate that there is an increasing crossover into home AV systems, why is it absolutely necessary to offer TV comparisons in every single issue?? This (and the cover photos) is driving me mad! Remember - the magazine is NOT called What Television?

There was a great article a month or two back about DACs, but it felt like an afterthought - where's the big feature (and Supertest) showing how to partner DACs and speakers to get the best out of a system built around a computer disc transport...?

What about a comparison between the B&W Zeppelin versus the Fatman iTube Carbon Valvedock plus Tannoy Mercury F1s? Or something along those lines...? Even features such as these would be truer to the spirit of HiFi than endless bloody TV tests!

 

jaxwired

Well-known member
Feb 7, 2009
283
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18,895
I second this! While I don't care about whats on the cover, I HATE the TV tests in every issue. I read my WHF cover to cover, EXCEPT the TV tests which I never even glance at. Boring!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Calm down dear, it's only a magazine!

In all seriousness, between the magazine and online, we cover more hi-fi products than anyone else. In fact, last issue there were more hi-fi reviews (and pages dedicated to them) than home cinema reviews.

With the redesign we can do features - reports and reader interviews etc, as well as the I Remember When back page. Next issue, there's a big hi-fi feature and even more crucial hi-fi reviews. Which are exclusive, naturally.

We know the name of the mag - I draw your attention to the Sound and Vision line - we're responding to what our readers demand and that's a perfect balance of all things hi-fi and home cinema.

And the test you suggest has already been done - a year ago, you must have been ogling the TVs!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I think there's an excellent selection for consumers to read & superb helpful advice too. Sometimes even funny article writing which makes me giggle. But seriously - The Magazine is called What Hifi Sound & Vision - The balance between the two is equal imo.

You can always ask for tests to be considered - like the one you have suggested.

If anyone watched that program about running Sainsbury's - we might understand that a company like What Hifi Sound & Vision have such a large consumer base, just like Sainsbury's - that peoples opinions will differ. Problems can be address or answered - but you cannot resolve everyones perception of a problem. The majority of people are extremely happy with the company - but the company are always pro active in helping its readers. Which other major magazine spends as much time helping people on these forums and yet still having the time to do their daily activities. its a great commitment from the What Hifi Team imo. Customer comments are always regarded seriously so your point will be taken on board and maybe even address.

Its a pleasure to read - if there is one problem - its that as im a subcriber, I have already read the magazine before it hits the stores and it feels like forever I have to wait for the next one - I have no self control but to sit down with music on and read the whole thing :)
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Richard Melville:
We know the name of the mag - I draw your attention to the Sound and Vision line - we're responding to what our readers demand and that's a perfect balance of all things hi-fi and home cinema.

I spent too long in the reply window - damn you Richard :)
 

Andrew Everard

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May 30, 2007
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Interestingly, the OP has only posted twice on the site since joining back in April last year: the other time was to enter a competition to win - drum roll - a television.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Hmmm....Interesting...when I first started buying the mag last year it was mainly for the TV reviews, then, having bought a TV my interest in TV group tests naturally waned but I subscribe anyway out of general interest.

I agree that there is a heavy emphasis on TVs but this is an area where there is a high turnover of models compared to other HiFi and AV equipment.
 

Clare Newsome

New member
Jun 4, 2007
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We are (and always have been) a mainstream buyer's guide, and we're merely reflecting the market, albeit with far more of a core hi-fi emphasis.

This blog I wrote back in February explains how much TVs dominate the UK CE sales scene - accounting for more than half (£3bn+) of all consumer electronics purchases this year. Compared to that, the separates market (including hi-fi and AV) is £200m.

It's not the only measure that drives us - our passion for music and movie excellence typically means we're covering products above the average price/spec, and with far more of an enthusiast focus - but without understanding what makes consumers tick, we wouldn't be the market-leading magazine we are.

In addition, our recent reader's survey - which more than 6000 users of the magazine and website were kind enough to spend a considerable time filling in - TVs were the single most popular planned purchase in the next 12 months:

42 percent plan to buy a TV in the next year; next up at 23 percent is a Blu-ray player, followed at 21 percent by people who intend to buy nothing major due to the economic situation.

