I used to prefer Stereophile, but now I prefer Abosolute Sound. Their reviews are shorter and more to the point and they have FAR more music reviews.
I still subscribe to both as Stereophile is so cheap ($10/yr) and I like reading Fremer & Dudley. For about 80 cents an issue, why not?
Stereophile by far. A more honest publication these days. Far better than any online zine.
I much prefer HiFi+, to either of the two you mentioned. (And yeah, I know, TAS bought HiFI+.)
If I had to choose, I'd say I prefer The Absolute Sound to Stereophile. They seem more professional, (slightly anyway), and for the two reasons that Ncarv pointed out. Neither is particularly good. And, IMHO, Stereophile seems to have turned into this generations Stereo Review. (And that is most definitely NOT a good thing!). Back in the late '80s and early '90s, I used to subscribe to Stereophile, and they seemed much, much better, back when Holt was in charge, (or at least involved).
HiFi+ has Roy Gregory, who I much prefer to any of the writers at Stereophile, especially Fremer or Dudley, who really annoy me.
My two cents worth.
PS And, unlike Ncarv, I'd rather have the 80 cents a month in my pocket, which should tell you just how far Stereophile has sunk in my opinion. (Hey, that means I get to buy one more used CD a year.)
I enjoy both,,I like reading Stereophile a bit more .But think Absolute sound has better photos.Kind of like the diff. between Playboy and Penthouse.I subscribe to Stereophile ,as Ncarv said"For about 80 cents an issue why not?"
I usually cruise through Stereophile in one sitting whereas TAS takes more like a week.
TAS has more of that good-old-feeling from the early Nineties...
stereophile strays into subject matter like 'who came by for a drink' or 'my cat likes the turntable'.....the kind of fluff you get in an airline magazine. i prefer the on-line sites, even though they tend to love everything. listener and the sensible sound were the best.
Stereophile, because of the writers. I do however subscribe to both.
Stereophile, because they do some measurements as part of the review.
UHF is my favorite though, because of their excellent technology and music articles.
IMO: TAS reviews seem to be getting superficial (wham, bam, thank you maam) while Stereophile seems to be sticking to more in depth reviewing. I must admit though that I usually read music reviews first and equipment reviews as time allows. I also subscribe to both.
My bathroom always has the latest copy of Stereophile.
I subscribed to both. I prefer stereophile more indepth review. However I prefer the lay out of TAS but I felt that it carries too many pages of music review which is not my preference. Overall I prefer stereophile for the choice of review by Michael Fremer and Art Duddley even though I think sometime Michael can be factually wrong eg this month review of Simon York turntable and in quoting the weight of TW acustic Raven as more than 170lbs when its actually 132lbs ( turntable 50kg, platter 10kg refer to gtaudio). Dont publishers can for factual info before its publish??? Anyway , I like his review for his honesty and controversy generated. Tough to be a reviewer. If he is honest he get crucify for not setting up properly etc and if review is favourable he is accuse of coddling with the owner of the reviewed item. Anyway if I have to pick my favourable review online or magazine, I prefer positive feedback and 6moons for their varieties which will never appear in any magazine.
I agree with Kurt, HiFi+ is my favorite. I do like the measurements in Stereophile, but otherwise generally prefer reading TAS.
My vote is also for HiFi+. The best magazine out there.
Sterophil still rules for the reviews, mostly due to supporting measurments. The absolute sounds edges out the Stereophile by wide margin in music reviews. Hifi + I don't sunscribe to but order some select issues has best of both Stereophile and AS. Hifi + has the best illustrtions of equipment and ample music reviews. I subscribe to both because it really costs 'peanuts' and you could gain /entertain by reading both. Hifi + subscription here I come.....
both are entertaining. you can get a good laugh from either one. one is not better than the other. both are worth reading but not worth buying.
I get both. I like both. I also get HiFi Review. Hell, sometimes I buy The Sensible Sound and HiFi +.
My perfect magazine would be:
John Atkinson's measurements: because he is trying to correlate objective and subjective results. I would imagine he has measured more speakers than anyone else in the world and I feel like a waterfall chart and frequency curve give the best predictive results of loudspeaker behavior. However, I would get rid of his tube measurements, because obviously science is not able to quantify "wonderfulness" and neither is he. He never met a tube amp he couldn't dis.
Harry Pierson's reviews just because he amuses me anymore.
Jonathan Valin's reviews because except for one important point, I tend to hear the same things he reports. The important point being that the latest expensive piece of equipment I hear and get to borrow does not obsolete everything past or present on this planet nor Vulcan. I hope the Ghost of Great Equipment that Ain't So Great Now comes pays him a visit.
The HiFi Review piece that interviews a hobbiest who describes how he got to his current system. Those guys are just honest about the journey, and they have fear of hurting no one.
Michael Fremer because anybody that can keep an esoteric thing like turntables fresh and alive, and dare I say it, exciting? is worth reading. That and he actually makes very very large purchases of reference equipment, when he could just "borrow forever" virtually anything he wants. This "borrowing", afterall does add to the cost of the equipment from a small company that a consumer will pay, one way or another. Sure he gets an accomadation, but what kind of accomadation does one get on a hundred grand turntable?
