Tone Audio is a new(ish) free PDF e-zine focusing on the high end hi-fi and tweaks. I discovered them yesterday while scrolling through Modwright's link list. So far they have five issues full of hi-fi equipment and music reviews.
Tone Audio's layout is similar to Hi-Fi+—clean white pages with a good balance of white space and content, full page and silhouetted glamor shots of equipment and clean san-serif type for easy on-screen reading.
The editors of Tone want to inject the hi-fi industry with a good dose of fun. Regular features include "The Budget System" (an inexpensive component that plays well with systems above its class), "Old School" (usually a revived amp or loudspeaker from a bygone era), "Headphone Planet" (detailed headphone reviews and comparisons) and "Slummin'" (a peak at all the junk (Sonny and Cher records) and gems (old McIntosh tuner) the editors found on ebay and at their local dealers and garage sales). The latest issue even covers my favorite video game, Guitar Hero.
Their reviews cover a broad range of equipment for two channel audio. They support the more obscure corners of the industry tending toward tweaks and mods. Issue 5 featured both a review of the Modwright modded Sony 9100ES SACD player and a "Short Take" on Audience's Auricaps, for instance.
Advertisements dominate each second page of a review or feature, taking up three quarters of the page. The large ads are sometimes glamour shots of equipment that can be mistaken for the the product being reviewed. It takes a little getting used to—the ads can break the the flow of the content which is pushed into a narrow column. The majority of the ads are relevant to the content, dealers and manufacturers. One ad for a jewelry shop bugs me, though. Why would a tweaky audiophile be shopping for an engagement ring?
Tone Audio is a great addition to the hi-fi review online and print community. Go check them out and tell me if you agree.