Thirty years of AudioEnz – and goodbye
December 2016 marks thirty years since my very first hi-fi magazine was published. It was in print, of course – the public internet not existing back then. And the world of hi-fi and music was very different to what it is today.
The first few issues were under the name Zounds, which I thought was a clever version of Sounds. Apparently no one else shared my view, so the name was changed to AudioVideo soon after. In 1996 – twenty years ago! – the name was finally changed to AudioEnz.
In the year 2000 AudioEnz went entirely virtual. We were one of the very first magazines in the world to transition to exisiting entirely online. In 2002, competing our online orientation and after many ongoing suggestions from contributor Max Christoffersen, we added an online forum. The forum immediately became the busiest part of the site, clocking up 4000 registered members.
But things change over the years. There is far less interest in hi-fi now than thirty years ago. And far less interest worldwide in reading about hi-fi. Plus, my own interest in hi-fi has declined to the point where it even remains a vague interest – and it’s impossible to produce an enthusiast publication without your own enthusiasm. My interest in music has also changed. Whereas previously I would consume multiple albums in a day, today my musical interests revolve more around dancing.
There are many people who have made a contribution to the past thirty years of AudioEnz. Some of the heavy hitters include:
Charles Thomson – the very first writer after yours truly, and a valuable sounding board. You may have caught Charles later in Soundline Wellington
Marc Taddei – Marc brought a fascinating perspective to his writing, being a professional musician (Principle Trombone for the NZSO). Marc is now a professional orchestral conductor.
Andrew Fox – Andrew wrote so many great reviews over many years. Andrew ended up working for Apple NZ.
Lloyd Macomber – Lloyd photographed many of the cover photos through the early 1990s and contributed many thoughtful reviews, while remaining another great sounding board.
Max Christoffersen – Max’s contagious enthusiasm for home theatre, music and hi-fi was a burst of energy. His insistence the AudioEnz needed a forum kept the web site busy and vital for many years.
John Paul – John has a great set of ears, a wealth of knowledge about consumer and professional audio and video, and a world-class bullshit detector.
And then there’s thirty years of readers. I’ve received lots of feedback from readers over the years, mainly very positive – although flavoured with the occasional ill-tempered, nasty diatribe. There have been letters, phone calls, emails and forum posts. Readers telling me how they had bought a piece of equipment based on our reviews always reminded me of the responsibility that comes with publishing.
Thank you all.
And now it’s goodbye
AudioEnz has been a large part of my life for thirty years. But it’s now time to put it to an end. So thank you for being part of my last thirty years.
Now to see what the next thirty brings.