6Moons.com vs. Stereo Times

I was looking for RMAF 2012 reviews today and my search led me to the Synergistic Research site. I noticed their Home Page announcement that "6 Moons.com just reviewed our Tranquility Base." When I clicked to read more I found that the review in question is of Ed Meitner's EMM Labs XDS1 SE SACD Player with the Tranquility Base being used in the context of the EMM product. Let's have a look at how 6Moons.com reviews this audio equipment.

On the first page of the review there are two page-wide views of the Tranquility Base but there is only a single brief paraqraph about the Tranquility Base, highlighted by this statement, "The Meitner was tested in tandem with an anti-vibration/noise-reduction platform." The reviewer then defers to a lengthy explanation from Synergistic Research on page two of the review, accompanied by one more page-wide view of the Tranquility Base. So far, the only "review" here consists of quotes from Synergistic Research literature and prominent photos of the Tranquility Base. I used to be in the advertising business. So far, this looks more like advertising to me than a review.

But wait. On page 3 of the review the comments about the Tranquility Base finally appear. But, as is typical of many 6Moons.com reviews, where twists and turns and tangents abound, couched in florid prose and convoluted phrasing, the review introduces a third product to compare with the Tranquility Base. This third product is a Japanese platform called the RAF-48. At this point things become muddied:

"The Meitner atop the RAF-48 platform was more austere. It was perfectly audible that the Synergistic created a golden glow which clarified but also saturated the top end. This lacked with the AR. Meanwhile the bass seemed better articulated and differentiated with the Japanese platform. The difference was not significant but repeatable and audible with each record ..."

Until we arrive at the very end of the review where we read, "This platform [the Tranquility Base] is manufactured with unique attention to detail. It is not very high and its outer edges are trimmed out with aluminum banding ...", along with more information taken from the Synergistic Research site about the physical features of the Tranquility Base.

The most important thing that the review had to say about the Tranquility Base was found on page 3 of the review smothered by the accompanying prose:

"The Synergistic Research Tranquility Base is a very interesting product. It clearly influences the sound in a good way. It is prohibitively expensive but worthy at least a listen just to be aware of what’s possible. I think it will be very versatile and improve the sound for any type of component sitting atop it."

In other words, the Tranquility Base does something good but it is way overpriced for what it does. On 6Moons.com you often have to wade through the mire to get to the point. What took them so long to get to the point?

This review confirms why I am not a fan of 6Moons.com reviews. In my opinion, their reviews are characterized by florid prose that is ostentatiously literary. And their convoluted comments are pockmarked by comparisons, digressions and tangents that twist and turn, ending by often obscuring more than they reveal.

In comparison, I find Stereo Times' reviews a breath of fresh air. 6Moons.com reviews make me feel like I am trying to unravel a puzzle wrapped in a mystery couched in an enigma. How do you feel about 6Moons.com and Stereo Times?
I stopped reading 6moons a couple of years ago. I have long suspected a quid pro quo arrangement between advertisers, merchants and 6moons which casts doubts, for me at least, on the value of the reviews.

Examples, from my POV at least, abound, but it was capped by a review of an expensive tube pre-amp. The reviewer gave it, sort of, very high praise capped off by 'I bought it' conclusion to justify his praise. Well it was his first tubed pre-amp! His point of comparison/reference was SS which made it IMHO valueless. I was interested in the design but never bought it because no one else ever seconded his opinion and/or I can't get a pre-purchase demo. Neat looking thingie though! :-)

BTW it was common to find praise on 6moons for components sold by the dealer of this unit. He is also an advertiser on the site. Go figure.
I really enjoy the 6 Moons reviews and don`t find them difficult or confusing to read. They do have their own style no question, use of metaphors and examples abound,no problem for me. I appreciate their consistent willingness to directly compare components(a number of reviewers shy away from this).I consider them honest and open,they don`t seem to be influenced by advertisers IMO. As always horses for courses, they won`t please everyone.
I agree, 6 moons makes my highly tuned BS detector go off a lot.
I agree with your assessment here. There appears to be a very cozy thing between 6Moons.com and manufacturers.

With all due respect, if you compare the way Stereo Times writes their reviews and the way that 6Moons.com writes their reviews there is a world of difference as regards directness and clarity. IMO.
6Moons is unreadable, IMHO.
"But, as is typical of many 6Moons.com reviews, where twists and turns and tangents abound,"
Ain't it the truth!

