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

Our Many Faces

As long-time readers know, SoundStage! began covering high-end audio in late 1995 and hasn't wavered from this beat since. We take our work seriously because we love music and the equipment used to reproduce it well at home. But what some readers don't know is that we have been growing steadily since the launch of SoundStage!, and we now cover the high-end-audio arena in a more comprehensive way while taking on the home-theater and budget-audio realms with equal enthusiasm. For some of you, what follows will be old news, but I suspect more than a few readers will wonder how it eluded detection on their radar until now.

SoundStage! is part of the SoundStage! Network, a dozen websites that give you a comprehensive look at audio, video, music and movies. In addition to SoundStage!, which is the largest site on the Network, there is the onhifi.com site that features exclusively the writing of Wes Phillips. A site similar to onhifi.com is mastersonaudio.com (and mastersonvideo.com), with the writing of well-known journalist Ian G. Masters. While Wes writes primarily about audio equipment and music, Ian takes an educational slant on it all, choosing to write more about issues of importance to people interested in home entertainment, although he will certainly be talking about products too.

Home Theater & Sound is run by SoundStager Jeff Fritz, and its title spells out its subjects. HT&S is the mirror image of SoundStage! in the home-theater realm, and it's unique in the online world for attempting to keep a twice-each-month update schedule of home-theater reviews and articles. Some audio sites dabble in home theater, but Home Theater & Sound is all about home theater -- and doesn't dabble in two-channel audio.

Our newest site is the budget-audio resource GoodSound!, although this is a misnomer of sorts because the site has actually been around for years. What we’ve done is relaunch it with a new look and new content. But even with all its newness, we aim to keep the heart of the original site beating by introducing soon the GoodSound! Guide to inexpensive audio equipment, which will grow over time. We know how big a market segment budget audio is -- SoundStage! readers clamor for more reviews of such gear continuously. GoodSound! should fill its niche nicely, although we will continue to review inexpensive equipment on SoundStage! too.

Our E-Mag and AudioVideoNews sites have been around for a few years and have proven to be popular additions. AudioVideoNews is updated daily with stories on new audio and video products, new musical and video releases, and industry news that runs the gamut from sales figures to company closings. And if you haven't downloaded an issue of our E-Mag, you're in for a treat. A self-contained electronic magazine in Adobe .pdf format, the E-Mag is essentially a smaller version of our entire website with content you won't find on SoundStage!. It includes product and music reviews, columns, even a "Publisher's Note." You can read it online or print it, in which case it becomes portable. A new issue of the E-Mag appears every quarter, one of which went live a week ago.

SoundStage! LIVE is where our interactive forums reside as well as our not-to-be-bettered show coverage. The entire listing of review products that have received the honor of being named a Reviewers' Choice can be found on the website of the same name. A/V Gateway is a portal for audio and video enthusiasts, providing links to various online audio and home-theater resources. AudioVideoRetailers provides a listing of dealers across North America, while AudioVideoDirectory, which is still under construction, will soon be the most exhaustive listing of audio and video products found anywhere -- and completely searchable. Try that with a print publication!

Why expand so much when SoundStage! itself is more than enough work? I supposed it's a matter of our interests expanding as we've brought successive sites online. There are always more ideas (and there are more URLs we own and plan to develop), but in the end we let our keen interest in the various kinds of home-entertainment electronics and software guide us, which is where it all began and where it's all still going.

...Marc Mickelson

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