Latest Absolute Sound

I just got it yesterday and they are reviewing amps from 12k to 97k. I sat back and thought who is really buying this stuff. I know the average audiophile Isn't and the one's that actual have the money are always looking for deals via Audiogon. Is this just audio porn for the readers or are people actually buying this stuff.
I had a good laugh looking at it!  I bet those manufactures are laughing too!
Just like reading Car & Driver featuring Porsches for $175,000.
Or Ferraris for $290,000.

Fantasies for all.
A Trolling we will go, a trolling we will go, hi ho the dairy-o, a trolling we will go.
I canceled my subscription. They are a farce, and they think that they are so good at reviewing/critiquing equipment!
Some of the language/word association they use make me think that some one is under the influence....oe that they really believe they have been blessed with special ear/brain nerves/sensory/ connection....
Question: what do we only see some brands and not other being reviewed?Hum......No wonder the HIFI industry is going bankrupt. Back to listening to music.
After many years of reading TAS it has always been my perception that the "higher" end was their target audience in the first place. They were always a lower volume subscription and circulation magazine and no offense to the rest of us not so wealthy audiophiles, it wasn't intended to cover lower end gear, it was geared to those who could afford the more expensive gear. It wasn't about price, it as about obtaining the "absolute sound" regardless of price.
Yes ... There are the thin air level oxygen breathers that can and do purchase this strata of gear..... More than we think.

The vast majority of us toiling in the plebeian working class can only wish, for sure .

i recentjy saw a $400k+ system at an audio expo.... I lost count of the actual stratospheric price. It was replete with all NORDOST ODIN cabling .... (That's all of Speaker, ICs, and power cables .... Do the math just on those alone) ...... driven by a pair of near $100K mono blocks.(that's $~$100K each....sigh).

In nirvana ....full stop ..... but certainly never in my world.

Just like the $million+ super cars for  you to smoke the freeway 0-100 in a flash , if you have the coin.

Really, Taters?  It's an old complaint. Trolling again?  Seriously, that's what these magazines do. They always have. Nothing new. Move on. Don't read them if you don't like it. A great online magazine, Affordable Audio, died because nobody cares. Buy what you like. Ignore what people say. Argue about which $1000 cable sounds better. Nothing else to do with your time. 
It's called the absolute sound not the very good every mans sound.  Where else better  to pitch expensive toys?  

Sorry, but I really like TAS.  I have been a subscriber since Issue 20, (December 1980) and have never let it lapse.  I have even found all of the back issues and now have a complete set.

I love the writing and the expertise of the staff.  I have many of the same listening biases as a few of the writers.  I have also met quite a few of the contributors over the years, (including HP....R.I.P. Harry).

I find it reads like a novel, not like something like the old Stereo Review scope of magazines.

I still read each one from cover to cover and still find it very interesting even though I could probably never afford a lot of the gear they review.  I go into it wanting to learn and usually do even though I'm been around the high-end for many years.  Always something new to learn about.

i really think there there is a difference. These high end Ferrari's like the 488 are sold out for the next 18 months. Also the Porsche 911Gt3rs are already sold out. A lot of this high end audio gear is just waiting for a buyer. And the buyers and far and few between. I am sure if someone had an Interest in a 170,000 Constellation amp they could buy one at a healthy discount. On the other hand to get a car like the Ferrari 488. The dealer wants to see you have bought New Ferrari's before just to put you on the list to get one and you are going to pay full M.S.R.P. When your turn finally comes up.
The absolute sound is a big myth. Your own specific personal definition is all that is required to participate in this GREAT HOBBY!

Thank goodness we can all enjoy music and buying , selling, collecting at whatever level we can afford. My first system about $400, current system $20K +/-.
Wonderful mag great amps buy one be a sport!!
I like the pictures
I suspect that those that are buying these products, and make no mistake, there are buyers, are not wasting their lives perusing through threads on Audiogon.
Think of it like Playboy magazine.  You wouldn't expect to see Playboy publish photos of plain looking or ordinary women would you, you know, ones you would actually have a snowball's chance in hell of dating, would you?
I read all of the audio mags as a form of entertainment.  Their writers have gone downhill, especially Neil Grader, who I always thought neutral and intelligent.  Now, he just writes the company line.  I have had the misfortune of sharing an elevator with J. Valin.  It was apparent the others in the elevator were his posse and the few comments he made were from an incredible arrogant self-importance.  I'll never look at TAS the same again.
 I read it mostly for the music reviews.  The rest is just entertainment.
I think there's very little new in circuit design, other than class D, and if you throw $1000 in parts at a good design, you've thrown in the kitchen sink, and you get a superb amp.  The rest goes to manufacturing, packaging, marketing, retail margins, and being able to pay the employees (and employees can be horrendously expensive, especially if funded from low volume runs).
If you don't like what they publish then the best way to satisfy your complaint is to cancel your subscription. Your complaining about what they review, how they review, etc. isn't going tpo change anything about the composition of the AS or for that matter, Stereophile; sure you've seen periodic letters to the Editor bemoaning the same thing. Hasn't moved them one bit.
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I was in Great Neck, NY the other week and they have a Aston-Martin and Massarati dealers out there.  There are plenty of people with money.  
God Bless High end Audio, what would we all be doing without it.