6moons is kinda like a lot of journalism these days, part entertainment, part factual/news.

As such it can be entertaining enough if you want to spend time wandering aimlessly along with random thoughts talking about audio stuff as is the case with many reviews there.

The opposite of "just stick to the relevant facts and get to the point".

I have read some nicely done reviews on 6moons, but recently a lot of it comes across I hate to say as mere diarrhea of the mouth towards the topic at hand. I seldom am interested enough to make it through an entire meandering "review".

Some writing lessons would be in order for many but not all of the reviewers there.

So I like the fact that it exists as a form of nerdy audiophile entertainment, but its kinda the audio equivalent of reality TV to me, sometimes entertaining, but often drawn out and a waste of time in the end. I do like that they do tend to try to think and look out of the box quite often compared to other sources, but that is often not enough for me to add any value.

I have not read enough Stereo Times to form an opinion there yet but I'll go out on a limb and say the quality control there at least might be better.

BTW the late John Potis did reviews for several sources in his day and was an excellent reviewer and writer IMHO. [url=http://6moons.com/audioreviews/walsh/micro.html]Here[/url] is one of his offerings on 6moons a few years back that hit the mark. If you want to cut to the chase with 6moons, their yearly Blue Moon Awards generally have some merit I would say.
I agree somewhat seems like they try and find the most complicated way they can give their opinion especially the head honcho. I find it quite irritating that they don't even list what type of gear is being reviewed. You can't always tell at a glance if it's a preamp or DAC for example. There are some music reviewers who are the same way, they will go on and on about another artist in relation to the review and barely touch on the music being reviewed.
I agree with Mapman's comments about John Potis. His leaving the site was a loss but his subsequent passing was a huge loss. Interestingly he was at least one of their reviewers who was unafraid of the effects of negative reviews even when they were the products of advertisers. I always wondered why he left. Hummmm......anybody know what ws behind that?
I was very sad to learn of John Potis' passing a couple years back and even sadder to learn afterwards that we were practically neighbors and I never had a chance to meet him, though he responded to a few email inquiries I had about amps for OHMs back when I was in major upgrade mode. I found out afterwards that he lived only a couple miles down the street from me. I would have loved to have some chats with him and I suspect he had an awesome stereo to listen to as well to boot. HE was perhaps the biggest contributor to my decision making process during major upgrade mode. I ended up with at least two major products he reviewed, the latest OHM Walshes and the Bel Canto CLass D amps to drive them.
WOw, I actually still had the email response from John Potis to my inquiry. I'd like to share it. I don't think he would have minded.

BTW I tried a Musical FIdelity A3CR amp first after this and that was pretty good but I then decided to splurge and move on to the Bel Cantos.

-----Original Message-----
From: John Potis [mailto:john.potis@comcast.net]
Sent: Thu 11/29/2007 8:02 PM
To: mapman
Subject: Do it Do it Do it Do it Do it

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Do it Do it Do it Do it Do it Do it Do it Do it Do it Do it Do it Do it Do
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Do it Do it Do it Do it Do it Do it Do it Do it Do it Do it Do it Do it Do
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Hi mapman,

Uhm, my initial thoughts are that, uh, you should do it. Do something. :-)

Of course, I would never suggest that you buy before you try, but I think
you could do better with the Ohms than the Carver. Carver amps are long on
watts and they'll play loud enough, but they don't have the current to
really *drive* a speaker; to take the bull by the horns. And Ohms love
current. My father-in-law has the 300s in a large open-architecture home
and it's a great testing ground for large amps. I've got the 1000 watt
Bryston amplifiers here and I can't wait to take them over there to put on
the Ohms. I wrote a piece when I was at Soundstage called "My
father-in-law's system" where I brought over a pair of Blue Circle BC8s that
awoke the 300s as never before.

However, I'm not sure that the little 150 watt monos have the current to
really drive the speakers. If you can try them locally, you can always try.
If you can find some Musical Fidelity stuff locally I'd love to hear the A5
power amp on them. I love my A5 integrated amp and the A5 power amp has
even more current.

