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Chief editor
Steven R. Rochlin

“Enjoy the”



Wojciech Pacuła

Steven R. Rochlin ǀ Wojciech Pacuła

Published: 1. August 2012, No. 99

The first time I met Steven R. Rochlin, the founder, owner (that’s at least what I think) and chief editor of US “Enjoy the” was during High End 2011 show in Munich (see HERE). The decision to have an interview with him came out naturally and was soon arranged over the Internet. After all, both “Enjoy the” and “High Fidelity” are published online…

Before we get to the questions and answers part, let’s have a quick look at what we can find about Steven in his short bio. The full story is available HERE.

“Longtime classically-trained and medal-earning musician and audiophile Steven R. Rochlin launched Enjoy the as a way to easily answer the many questions he was receiving from others online. Since he grew tired of answering the same basic questions from various people during the very early days of the Internet, when at that time information was scarce, he felt having various common questions and answers on a website was the logical action. Since day one to today, Steven R Rochlin is still very active in helping guide the many independent journalists to the goals Enjoy the continues to desire in achieving.

His writings and/or photos have appeared, in one form or another, in the following magazines:
„Car Stereo Review” ǀ “C/NET” ǀ “CompuServe” ǀ “Gadget World” ǀ “Hi-Fi News” ǀ “JAZZIZ” ǀ “JazzTimes” ǀ “Klar Text” ǀ “Musique et Technique” ǀ “” ǀ “Positive Feedback” ǀ “Primyl Vinyl” ǀ “Rolling Stone” ǀ “Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity” ǀ “SoundStage!” ǀ “Stereophile” ǀ “The Audiophile Voice” ǀ “TNT!” ǀ “Ultimate Audio” ǀ “Various Newspapers” ǀ “Western New York Audio Society”.

Steven R. Rochlin is also, or at one time was, a Member of the Consumer Electronics Association's Citizen Action Network (CEA CAN), the Boston Audio Society (BAS), has a Masters Degree from of the Academy Advancing High Performance Audio & Video (AAHPAV), plus an International Auto Sound Challenge Association (IASCA) certified judge. He was also a Member of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (Grammy Award organization). […]
Side projects by Steven R. Rochlin include being a recording engineer and solo artist with a recent release of his reference-quality drum/percussion album available at, earning the Driver's Championship in Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Formula 2000 series, large format camera and mechanical watch enthusiast... plus too much more to mention here.

Such versatile is the man I had pleasure to talk to and ask him about some, hopefully interesting things.

In the “Best audio magazines” series so far we interviewed:

  • Srajan Ebaen, chief editor of “”; interview HERE
  • Michael Fremer, “Stereophile”, senior contributing editor; interview HERE
  • Martin Colloms, “HIFICRITIC”, publisher and editor; interview HERE
  • Ken Kessler, “Hi-Fi News & Record Review”, Senior Contributing Editor; interview HERE
  • Steven Mejias, “Stereophile”, Assistant Editor; interview HERE

Wojciech Pacuła: For a good start, please tell me about American magazines – what’s the situation over there? Do you have a feeling that print magazines hate Web-based online magazines?
SR: Wow, an interesting choice for first questions. Well, print magazines and various Web sites are great at providing equipment reviews, letting everyone know about industry news/information and of course show reports. Obviously an entire print magazine doesn’t hate the Internet, far from it! Sure over the years there have been a few grumblings from some journalists about a Web, and sometimes it is true! As we all know, anyone can start a Web site. In my humble opinion it is up to the reader to decide the quality of the information. This quality holds true for Web, print media, television news, etc. Enjoy the has been a leading site for audiophile information for over 15 years and is the only Web site that is partners with four print magazines including Hi-Fi+, The Absolute Sound, Hi-Fi World and HIFICRITIC.

WP: Let’s talk about yourself and your magazine, e.g. how it all started, etc.
SR: I launched Enjoy the as a way to easily answer the many questions being received from others online during the very early Internet days. Unlike today, many years ago there was very little high-end audio information available online. Growing tired of answering the same basic questions from various people, felt having the common questions and answers on a Web site was the logical action. And so began Enjoy the As for myself, am a longtime classically-trained and medal-earning musician plus very much the proverbial Type A male. Whilst my love of racing reached a plateau by earning the SCCA F2000 Driver's Championship, other loves range from the amazing Hasselblad and Leica cameras to art-meets-science Patek Philippe timepieces. High performance and vintage automobiles, true grand touring through countries plus various clothing designers also interest me. Art, science, literature, technology... call it a constant thirst for knowledge and experience.

WP: What’s different about Enjoy the compared to other US audio magazines?
SR: Excellent question! The Internet has no boundaries, and as such for many years Enjoy the has journalists located around the world.

