disclaimer: the following post is inspired by the editorial of audio art (taiwan hifi mag)issue #228 and it is not meant to steal the thoughts. it is so thought-provoking that i have decided to give my personal views.

something strange happening in certain parts of northern america. in the past, many fruit-bearing trees such as the wild apple trees would have borne lots of fruits during the harvest season in july and august. but last year, many trees are barren with no fruits in sight. do you know the cause of it?

the bees are gone. as you know, bees are carrier for pollen - the fine powder-like material consisting of pollen grains that is produced by the anthers of seed plants, which are responsible for the reproduction of seed-bearing plants. of course, the main reason for the absence of the bees is global warming but that's not the topic of this post.

so, what has it got to do with hifi, you ask? the malaysian hifi market and many other markets in the world including taiwan, is suffering one of the worst decline in the last couple of years. this is akin to the missing bees. the bees is the medium that carries the all-important pollen, just like many of us audiophiles who carry our passion for this hobby and disseminate it to all other like-minded enthusiasts. and the problem is - many audiophiles have gone missing! the can be explained by the retirement of the senior and veteran audiophiles and the totally non-existence pool of new and young audiophiles. the main reason for this - the passion is gone!

there are many ways to rekindle this passion. first and foremost, aspiring audiophiles or even experienced ones must learn to appreciate live music, be it gigs or concerts (and i don't mean those mega cantopop concerts by HK singers!). there are many opportunities in this country to see first-class live performances on a regular basis. a few prominent venues come to mind - dewan filharmonik petronas (DFP) for classical music, no black tie for jazz and indie music, groove junction for jazz and funk, alexis ampang for jazz music and many others (like the indie concert i advertised in the blog which is held in KLPAC this friday night) if you bother to find out. why aren't these people listen to live music if they want to play hifi? if people like live music enough, they are bound to be excited by the thought of re-creating the experience in the comfort of their homes! it is only thru appreciating live music then one can become a better and complete audiophile. it is only thru appreciating live music then an (aspiring) audiophile can become ambitious and passionate. i am a regular gig/concert goer and i revel in such experience cos not only i get entertained with the best hi-fi in the word (live music), it improves my listening skills and hence my hifi too.

i also think that some experienced audiophiles among you should carry the role of a mentor. a mentor should expose hifi to many more newbies who want to play hifi but don't know how to start or afraid of the cost. i have done my part in the last few years influencing my less experienced friends. a simple gesture like inviting them to listen to your system may open their eyes (and ears) to the wonderment of hifi. or even bringing them the the hifi show where they get to ogle at the equipment. be patient with these newbies, explain to them basic jargons and terminologies in layman term. for them, it definitely beats reading those jargon-filled WHAT*HI-FI, stereophile or TAS! there are so many influential tasks that a good mentor can do to bring in more audiophiles to the hobby. the responsibility starts with you!

to be continued... i will write about the role of the dealer in my next post ;-)

13 comments:

eric said...

Nice piece!

Not only the bees are missing so are the trees...

We might be able to persuade people to go into the hobby,but where has all the good dealers gone.

People love music but got very intimidated when they go to the local dealers.They are not only not friendly ,if you want to have a listen, they give you a quiz to see whether they could sell something to you

So to me ,it must start from having accesible,friendly dealers...

eric said...

Nice piece!

Not only the bees are missing so are the trees...

We might be able to persuade people to go into the hobby,but where has all the good dealers gone.

People love music but got very intimidated when they go to the local dealers.They are not only not friendly ,if you want to have a listen, they give you a quiz to see whether they could sell something to you

So to me ,it must start from having accesible,friendly dealers...

Wang said...

Maggielurva,
Thaqnk you for your passion!!!

Take a walk around the crowded shopping malls,people are bored,not knowing what to do

Wouldn't it be nice if they could walk and listen to a good demo.

If you know the CMY boss let him know that their staffs in one utama needs to buck up .

I remember seeing a tourist tha walked into their shop until they left feeling embarassed!!!

Hey the mark up is astronomical ,so do something to justify those high prices with immaculate servise.

all of us will be better served....Sorry if anybody gets offended ,but I love Music so much

NNPM said...

Most of us got into Hi-fi because of our love for music

For the longest time ,Hi-fi has been thought as an exclusive hobby

My friends has always been surprised at how little it cost to start in this hobby,probably slightlu more than a cost of a laptop

So the potential is immense but in Malaysia ,it is not accesable

i was reading in your previuos post about drk's experience in Penang, can canthelp thinking that In malaysia,we have a handful of such dealer.