Still in double-digits, we have 18 percent of readers planning to buy a home cinema receiver, with 17 percent due to buy a speaker package and 10 percent wanting a home cinema system.

Hi-fi results are as follows: speakers and stereo amps on 8 percent each; CD players at 7 percent; turntables at 4 percent.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Arhh - I have only just noticed the Blog Section. Excellent Article
Claire. Just out of interested - this morning after reading your news
section about Cambridge Audio. Will there be an article on the company
& how it developed into a large player in the Hifi market. My only
interest is that - my first Hifi was a CA setup and I have a heartily
passion for them I guess & would love to know the business model of
how they achieved great success it seems.
 

Ravey Gravey Davy

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
221
2
18,795
Andrew Everard:Interestingly, the OP has only posted twice on the site since joining back in April last year: the other time was to enter a competition to win - drum roll - a television.

Probably wanted to take his ground axe to it.
 

jaxwired

Well-known member
Feb 7, 2009
283
4
18,895
Clare Newsome:

This blog I wrote back in February explains how much TVs dominate the UK CE sales scene - accounting for more than half (£3bn+) of all consumer electronics purchases this year. Compared to that, the separates market (including hi-fi and AV) is £200m.

In addition, our recent reader's survey - which more than 6000 users of the magazine and website were kind enough to spend a considerable time filling in - TVs were the single most popular planned purchase in the next 12 months:

While I understand and totally agree that TVs are a far more common purchase and bigger market, I would argue that the level of passion and interest between the two groups, tv buyers, and hi-fi buyers is very different. I would guess the vast majority of TV buyers don't care enough about specs and features to read group tests and research all that data. They just want a decent, current, and functional TV at a good price. The HiFi buyers are far more passionate and far more intersted in all the product details and comparisons. Most TV buyers are not video-philes. A large percentage of HiFi buyers ARE HiFi enthusiasts.

My point is, I don't think you can assess appropriate magazine content levels using demographic size as your primary yard stick. 99% of the population will be buying a toothbrush in the next 6 months. Don't need a magazine group test on that. As usual, just my opinion. Love the mag anyway....
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,232
4
19,195
There would be no What-Hifi? without the tellys and the Blu-Rays etc.

My local hifi dealer would not exist without Home-Theatre/AV/Television sales. He makes absolutely zero profit on televisions but needs them to get people through the door to buy receivers, fancy cables, 5.1 speaker systems, stands etc.

Some of those customers end up buying 2 channel equipment too. Hifi as we understand it only exists due to the largesse of TV/AV equipment buyers.

An AV buyer will think nothing of spending £15,000 on receiver, projector and speakers and another few grand getting everything custom installed. A hifi buyer will agonise for months over a £350 amp.*

(*There is one exception that may be peculiar to just my dealer. He sells so many Naim HDX's that he considered installing a conveyor belt to speed up the process!)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
FWIW, I agree with the sentiments of the OP. However, the name of the mag is, as pointed out here and repeatedly elsewhere, "WHFSV". Anyone wanting a hi-fi only read should look elsewhere, just as anyone only wanting to read only about guns should expect to be disappointed by parts of "Guns & Ammo".

Ok, bad example.
 

RodhasGibson

Well-known member
Oct 10, 2008
188
5
18,595
Clare Newsome:

We are (and always have been) a mainstream buyer's guide, and we're merely reflecting the market, albeit with far more of a core hi-fi emphasis.

This blog I wrote back in February explains how much TVs dominate the UK CE sales scene - accounting for more than half (£3bn+) of all consumer electronics purchases this year. Compared to that, the separates market (including hi-fi and AV) is £200m.

It's not the only measure that drives us - our passion for music and movie excellence typically means we're covering products above the average price/spec, and with far more of an enthusiast focus - but without understanding what makes consumers tick, we wouldn't be the market-leading magazine we are.

In addition, our recent reader's survey - which more than 6000 users of the magazine and website were kind enough to spend a considerable time filling in - TVs were the single most popular planned purchase in the next 12 months:

42 percent plan to buy a TV in the next year; next up at 23 percent is a Blu-ray player, followed at 21 percent by people who intend to buy nothing major due to the economic situation.

Still in double-digits, we have 18 percent of readers planning to buy a home cinema receiver, with 17 percent due to buy a speaker package and 10 percent wanting a home cinema system.

