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

A Six-Year-Old's Point of View

I came across my report card from first grade recently. Mrs. Halvorson, my teacher, was wonderfully nurturing, and her comments on my report card stress my "potential." I remember loving first grade because of Mrs. Halvorson, but it was the beginning of a slow decline in my interest in school -- until college. I know I didn't take to all the social aspects of middle and high school, but perhaps it was that I didn't tap into my potential until I went on to higher education.

And that's the thing about potential -- you have to do something with it, or it's a reminder of all that you've wasted. This month marks SoundStage!'s sixth birthday, and I'm reminded of the many conversations Doug Schneider and I have had through the years about the potential of our website and the Internet in general. We knew that good writing about audio equipment could bring readers to the Internet -- it would certainly have brought us -- but the job of producing the most-read and -respected audio website only begins there. I won't bore you with a list of the tasks that Doug and I perform each month, but I will crow about a couple of developments that help us mark our sixth birthday -- and make SoundStage! an even better source of information.

We've been mentioning that we'll soon be offering measurements of amplifiers to go along with those of speakers, and the first set of these appears along with Wes Phillips' review of the Krell FPB-300c. We pondered how we could publish such measurements that would rival those we have produced at Canada's National Research Council for speakers, and luckily the answer came to us at last year's CES, where we met and sealed the deal with Bascom King of BHK Labs. Bascom is known throughout the audio world for his technical abilities, and these coupled with his Audio Precision measurement equipment made bringing him on board a no-brainer. As is the case with speakers, we can't measure every amplifier we review (high-quality measurements are very costly to produce, which is why so few magazines and no websites other than SoundStage! produce them), but we aim to do just this in the future. And I wouldn't bet against this happening.

Another innovation to appear this month is our first review of a component that's used for reproducing multichannel music. Yes, we are still dedicated to two-channel audio (and Home Theater & Sound to home cinema), but there's no denying that multichannel music is a growing market and therefore requires coverage. We start small with a review of Outlaw Audio ICBM, but look for other reviews throughout 2002 and beyond, including one of a Magnepan multichannel speaker system. We also publish our first music review of a multichannel DVD-A -- with more to follow.

Six is a good age for a child or an audio publication, but the expectations only grow from there. I'm very proud to be part of what we are doing right now and where we are headed in the future. I suspect Mrs. Halvorson would approve too.

...Marc Mickelson

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