I have just received this sad news from the editor and publisher of HiFi World, Noel Keywood
The release says…
“Published since 1991, I regret to tell you that after 32 years Hi-Fi World magazine must now cease publication, since the company producing it – Audio Web Publishing Ltd – has became financially unviable due to loss of bookstand sales in the High Street, at railway stations and airports around the world during the Covid Pandemic. Until 2019 Audio Web Publishing Ltd was trading profitably, but has currently ceased to do so.
“As director I am obliged to liquidate the company and have appointed KSA Group Ltd (licensed insolvency practitioners) to assist and place the company into a creditors voluntary liquidation in order to protect creditors interests.
“All creditors of the company will receive, by post, from KSA Group Ltd, details of a forthcoming creditors meeting and how to make a claim in the liquidation for any financial loss you may have, or are likely to incur.
“I offer heartfelt thanks to all the readers who have supported us for so long. It was the work of my lifetime and very enjoyable too. Thank you all so much. Noel Keywood, publisher.”
As many of you will know, I was a contributor to the magazine. In fact, the longest serving contributor until very recently. I’ll be sad to see it go. It was an odd, quirky little magazine which offered a voice, all its own. It scooted off in its own direction. It never felt corporate. If anything, it was the closest HiFi news-stand magazine I know to a hobbyist publication.
And that’s why I liked it. That’s why I was attracted to writing for the thing, all those years ago.
And end of an era.
Dermot12th September 2022 at 3:15 pm
That’s desperately sad but unfortunately inevitable in these crazy times. God I don’t know what to say as it was so much a very important part of my life for all of those 32 years. In fact I still have that very first publication with the free Mary Black CD on the cover up in a special place in the attic. Your contributions Paul were the bits I absolutely looked forward to. Anyway I’d better stop here before I start on a tearful nostalgic crusade. Oh and congratulations on your long tenure too. You summed it pretty well – “If anything, it was the closest HiFi news-stand magazine I know to a hobbyist publication.” Bye bye Noel and the boys and thank you so, so much for making our lives that little bit more worthwhile.
ScotCan13th September 2022 at 12:48 pm
I no longer have the first issue of the magazine, but I do have the Mary Black CD. Very sad but seemingly inevitable.
Dominic Stockford13th October 2022 at 4:20 pm
Sad indeed. By far my favourite hi-fi magazine. It covered items I could afford, and produced the most fantastic articles on all sorts of topics. I especially enjoyed the ‘fixing old stuff’ articles, even though I don’t have the ability to do it myself!
Mike Rubin12th September 2022 at 3:23 pm
When the editor of a commercial publication begins his piece with a dangling participle, that’s a tell.
Mohsin12th September 2022 at 3:42 pm
Very sad news, it was an excellent magazine.
Mike Goulette12th September 2022 at 3:51 pm
Hi Paul. Very sad to see it go. I was an avid subscriber during it’s DIY era and still have my WAD KAT6550 amp that I built from the design published in the magazine in the early 2000s. Covid has belatedly claimed another victim.
Best wishes, Mike
Barry Austen4th October 2022 at 7:37 pm
So sad to see you go Love your magazine
Paul Rigby5th October 2022 at 10:01 am
I’m still here, Barry! 🙂 I know what you mean, though – thanks.
John Norris12th September 2022 at 3:52 pm
This is sad to read but perhaps not wholly surprising in the climate where magazine sales do seem in decline with the proliferation of website blogs and YouTube reviewers. As a graphic designer I feel for those who produced it and the printers who printed it. More work lost in design for print. Perhaps someone else will take it on and produce a digital version? You know more about this and the sector than I do, Paul. For me, its design did feel a bit dated but that’s no criticism of the writing.
Ian Barber12th September 2022 at 4:20 pm
Another sad day, indeed. I used to buy it every month without fail.
