New Editor at Inner Fidelity/AudioStream; Pro-Ject Buys Musical Fidelity

Written by Bill Leebens

Industry News recently reported the sale of Stereophile and its associated magazines and websites. In the wake of the sale, a number of staffing changes occurred, with the departures of longtime Stereophile Music Editor Robert Baird, AudioStream Editor Michael Lavorgna, and Sound & Vision Editor Rob Sabin most notable. Subsequently, Inner Fidelity Editor Tyll Hertsens announced his retirement.

A brief press-release from new owners AVTech Media announced the appointment of Rafe Arnott to helm both AudioStream and Inner Fidelity, raising numerous questions regarding the direction of both sites:

May 14, 2018


Rafe Arnott (previously Creative Director for Part-Time Audiophile & The Occasional Magazine) appointed to drive the editorial vision for AVTech Media Americas’ iconic websites

“We are very excited about this appointment and the opportunity it presents for the growth of these connected websites. Headphone and computer audio enthusiasts can look forward to in-depth reviews from our regular contributors, supported by world-class test and measurement from industry veterans including ex-AES UK Chairman Keith Howard. We also believe the time has come for specialty audio to realize a broader audience, and Rafe will be driving our engagement with these media savvy consumers through innovative lifestyle features tied to an enhanced social campaign.”
—Paul Miller
Editorial Director AVTech Media Ltd/AVTech Media Americas Inc.
The Hi-Fi Show Live Organiser
President of EISA

“It’s an honour and a privilege to be part of the outstanding group of journalists and support staff at AVTech Media who have decades of experience in delivering what I feel is the most comprehensive, and respected, industry coverage in the world. I look forward to continuing the tradition of excellence inhigh-fidelity journalism that AudioStream and Inner Fidelity have established, and am excited to help hasten the alignment of audiophile with lifestyle.” — Rafe Arnott

Best of luck to Rafe as he enters his new role in the midst of upheaval and contentious reader response.


The biggest story to come out of the recent Munich High End Show was  the acquisition of UK brand Musical Fidelity by Audio Tuning, parent company of Pro-Ject Audio Systems,  as detailed in this not-so-brief press-release:

Audio Tuning Vertriebs GmbH
Audio Tuning Acquires Musical Fidelity

Musical Fidelity is acquired by Heinz Lichtenegger, CEO of Audio Tuning Vertriebs GmbH and founder of Pro-Ject Audio Systems. effective Wednesday 16th May

Pro-Ject: Affordable HiFi

Heinz Lichtenegger has been in the hifi industry for 39 years. He created the Austrian distribution company Audio Tuning and the international global brand Pro-Ject Audio System. Because of his boundless energy, imagination and enthusiasm both are in leading positions in their respective market segments.

Lichtenegger has created a huge sales and marketing success with his long term marketing strategy of making high fidelity audio brands popular. This gave a solid base of a wide
variety of sales channels and vast numbers of loyal customers! Pro-Ject stands for Lichenegger‘s personal philosophy of affordable hifi audio. It achieved fame by bringing back analog record players at a time when almost everybody considered CD and digital to be the only viable media. Lichtenegger bravely swam against the tide and fought for analog and his philosophy. As a result of his persistence and personal power Pro-Ject is a market leader in the global turntable market.

Since the early 2000s, he searched a way to fulfill his philosophy of making electronics affordable without compromising his standards of audio fidelity.

Lichtenegger directed the use of the latest technology and components to facilitate Pro-Ject to offer a full range of electronics including amplifiers, CD players, DACs, phono stages, headphone
amplifiers and streamers in super compact, but beautifully made cabinets. He saw that the cabinets are the most expensive parts of a hifi product. He directed his Pro-Ject engineers and
designers to find ways of lowering the cost without compromising quality. All products are a result of Lichtenegger‘s deeply held philosophy and are designed and built for
long time satisfaction in a simple but elegant and functional form.

Musical Fidelity: Affordable High End

Musical Fidelity was established 36 years ago and has built up an enviable reputation for high quality, design innovation, top-noth technical performance and value for money. These key facts
are remarkably similar to Lichtenegger’s personal audio philosophy.

Musical Fidelity makes fantastic musical sounding products and targets the mid to high end audio customer who expects no compromise performance, but still looks for a great value.

Over the decades, Musical Fidelity has made a wide variety of well received products using every type of technology, from tubes to surface mount Printed Circuit Board technology, to monster
amps, small Class A integrated, CD players, DACs, streamers, and now the Encore.

Musical Fidelity has introduced many completely unique and original circuit design concepts which have been enthusiastically received, and sold very well.

The Musical Fidelity philosophy is to give outstanding value high end. This doesn‘t mean cheap. It means that they strive to give true high end performance (often far better than products costing many times the MF price) at an affordable price. It achieves this by a combination of cutting edge design and technology expertise and unswerving commitment not to waste money on over the top cosmetics and metalwork.

This is almost identical to Lichtenegger’s philosophy. He will continue with the perfection of theMusical Fidelity DNA. Musical Fidelity‘s founder has retired. The company was adamant that its beloved customers should continue to receive back-up and was loking for a suitable partner to carry on their DNA. Lichtenegger‘s brand takeover will ensure the continuation of customer backup and Musical Fidelity‘s design and heritage DNA.

“We are delighted that Heinz Lichtenegger has taken over the Musical Fidelity brand. We have full confidence in the technical and design capabilities of his team and we know that they will continue developing MF‘s design DNA and looking after our long term customers. We have known Heinz for 30 years and have built a deep friendship with him. We are pleased that he has taken over the brand and that we will still continue to have an influence on its direction.“ – Musical Fidelity spokeperson

“As president, owner and CEO of both  Audio Tuning and Pro-Ject Audio Systems, I have known Musical Fidelity for 30 years and have always admired it. I will relish the opportunity of expanding the Musical Fidelity brand and continue developing its design and heritage DNA. I am brimming with ideas for new products and ways of exploiting the brands enviable heritage. I see great potential for the brand giving me even more options continuing my aim to fascinate asmany people as possible for our joy to listen to music at home with a great hifi system.“
– Heinz Lichtenegger


Short stories:

Trouble for Tidal yet again. Scandinavian artist organizations claim that hundreds of millions of plays were faked; reports have appeared that Tidal is months behind paying record labels.

Sonos slims down in anticipation of IPO. The company laid off about 6% of its workforce (96 of 1,500 employees), apparently to enhance financials prior to an initial public offering, which could happen as soon as June.

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