John Atkinson of Stereophile magazine speaks at Charlotte Music Matters

John Atkinson of Stereophile magazine speaks at Charlotte Music Matters

John Atkinson, editor of Stereophile magazine, was a guest at our Music Matters events last November. In the latest issue of Stereophile (February 2011), he has some nice comments about the events in his column, As We See It. Here's an excerpt: for the complete column see the February issue on newsstands now.

As We See It by John Atkinson


Music Matters

“The weekend of the great website migration, I was driving back from North Carolina, where I had been doing something else to keep audio passions growing. Leon Shaw, Scott Newnam, and Phil Melton, all of specialty retailer Audio Advice, had asked me to take part in two “Music Matters” evenings at their Raleigh and Charlotte stores, filling in for an indisposed Michael Fremer….

“Music Matters” is the name given an evening hosted by a retailer, during which manufacturers and audio journalists play music and give presentations to an audience of audiophiles. The North Carolina evenings featured Peter McGrath of Wilson Audio Specialties, Dave Nauber of Classé, Steve Silberman of AudioQuest, Jim Spainhour of Peachtree Audio, Sandy Gross and John Miller of GoldenEar Technologies, Dave Gordon of Audio Research, Alex Brinkman of Ayre Acoustics, Eric Joy of B&W, Mike Pyle and Keith Parke of Mark Levinson, JBL, and Revel, and Brad O’Toole of Transparent Audio….I gave a series of musical presentations based on my “As We See It” column of November 2009, “The Spaces Between the Notes” (, in which I demonstrated the evils of the ‘Loudness Wars,” and how the overuse of compression actually minimizes the musical content of recordings.

…Audio Advice’s “Music Matters” events were well attended and the audience was engaged, interested, and enthusiastic. Some ‘philes had driven there from as far away as Atlanta…. these evenings illustrated something I had mentioned at a similar event in England a quarter-century ago: that the role of the specialty retailer is to be less like a fisherman who passively waits for customers to drift pass his door, and more like a farmer tilling the earth and sowing seeds to be more certain of an eventual harvest.

I applaud dealers who promote evenings such as these…. Were every dealer in the US like Audio Advice….and the others who give up their evenings to promote recorded music and keep their customers’ passions growing, the audio industry would return to its preeminence.”