Trevor12th September 2022 at 4:46 pm
That’s sad. Though I was not a regular purchaser, I did buy occasionally when travelling through airports. In fact Noel once answered a question in relation to my valve amp that he had given a glowing (pun intended) review to. I hope the contributors can go on to write for other publications, as their knowledge and advice (alongside your own) is much valued.
Jacques12th September 2022 at 5:10 pm
As you say, this is very sad. I was a subscriber from 1991 up to 2022.
I think I’ve read all your columns, and that’s a lot of reading over almost 30 years.
The end of an era indeed.
William Hawkins12th September 2022 at 5:32 pm
Sad indeed. I was a subscriber and enjoyed its independent take on things. Your contributions were always valued by me, Paul. Best wishes to Noel for the future, and thanks, too.
Tom12th September 2022 at 10:21 pm
Worldwide FM announcing closure and now this on the same day. What a shame.
Andy Rawlins13th September 2022 at 4:57 pm
Rats. I’ve been a subscriber for some years (only recently renewed my subscription) and, as Paul says, its quirky and a bit different. What Hi Fi just doesn’t cut it for me as a regular read I’m afraid.
Paul Rigby13th September 2022 at 5:29 pm
I’ll do my best to keep the quirk-flag flying, Andy.
IAN DAVIES14th September 2022 at 12:04 pm
Did you renew through Webscribe?
Matthew Taylor13th September 2022 at 7:51 pm
Buyers appear to go online to read free utube reviews and prefer often to purchase from outlets like China Hi fi. Ali express also. This will save the consumer a fortune. This has contributed to Mr keywoodsdemisw.
IAN DAVIES14th September 2022 at 12:03 pm
This is very sad news indeed, as a subscriber – wonder when I will be notified, possibly never? I had a couple of letters published, one about my Castle Avons – still going strong – and another about room acoustics, which as letter of the month won me a pair of AE 100 Mk2s. Always enjoyed the reviews and the comments sections and generally keeping up with developments, new kit, etc., and being a vinyl man, this publication had always been a strong advocate, whilst embracing streaming, etc., so for me it covered all bases. One assumes the September issue was the last?
Paul Rigby14th September 2022 at 2:34 pm
No idea on the subs thing Ian, I’m afraid. As I’ve said elsewhere, I wasn’t even with the mag at the end. I left weeks before. So I’m thoroughly yet sadly divorced from the company and its remains, as it where. Yes, September was the last issue.
IAN DAVIES14th September 2022 at 3:27 pm
Added pressure on The Audiophile Man to fill the void! If you are in contact with Noel, please pass on my regards and thanks.
Keith Gooden15th September 2022 at 8:28 am
The best “read” for hifi enthusiasts. Always a pleasure to see it drop onto the doormat. Have been a fan since 1991 with you, Noel, Dominic and all the team. Thank you.
John18th September 2022 at 11:39 pm
HIFI WORLD WAS AN ICON OF THE HIFI ENTHUSIAST WHO HAD LOST FAITH IN MAINSTREAM PUBLICATIONS. NOT AS GREAT AS HIFI ANSWERS BUT DEFINITELY ONE OF THE VERY BEST PUBLICATIONS.
Paul Rigby19th September 2022 at 12:48 pm
Where’s my ear muffs? 🙂
Wayne james19th September 2022 at 9:35 pm
Top magazine.Got me up the ladder.separates H!F! ladder that is will have to have a wake to mourn the loss.
Wayne james19th September 2022 at 9:48 pm
Forgot to say many thanks to Noel keywood & Dominic baker.👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍.. it’s a ten from Len.
Paul Rigby20th September 2022 at 9:20 am
Mark Rattray26th September 2022 at 11:01 am
Oh no…….. what a terrible event to learn. i have been wondering recently if there was an issue as my monthlt Hi Fi World magazine has not arrived and looking at varios magazine shops ( WH Smiths) etc had no stock of the October 2022 copies. My fear confirmed as i have just recieved confirmation notice letter in the post this morning.