Absolute Sound reviewing? Really? 
They're just advertising and it's their job, not review sorry.

+1 Mofimadness, with the exception that I have not read every issue since 1980. 

I still subscribe to TAS and Stereophile. It has become apparent to me that it's about advertising. Want a great review? .... take out a few full page ads and the review will appear. Still fun to read though. I stopped buying the music they review. Most of it sucks big time. I keep thinking ... if they evaluate gear based upon recordings that are drenched in digital reverb ... then how accurate can their reviews be? 

How many  of you remember when Stereophile was a flimsy little rag? That was when it was at its best.
The Absolute Sound was good when the magazine was small size in the 70's and 80's.

Then they reviewed gear at all price ranges.

Went to pot when the size increased, and HP sold out, after it nearly went under.
Taters....I was at my Porsche dealer last week and noticed (not one) but two hybrid models that are more than 1 million dollars each being serviced...I wonder how much an oil change is on those. Some people have the means....
spending that much money on an esoteric hobby magazine is a first world problem...
^^ Nah ... you just have to wait for their discount offers. 

i know a dealer that will give you 20 percent off without negotiating. I am sure if someone is serious he will give you another 10 percent just to close the deal.
TAS is a nice present for an Audiophile you don't like
It's so funny that both Gordon Holt and Harry Pearson came to strongly disapprove of the magazines they founded and ran. Of the two, TAS is far worse imo, presenting company-written copy as editorial content.
^^ Gordon Holt was a really good reviewer. His reviews guided me to buy a pair of Acoustat III's and then a pair of Acoustat IV's. Amazing speakers when driven with tons of power. 

I stopped reading it a long time ago but not because they only review expensive gear but because I didn't get anything out of those reviews. I read Car and Driver from time to time, including about Porsches, Aston Martins etc. The true supercar is custom Swedish Koenigseg, only $2 millions. That said, if you really know how to drive, and few do, your modest tuned BMW or old Porsche will fly past those yuppies in those cars. Many people in the US, Asia and even Europe and Russia can afford very expensive stuff. To put it another way - this kind of money is not a problem for them at all.

He sure was, oregonpapa, inventing much of the Audiophile vocabulary still in use today. His first priority in the reproduction of music was accurate instrumental and vocal timbre, the lack of "vowel" coloration. Gordon's insistence that Hi-Fi evaluation and critique begin with that hurdle is considered "fascistic" by Art Dudley, a current reviewer I like a lot. Art considers accurate timbre to be just one of the equally-important jobs of Hi-Fi equipment, being in fact of less importance to Art than a component's abilities at reproducing the temporal aspects of a recording---the timing, "touch" (as he refers to the physical sound of a player's fingers on the strings of a guitar, for instance), and scale (the size of the instrument(s) and the recording venue).
TAS is like watching the VS show the other night, and thinking 'if only'. 
Inna, I stopped reading and listening to all of news including Stereophile, TAS etc.
There's no single word there truth.
I actually like the magazine. However, reading the drivel that RH just wrote about the new ML Neolith speaker is somewhat off-putting. I guess if I wanted a course in how to write with hyperbole I could read his article/review and gain a lot. Problem is, as soon as the next speaker comes along that can "pull the sword from the stone" he is going to have egg on his face. Stupid, IMHO to write like that about ANY piece of gear..whether it be now or in the future. However, recognizing the foolishness, and the writing style, is always a little entertaining.
Like others, I see audio mags as similar to car mags.  Mostly appealing to the fantasies of their readers.  Sort of a modern Sears "wish book" for adults.  I will say that most of the car magazines do a better job of balancing their coverage of uber cars with coverage of cars that the average Joe can afford.  The car and audio writers have found a way to get paid to write about a hobby they love while someone else covers the cost of the eye-wateringly expensive equipment to which they listen or drive.  Not a bad gig. 
Do I want to see reviews of a new minivan, or the new McLaren? Answer: The McLaren. High performance car reviews often put the cars through some tough driving you are likely never be able to do  unless you live near a track, but audio stuff sits there and Mister Reviewer listens and thinks up ways to describe the sound…which is a personal preference subjective activity. All one can do I suppose, but when I sit in front of MY rig I generally don't wish for different things like "man, I wish I could go 217 miles an hour"…unless something in my rig breaks. 
IF you don't have a stack of money in a briefcase for expensive gear,
there is another alternative.  Like climbing a staircase one step at a time, you gradually upgrade over a period of time (in my case over 20 years) and pay in small increments while trading in what you already have.  Waiting for the right deals to come along is fairly easy- you can
usually find at least one component becoming available every year or two that you feel delivers very refined sound but, in the case of an amplifier for example, has a scratch on the back where the speaker wires go.  Used wire is fairly inexpensive also, and so on..  
    BUT, prices have become totally unreal.  My 1st really great amp cost about $5K and THAT was crazy enough (as everyone i knew kept repeating to me).  But it really made a big difference in the sound coming out of my speakers. So i was really happy about my decision, and for several years afterwards.  Now i am on my 5th amplifier,
but i kept learning more and more as the years went by. But YES,
there is definitely a limit to what anyone would need in what most
people call home.  OTOH, If you are wealthy and have a LARGE DEDICATED
SOUND ROOM, then you don't need a magazine to tell you what to get- you fly to New York, visit all of the audio salons by appointment,
and choose whatever you want.  
   Or you buy the equipment with the most impressive appearance
and/or matches your decor.  

