Improving reviews

This idea was put out by Jadem6 and I thought it wa a good one. What can be done to improve the quality of reviews, or secondly, do they need to be improved. Some of the reviews IMO have been great while others have been lacking. While I think the idea of having equipment reviews is a good one and it appears AudiogoN is trying to build a library for future use, are we accomplishing the goal? Obviously the suggestion is not to develop guidelines so stringent that there is no fun in writing but would a more defined set of goals or perameters help with the quality?
As my name suggests; I have more questions than answers. Okay resident geniuses take up the challenge!
Nrchy, what do you think is a *reasonable* expectation regarding the quality of reviews on a Web site like this one?
I agree. I thought about this for some time and believed it would make sense to do the reviews in a form. If everyone followed the same review format it would be easier to read, more informative, and much better in terms of searching for reviews later on. This would be the fields that I would suggest:
New Cost:
Basic Description:
Review Set-up: (put in associated equipment)
Comparison Brands/Models: (list what you've compared it to in the same category)
Performance against comparisons: (brief description where applicable)
Overall Performance: (full description / body of review)
Summary: (brief paragraph)
Build Quality: (1-10)
Sound Quality: (1-10)
Value: (1-10)

If there were a form like this (or similar variation), imagine how powerful it would be. You could search on all reviews of the ABC CD player and see the average scores for it. You could compare the highest value rating FM tuners. To do something like this is a lot of work, and I'm not sure A-gon would take on a project like this. The cost is primarily in the set-up, but once that's done it's practically automatic. We can dream I suppose.
Excellant idea Rives. I would add two things, music used and reference system tonal quality. Maybe on a sliding scale 1= dark, 5= neutral and 10= bright.
Thank-you Nrchy for taking the discussions we all have had and try to use them. As we have discussed in another thread, it would be nice to see the quality of reviews rise and become more useful. Great thread!
I think these are some excellent suggestions. I would like to add an idea or two. In the commentary on the sound of equipment, it is not just the equipment that needs to be evaluated. The listener/reviewer should list his previous experience, and or previous "reference system" so we can understand his point of view. If he has previously only heard a Bose WaveRadio/CD, and he is reviewing an AA Capitole, then we need to know that. He may be very correct in his review, but can that review be considered valid when trying to learn the smaller differences between the products in a much closer competition. Now we know that if Alberporter or Mike Lavigne reviewed something, they would have some top notch experience with some great gear to give credence to their opinions. Even with myself, I think I have a pretty good ear, but I have not heard alot of the gear that is out there, personally. So some point of reference for us to understand the reviewer's reference points is important. I think answering a question like "What is the best quality sound system you ever heard?" might do it. Then we know if the piece he is reviewing is above or below his reference point. I think this is crucial for others to know.
Tom, I think credibility is going to have to be built individually. Most of the people who frequent this sight are/have developed a mental list of who they tend to agree with on different issues. I'm assuming the same would apply to reviewing. I have posted my humble (compared to many here) system so people can understand my point of reference. Whether or not they like what I have or agree with my conclusions as I post a review is speculation but as you suggest, the more open we are the more helpful we will be to readers. Sometimes it will just be a matter of time till ones reviews are accepted as being anything other than well or poorly written but all publications suffer through this curve too.
The suggestions made by Rives and Jadem6 are great. Even if they remained informal as opposed to required I would still try to conform my reviews to these guidelines.
I think this is headed in the right direction, whether Arnie or anyone else involved in AudiogoN would agree is yet to be seen. It's so easy for me to just show up and write but I'm sure there are untold hours of effort on the part of others that make my ramblings possible.
Thanks AudiogoN!