[SOUNDSTAGE!] Marc Mickelson is the
Editor-in-Chief of SoundStage!
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Monthly Editorial by Marc Mickelson
January 2001

Who Are You?

The more experience I get within the high-end-audio realm, the more I realize that we audiophiles are not into this avocation for the same reasons. Some of us are hard-core music lovers whose interest in audio equipment was born of a desire to heighten that intrinsic love of music. Others are equipment junkies, music's place in the equation obscured or even MIA. Most of us, I suspect, fall in between these two extremes. Of course, it's impossible to dismiss the music completely -- nobody listens exclusively to test tones on a high-end system -- but its place in our lives takes different forms and helps to form our identities as audiophiles.

Audio publications have identities as different as audiophiles, when they are thought out enough to have identities, that is. What is SoundStage!'s identity? Although we review a lot of audio equipment each month, we approach our reviewing from an informational angle. Conveying as much information as possible about the subject is our main goal, and as someone who reads every review we produce, I can say we're on track. You may read our reviews to find out our opinions of the equipment we review, but it's the information, including the all-important description of the sound we hear, that's the meat on the bones of our reviews.

But good writing always involves imagining the audience for which your words are meant, and for us, this is a rather easy task. We are writing for people who know that audio equipment exists to serve great music, which we believe is the vast bulk of audiophiles. Thus, the audio equipment itself is not the subject per se, but its ability to make the music we play sound more real and involving is. In this way, we exist for those people who don't necessarily want to read about the depth and breadth of the high-end industry itself (which we do cover as a matter of course), but rather how to enhance their musical pleasure.

So why then write about so much equipment? We honestly hope we are providing a service that will enrich your understanding of the equipment we write about and ultimately get you to a point where you will know more about your reasons for being interested in high-end audio to begin with -- hopefully to enjoy the beauty of music and understand its existence-enhancing ability.

So as you read our reviews, keep in mind that while they may be our most visible product, we hope you'll use them as part of a larger process that leads you to listening to more music -- in 2001 and beyond.

...Marc Mickelson

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