Audiogon, and the High End in general, would not be where it is today, if not for magazines such as TAS and Stereophile. Let us not forget those fortunate enough (I am not one) to afford these pieces of high priced gear. Don't like it, don't read it. Same could be said about the many forums out there, including this one. Happy holidays to all. MrD.
People should read more books.

Good reviews can be found online. It's so easy to narrow down reviewers nowadays that have tastes close to your own. That, and it's easy to contact them for further elucidation.

Every once in a while I'll skim a review at one of the bigger sites but always end up content with what I have. Going to audio shows and hearing the stuff that passes for great audio, praised in the reviews, makes me even more content. All excuses aside for bad rooms at audio shows, a good system will overcome the limitations of a bad room enough for one to make a valid and informed opinion of the gear.

As nice as the gear seems in rags like TAS, they really don't bowl me over at the shows. Quite the opposite, in fact.

All the best,

No noise,

i feel the same way. When I go to the shows and hear the really expensive gear I read about in TAS I am usually disappointed. On the other hand when I hear some of the budget systems I am blown away how good they sound. I remember a setup I heard at the Newport Beach show a couple of years ago that retailed for 500k. I thought it was just so-so. Then I wandered into a room with a pair of small monitors and a sub and it blew me away. It was just so musical where as the 500k system just made over the top sound with no musicality.

I would rather read a review about a minivan.  Even if I had the money and inclination to buy a mega performance vehicle it would be a waste.  I'm an average driver and I could spend the rest of my life on a race track and still not approach the performance limits of that class of auto.  I don't have to crash 2 or 3 of them to know that.  Kind of like what Clint said in "Magnum Force".  Now a minivan - how many cup holders, number of electric outlets, third row seating, cubic feet with the seats folded, etc. - that's really interesting.

BTW, after decades of reading TAS I let my subscription lapse and I don't miss it at all.
I find the mags sometimes entertaining, sometimes informative, sometimes not...does help me keep up on what's new. Don't read the reviews of the ultra expensive stuff, but it doesn't bother me that they review. Taken in context the mags are ok and cheap enough...
bdp24  ... 

I discovered Stereophile and Gordon Hold while visiting a friend in Santa Fe. While he was at work, I went downtown for a look-around. Well, I discovered a stereo store and went in to see what they had to offer. While there, I saw a stack of the magazine, including back issues for sale. I bought all of them for something to pass the time with. I couldn't believe that there was a magazine where the reviewers actually punched holes into sacred cows. That was a great  magazine back then ... just flimsy and put together with staples.Even though it has been upgraded over time with fancy glossy paper, and nice color photos,  it's been downhill ever since. 

Gordon Holt loved the Acoustat speakers. Oddly enough, he claimed to hear a "credit card" coloration in the Acoustats. Hard as I tried, I never heard that effect on the speakers.

I drove my Acoustat IV's with a variety of amps over the years, including modified Dyna 70's converted to mono-blocks with outboard power supplies, an ARC Classic 60, Atmosphere 60 watt mono-blocks, and the most impressive of all were two of Van Alstine's big solid state stereo amps bridged for mono-blocks. Those bridged Van Alstine amps produced around 800 wpc.  Wanna talk about room filling sound? Those things filled the entire neighborhood.

There  have been many times that I've wished I still had them. But let's face it, those big Acoustat panels with the grill cloths removed definitely wouldn't pass the wife test. 
My old Quads (with their metal screens removed) didn't pass the wife test. But that turned out to not matter---she didn't pass the Quad test!
I’ve been burnt with 2nd hand gear before, so I prefer to buy new gear these days. I don’t have kids or a mortgage, so I can afford to. With that said my next amps will retail around $53kUS, so the answer is yes there are buyers for esoteric gear. Though i’ve found with few exceptions the companies with the most integrity don’t take out full page ads in glossy audio mags. Their products do the talking for them. Besides that, the best advertising is word of mouth.
So what 53k amp are you buying that doesn't advertise in the audio mags?