If you promise not to tell anybody, I'll admit that I owned that 205 watt
Carver Cube amp... I can't even remember the model. It wasn't a lot of money
but it wasn't much of an amp either. I spent a couple weeks with your amp
some years ago and I thought it was OK, though nothing special. Of course,
special will cost a lot of money. If I recall, yours was modeled after the
old CJ Premier 5 monos. Some time after the Carver Challenge I recall
reading that Stereophile tried an off-the-shelf amp and found that it didn't
sound anything like the CJ.

I haven't heard the Series III drivers. But the Series II drivers aren't the
most transparent or the most highly detailed. I wouldn't suggest buying an
extremely expensive amp for them, but I think that a good high-current amp
will bring the best out of them.

If you can compare the series II and series III speakers for me, I'd
appreciate it. I'm considering turning my Ohms over the Bill Legall at
Millersound and seeing what he can do with them. They're wonderful speakers,
don't get me wrong. It's just that they don't stand up to some of the
speakers I have around hear which cost 2 to 4 times as much. So I'm curious
as to what can be done with them.

Anyway, yeah, I think you should try some amps out. As it happens my
father-in-law has my Bel Canto Ref 1000s right now. I haven't been over
there but he says it beats the heck out of his old Adcom GFA555, which I
think was in par with the Carver, if not better. (It's the amp I replaced my
Carver with.)



----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2007 6:05 PM
Subject: ICEPower for Ohms? Your thoughts would be much appreciated

Hi John,

I've read some of your reviews on sixmoons and thought you might be able
to offer me some insight.

I'm running a pair of Ohm f-5 series 3 speakers (Walsh 5 Series 3
drivers on refurbished Ohm F cabinets) I acquired from John at Ohm this
year with a Carver c-6 pre-amp and a Carver m4.0t amp that I've run,
well satisfied with, for almost 20 years now.

The Carver m4.0t is the SS model designed with the tube-like transfer
function based on a reference Conrad Johnson amp, as I understand it.
Very smooth and liquid, very tube-like with lots of power for the power
hungry Ohms...no problem. Sounds very good and natural to my ears. I
used the Carver setup with Maggie 1.3c's for years to good effect as
well prior to the Ohms.

The new ICEPower AMP design that is used in the Bel Cantos and several
other lines currently intrigues me. The description's + reviews I've
read of the sound + the documented high damping factor spec for the Bel
Cantos in particular sound like a natural match at reasonable cost,
perhaps worth trying.

In that you are familiar with both the Ohm Walsh line and the Bel
Cantos, I was wondering what your thoughts are on this combo.

Would 100-150W of ICEPower be sufficient with the Ohms in a medium to
large room (~27'X20', L shaped).

If you are familiar with the Carver equipment and could add anything
specific relating to how the amp switch might work and sound, that
would be icing on the cake for me.

Thank you for you time and consideration.

You can see my system including the Carvers and the Ohms (actually 3
separate pairs of Ohms that I own including the f-5s), "Ohm Sweet Ohm",
outlined on audiogon if you like.
The only thing I like 6moons reviews for are to see detaailed pictures of the equipment that they review. Other than that, I find their reviews to be overly boring, never to the point and full of BS.
I dont believe reviews anymore, unless comes from owners forums,
Since I started doing this, I saved headaches and money.
Ahhhhh no dealers saying w hat they carry is the best either....
Good luck biased ma gazines followers.....
On several occasions, I have read a 6moons review and thought to myself, "I'd like to meet their dealer."

And I don't mean their audio dealer.

I find 6 Moons unreliable, fluff and pure blather...
Stopped reading it years ago. You'd be better off trusting audioreview than 6 Moons at this point. Too bad, back in the day it seemed like they were going places.
You stated, "I find their reviews to be overly boring, never to the point and full of BS." And I agree. It is so boring to wade through all the florid prose to get to the point -- if there is a point.

You stated, "I'd like to meet their dealer." I got a kick out of your comment.

I think they are so full of themselves at 6Moons.com that they don't realize how their reviews actually sound to the average reader, myself included.
Hi Sabai,
They`re very different and I read ST from time to time. I prefer the 6 Moons approach and look forward to reading their reviews and features. We just have different preferences.
6moons is there only when you're nearly desperate to read something about a piece you're interested in, knowing you will only get a wordy, overblown piece with a few lines real of substance and critique.
I am okay with the length of 6moons reviews. The first few pages give the manufacuters space to talk about their products, and if you aren't interested in those details, easy enough to skip through to the listening impressions.

