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Open letter to Editor...

Page 2 - Seeking answers? Join the What HiFi community: the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products.

idc

Well-known member
Jan 2, 2008
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jaxwired:[...... 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.....

Totally disagree with the above and the content of the magazine and Clare's survey results show otherwise. There are as many av enthusiasts here as hifi. Just look at the roughly equal popularity of the hifi and av parts of the forum and people's kit lists for further proof. I am more enthused about music than av, but I still fully researched my choice of TV, DVD how best to get the TV I want (ie Sky vs cable vs freeview). I have a decent mains extension and scarts to put it all together.

My hifi is almost sorted to do me for the next good few years and my attention will then switch more to av, and a nice blue ray player and I like the look of the Yamaha soundbars and maybe a mains cable upgrade for the Sky box.......
 

professorhat

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2007
988
16
18,895
chebby:I have no idea how ordinary 'salary slaves' like me can afford it - especially recently - but they do.

Can you ask a few?! I'd like to know that secret too!
 

Clare Newsome

New member
Jun 4, 2007
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idc:

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?


As more of the survey information comes in, i'm writing a blog that'll go into more detail (expect to see that sometime next week).

No precise figures for headphone amps - we didn't have the survey space for every product - but headphones are a planned purchase for 6 percent of those surveyed.

(And I don't know the answer re the FiiO - will ask test team)
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I agree with SoSwishy. I have been buying the magzine on and off since the mid 80's and prefer the mag then to now. There is too much TV stuff. I have just bought a TV (Pana 42X10) and will probably keep it for 10 years! In the mean time I'm not interested in reading about TV's I'm not going to buy. HiFi is different because it is more of a hobby. The never ending desire to improve a system to get a better sound. TV, to me is a one off purchase, not a hobby.

I have old copies of WHF going back 5 years or so and feel that the more recent issues are more lightweight than older ones. There were more detailed articles in 2004, for example, and more pages! I still buy the mag though so it can't be all bad!
 

The_Lhc

New member
Oct 16, 2008
1,176
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professorhat:chebby:I have no idea how ordinary 'salary slaves' like me can afford it - especially recently - but they do.
Can you ask a few?! I'd like to know that secret too!

And me, I'm earning far more than last year and I still can't afford that kind of spending, with or without credit!
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,232
4
19,195
professorhat:
chebby:I have no idea how ordinary 'salary slaves' like me can afford it - especially recently - but they do.

Can you ask a few?! I'd like to know that secret too!

Probably racking up enormous debt most likely.

Me and the wife had almost £25k of savings and we spend over £22k improving our home. I could not even imagine spending it on AV or hifi but some people have very different priorities. Some would cheerfully blow it all on a car but no-one would bat an eyelid in that case.

We have a 26" Samsung LCD TV that cost about £400 and a £270 Panasonic DVD/HDD recorder connected with a £20 HDMI cable and a £8 optical cable to the DAC but we only watch about 1.5 hours of TV an evening and that is usually a DVD.

I may upgrade to a 32" Samsung LED tv in the next few years but there is no hurry.
 

idc

Well-known member
Jan 2, 2008
1,039
10
19,195
From the thread on how much have you spent on hifi;

Bearing in mind this figure covers av as well as hifi and some (including myself) have not included PCs and freebies (presents) the average spend so far is £4693. If you take away the two highest and two lowest expenditures to reduce distortion then the average spend is £3964.

So Chebby's friends and aquaintances with squillions to spend on home cinemas don't post here!
 

JoelSim

New member
Aug 24, 2007
767
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JohnDuncan:Proof of the pudding is in the ABC figures, I say...

The proof of the pudding in this case is chasing ABC figures by having a TV on every cover and having TV dominating the magazine. Yes the main basket of the typical punter in the UK is TV, but the loyalists are HiFi. The loyalists are being increasingly turned off by the plethora of TV and I disagree hugely with Richard's assessment that you offer more HiFi than any other magazine. That's not true and is shown in the length of time it takes to read cover to cover ie not long these days.
 

Clare Newsome

New member
Jun 4, 2007
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It indisputable that we cover more hi-fi products every month than any other magazine.

I will admit the other specialist hi-fi magazines (which sell a fraction of the amount that WHF does) have more opinion/profile features - fair enough, but we also carry features here online (our blogs section is full of them), as well as - of course - hosting and contributing to these thriving Forums.
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,232
4
19,195
idc:From the thread on how much have you spent on hifi;

Bearing in mind this figure covers av as well as hifi and some (including myself) have not included PCs and freebies (presents) the average spend so far is £4693. If you take away the two highest and two lowest expenditures to reduce distortion then the average spend is £3964.