Our worldwide Internet show coverage began in 1996! So speaking as a world magazine, what makes us unique is our sheer depth of knowledge and experience from our longstanding international staff, the over 130 show reports from around the world (far more than any other site online), thousands of high-end audiophile reviews... Enjoy the is the only Web based site that is also official Internet partners with print magazines Hi-Fi+, The Absolute Sound, HIFICRITIC, Hi-Fi World, plus now-vintage print magazines Sound Practices and VALVE. So yes print and Web can co-exist! Humbly said, and this is to show the deep love and work involved over the years, Enjoy the is a staggering 5,300+ Web pages. So… There simply is not enough space to describe all our very useful and unique information on consumer electronics within this interview.

WP: How do expect ETM to evolve in the future? What’s your plan to attract new readers?
SR: Ok, if you read this far I have something very exciting to tell you. Over the years Enjoy the has given away over $140,000 in prizes. No other magazine has run such large endeavors such as ours. After a five year break, Enjoy the is once again going to give away high-end audio products! Our Facebook and Twitter friends are entered for their chance to receive their share of over $84,850 in prizes!

WP: Tell me something about US market - how it differs from European and Asian markets?
SR: Americans tend to have larger listening rooms than many Asians. In fact I have heard that one very well respected USA speaker manufacturer subtly changes the sound of their product to meet the preferences of Asians. Europeans have their preferences, too, and they like to also focus on PRAT (pace rhythm and timing). Listening preferences combined with room acoustics can dictate what sounds best, and so smaller Asians rooms tend to sound best with normal floorstanding monitors, whereas large Americans rooms generally larger speakers. Of course all generalizations are wrong, as have seen photos of various listening rooms around the world and it appears the average room size is getting large. It is great to see audiophiles around the world realize how important the room and speaker integration is for achieving the best from their high-end audio system.

WP: Do you think that diverse housing conditions all over the world may influence music tastes in various countries?
SR: No, though perhaps their music preference may differ and, as such, that could dictate equipment and tonal preferences.

WP: What’s your own reference system and why?
SR: My current main system is changing, yet the speakers are modified Dunlavy SC-IV Signature as they are incredibly time and phase correct combined with a stable frequency response from 37 Hz to 20kHz (+/-2dB!). The main room is 25" wide by 16" deep, with the system setup on the long wall. Acoustics within the carpeted room is adjustable via heavy drapes and RealTraps devices. My amazing and stunning girlfriend, who lives with me, agreed with me in trying to use a leaf/vine-like plant to cover the wall behind the speakers. It’ll make the room look nicer (yes, WAF per se). Having been seduced by the easy of accessing digital data, the music source is purely digital via many Terabytes of storage on multiple NAS drives. All analog interconnect and speaker cables are by Kimber Kable. As for the DAC and pre/amplifier, they are right now being finalized and of course readers can see my upcoming reviews.

WP: Do you still listen to vinyl?
SR: Sold all my records about two years ago. Am totally NAS and streaming data based.

WP: What do you think about the future of audio?WP: What do you think about the future of audio?
SR: The future of audio will be 32-bit/384kHz and it can be digitally downloaded or streamed. Don’t worry vinylphiles, as the LP will stay around provided the market keeps buying. DSD may also thrive provided there is enough demand whilst the economics of online downloads makes it a far lower cost for music publishers/labels.

WP: So do you see any future for CD?
SR: Yes! They make great decorations for your 80’s retro party! CDs can also be used for making a decorative clock too.

WP: What do you listen to at home, when you just chill out?
SR: My Pandora channels plus various classical music Internet radio stations from France and Italy, dance channels from Russia and this great funk station in Amsterdam. Of course various genre choices on random play and playlists also fill my home with music. It is all mood dependant.

WP: What could online magazines learn from print magazines and vice-versa?
SR: Everything. Nothing. Probably somewhere in the middle. As the saying goes, “The more you know the less you understand.”

WP: Do you think that paper magazines will become extinct in favor of the Internet? Any thoughts?
SR: Nope, not for many years. Humans still enjoy the look and feel and holding their data in wasteful and inefficient paper form. Tablets are getting more and more popular.

WP: Vinyl rebirth – is for real or is it just a hype?
SR: Vinyl rebirth is great! Just because I decided to take a break from vinyl does not mean it is no longer a useful media. Some of the old school DJs still use vinyl, though many are now also computer-based. Music on vinyl is indeed something special and there are times it is missed. To be frank, no one seems to dare measure vinyl at the formulation level. Thus deduct from the atomic and substance ‘resolution’ level as it pertains to the groove the exact ‘sampling’ rate of vinyl. Put simply, how much actual signal is there within a vinyl groove at a given speed? We all know the resolution greatly diminishes as the needle gets closer to the center label due to less vinyl passing under the needle. Which, for me, seemed stupid as with many classical recordings just as near the end of a piece you have this big musical buildup is also the same time when the worst performance from that vinyl record is achieved. This is a fact.

WP: Ten albums you can recommend to “High Fidelity” readers?
SR: Well… 10 best albums… Too many choices. I can only suggest to find the kind of music that sparks our best memories and get the best possible edition of each particular album.