A New Direction

Sometimes, it becomes necessary to re-evaluate. To freshen things up, and keep things interesting. Long-time Audio Appraisal readers will have noticed the subtle rebranding that has been happening over the past few months – everything from the logo and design alterations, to the store and the change in content.

Audio Appraisal is, as of recently, 1 year old. When I registered the domain a year ago, I couldn’t have imagined how far we’d have come in such a short space of time. While the original intention was to document my own audiophile journey, I quickly realised that there was a demand for my lengthy, detailed equipment reviews. And so I decided that equipment reviews would be the primary focus of Audio Appraisal – and I reached out to several brands and PR agencies to obtain samples of the latest and greatest hi-fi equipment to review for your reading pleasure.

Fast forward to now, and reader interest is at an all time high. We’ve had billions, literally billions of views. The reviews are more popular than ever, and nothing makes me prouder than the eMails I receive daily from you, the reader telling me you’ve had the confidence to go out and purchase a piece of equipment based on an Audio Appraisal review.

So Why Change?

Audio Appraisal appeals to a minority market. While our reviews are targeted towards everybody and not just the hard-core ‘audiophile’, the fact remains that the content does appeal to a small market – a market in which there are many other review publications fighting for the top spot. Sadly, as Audio Appraisal has gained in popularity, it has also become a target for the competition – some of whom are, shall we say, less than pleased to see another, smaller blog invading their online territory.

I’m not going to make this a rant about the challenges of starting a small audiophile blog in 2015 – that’s a whole other post in itself. Suffice it to say that Audio Appraisal has been the target of some malicious activities that have made keeping the site running increasingly difficult. While it does sadden me that rather than simply creating quality content certain competitors feel the need to resort to other means to eliminate their competition, that is just the way competition works. That said, in order to remain online, it’s time to diversify the content to not only appeal to a wider audience, but to put Audio Appraisal ahead of the competition and allow it to continue to grow.

And, while I enjoy writing equipment reviews, I don’t want to limit Audio Appraisal to a single subject. It’s such a diverse brand name, and the possibilities for new content are endless. Creating some new, fresh content will help to diversify the blog and bring together different audiences.

What’s Happening?

First of all, the equipment reviews aren’t disappearing. They’re extremely popular and well-regarded, so rest assured they’re going nowhere. However, I’ll be adding new content, to include:

Music Reviews

Albums, singles, EPS – you name it. I’ll be discussing my favourite releases, new and old. I also enjoy discovering great music from lesser-known bands, so look forward to some hidden gems.

Musical Instrument Reviews and tutorials

Being a musician, this is something I’ve had in the back of my mind for a while. We’ll be covering instruments themselves, and we’ll discuss how to get the best sound possible both when recording and performing live.

‘Sound Advice’

A new series focusing on how to achieve the best sound possible using the gear you already have.

And lots, lots more!

We have a huge list of ideas, some of which are already in the works. But some things are best kept as a surprise.

I hope you’re all looking forward to this new content as much as I’m looking forward to creating it. I’d like to take this moment to thank each and every one of you for your continued support. Here’s to next year!

By Ashley

I founded Audio Appraisal a few years ago and continue to regularly update it with fresh content. An avid vinyl collector and coffee addict, I can often be found at a workbench tinkering with a faulty electronic device, tweaking a turntable to extract the last bit of detail from those tiny grooves in the plastic stuff, or relaxing in front of the hi-fi with a good album. A musician, occasional producer and sound engineer, other hobbies include software programming, web development, long walks and occasional DIY. Follow @ashleycox2

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