One thing I like about Srajan's reviews is that he consistently describes how a component under review works with a wide range of other components. Hi reviews make clear how important system synergy is. I much prefer that to reviews that do not evaluate a component with a range of associated gear.
I feel as you do -- wordy, overblown pieces, "with a few lines real of substance and critique". It seems as though prose takes precedence over substance at 6Moons.com. The style is obscurantist in the extreme, IMO. Some may prefer such a style. I prefer a style that is clear and concise.
You can replace the word "review" with "Product
Placement". Ever read tone audio? Even a Stone would get a top
"review" there as a shakti stone replacement...:-)
Of the two mentioned, I enjoy the pictures in the 6moons reviews. I read both for enjoyment.
Through my experience with many of the First Watt amps, I can say that, as wordy and flowery as 6moons can get at time, Srajan does do a very nice job of characterizing these components' sounds and the types of systems that they would work well in.

Likewise, my DAC experience also agreed to a large degree with Srajan's characterizations of those components and in what sorts of systems and for what sorts of preferences they would or wouldn't work.

Very useful information can certainly be found in those reviews.

No review is perfect and no review is a substitute for hearing a component yourself, preferably in your own system.
Your comments that Srajan can produce helpful information is noted. But the other side of the coin is often overwhelming in his reviews, IMO.
Yes I agree, Srajan`s reviews are exceptional in their detail and augmented with comparisons with competing components. I always feel as I have a good grasp on what a component sounds like once I`ve read the review.Some will like his style and some won`t.

When I`ve heard something he`s reviewed I`ll say he`s very accurate and on the mark with rare exceptions.
6moons has great pictures.
After several years of growing frustration, I just can't read 6moons anymore. A recent example was where a five page review contained approx. 3 paragraphs of actual review. I don't know what the hell the rest was; part philosophy, part travelogue, part food review...

Sam Tellig does the same thing, but better IMO. And at least he gets to the point eventually and provides a concise description of the gear he is describing.

While I enjoy the fact that 6moons review some less covered and new equipment. But it has just gotten too esoteric for my taste.
Those here who have had a lot of gear pass through our systems know the truth to Roscoeiii's statement that
"no review is a substitute for hearing a component yourself, preferably in your own system."
The better reviewers have a wider range of experience and generally do a better job of discussing how a component (or speaker) sounds with different partnering equipment, limitations on the partnering equipment, and comparisons to similar products in the marketplace. However, none of them have the same system, room, and tastes as the reader so, at best, the review offers enjoyment, information (about the circuit, build quality, parts, etc.), and the reviewer's impression of sonics and appearance.

IMO, reviews from either of the two publications can be enjoyable if the equipment being reviewed is something I am interested in, although some of the reviewers are better than others. Srajan is colorful in his writing, but I don't mind that since I find him to be generally thorough and, again, I like the pictures in the 6moons reviews second to only the old HiFi+ photos (before they changed hands), which I found to be the gold standard.
Pics are great at 6moons but after hearing of the politics that goes on at Stereo Times (and no I can't or will not elaborate) I read neither.
Br3098, couldn't agree more. Too lofty and obtuse for me. Cut to the chase. I'm also growing tired of every review site or magazine catering to advertisers...they can't speak objectively about a component in fear of offending potential ad revenue. What we need is a magazine or e-site that has no revenue tied to advertising - with rock solid reviewers who cut to the chase and say what is good and bad and can compare without worrying about offending. I've had access to even great review sites and writers and ALL of them are boxed into not offending so never really get an honest review. Six moons just makes it even more difficult to understand how they are not offending.
Podeshi 100% agree what you just said!
I find that the pics often dwarf the text. There is often a huge pic and another huge pic with a bit of text sandwiched between. Very odd. This looks more like advertising than reviewing to me.
More data points are always preferable to fewer data points, especially if the folks providing the info are upfront about their preferences and biases.

Srajan certainly provides a lot of data points by trying components in multiple systems and configurations, as opposed to with one "reference" system. It is important to know the character of the associated components in any review, and the last 6moons DAC review I read was nice in that it laid out what combinations of equipment the DAC was synergistic with, and which combos did not work well.

And Srajan is clear about what he does and doesn't like. His own listening prejudices are usually quite explicitly spelled out.