I have many (100s) of your magazines saved and will keep as future reference reads and for nostalgia . I have also all of your additional supplements from the early 1990s saved too which will also be retained. i have enjoyed building your World Audio designs Pre and 5881 power amplifiers and purchasing the speciaised components ( PIO Capacitors) etc.
May i wish all HI – Fi World staff the very best in the future
Paul Rigby26th September 2022 at 12:33 pm
John Walsh28th September 2022 at 7:42 am
This is terrible news I have subscribed to world for decades eve having a small part to play in introducing the oppo bd 95 and it’s incredibly Ess sound quality to Noel back in 2012 I hope Noel and the staff can either start up another publication or contribute to another mag as when I find out which mag that is I’m sure we will move over to that in droves so sorry and a bit angry at our useless globalist government for having caused this utter devastation ! John r Walsh
Simon Meneely28th September 2022 at 7:50 pm
Hi Fi World was indeed quirky, but also not afraid to go out on a limb. Think back to how it reviewed the virtues of valve amplifiers, and then direct drive drive turntables when the UK Hi Fi Press UK was still obsessively tied to Linn Sondeks and Naim Amplifiers. They provided a much needed context (while still giving due regard to the excellence of those manufacturers). I did despair sometimes when it came to their own personal quirks, and wrote to them about it … always published though, so they were not above criticism regarding their quirks!
I also have that Mary Black CD, and I am pretty sure the original in my box of copies in the attic.
It is a shame they could not manage the web and web site side of things. I am sure that this is a factor in their demise.
The limb they went out on, and were prepared to go out on, is lost for now I fear. Even the mighty Audiophile Man cannot replace that … mainstream vs quirky, I’ll take quirky.
Lugagne Michel29th September 2022 at 10:34 am
I live in France and I discovered HFW in. an airport in the south of North America it was in 1991. When I returned to France I subscribed to the magazine and I was reading it since even if during the last years the content was not so enjoyable certainly due to the economic recession, the brexit and the introduction of awful streamers test. I would like to produce a real hi-fi mag myself focusing on real supports , cd vinyls tapes and so on. The vintage section would be large of course with history of iconic brands and articles on music of course.
Certainly we will adapt the publication to the few enthusiasts remaining, I mean not a monthly magazine but a regular issue every two or three months. Only on paper.
I wait PR or other people inclined to share their knowledge and their capacity to analyze a product to join me.
Write if you care to :[email protected]
Reg Charlery29th September 2022 at 1:20 pm
A sad day bought the magazine from the start still using kls1 loudspeakers,diy supplements computer audio no other magazine was doing this. Reg
Dag Ove Jørgenvåg29th September 2022 at 2:32 pm
A sad letter dropped into my Mail box today. I have been a subscriber from Norway since The year 2010. Evert month I have read the magazine lefted om my doormath. I hope you some day may come back. Best wishes from subscriber in Normay
Grant Harris1st October 2022 at 6:08 pm
Was my favourite Hi-Fi mag, especially reading up on all the old world bits of kit. I was wondering why I couldn’t get my monthly fix in Smiths.
Best of luck to you all for the future, will be missed
Paul Rigby3rd October 2022 at 11:37 am
JOHN WITT8th October 2022 at 10:01 am
Sorry to hear of Hi-Fi World’s demise. I always bought the January edition which included the yearly Hi-Fi Awards, and now I’m going to be left wondering what the best picks of 2022 were.
