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MP3's, iPod, iTunes etc. may eventually lead to further casualties beyond Atma-Sphere

Perhaps, a generalization, but I think changing demographics are a real concern. I see the music industry is heading increasingly towards portability and downloading, etc., with iTunes and iPod being the prefered legal method of buying and listening to contemporary music for many music lovers younger than me ... in fact, I remember reading a recent article by John Mayer suggesting that recording producers and engineers are increasingly mixing/engineering new music specifically for the iPod world, often on laptops etc ... (the hell with how it will sound on an OTL with SOTA speakers etc.)

... therefore, I suspect we may see more small boutique or cottage industries that are producing tube amps go the way of Atma-sphere, as they will find it difficult to survive without the deep pockets of a larger investor as the number of critical audio listeners falls. Even, the HK/ML situation suggests that deep pockets is no guarantee in this audio environment.

Bottom line, for people like me about to invest in high-end tube equipment, we are at some risk in deciding which small company to invest 10 - 20K for a new amplifier. One has no guarantee the company or designer will be around to honor the warranty over the next number of years. caveat emptor ... at least I always have my iPod if my new tube amp dies and the company goes the way of the dodo.

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