I also become suspicious of writers who do not indicate what recordings they are listening to in their reviews, since some components are much better suited to different types of music (or qualities of music whose prominence varies across genres of much).
What we need is a magazine or e-site that has no
revenue tied to advertising - with rock solid reviewers who cut to the
chase and say what is good and bad and can compare without worrying
about offending

In the 90's such a Magazine was created in Europe. The reviewers wrote
the facts about the sound quality and when it was bad, they wrote it.
They did it with well known brands, not unknown ones. The result after a
year was, the distributors refused to give them their units :-)
They wanted positive "reviews" and not the truth about their
paid items...also they got letters from angry readers who wrote that they
own this "pain for the ear unit" and that they are wrong, it is
wonderful...great reviews in 4 other "mags" ...blabber....
Good example you gave above. No matter what format or guidelines chosen,some body somewhere is`nt going to like it. It just is not possible to please everyone especially with subjective material as audio reviews. People eventually find their comfort zone with a particular site or magazine.Srajan and the other 6 Moons reviewers seem to put in quite the time and effort to get it right to the best of their ability.I appreciate that.

Chip Stern left also and he talks about John with some insight.
Mountainsong and Podeshi,
"Too lofty and obtuse" are accurate descriptions from my point of view, as well.
I find all this ado about the style of writing about as valid (and dismisssive) as the arguments denegrating them, namely, not worth much. Either you like their style or don't. To go on about it probably elicits a smile from the masthead of 6moons.com.

The staff all have their own style, some I like and some I don't, but as a whole, I find them funny (when intended) and informative to a degree lacking in most review sites.

To complain about Srajans style of prose reminds me of Hans Grubers response to Mr. Takagis blank look, in 'Die Hard' when he said, "Benefits of a Classical Education".

Just as music is varied and complex, so can a review be so as to dissect it just so, provided you follow the analysis.

When I need to cut to the chase, needing clarification, I simply email Sraran and he distills it down for me quite nicely. His style is nothing more than an embodiment of his enjoying his craft, and I find that refreshing. His style reminds me of the better car reviewers that came out of England in the late 80s-90s, among them L.J.K. Setrtight, of CAR magazine, who had a similar way of conveying his thoughts on things automotive.

You can say it bluntly or with a bit of flourish. I'll take mine with the garnish.

All the best,
Nonoise,well said.
You stated, "When I need to cut to the chase, needing clarification, I simply email Sraran and he distills it down for me quite nicely." I have two questions:

1. If his reviews were clear why would you need clarification?

2. If he can clarify things in an email why can't he do that in a review?
Let's compare a 6Moons.com review with a Stereo Times review of the same products to get a feeling for what I am getting at here. These examples are typical, in my opinion.

The products in question are the Nordost Quantum line. They were reviewed by both 6Moons.com and Stereo Times. After I read the 6Moons.com review I came away feeling I was tied up in knots. I found their review typically long-winded and confusing. After I read the Stereo Times review I came away feeling that I had a very good sense of what to expect from these products. I found their review typically clear, concise and to the point.

How do you feel when you read these two reviews? Here are the links:

6Moons.com review


Stereo Times review

Tab110s, Thank you - I missed Chip Stern's piece. It is very interesting, even if long. :-)

Sort of validates my opinion of SE which I formed from a meeting with him when he worked for Mesa promoting the Baron. LOL when I look back - no one warned me and I mispronounced his first name! His reaction was IMHO appropriate to the size of his ego and self appreciation. Doesn't look like much changed after he created 6moons so much as evolved when he had something other than his self to control.

The clarification I needed was when I needed to know if, say, a speaker would be compatible with an amp. From two separate reviews I'd try to glean what I could and then ask Srajan about it.

I've only done that a couple of times and he, like the better reviewers out there, would reply. I'd never write him to explain what he wrote about a particular piece: I'd just reread the article until it sunk in.

Sorry if I confused you.

All the best,
The hope that E-magazines were more indipendent than paper ones, seems, I am afraid, a delusion. I enjoy both ST and 6moons from time to time, but not as a purchase guide. They are useful to make you aware of products, but I do'nt believe they are unbiased.

They do have one real use, allowing small manufacturers some media exposure. The many direct sale, one man speaker and cable companies, are'nt going to get a look in at Stereophile or Absolute Sounds, but they will be reviewed on line.