So Chebby's friends and aquaintances with squillions to spend on home cinemas don't post here!

Why would they? A quick glance at a W.H Smiths shelf shows that the AV/Home Cinema crowd have dedicated magazines of their own. Presumably online forums too.

To me a television has the same status as a refrigerator (actually correct that, the refrigerator is far higher in status and content.)

If it were not for DVDs and Freeview Radio I would be happy to do without one and just pick off the few programmes I enjoy from BBC iPlayer and watch them on the computer. However there are many people to whom TV is life itself. In fact there are some to whom TV is far more important than real life.
 

Clare Newsome

New member
Jun 4, 2007
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From talking to businesses in the custom-install field, it seems many people who pay chunky sums to have bespoke AV installations largely leave it up to the installer to choose the products (once they've been sold on the benefits). ....

Talking of CI, it's CEDIA Expo next week, so we'll be bringing you lots of news on that front....
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,232
4
19,195
Clare Newsome:From talking to businesses in the custom-install field, it seems many people who pay chunky sums to have bespoke AV installations largely leave it up to the installer to choose the products (once they've been sold on the benefits).

That has a lot to be said for it. (Assuming the dealer/installer has a eye to your best interests and his bottom line over the longest period of time.)

The same sort of relationship one might have with an excellent Savile Row tailor. (Don't laugh. Two Savile Row suits may cost about the same as many an AV receiver that has been reviewed here and will last longer with care.)

Maybe I should deposit £150 a month with my local dealer and just leave it up to him to pop in now and then to upgrade/replace stuff as necessary. He could have a key and do it when I am out. He would probably have made one or two better decisions than me over the last year!
 

SpiceWeasel

New member
Apr 10, 2008
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What ever happend to not judging a book magazine by it's cover ?


Correct me if I am wrong but isn't the average punters HiFi system well under £100, I recall reading about the cheapy Tesco's mini system a while ago. At the end of the day we are all exceptions to the average punters as most will just go into a shop and pick up anything that fits their budget.

Personally I have always been into the AV side of things and my system is no where near the £4k mark (I think I spent about £330 on my Denon reciever 2105, and around £500 on my Mission speakers M33i,M3C2i and M3DSi rears). Even my PS3 was free with my mobile phone contract but I did upgrade my old 32" crt last year with a nice 42" full hd Pany after 8 years of loyal service, cost me the same as my old 32" did.

But from reading the mag and these forums I am now really interested in getting a proper HiFi or even a nice dac and the bigger audioengines for my pc(using rubbish creative 5.1's) as I find I listen to more music while sat at the pc or in the car driving to work(I have a half decent car system). Im very tempted to get a projector soonish for movies and a nice new hd amp. I would love to have 4k to spend on a few upgrades.

I think the mag has a good balance of AV & HiFi, I guess most of the content depends on what is currently being released though. At the moment this years tv's are now being released so yes I would expect to see the latest sets in the magazine. Dam you WHFSV for having so much tempting kit in the mag each month, now does anyone know this weeks euro numbers ?
 

JoelSim

New member
Aug 24, 2007
767
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Clare Newsome:

It indisputable that we cover more hi-fi products every month than any other magazine.

I will admit the other specialist hi-fi magazines (which sell a fraction of the amount that WHF does) have more opinion/profile features - fair enough, but we also carry features here online (our blogs section is full of them), as well as - of course - hosting and contributing to these thriving Forums.

Clare, with all due respect to the customer the ABC figure is really not important. Of course you are going to get more readers by having a broader subject and if you didn't have TV you would certainly sell less mags. Having a TV on the cover is also a given, given the strategy you have.

That doesn't mean that the HiFi punter isn't going to be disappointed with the change in the magazine, convergence or not. What used to be jam-packed full of HiFi now plays second fiddle to a large number of transient buyers who are in the market that month for a TV.
 

Andrew Everard

New member
May 30, 2007
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Bu given the numbers the other magazines sell, I'd suggest there isn't a sufficient number of non-transient - intransigent? - enthusiasts to sustain such a title, let alone also fund a substantial online presence.

And nice though it would be to produce idealistic titles with no need to worry about filthy lucre, this is a commercial operation, with many people in suits looking at the bottom line. And that means selling things, in our case magazines, as I am sure you understand.
 

Andy Clough

New member
Apr 27, 2004
776
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0
JoelSim:Clare Newsome:

It indisputable that we cover more hi-fi products every month than any other magazine.

