Best reviewers

Who are in your opinion the best reviewers out there ? Whether it be from stereophile, TAS or an audio forum, you surely have a few reviewers that you trust and respect. I nominate Robert E. Greene from The Absolute Sound as the best reviewer. He understands live music, knows how to describe what he hears, and appears to be impartial. Your choice ?
I like Michael Fremer's reviews for the most part - he's not as mechanical as many of the reviewers. That said, everything finishes up with "this is my new favorite...", so you have to read between the lines a bit. Anthony Cordesman has done a series of reviews on VERY nice speakers and has not only done a good job on each, but has provided enough cross-checking between each to give a good feel for the "landscape" of this level of speaker.
Any reviewer who doesn't say "this is the best _____ I have heard yet" without saying what else he has heard.
My favorite reviewer came out of Audiogon. He talks from experiance and has no hidden agenda. Has directed me to some of the finest sound I have had in my listening room. he goes by the user name Mikeam. Thank you very much Mikeam.
I nominate carl_eber, they dont call him "golden ears"for nutthin!!
From Stereophile I always liked reviews from Dick Olsher, John Atkinson, and Michael Fremer. I liked Corey Greenburg's reviews when he was a member of the staff. J. Gordon Holt seemed to offer some no-nonsense, common sense advice. These are the good reviewers. Please don't get me started on some of the poor reviewers...
Joe from the Absolute Sound I agree, Robert E. Green. From days of old I liked JG Holt and Anthony H. Cordesman both no nonsense to the point reviewers who always gave you a point of reference so you knew where they were coming from. Today Michael Fremer for analog. For humor I like sam Tellig though he isn't as funny as he used to be. Why do comedians become less funny as they get older? It seems universally true.
For tubes I like and respect Dick Olsher-- whoever he happens to be writing for, and I also agree with Sam Tellig, Stereophile for his wit and humor-- just wish he'd post a spec. box with his reviews. Tom J. Norton-- Stereophile, while pretty stiff and formal, seems to have some of the same music and equipment values that I have, ie he likes Vandersteen speakers and McCormack amps. Cheers. Craig.
Oh and the most talented writer combining original style, humor with some technical competence, could it be any other than Corey Greenberg? He had me LOL more than a few times.
I have to agree with Tubegroover. Corey Greenberg of Stereophile days had me LOL too. He was writing for Sound and Vision, but I don't see his article 'The High End' anymore. Any one know what happened to him? Although the SandV days Greenberg was anything but funny and pro- high end. Fremmer and John Atkinson are honest(to a degree) reviewers. Sam telling write-up and humor style I like, but lately all the reviews read basically same.
Thanks;bmpnyc;I do Stereo-"pile"and TAS;and I also get tired of reading month after month:"Best I have ever heard"applied to the Amp-of- the Month;each month. I also get very tired of hearing about so many products,here,or elseware,but my mag.s do the same mfg's products over and over.Woops'--this is supposed to be a "Best of thread"---sorry.
Mikey Fremer, hands down.
I was always impressed by the folks at "Inner Ear Report" Can't remember the names.
JA, ST and MF from Stereophile, also RH from The Absolute Sound. They have added much enjoyment to my hobby. I appreciate the opportunity to thank them.
Michael Fremer is probably my all time favorite. Other Greats (who don't seem to write as often) are : Dick Oshler, John Atkinson, Jonathan Valin, J. Gordon Holt, Tom Norton, Wes Phillips, Robert Reina, Corey Greenburg, Robert Green, Doug Blackburn, and Todd Warnke. I think TAS is moving up because many of the writers who made Sterephile great have gone there. The Sterephile had more of an enthusiast feel when J Gordon Holt ran it. Less Santa Fe, and a little more Park Avenue. The reviewers worked together more back then too. I like Sam Tellig's style and honesty. He is great at picking out mid-priced jewels: CJ mv-55, Rega 25.
Clarification: It's more Park Avenue now.
robert harley, now of tas. picks good products, writes understandable, complete reviews.
I miss Corey Greenberg, all reviewers should use humor. I remember the Dung Beetle film from elementary school, do you?
david99: carl_eber? you're kidding, right? "golden ears"? kidding again, right? "tin," i'd agree with. but, hey, that just my opinion. trust who you wanna trust. best, tho, to trust yourself.
I nominate carl_eber, they dont call him "golden ears"for nutthin!! David out of curiosity, who (they) calls Carl "golden ears"? Your going to embarass the poor guy, right Carl?
Carl's opinions are quite refreshing compared to other, more jaundiced reviewers.
