Merry Christmas and many thanks to my customers, subscribers, friends and family!
Friends, it’s that time of the year again! Welcome to my 2023 recap where we look at a few numbers and enjoy a gallery of wonderful vintage hi-fi equipment. A massive thank you to all who’ve helped make 2023 another fantastic year and yet again, our busiest yet. Here’s hoping the holiday period is a happy and healthy one for all. Thanks, Blanche for the beautiful feature image!
As usual, Liquid Audio will close for a much-needed break and reopen later in January. The dates are subject to change, depending on how I’m feeling (more on that below) and progress with some larger projects.
Liquid Audio is closed from 23 December 2023 – 15 January 2024.
Yet again, contrary to my expectations and given my reduced written output, site traffic continued to grow with another best-ever year. So far we’ve never gone backwards. I know it has to happen eventually, but not this year. Here are the final stats for 2023:
2023 saw over 370,000 views from nearly 200,000 visitors, up almost 50,000 views or 15% from 2022. The number of unique visitors was the most interesting stat though, with a 43.7% increase over 2022. There are a lot more people visiting, I just need to write more articles to meet the demand for content!
We also had some serious engagement from readers and nearly 270 comments on articles alone, which is awesome. December ended up being the biggest month in 2023 with 37,112 views, closely followed by July with 36,060. My YouTube channel is also growing, but only slowly, and that’s due to the lack of video uploads this year. A big thank you to all who’ve visited and watched my videos, I added a few music and motorcycle videos to the mix for this year.
The most popular articles and pages on my site include those on the Quad 405, Marantz Model 6300, Mission Cyrus One, Yamaha NS-1000, Technics Sl-23 and Sansui AU-919, Kenwood KD-500/550, plus the Hall of Shame of course. Various FAQs including those on Old CD Players vs New, and Playing CDs in DVD Players, (heaven forbid) have seen huge stats this year also! This reflects the growing resurgence of interest in physical media like CDs. The largest number of viewers is once again from Australia, USA, Great Britain and Canada, in that order.
Growth & Evolution
You may have noticed website changes and I’m always working on things in the background to improve the UI and general user experience. Making the site easy to navigate is a focus, as is building the content and FAQs. The FAQs section has seen big growth with several FAQs being linked in hi-fi forums, as has happened with some of my articles, becoming some of my most viewed content as a result. Thanks to anyone who linked to any of my content, much appreciated.
There’s a growing demand for factual, science and experience-based knowledge rather than opinion in the classic hi-fi community, and thank goodness, it’s been a long time coming. The desire for knowledge drives everything I do at Liquid Audio and the science teacher part of me will always want to educate and help others. It’s a philosophy baked into this website and business.
My advisory service is part of that and has also gained traction. You can think of it as being very much like a visit to the doctor or a counsellor. You come out better than when you went in, hopefully having learned a few things that will improve your system, maybe even pointing in a new and better-informed direction. Judging from the feedback, people certainly appreciate the service.
The only caveat is the time and energy required to run the service means the service needs to pay for itself, like professional services offered by specialists across the board. Most folks have been incredibly supportive of this commonsense understanding, but there will always be a few who aren’t and this is okay. We may lose a few along the way but the customer-base as a whole grows stronger.
Some will know that I’ve been dealing with chronic fatigue syndrome or CFS, on and off since around 2018. I have good days where I’m able to get a lot done, followed by crashes where I can hardly get out of bed. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t incredibly frustrating and perplexing and I estimate it cost me around three months of work time in 2023, significantly impacting my productivity.
I recently (November 2023) sought and received a second diagnosis after having just about every test and scan you can imagine, just to make sure there wasn’t anything else I’d missed. Nothing stops me and this won’t either, but it has slowed me down and for an ex-marathon and regular half-marathon runner, it’s been especially tedious. Here’s to ditching this thing completely, and soon.
Thanks as always to Perth’s best retailers, in particular Dan, Pierre & Jim, Simon & Tony, and Kim at Addicted to Audio, Revolution Turntable, Douglas Hi-fi, and West Coast Hifi Joondalup respectively for their ongoing support and for appreciating that work done well is infinitely more useful than just work done.
