Fellow Head-fiers, it is my supreme pleasure to announce the forthcoming premiere issue of the Head-fi Quarterly!
Below is a mock-up of the first issue designed by our very own Jude Mansilla – owner and chief administrator of Head-fi.org.
The Who, What, When, Where, Why and How.
Which question should I address first? Perhaps the What makes most sense.
As the name implies, the HFQ will be a quarterly publication focused on all things headphones with a particular emphasis on Head-fi-related news and events. It will encompass interviews with prominent people from manufacturers, to musicians, other writers/editors in audiophilia as well as interviews of interesting members who have an exciting story to tell.
Along with these interviews we will enjoy a column by our very own head Head-fier, writing about whatever he feels like I guess since he’s the bossman! There will also be a Letter from the Editor section (that’s my part) as well as a Letters to the Editor section (try to be nice!). The LftE section will comprise updates regarding the HFQ as well as some of my musings about the hobby or headphones in general. Basically, it will be a column for me to hone my word smithing.
What type of quarterly would this be if it didn’t address why we are all here? That means gear right? For some of us it is the music and certainly we will have reviews of choice recordings but no doubt we all want to sit back and enjoy excellent previews and reviews of exciting new products. The HFQ will have an abundance of these types of articles! Finally, we will also have a section spotlighting the membership at large, detailing quirky themes running through the site between issues or reminiscing about fun topics from years gone by.
Other possible sections will be recommended gear and system configurations which will take the place of the "holiday gift guide" when out of season, along with perhaps a question and answer section not unlike what UHF offers their readers.
The idea is that this publication is meant as a bonus read for the membership here while also providing a condensed and informative overview of what is hot in the world of headphones for those members or lurkers who simply don’t have the time or inclination to join in on the hyper fun of the forums. The HFQ does not in any way replace the information found on the site but rather is a quick and easy means of familiarizing oneself with the hobby, taking something printable and offering this to the members. Why bother with this? Why not? is as good an answer as any but for me personally it is because I want to. A bit of history then.
A year or so ago I started thinking about the idea of releasing a printable publication, not unlike other online-only audiophile magazines. I wasn’t so ambitious to think I could match the finesse of something like Tone, but I did think I could put together something that would be entertaining and that one could easily print and take offline to read at one’s leisure. My father (a bird expert) publishes a small newsletter four times a year about - you guessed it - birds! Not just any birds, but Ontario birds in particular. His efforts are for an entirely offline edition and that means subscriptions, finances, headaches and very hard deadlines. I thought that I could do something very similar but for headphones and keep it online, releasing a PDF a handful of times a year. It would be an excellent outlet for my creative needs and it would address all my desires to produce something that people could read on their own time, wherever, whenever, and it would be about headphones. Speakers? Video gear? Perhaps the odd time, but 99.9999% of the time the content would be headphones directly or at least associated with the hobby. I had no desire to do this outside of Head-fi and so I contacted Jude and asked him if he would give me permission to follow through with this. Essentially I wanted the pope’s blessing. I offered to host it but I really wanted it to be available right from the site and have a clear title indicating Head-fi. To my delight, Jude had been thinking along the same lines, or at least similar lines. He foresaw an annual to bi-annual holiday catalogue of exciting gear with short write-ups detailing the products. We pooled our great minds together and came up with the Head-fi Quarterly. Our combined passion for the hobby and our desire to see the hobby grow is the driving force behind this effort. I offered to take care of the heavy lifting in editing and organizing and Jude had his eyes set on logistics and design. Together we hope to provide something fun and unique for this holiday season. So I guess that leads into the When!
The first issue should be released early December, though I am hoping for around the US Thanksgiving. We have been both very busy both at work and at home and so instead of starting this a bit earlier it had to be postponed until now. However; we are both dedicated to this project and want to see it succeed with a very strong and positive first issue. Then, four times a year, we will release an additional issue.
The HFQ will be available directly from Head-fi. Where exactly will the links be located? I'm not certain of that (Jude's the logistics man) but there will likely be a dedicated thread for the publication along with some prominent announcement and link for each issue somewhere on the main page.
As I've already mentioned, Jude and I will be the main driving forces behind this but we need your help! This is a publication for the members and as part of that I suggested that we spotlight some reviewing talents of members who would like to share their experiences in a more formal way. There are already quite a few members who contribute heavily in this way and by tightening up the writing and reviewing some new and exciting gear (or heck, even some older well regarded kit) I think that they as well as those talented but wet behind the ears folks will lend smashingly well to a wonderful reading experience.
Beyond formal reviews, some memes and themes will be included along with fun pictures from the awesome meets our members put on. We will need your help in keeping us abreast of the memes and themes (hey, maybe we could actually have a section entitled memes and themes ) as well as submitting photos and short write-ups regarding the meets that occurred between issues.
Requests and suggestions, criticisms both positive and negative will also be welcomed by the readers.
Beyond setting deadlines, being goal driven and getting the writing and editing done, my job will also involve staying on top of those selected for a review. The idea is that requests will go out for each issue and a deadline will be set to submit. The write-ups will be reviewed and a few will be selected for that issue. An editing process will then take place going back forth until it is just right. Those reviews that were not selected will stay in the pile for the following issue though the writers will be welcomed to revisit their write-up and resubmit. Jude and I will take care of the rest and try hard to stay on target for 4 issues a year. For now, the goal is late November/early December for the first issue.
This is a volunteer effort and the publication will be entirely free. The acquisition of gear is the sole responsibility of the reviewer and in no way is Head-fi directly responsible for it or the reviewer should something catastrophic go wrong. In plain English, you figure out how to get the gear to review, be it your own purchase or a loan from someone or some company. If the gear blows up, or you do because of misuse or malfunction, as sad and horrible as that all may be, Head-fi is not responsible.
With that said, it is mid-October and I have to get cracking madly for this first issue, so I would request those that are interested in submitting a review, be it an amp, headphones or music then please submit your reviews to firstname.lastname@example.org
The length can be variable for now as we work out the kinks of the first issue. Because it is online, length can be quite variable without much trouble, though an overly short review would be more suitable for music vs. gear. In fact, if there isn't substantial substance to the review, it will get turned down, or sent back for a rewrite. If one is able to provide pictures all the better! I think it would be a good idea to focus on new gear for this issue, by new of course anything recently released like the Sennheiser HD 800's, Grado PS-1000's etc., would be welcome (though the 800 and PS1000s are covered for this issue).
Thank you kindly and wish us luck!
Jason (Editor in Chief)