I will admit the other specialist hi-fi magazines (which sell a fraction of the amount that WHF does) have more opinion/profile features - fair enough, but we also carry features here online (our blogs section is full of them), as well as - of course - hosting and contributing to these thriving Forums.

Clare, with all due respect to the customer the ABC figure is really not important.

Really? So if we had a tiny ABC like many of our competitors, we'd obviously appeal to far fewer readers. That makes sense how? And heaven forbid the magazine/website should have to make money to pay for all the services we provide. We're a business, not a charity.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
JoelSim:

JohnDuncan:Proof of the pudding is in the ABC figures, I say...

The proof of the pudding in this case is chasing ABC figures by having a TV on every cover and having TV dominating the magazine. Yes the main basket of the typical punter in the UK is TV, but the loyalists are HiFi. The loyalists are being increasingly turned off by the plethora of TV and I disagree hugely with Richard's assessment that you offer more HiFi than any other magazine. That's not true and is shown in the length of time it takes to read cover to cover ie not long these days.

Spot on Joel. One of those rare occassions where I agree totally with you. Infact, I've said the same before.
 

JoelSim

New member
Aug 24, 2007
767
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0
Andy Clough:JoelSim:Clare Newsome:

It indisputable that we cover more hi-fi products every month than any other magazine.

I will admit the other specialist hi-fi magazines (which sell a fraction of the amount that WHF does) have more opinion/profile features - fair enough, but we also carry features here online (our blogs section is full of them), as well as - of course - hosting and contributing to these thriving Forums.

Clare, with all due respect to the customer the ABC figure is really not important.

Really? So if we had a tiny ABC like many of our competitors, we'd obviously appeal to far fewer readers. That makes sense how? And heaven forbid the magazine/website should have to make money to pay for all the services we provide. We're a business, not a charity.

Andy, the ABC figure is of no importance to me. The length of time it takes me to read the magazine is of paramount importance.

And yes I totally understand the business reasons Andrew, Andy and Clare. And the money needed for investment. And that other magzines have much smaller readerships.

And yes you do have a good website, which I enjoy.

But that doesn't make any difference to the fact that WHFSAV is now less relevant to me than other magazines. And would be the first to go should I fall on hard times and need to cancel a subscription. Simply because I don't find enough of interest in the magazine these days as I used to, or as I do in other specialist magazines.

I'm not having a go, I'm just telling the truth; I don;t look forward to getting the mag half as much as I used to because it's full of stuff I have no interest in. That didn't used to be the case when I would read everything.
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,232
4
19,195
The ABC figures are pretty conclusive.....

Hi-Fi Choice 8,479 (Percentage change -15.3%)

Hi-Fi News 10,013 (Percentage change -11.8%)

What Hi-Fi Sound & Vision 55,373 (Percentage change -6.4%)

Hi-Fi Total 73,865 (Percentage change -8.3%)

July - December 2008 Source ABC. Total sales including export.

Looks like WHFS&V has about three quarters of the market sector and is losing readership at about half the rate of it's nearest competitor.
 

Alec

Well-known member
Oct 8, 2007
478
0
18,890
chebby:

The ABC figures are pretty conclusive.....

Hi-Fi Choice 8,479 (Percentage change -15.3%)

Hi-Fi News 10,013 (Percentage change -11.8%)

What Hi-Fi Sound & Vision 55,373 (Percentage change -6.4%)

Hi-Fi Total 73,865 (Percentage change -8.3%)

July - December 2008 Source ABC. Total sales including export.

Looks like WHFS&V has about three quarters of the market sector and is losing readership at about half the rate of it's nearest competitor.

Is'nt 73, 865 more than 55, 373?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Yeah I agree, what hi fi to me used to be synonymous with hi fi, it was the first thing I bought because I wanted to learn and be informed about hi fi. Now granted I did use the comments of what hi fi along with other television review publications to make my mind up about purchasing a new television. However month after month the content is now packed with television news reviews, and previews and to me this holds little or no interest. I have bought a plasma television and am very happy with it, barring the tv packing in, I intend to keep with the television. Hi fi is not the same, it is one of those things where you do find yourself constantly wanting to learn a lot more and so you can potentially make further upgrades. I don't know about the number of reviews of hi fi compared to other magazines, however certainly content wise, things have been markedly scaled back. I realise the realities of it of course, it's a balancing act, you aren't a single enterprise, you are part of a much bigger corporate group and so it is all about the returns. For me personally though there is nowhere near an even balance being taken. I think the forum is great, it has been a valuable source of information but as someone who first and foremost appreciates hi fi, there no longer seems to be a real incentive for me to buy the magazine other than occcasionally.
 

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