Thanks also to my most excellent colleagues, friends and ‘repair brothers’ Jason @ The Speaker Doctor and John @ JW Electronics. These gentlemen do excellent work and care about the details, so please support them too. There are too many people ruining hi-fi equipment we love and I’m on a mission to stop that, in case you haven’t noticed.
I’d like to acknowledge those who’ve donated equipment they no longer want or need. We resurrect vintage hi-fi gear so that others might have an opportunity to enjoy it after a little TLC. Many thanks for supporting this endeavour and thanks to those who’ve purchased any of this equipment.
Lastly, I’d like to acknowledge all my customers and website visitors and welcome the many new readers and subscribers in 2023. That’s probably you reading this right now, so THANK YOU for supporting Liquid Audio. Specialist small businesses need people like you 😊
2023 Equipment Gallery
We’ve arrived at everyone’s favourite section, the 2023 equipment gallery! I worked on a fairly typical array of standard through to end-game equipment in 2023 and this is a snapshot of what I found most interesting. I think you will too. You’ll find the largest number of amplifiers, preamplifiers and tuntables, given that these make up most of what I work on, with a sprinkling of CD players, and cassette decks for your enjoyment.
Amplifiers, Preamplifiers & Receivers
I’ve written a little about each piece, for context and if you don’t find your equipment in the 2023 gallery, my apologies, there is far too much to include all of it and I have no doubt forgotten pieces that deserve mention here. There is so much classic hi-fi goodness in this group that is hard to know where to start, so let’s jump in with the obvious one.
CD Players & DACs
My apologies for the long gallery, but I wanted to show people what we do here at Liquid Audio. You’ll see the massive amount of work undertaken in the workshop this year, and this is far from everything. Liquid Audio is a serious endeavour and I’m trying to ‘extend the envelope’ with an extreme focus on quality and attention to detail. I’m aiming for as close to a 100% success rate as possible, with an additional as close to perfect workmanship as is humanly achievable.
Every single piece I sent back completed was repaired. Nothing was destroyed, nothing blew up or destroyed customer equipment. I didn’t receive any Fair Claims complaints, in contrast to certain other Perth repairers. This is something I’m very proud of, especially given the type of jobs I work on – often tricky, technical work that has been to others previously.
I’m not for a moment saying that I’m some kind of genius who thinks he’s beyond reproach. Far from it. What I can say with certainty though, is that you’re unlikely to find another repairer who cares more about the equipment or the results, or who takes more care than yours truly. That’s my undertaking to you, the customer.
Goals for 2024
- I want to complete a ton of repairs on equipment I own, or co-own with Jason (The Speaker Doctor) and then move those pieces on to new new owners.
- I want to repair my Kenwood L-07D and various other of my equipment.
- I want to write about my recent Accuphase system additions and why they are so important.
- I want to advise others based on my own system improvement experience.
- And, of course, I want to continue to bring you the most interesting articles about vintage hi-fi equipment that you simply cannot find anywhere else.
Don’t forget that 2023 saw the release of M83’s long-awaited masterpiece Fantasy. This album made my year, no question about it, and I share it with you here, for that reason alone. This is, after all, why we listen to music.
Thank you for your patience and if you are still waiting for a job to be completed, rest assured, I’ll finish it as soon as possible. Thank you to everyone who brought equipment to Liquid Audio for inspection/service/repair/overhaul, purchased equipment, engaged me for advice, kindly brought me beer, wine, CDs, and records, and to everyone who simply made the effort to say thanks. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this 🙏
Don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any suggestions for improvement. Likewise, let me know which of these lovely pieces of gear you would most like to read about. Don’t hesitate to get in touch after we re-open if you’d like me to look at any of your hi-fi stereo equipment.
BTW, I’ve discontinued the Xmas emails because I found most recipients didn’t open them. This post serves largely the same functions and saves me a great deal of time.
Have a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and a relaxing holiday.
Here’s to a great 2024!