Sometimes you want to send them a Roget's Thesuarus and other times you just have to ask yourself,.....Why am I reading this idiotic babble again??
Question is: who is more of an idiot, me for reading their drivel or them for "writing" ( I use the word loosely ) it?
And then, just when I think I am finally going to cancel every subscription, someone writes a piece that actually makes a smidgeon of sense, and I'm hooked again for another year. Damn!
A review that comes to mind for me is last years review in TAS on the Marsh 400 amp. It states that the Marsh is as good as the best solid state amps out there. I am not saying it is not a good amp, maybe even great, at it's price point, but PLEASE! I also want to state that I have heard it, and it does not come close to others I have owned, Plinius, Classe, Sim and Rowland.
Ditto for the review on the Monster HTS 2000.
Recall when Wes Phillips went nuts over Transparent Wire, and said the terminations were good sounding. What, he unsoldered them and tried them independently?!
Try equipment yourself, these guys know nothing.
How about, "Advertising doesn't influence our choice of review products or what the review says," in the Editorial section and then turning to a review of a product by Company X with an ad for Company X's products on the opposite page from the review.
KThomas--Love those layouts! Also, let us remember the "accommodation" pricing givien to reviewers from manufacturers. You'd be ga-ga too over a 1K Pass or Sim that we get to pay 4K for. Perhaps a little extreme but those pundits make out like bandits. You think J10 Scull earns his money? I wouldn't pay him if he scrubbed my floors!
So when can we look forward to the Stereophile review BMW of the BMW 330ix?
For me, it's the much too frequent comment that some audio component that costs in excess of $10,000 is a "bargain". Even if the component were insanely good, it's still a luxury item, and a luxury bargain is an oxymoron.
I was especially annoyed by Stereophile's review of Belles' amps; "not the greatest in resolution but extremely musical" (my paraphrase). I tried the 150 version & was so underwhelmed I thought something had to be seriously wrong with me or my rig (it just can't be THAT bad I'm thinking). NO detail even after I tweaked & tried everything possible. A later opportunity to audition the 350 confirmed a higher power lo-fi version of the original piece. Sure wasted a lot of my time & some $ down the drain. Not saying all of their advice is worthless & I still like the rag, but jeeze!
How about the phrase, "Jaw Dropping"?. I've come across that particular bit of physical astonishment more times than I can count. It would seem that audiophile reviewers
either forgot completely the last thing they heard in order to elicit such a response, or there are alot of them that need to see a good maxillo-facial surgeon.
"I liked it so much that I bought it." (And I bet at retail price, too.)
Did you know the word "gullible" is not in the dictionary?
"competitive with other (amps, speakers, cables, hairdryers) that cost thousands more"
How many reviews for solid state amps say "almost tube like" ?
How about the truly nauseating "yin" v. "yang" comparisons that some reviewers pass off as valuable ?
I always laugh when I browse a copy of What Hi-Fi Magazine. No component gets worse than 3 stars no matter how bad it is. Most of them get 5 stars, and then there is 5 gold stars which is higher then just 5 stars. Higher than 5 gold stars is 5 stars with an "Editor's Choice". Then when you notice that the magazine is 90% advertising you see why the rating system is the way it is.
I'm with Revvrun on the phrase, "jaw dropping". Then there are those who take it even further by commenting on how, after listening to some discs through said piece of miraculous machinery, they are "...picking their jaw up off the floor". Seems to me that it'd be hard to trust a critic's opinion who does critical listening with their head on the floor...?
I don't understand Stereophile's Class ratings. For example, with amps, there is a $1500 Class A amp and megabuck Class A amps. Do they both sound the same or does one mean that at a price point, this is the best you can get. How about the common claim that the piece of gear under review resulted in the best sound ever achieved in the reviewer's system . . . until next month when the phrase is repeated again. What about the claims that a $40-50,000 digital playback system will sound like really good vinyl. How much does the vinyl system cost that it is being compared to? How does one make any objective sense out of this? Why aren't cables bench tested in the reviews. Why aren't sound analyzed to compare the effect of tweaks and cables and cones and other gadgets. When a reviewer claims that small change in the system produces a large perceived musical change, can't there be any type of objective measurement just to show that there was a difference. I know that tweaks will change a sound, but allow the serious mags to demonstrate just what change occured. It is up to us to determine if we like the change or not.
The Audio Crtic magazine has quite a few - I remember reading this a couple months ago about the 10 biggest audio lies.
Analog cannot sound better than digital, ever.
All cables sound the same.
Tube gear simply cannot sound better than solid state.
I can't recall the others off the top of my head, but I think you get the idea. Give me a break.
The Stereophile "Class" rating are INVALID. They delete credible equipment based on the "not recently auditioned" or "too long since we have listened to this entry" What a crock! I suggest that my early '60's Scott LK150 power amp should be listed as a "Class A" item.
"HUGE" improvement, although not limited to print magazines. I've seen my fair share of it being used not very far from here in cyberspace. That the reviewer bought one for his own system is something reviewers borrowed from salespeople in audio shops. I have been wondering if they all have huge homes with a multitude of sound rooms or if the turnover rate is even greater than some of the people posting on Audiogon. The best though is when they make excuses for samples og mega-buck products that were DOA or failed shortly thereafter. That the desginer/builder showed up at their door with an upgraded unit is thrilling to hear. I am waiting for the day this happens to me. Maybe I should buy a Simaudio product and fake an electronic heart attack and see their reaction. Their facilites are five minutes away from my house. Naw. It'll never happen...
Oh yeah, What Hi-Fi is a circus. A layout to be kept away from the seizure proned. I do not like that Stereophile reviewers (there may be others mags) rarely, if ever, compare similarly priced components in some comprehensive fashion. "Sure, it's not quite as transparent, or neutral, and has less bass slam than the [most expensive component ever], but it's only one tenth the price!". That's almost saying less than nothing. Then's there's that positive review no matter what mentality. I remeber a pair of $2k, kind of weird single driver, quasi-bookshelf things. They thought it was great funky-fun except that it sounded and measured like garbage. A pleasure to own, no doubt!
I agree with Jsbail when reviewers say that a SS amp is tube like.
Stereokarter remarks on Stereophile's recommeded list is right on. What a joke.
I am an electronic idiot, but I hate it when a reviewer put so much emphasis on measurments. As Sam Tellig once said " are you going to listen to it or measure it" something to that effect.