I think only the no advertisement sources like Bound For sound in the US, HiFicritic in the UK, are going to be independent. The problem then is getting stuff for reviews. Manufacturrs seem wary when the lack of an advertising budget, gives them no feel of control over the result of the review. Just me being cynical, I suppose.

Maybe I am deluding myself, but I would trust StereoMojo more than the other online sites.
Well said Sabai
Here's another example of the same component reviewed by both 6Moons.com and Stereo Times.

6Moons.com review


Stereo Times review:


The Stereo Times review was written in 2011 and compares the Synergistic Research Powercell with the SR Powercell 10 SE MKII. The review states that the two versions "sounded very much alike" and gives examples, using various recordings, of the improvements he found in the MKII version.

The Stereo Times review is sober, balanced and positive. It is clear and to the point. It does not go over the top with effusive audio-speak that makes the reader dream that the audio version of Marilyn Monroe has just arrived at the door to transport you to audio nirvana. It is down to earth and balanced in its descriptions which are overall positive. It sounds like a review -- not an advertisement.

The 6Moons.com review is of the first version of the Powercell, the Powercell 10. It compares the Powercell 10 to a Furman unit. Look at all those gigantic photos in the 6Moons.com review. They dwarf the text. This is the rule rather than the exception with 6Moons.com. Their reviews look like ads.

The 6Moons.com review quotes SR as saying, "The device works "outside the signal path to condition AC current with differential electromagnetic fields"." But since everything in your system is supposed to be plugged into the Powercell 10, I don't understand this.

In his review, the 6Moons.com reviewer mentions a number of other power conditioner makers and compares his Furman with the Powercell 10. Conspicuously missing, for me, is the name Bybee. He then he drowns us in superlatives and other eye-opening adjectives such as "dramatic" to describe the Powercell's attributes. And this is with the Powercell 10 -- never mind any of the 4 newer iterations that have appeared since he wrote his review in 2009. I would like to hear what he has to say about more recent versions of the Powercell that might exceed his gushing remarks about the first version of the Powercell 10 that leave no superlative unturned.

Reading his review, you would think that the gates of audio heaven had opened wide with the arrival of the Powercell 10. The review does not lack "beguiling and seductive" adjectives to lead us in that very direction. Furthermore, all the details about the alleged sonic attributes of the Powecell 10 make you think you really know what you will be getting when you purchase the Powercell 10.

Of course, you have no idea what you will be getting because this is advertising copy. I used to be a copywriter. I was in the advertising business for years. What masquerades here as a review is nothing more than an advertisement. In fact this text could have been taken directly from Synergistic Research's own site.

I have the Powercell 10SE MKII. To tell you the truth, it brought positive results to my system. It improved the refinement of the sound but in no way did it compare to the results brought to my system with my Bybee Stealth, my isolation transformer and my power regenerator. It did not bring to my system "transformative sonic capabilities". The Powercell "removes any hint of AC-related grunge, haze or blurring and unmasks the full harmonic complexity and richness of the music."? Not even the Powercell 10SE MKII has done this in my system.

The bottom line: don't believe everything you read in reviews -- especially in the effusive Never Never Land of 6Moons.com.
What I find to be near universally true, I get better reviews and information from end users (like folks on Audiogon) or better yet from my own ears, than I do from the magazines out there whose entire model resides primarily on advertising revenue.
Absolutely 100% correct.
It would be nice if we could gain constructive insight with unbiased, to-the-
point reviews.

If the words compare, better or more musical are ever spoken, the
sledgehammers and machetes would most certainly come down.

I get in home trials whenever possible or speak to end users like Podeschi
said above.
The closest I have seen "with unbiased, to-the-point reviews" are Stereo Times reviews. The way I see it, The Absolute Sound reviews are thinly disguised advertisements; 6Moons.com reviews are ads; and Stereophile reviews often get caught up in measurements that can conflict with their reviewers' observations.

One of the worst aspects of reviews is the "rating system" where the item being reviewed gets 5 or 6 stars -- nothing less. How can every single item be the best? At least Stereo Times is honest enough to explain that, in comparison with earlier products reviewed, the new product being reviewed is either the new kid on the block or knocks the other kids right off the block. At least they take the time to put things in perspective. For my money, Stereo Times reviews are more honest and have far more credibility than the hoopla reviews of The Absolute Sound or the florid reviews of 6Moons.com that tie me up in audio knots -- trying to sound profound and insightful.