One of my pet peeves is when a reviewer states that one format is clearly superior to another. Then we find out, for example, that he/she is using a 15k analog rig and a 1.5k CD player. That kind of one-sided comparison leads to a lot of misinformation.
15 responses Add your response
One of my pet peeves is when a reviewer states that one format is clearly superior to another. Then we find out, for example, that he/she is using a 15k analog rig and a 1.5k CD player. That kind of one-sided comparison leads to a lot of misinformation. Before making such a statement, reviewers should make sure that each format is on a level playing field. (Sorry for the duplicate post; I just wanted to add a concluding sentence.)
What I would like to see is a list of NOT Recommended components. Too many times reviewers mention they're listening to something but the review never appears. In a few cases it got out the component was a dog but there was no official "bad" review. I too would also like to see comparisons back to last months last years, and even ten years ago "best" to see how they really compare. There's way too much hyperbole over minute differences. While I have detected differences in component upgrades I always expect more than I get based on proffesional and non-professional (e.g. Audiogon) reviewers comments. The only time I have been "blown away" by the difference was on a couple of speaker upgrades. No electronic upgrade has ever warranted "blown away", "lifted a thousand veils", etc. Oh dear, excuse me for ranting. I'll shut up now!
>>reviewers should not accept 'perks of any kind' from manufacturers<<
That's right. No dinners, no lunches, no vacations, no freebies, no samples, no special pricing. However this IS how the review process works and we all must be cognizant of it with EVERY published review. I for one don't take any of them seriously. There is bias of some sort in each and every one. Listen for yourself and stop supporting the shills.
They could skip "this is the best I've ever heard!" or "this is the best" statements!. I've read this so many times that it has become annoying. Besides, making such a statement usually invites a severe backlash from readers. The statement implies that reviewer has heard everything out there. This is close to impossible!
if the restaurant critic for the detroit free-press accepts an accomodation from a restaurant they are fired. by definition it requires two 'willing' parties to engage in this. they should spell this out prominently.....like a store policy. the notion that audio journalists are qualified to professionally recommend something for a consumer to invest in is just fine. if 'accomodation' goes with the territory, then a prominent warning to never buy the items reviewed. now its entertainment like reading one's horoscope.
I would like to see qualification from the reviewer as to why, before he or she even begins, that in the context of his or her SYSTEM, the component being evaluated can yield ANY useful information. I remember a spate of Thiel reviews where it was completely clear that the amplifier being used to evaluate the speakers had no capability whatsoever to drive the damn things and then the reviewer called them bright. Well, yeah duh. So system context in my mind is 95% of the perceived outcome of any component review and I will harp on this point till I die.
Another thing . Reviewers should shoulder some responsiblity and conduct their reviews in adequate room enviroments. Case in point is Stereophiles Michael Fremer . In the review of the Aerial 20 t he comments that the speaker had a lack of bass output but quailfies the remark by stating the room has a suckout which inhibits the speakers from performing in his room . He then praises the speaker but will not give it a full range class A rating . He is over ruled in a future issue of Recommended Components and the speaker is given top honors. To his credit , he claimed it was capable of full range response as he heard it at Ces if i am not mistaken but his room in which he reviews has serious problems and i must admit , i am constantly reminded of this when i read his evaluations .
I have shared respect for Michael Fremer in the past but I think I am changing my view; recently I just received the latest catalog from Music Direct...go look at the phono pre section alone. All those accolades from Mikey make me shudder when I see phono pre after phono pre where he attests, to paraphrase, "that it is among the best I've heard." I wonder if the folks at MD are aware of the blunder they have created. Yes it is possible folks, there are some components where EVERY MODEL CAN BE BEST!
In speaker reviews, I would appreciate some comments on how well the speaker performs at lower volumes. Some speakers don't deliver the goods at all until you crank them, while others can be very satisfying at low volume. I want to know this.
I also appreciate overall characterizations of components, such as Teajay's excellent digital thread elsewhere on Audiogon. Comments such as "great bass, transparent midrange, sparkling highs" don't help me as much as an observation that a component is characterized by an overall pristine clarity and detail, while another component is all about a relaxed, soft focus. Even a red wine - white wine distinction is helpful, but maybe that's just me.
Subjective rating scale as done by enjoythemusic
Sub-bass (10 Hz - 60 Hz) 80
Mid-bass (80 Hz - 200 Hz) 90
Midrange (200 Hz - 3,000 Hz) 85
High-frequencies (3,000 Hz on up) 85
P.R.A.T (Pace, Rhythm, Acceleration, Timing) 85
Inner Resolution 80
Soundscape width front 85
Soundscape width rear 85
Soundscape depth behind loudspeakers 75
Soundscape extension into the room 80
Fit and Finish 90
Self Noise 100
Value for the Money 100