Maggie,I know that you always say tthat the purchasing power in Malaysia is low,but i beg to differ .Just look at Thailand and Jakarta{poorer countries than M'sia]the hi-fi scene there is very vibrant

So I think it start with awareness,and if have 3 peple like you the sleeping giant will wake up again

kenhuat said...

Maggie,
Just put your self in the novice's shooes if you were to start ..I would be clueless today.

Most of the good dealers are in Ipoh and centrecircle is the only good one in KL....but if you are new it is hard to find them

That is why you have more players in Ipoh.Hi fi is just so much more accecible there and seeing the guys in audio art and dong fong seems less intimidating..Just like going to a friend's house

YSL said...

Maggie,
I can assure Hi fi is very much alive in Malaysia,we just stopped buying things in M'sia'
Just to give some examples

1]Richard Gray Pro 400 reatails for RM3.6k In CMY[official distributors].the official price in US is *)) uSD at the Retailer.
Now ,the actual cost that is sold to the local importer is abt 400 USD.the shipping Doesnt cost that Much{Try calling a few shipping companies,if u dont believe me] and the tax is at 18%

Do your calculations ,and you can see that the mark up is astronomical!!!Dont give me THe BS about rental being high.,you can get them cheaper by 20 % in Singapore.
Well you might say that somehow the shipping is too high.what about Bright star ISonode?CMY selling it for RM 150!!!What a rip-off!!!!

So guess what me and my friends do ,?we buy our isodes from Elusivediscs and whenever We are abroad,we have friendly discussions with the knowladgeable dealers there,often them upgrading at the same time

So you see what you need is a new breed of importers and dealers.People who really know about their gears and love their music

henry said...

Hi,
Heated discussion!!!
Agreed with above.There are a lot of people that has pretty decent Hi fi sets ,and I can tell you that they have pretty strong purchasing power...and many follow your blogs... .Religiously....

Look at the dealers that promotes their products through your blogs,very few..Those that do though I know are very nice bunch{Nelson fr centrecircle,art audio folks]
So the Dealers need to evolve..especially now that airasia is flying to bangkok and tiny dot ,if not,they will sink and nobody will shed any tears for them...

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

hi guys,

i half expected this will get me into controversial grounds. being an audiophile and a media person, i am actually torn in between.

i don't mind telling you guys that i lost two friends recently because they accused me (that by having the magazine and the blog), of selling out with a motive for personal gains (ie. getting huge discounts and freebies from dealers)and that i also don't support local dealers whole-heartedly. i was greatly hurt and disturbed, of course, but my conscience is clear.

i have never said that you have to buy everything locally but i am sure you have your own fave local dealers and you should support them as much as possible.

i also agree that some dealers are black sheeps and they are losing their focus and should evolve with times.

ultimately, willing buyer, willing seller. if you are happy buying from our neighbour, then be it. but leave some space for our local dealers because afterall, they are also businessmen.

but that's not the main point of my blog post.

wan said...

I think we are blessed now that there are so many oppurtunities to listen to music compare to when I was growing up 20 yrs ago;

1]MTV and Channel V

2]Dewan P petronas-classical music lovers are amgst the biggest user of Hi-Fi abroad,but somehow not the case in Msia

3]so many clubs now!1Those days we only have tin -min

Maggie,I think you should seriously think abt writing a guide to hi-fi ...you have a gift

chris said...

Maggie,
I havent met you in person,but whatever little I know fr reading yr blog,you strike me as someone sincere ,passionate and big hearted

If you lose the so called friends ,all I can say the loss is all theirs.

I wish you are my friend

gerhard said...

the truth always hurt,and hard to swallow....

I try my level best to spread your message.

to me Hifi4sale and your blogs are amongst the first i check in the morning

you should consider starting an audiophile club in m'sia and really start that hi fi book .maybe we can see it in this yr's klav show

you sound down ,please cheer up!!!

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

wang, nnpm, wan, chris, gerhard, henry and the rest of you who support what i am doing,

thanks for the support. i am enjoying myself very much having you around to share this very fun hobby of ours.

in time to come, i hope to develop this blog into the "de-facto" hifi journal of malaysia. seriously, the blog will(and already has) give mainstream media (newspapers, magazine) a run for their money if unite and share our collective knowledge and passion.

as for my future plan about starting a book/a hifi show/a hifi club, let's say that time is not ripe yet for such bold initiatives. i will know what to do when the time is right. trust me, i am a good creator and market mover ;-)

shook said...

""Introduction To good sound " Would be A good title for your book

You should seriously consider writing it.

You could at least start selling it in all the Hi-fi shops in Malaysia,where it would benefit everyone.....

And the audiophile club is not a bad idea at all.The indon club is quite active on the Audiogon selling Hi end stuff for their members