Can't stomach Michael Fremer more often than not. Favorites are Dick Olsher, Corey Greenberg, Wes Phillips, and Sam Tellig. Wish Sam was a bit more on point. Sometimes his reviews are as scattered as the fall leaves, but like(sometimes love) his style more often than not. Also, Jonathan Scull is the WORST out there. Can't like anything that costs less than $1000, unless it is something like a contact cleaner.
so tubegroover, you and david99 must suffer from the same problem with self esteem that allows you to be swayed by the views of others over your own. are there any other judas goats out there you follow? there could be money in this.
Tubegrooverm,I call Carl "golden Ears" Have a problem with that? Have you ever noticed how he can put into words EXACTLY what he hears.I cant recall you,Tubegroove being able to do that.Dont frown though,neither can I.Ever noticed the audiophiles here wanting to send something to Carl for his opinion?? Right now he has some speakers from a manufacturer who got in touch with him through Audiogone.The manufacturer wants him to share his listening findings here.Its the holidays guys,chill for a month.
Smile cornfedboy and be happy. David no need to take things you read too seriously. Your comment struck me with humor.
I quickly reviewed the nominations above, and didn't see the name of the reviewer that I have found "most accurate" with his assessments: Anthony A. Cordesman. Tony wrote for many years for TAS, then did some work for Stereopiles, and finally for Audio magazine. I haven't seen any recent reviews by him, but I make a point to look for his articles.
Peace on earth,good will to man.Is that right?? :)
Yes Sd I agree with you 100% regarding Cordesman and he is listed above. I still go back to my old TAS and Stereophile's to read his reviews on products. Right on David but Peace on earth, good man is will, right? Sincerely, Will (ha ha)
I find for my tastes, the writing from Marc Mickelson of SoundStage to have a nice balance of passion, knowledge and experience that includes the ability to creatively communicate the essence of what I want to know about a product. I appreciate the fact that he choses words wisely and stays away from unwholesome analogies. In other words, he exhibits class as well as ability. There are many other reviewers out there who have these same qualities as Marc Mickelson and there are many obviously who do not. As for this forum I especially appreciate the contributions of Carl_eber. I appreciate his passion and honesty. I also greatly value his judgements. Of course I would always make sure that what works for Carl also works for me. Let us keep in mind that what this pursuit is about for most people is satisfaction. I believe it is becoming, and of a more excellent spirit, if our comments here allow for one person to be fully blessed (satisfied) by their purchase or discovery and still be able to politely disagree, if necessary, to the benefit others by offering our observations for their edification. I'll stop preaching right after this recommendation. If you would like to see an example of someone truly enjoying his audio, check out the review of the Rega Planet CD player by Mike Hathaway dated 1/19/99. Done preaching. God bless.
Aside from the laughs I get from those who nominate eber (?!), I am surprised that no one has good (or bad) things to say about HP (Harry Pearson) of The Absolute Sound. Since I am relatively new to this as a serious hobby, I do not go as far back as some of you. Yet from recent reading it would seem to me HP has made, or claims to have made, an important contribution to reviewing standards. I am not sure whether the direction he has taken has been good or bad for audio. On the one hand, I like the way he writes, which I find witty, strongly opinionated, and overall very entertaining. On the other hand I'm a little bit unsure about his technical knowledge. Namely, whether he has enough of it to speak with such authority. On the one hand, I strongly believe that listening and understanding live music is the single most important trait of a good audiophile. Yet I also think a good dosage of technical knowledge is paramount to be able to interpret what one hears, get the most out of the equipment, and make useful recommendations regarding compatibility, usage, etc. Your opinions on this would be appreciated (with eber's customary nonsense and David99s unconditional support thrown in to add a bit of humor).
Joe with reference to Harry P. he IS the reason I stopped subscribing to TAS that is when he was Publisher and Editor. He spent too much time Stereophile bashing. He also gives himself too much credit for developing terminology “intelligibility” was one of them that rings a bell. He also supposedly coined the phrase “Hi-End” to differentiate it from Hi-Fi. I recently tried a trial subscription of TAS and Harry was still where I left him, making derogatory remarks about Stereophile. His pomposity and know it all attitude is not to my tastes although I’ll admit he does have a unique style of prose and always has me running to the dictionary to look up words I’ve never heard before. I like meat and potatoes reviewers, those that have a clear concise manner of communicating what they hear and have a reference point that can be followed for all to understand. A sense of humor also helps. JG Holt probably more than anyone contributed most of the language that is currently used to describe characteristics of products and was certainly the first individual to note subjective differences of audio products through publication of “The Stereophile” now Stereophile.
Tubegroover, I also stopped reading TAS, because as much as like the writings of REG, HP was really starting to pluck my nerves. How many times can use the expressions "uber alles" and "gestalt" into a review.Harry needs to relax and quit being so pretentous. But Robert Green is best writer out there in my mind. Duckboy
Robert Harley seems honest,thorough and unhyped whenever I have had a chance to read something he has reviewed.