Hi-fi results are as follows: speakers and stereo amps on 8 percent each; CD players at 7 percent; turntables at 4 percent.

Sums it nicely Clare, I guess I"m lucky I Like both and have both and enjoy it all.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Looking elsewhere means you miss out on the exclusives, features and our full test team testing in our dedicated rooms. Rather, you'll get just a single reviewer testing in his shed with a cat on his lap.

As stated before, we actually review more hi-fi than rival magazines and make a magazine that gets new readers excited about hi-fi as well as home cinema products. Ultimately, once you've felt the benefit of one, you're enticed by the other. We just want to give people the best sound and vision experience and if the TV bits don't interest you, come here and see more and more hi-fi blogs, videos, podcasts, archive reviews etc.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Richard Melville:
Looking elsewhere means you miss out on the exclusives, features and our full test team testing in our dedicated rooms. Rather, you'll get just a single reviewer testing in his shed with a cat on his lap.

As stated before, we actually review more hi-fi than rival magazines and make a magazine that gets new readers excited about hi-fi as well as home cinema products. Ultimately, once you've felt the benefit of one, you're enticed by the other. We just want to give people the best sound and vision experience and if the TV bits don't interest you, come here and see more and more hi-fi blogs, videos, podcasts, archive reviews etc.

Think its more likely to be an oscilloscope on his/her lap.....
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
1,635
83
19,770
Richard Melville:

Looking elsewhere means you miss out on the exclusives, features and our full test team testing in our dedicated rooms. Rather, you'll get just a single reviewer testing in his shed with a cat on his lap.

As stated before, we actually review more hi-fi than rival magazines and make a magazine that gets new readers excited about hi-fi as well as home cinema products. Ultimately, once you've felt the benefit of one, you're enticed by the other. We just want to give people the best sound and vision experience and if the TV bits don't interest you, come here and see more and more hi-fi blogs, videos, podcasts, archive reviews etc.

It does exactly what it says on the tin! I wonder what sort of reaction the mag would stir up if it was What S&V & Hi-Fi?
 

professorhat

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2007
988
16
18,895
chebby:An AV buyer will think nothing of spending £15,000 on receiver, projector and speakers and another few grand getting everything custom installed.

What AV buyers do you know?!
 

idc

Well-known member
Jan 2, 2008
1,039
10
19,195
Clare Newsome:

.....42 percent plan to buy a TV in the next year......Hi-fi results are as follows: speakers and stereo amps on 8 percent each; CD players at 7 percent; turntables at 4 percent.......

Sums it all up and answers the OPs original question perfectly. I wonder what the percentages were for purchasing headphones and headphone amps? Less than 1%? Anyway, us headfiers have been well catered for in recent issues and I thank you for that. But what about the promised review of the FiiO portable headphone amp?
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,232
4
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professorhat:
chebby:An AV buyer will think nothing of spending £15,000 on receiver, projector and speakers and another few grand getting everything custom installed.

What AV buyers do you know?!

A few. An ex colleague who converted a double garage into a home cinema which eventually cost over £25.000 to equip and convert. A regular local taxi driver who is a customer of the same dealer I go to who has spent over £15,000 on home cinema and is about to spend another small fortune on a giant plasma screen for the living room TV just for his wife. (She does not find the 'cinema' convenient or easy use.) A relative of my wife's who has also spent a similar amount extending his house to incorporate a home cinema.

The electrician who came to wire up our new conservatory last year works for a specialist company also installing AV/home cinema/multi-room etc. 80 percent of his work is ripping out plaster and installing custom trunking and the the requisite wiring for such systems. The AV crowd take this stuff really seriously and will spends thousands on installation. Our parochial little 'cable debates' would seem positively amateurish and quaint to them.

Chats with my local dealer has revealed that £10k - £15k AV/Cinemasystems are not at all unusual and are NOT all installed in large salubrious properties by rich folk but more typically ordinary blokes with normal jobs living in typical modest family homes. Circa £5000 receivers (Denon, Onkyo, Yamaha) and commensurately expensive speaker sets and TVs or projectors are very popular apparently.

I have no idea how ordinary 'salary slaves' like me can afford it - especially recently - but they do.
 

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