Paul Hutchins13th October 2022 at 5:40 pm
Hi sad to hear of closing the mag. I won a Ming Da amp 4 years ago still going strong. Will miss it every month.
hanshopf15th October 2022 at 10:10 am
Very sorry to hear that. But frankly not completely unexpected. I used to buy some magazines in digital format to read reviews of cartridges, tonearms and turntables because they came with expertise as well as with measurements. But basically 90% of each magazine was of no interest for me (in the time I had an abonnement). You get much reviews of many things nowadays online, for example for headphones. And I simply cannot stand obvious bias, for example when only recently a review glowed about a very expensive CD-drive by Pro-ject, basically putting the sense of it not at all into question. A CD-drive?! Bit perfect are all of them I guess. If there is a difference, subjective or measured, make it a topic. But just reiterating the marketing blabla, who needs that? Same applies to Hifi News, one of the best aside Hi-Fi World, but pointless and useless to 90% of content as well. I don‘t understand why different times did not lead to different editorial approaches. I am sure there is a market for valuable reviews. And people tend to pay for real value. Nevertheless I feel sorry!
Trevor Rea15th October 2022 at 3:59 pm
Wow Paul that’s a nice prize. Certainly trumps my Jays headphones and mains lead.
Kevin Earley24th October 2022 at 5:38 pm
I thought I was just unlucky and had missed the copies in Smiths
Was somewhat annoyed when searching for Hi FI World to see three copies of a publication called Hungarian Conservative!! No wonder I thought there is no space for hi-fi mags
Nothing against Hungarians or Conservatives per say (apart from who they vote for) but really can that be worth stocking , even in Durham city centre? The world is mad who would read about caravans when you can look at hi-fi never mind look at Hungarian Conservatives. Hope Noel and crew resurface somewhere!
John F Dowle25th October 2022 at 1:43 pm
It’s a shame that HiFi World has come to the end of the road. I have been supporting this magazine for many, many years and am very sad it has come to an end. I really enjoyed the vintage features and articles by the reviewers.
Unlike HiFi News, most of the audio equipment reviewed was in a price range (A lot of the time) that mortals like me, could either save or afford to purchase. The reviews were always interesting and written by enthusiast, who have a passion, like the readers who supported this great monthly bundle of HiFi joy.
I would like to extend my thanks to Mr. N .Keywood and all the gang at HiFi world for many years of enjoyment.
Fingers crossed, you all return in some HiFi shape or form.
Paul Rigby25th October 2022 at 2:11 pm
Many thanks, John.
Phil Picot2nd December 2022 at 12:33 am
I am saddened and disheartened to hear this.
I was an avid fan and subscriber to Hi-Fi world back in the early ’90’s all the way to the mid 2000’s.
I was put on to the publication by an audio engineer and HiFi store associate when explaining how annoyed I was by other publications, either for their lack of content and pages mostly devoted to advertising and blatant pandering to their favorite brand names and overly subjective reviews with vague metaphorical narratives among other things. You get my drift.
Hi-Fi World was and remained fresh and honest, A good mix of subjective and objective reviewing and testing and a genuine delight for the more hobbyist orientated music lover and gear head.
As life and other interests and priorities took precedence and I stopped buying the publication.
Regrettably, I sold all of my Hi-Fi world magazines when I moved house. Something I regret, looking back.
I did however keep a small remnant of the Kit speaker and amplifier pull out articles that I have to this day, and I did drop by every so often on their website to keep tabs on reviews and other articles.
I wish Noel Keywood and Hi-Fi World crew all the best moving forward. I will never forget how influential and entertaining this little British publication was for me.
Paul Rigby2nd December 2022 at 9:41 am
Many thanks for your thoughts, Phil. Much appreciated.
Peter Sherwood3rd December 2022 at 6:41 pm
Really sad to see the end of HiFi World. Had a very unique signature in the world consumer journalism. Honest and objective plus a hint of personal spin regarding “holy cows” . Great read well written without the superlative soup with sly hints of wry humour. Sincerely hope some form of resurrection may happen.
Paul Moon5th January 2023 at 10:00 pm
That’s a shock. I am saddened by their demise. I’ve just finished rebuilding a pair of Mullard 5-20s as per the first supplement found in the the Tonbridge audio jumble. Just loved the fact that they extolled the virtues of olde and current kit. But most of all my introduction to the glow of a valve. Sally missed.