For a completely different perspective, one that is not influenced by the amount of advertising dollars paid to his magazine (because he doesn't have one)look up Arthur Salvatore at Very refreshing and well experienced in audio reviewing. One of the very few people who openly expresses his prejudice's and bias and rational for them.Best of all: it s free.
For those who like Robert Harley, I feel that his absolute best review (and I've said so here several times before) is that of the original Wadia 27, back in 1996 at Stereophile. To compare Stereophile back then, to now, is like comparing the original "Jaws", to its sequels. His book is good too, but the screwed up way he refers to "the listener" as "she"....well, that's 1990's political correctness run my old friend from another thread, the "rabid gorilla". Anyways, the way so many used to lament the "old days of Stereophile, back when JGH was in charge"....well, I'm now lamenting the "old days of the mid 1990's", back when JA owned Stereophile, and defended it to naysayers with "I'll do what I want with MY magazine"; and was revered by most everyone. Nostalgia is a drink best served by the gallon, apparently, but nonetheless seems genuine for me. BTW, as stated above, my fave reviewer is Fremer...followed VERY closely by Harley (who is past his prime...but who isn't?), and then Wes Phillips (has his own site thru Pearson is old and pompous, and the reason to read him is if he's reviewing something that nobody else gets to review. He certainly can't hear well enough to make value judgements on anything, IMO, and yet he sees himself as the Zeus of's more like Falstaff. Jonathan Valin is very musically inclined, about as much so as Harley is technically inclined (i.e., a lot). Sam Tellig (not his real name, for those of you who truly are wet behind the ears) NEVER tries a product he doesn't like...but then, how many of them do? Not many: Jonathan Scull hated the "Powerstation" filter, but so what? JGH, only cares about making his own symphonic "surround" recordings, and thinks everybody who listens to 2 channel "doesn't know crap". Jonathan Scull is good for a laugh, except when you realize that 2000 is the first year in a long time, WHEN THERE WAS NO STEREOPHILE SHOW...hmmm........................AND THE ABSOLUTE WORST REVIEWER IN THE COSMOS IS THE EDITOR OF AUDIO REVOLUTION.COM, Jerry Colliano. If you want to read a hilariously lame review by a rank amateur, read his Wilson Watt Puppy 6 review at that site.
NICE POST Carl,baby. Outf'nstanding!!! I'm sure I wouldn't know half of how to describe what I hear without the *rags*Some of this techno stuff I've been reading for years seems to have crept inside me.When I'm conversing with my "phile buddys,I feel I have to use it.Did a 3 dedicated line/dedicated ground/completed yesterday.I sure can hear further into the sound stage. I think you can't get all things from one person.While there maybe things you can't get from the one person/ if you're open/ you can get other things from that same person.And we're all standing on the shoulders of our predessors.While most of us can't bring home every thing we'd like to listen to (boy, what an understatement)we have to use these guys(or I have to) So, like them or not, I read them all. Happy Holidays!
Yep, I missed Robert Harley in my above post-- he's good, especially for digital. And I miss Corey Greenberg from when he was with Stereophile-- they gave him "room" to be himself. HP is WAAAAAAAY to long winded for me. Craig.
Anthony Cordesman. He is the only reviewer that I know of who has a lucrutive "real" job outside of the audio industry. This job does not allow him to get paid for reviewing stereo gear. This gives him the most credibility among the reviewers. (His reviews are well respected, by most of the reviewers that I personaly know, also)
Well, for once I confess I actually enjoyed carl_eber's post. Particularly his comparison of HP to Falstaff. He probably deserves that given the pompousness... on the other hand I still find him one of the most enjoyable writers, "uber alles" and "gestalt" notwithstanding. Nobody is perfect. Why, I thought REG's review of the Thiel's 7.2 was rather unfair. Other products get by with a strong recommendation or a Golden Ears award with only a passing mention to their faults. The Thiels are not perfect, but they are still a great product in their price bracket. In my opinion REG exaggerated the speaker's faults. And the assertion that he could have "heard" that the woofer was made of aluminum...give me a break !! There's a nice blind testing opportunity, get REG in a room and ask him to tell you what different cones are made of by the sound of them. In spite of al the respect I have for his opinions, in the case of the Thiel I think he is mistaken. Perhaps this post should have been more "Best reviews of All Time", since that would be enlightening as well.
You don't even know who Flastaff is, since you think Falstaff was pompous. He's the opposite of pompous...I meant something else entirely...that HP is a joke, and lives in his own mind, Like Falstaff. (the pomousness is what makes HP think he can lord it over everybody), which is very unlike Falstaff. Perhaps a better comparison would be to Walter Middy, but then you don't know who he is either, Joe. You might want to take a remedial course in literature sometime.
carl, you are once again out of your element. what play in which falstaff appears is that upon which you opine. and how does j. thurber's creation become a foil for m. pearson? c'mon, carl, i really want to read your response to this one.
