A Proposed Format for a Relevant Music/Audio Mag

Both Stereophile and The Absolute Sound recently have been heaped with abuse in these forums for among other things, acting in collusion with manufacturer. Several people have commented that the audio mags are irrelevant when compared to web-based forums such as Audiogon. While I disagree with such assertions, I too find the major mags flawed. The following is what I would like to see in a magazine and I welcome forum participants to comment as they see fit.

Purpose: to act as a critic/cheerleader for the audio industry (musicians, recording industry, equipment manufacturers, dealers and consumers) by describing how high fidelity production and reproduction systems can increase the pleasure of listening to music. It should have broad appeal to both professional and consumer enthusiats.

The magazine would consists of:

- letters to the editor
- new developments and trends
- industry business review
- interviews with musicians, producers, manufacturers, engineers, dealers etc.
- system reviews (see below)
- readers' comments on equipment they've purchased (see below)
- record reviews, at least 50 per issue, all musical formats. The primary focus of the review will be its musical content, but attention will also be paid towards production values and techniques.
- a series of eductional atricles, i.e. "How to Position Your Speakers", "Multitrack Recording Techniques"
- Buyer's Guide, a table of product specs similar to the old October Audio issue
- high resolution pictures of equipment, dozens of them. The pictures will show front and rear panels as well as interior shots.
System Review - rather than focus on components in isolation the focus should be on entire systems. A reveiwer will contact a dealer and ask to be shown a complete system at a specified price level. The reviewer will then comment on the overall quality and value of the system. It should approximate what a consumer experiences.
Reader's Reviews - readers will be invited to submit short (200 word) appraisals of their recent equipment purchases. They should explain why they purchased the item and what other items they considered.
The above is my personal vision of what information I would like to regularly read. Some of the procedures are already carried out by existing magazines, but others are not. I feel that a magazaine along the lines I've outlined would go along way towards correcting many of the faults people find with the existing mags.
My opinion on "system reviews" would be a little different.Here it goes;
-Have someone from the magazine purchase the equipment to be reviewed and have them criticize the "whole experience".
-The reviewer can then perform a qick first impression review of the product for the amount of the loan period from the dealer.
-Since this would be "unfair" to the manufacturer, the magazine's product request department or person, would request the product from the manufacturer for a "proper" review by a reviewer with no prior knowledge of the product to be reviewed.
-The product should be reviewed by two reviewers, with the second person writting a short piece if in agreement, a longer piece if they disagree with each other.
I have further thoughts on this subject but don't want to bore all of you with the details. Basically I would love to read someone experiencing what all of us have gone through purchasing equipment from dealers.Thanks for the oppurtunity to respond!