It's not j thurber, and I suggest that you give this up corn, or it is you who will be gone from here. YOU TELL ME WHAT PLAY IT IS, AND WHO WROTE IT....I ALREADY KNOW IT'S NOT THURBER....AND ALSO KNOW THAT FALSTAFF APPEARED IN MORE THAN ONE PLAY. I can name any one you like, so since you are so interested to see me not know something, why don't you tell ME what play? RIGHT NOW! I vividly remember how much I enjoyed it in college, so be so bold as to answer the question....IF YOU KNOW...admit you don't know, and I'll tell you the answer. The first initial of the author is "W".
It is you who is "once again out of his element"!
carl, you're even dumber than i thought (a seeming impossibility...but then). it's not "walter middy." it's "walter mitty," as in "the secret life of......" that work was written by james thurber. oh, yeah, it wasn't thurber who penned plays with falstaff as a character; that was a couple of other guys, not to mention the libretists. remember, carl, you were the one who challenged joe_coherent to a game of trivial pursuit on literature. carl, you have shown yet again you know not of what you speak. i think this quite clearly extends to your knowledge of audio.
Well, you are wrong. I do know. I've been wrong several times about audio, and admit to the "Mitty" mistake (it's how several instructors and essentially everyone pronounces it, and it's been a while since I've read it). I was discussing Falstaff, and since you don't know it was William Shakespeare's "Henry IV" and additionally one other Shakespeare play where he appears, it is you who is lacking in the knowledge of literature, from where I sit. AND, WHY DO YOU CARE WHAT I SAY TO JOE COHERENT? Are you his mother, or something? Admit it, you have a personal vendetta against me that goes back a long way, having little rational basis, and I want you to get over it. Only a sociopath would not admit that it's time to get past it. And Merry Christmas to you and yours.
And Joe, for once I thank you for the half hearted compliment, and wish you happy holidays also.
And actually, I was wrong in my analogy anyway. Maybe HP is more like a cross between Emperor Palpatine, Frazier Krane, and Blackwell?
Jeez Carl you're starting to get dangerously close to "Dennis Miller" territory. Who in the hell is Emperor Palpatine? BTW excellent 12/9 post.
Tubegroover, Emperor Palpatine is the Emperor from the Star Wars trilogy(episodes 4 to 6, "A New Hope", "The Empire Strikes Back", and "Return of The Jedi"). In last year's "Episode 1: The Phantom Menace", he is still a senator. In Episode 1, he is also(secretly) Darth Sidious, leader of the Sith. He trains Darth Maul, and later will seduce Anakin Skywalker to the Dark Side, becoming Darth Vader(and completing the young Jedi's training in the ways of the Force). Watch in the upcoming two episodes for his ascent to the throne. I absolutely CANNOT stand science fiction, but the Star Wars story is incredibly powerful to me. So much there. A galactic story of a Samurai feud/warriors. A man's life gone wrong(through weakness and bad decisions), which only can redeemed by the strength and love of his only son. Incredible religious overtones(both Eastern and Judeo-Christian). Etc., etc., etc...
Actually, I don't think anyone addresses him as Darth Sideous in the actual Episode 1 film. I also don't know that he's "the leader of the Sith", he is only identified as a Sith Master, again in the film. "They were thought to be extinct", and we only see two of them in Episode 1.................I also think that the real tragedy will be, when Anakin/Vader is convinced to somehow help "hunt down and destroy ALL the Jedi Knights", as per Kenobi's reflections in Episode 4. Also, I feel that the death of Anakins' wife will somehow be connected to Kenobi, and will thus be the final straw for the Vader transistion...seems like the Jedi mass deaths and the death of Amadala will occur in Episode 3. I also think it'd be silly to be such a fan of this series, and not be a fan at all of Science Fiction, Trelja. I absolutely cannot stand people who cannot stand Science Fiction. If you really love these movies, and hate Science Fiction, you are conflicted. Take the Science Fiction out of these movies, and there's no meaning left. Why obsess over the interpersonal relationships of people, and ignore the machines, the aliens, the vast distances, the adventure, the warfare ensuing from a transitional republic/empire consisting of multitudes of sentient beings over vast distances? In short, you are a person who does not wonder about the universe, but only about your immediate surroundings and the implications of the relationships you have with a few people....much like an ant in an anthill........I take issue with Mark Hamill's "It's only a cowboy movie, a space opera". If it were only that, nobody wouldn't have paid to see it, since there's no horses, and no singing.
eber, I concede that you know more than Falstaff than I since YOU ARE FALSTAFF !!!