Roy Gregory when he does a major article on a piece, because he does such a thorough job, and he generally picks equipment of interest to me.
Martin Colloms, who I don't think writes for hardcopy mags anymore, because he had enough integrity to assign an actual numerical number from 1 to40 for a piece of equipment, rather than A++, A+, A, A slightly minus
Anthony Cordesman, again, because he buys his own stuff, and his reviews strike me as very very honest.
Brian Damkroker, who, because he wants to draw new people in to the hobby, never gets the bling. Always who I refer to when I have a friend who wants a "really nice system".
Could you imagine saying... "No, I don't want to borrow Alexandrias, but do ya make something around 300 bucks that you could loan me?"
Interviews in Stereophile with engineers and icons.
The HiFi Review section where readers describe their systems and what they want to do, and writers actualy give them equipment recommendations.
I don't know why, but I don't really discern many differences in the music reviews, as long as they give an indication of fidelity and performance, I don't find anybody particularly good or bad, maybe I am just musical review challenged.
The policy Stereophile has of ensuring a certain level of business before they review a company's products. This ensures for me, that there is at least some staying power, level of customer service and warranty of an item, and that at least some dealers are willing to shell out cash to carry the line.
Here's what I hate:
The public backbiting, especially from TAS, especially from Harry Pierson, but there is some on both sides. Do what good salespeople do, take the high road, make your own product as good as it can be, don't point out the other guys's shortcomings or mistakes, concentrate on making your own product as good as possible, and audiophiles will spend their 80 cents an issue, unless, of course, you publish a review on something too cheap, expensive, esoteric or mainstream, then may you burn in hell and go bankrupt by me abruptly cancelling my subscription, and taking my 80 cents with me.
Publishing a letter to editor, and then slamming the guy writing, even if he is a moron. What possible purpose could that serve? I feel that no matter how moronic or mean spirited the letter is, seeing as the magazine always gets the last commentary, makes the magazine just that inch more moronic and mean spirited. A well crafted response, on the other, such as John Atkinson printing expletives in a direct quote, and then explaining that magazine policy is not to edit direct quotes, and that the magazine is aimed at adults who, after all have heard these same epithets before, most welcome.
The incredibly shrinking Stereophile, except of course, their Recommended Components month, in which, because they recommend at least one component from any and all equipment manufacturers and get same to advertise in that issue, are pretty big.
I hear virtually nothing the way Sam Tellig does. One of us has wax in his ears. I really hope it is me. If it is me, I can just suscribe to the Musical Fidelity piece of the month club, get a new one every month, and just send it back within ten days if I don't like it. Then, I can save my 80 cents a rag.
I could take a Bose Musicwave, wrap it in leather and burl walnut, call it Boserini, and Ken Kessler would recommend it because it's Italian.
Major reviews and covers happening and in either that or the next issue, major advertising starts to happen in the magazine for that product. Okay, I'm that stupid.
stereophile is much more in-depth. TAS has lost its way!
Both are just a shadow of what they were in the past. Even HI FI + one of the few good ones left has been bought and ruined.
both are entertaining. you can get a good laugh from either one<<
Just like any reviewer.
I like each one for different reasons. I like the measurements and technical analysis of reviewed components of Stereophile. I like the everyman style of TAS. Sometimes I feel the reviewers in Stereophile are trying too hard to be audiophiles when describing how a component sounds. I plan on keeping both but if I had to only choose one it would be TAS which I find to be more entertaining and easier to read without having to concentrate.
I always like seeing them in the mailbox and then end up buzzing through them pretty quickly. If I read one interesting article and get a music recommendation or two I'm usually satisfied.
On the other hand, I read HIFI Critic from front to back at least once.
you can get many laughs from audio dealers too.
thank you for your humorous statements in the past. keep 'em comin'
I cancelled Stereophile this month (after MANY years) when Fremer stated last month that the $25K Grand Prix TT was "reasonably priced". Folks, as I understand it, you still have to buy a tonearm and cart. I wrote a letter to the Stereophile editor, which went unacknowledged/unanswered suggesting a reviewer who supports a family with kids should review equipment, instead of fat cats like Fremer.
Stereophile but I get both.
I like these while seating on my tron.
I am dead serious Mrt.
No humor intended.
Stereophile. I dislike TAS - too snobby and shallow. But Hifi+ is my favorite.
Gradual shrinkage at Stereophile, though I suppose you get what you pay for. Recommended Components is a big joke full of grade inflation and industry log rolling. However Fremer is always worth following. TAS has more meat & elegance, and more & better music reviews. These days the webzines hold the most interest.
I miss Listener, in that they followed one of the most important tenets of Hifi review editing...
Don't take yourself too seriously.
My vote for a currently circulating pub. though would be Hifi+, I'm afraid.
I've subscribed to both over the years. Currently, I'm only subscribing to Stereophile. I do enjoy "Sam's Space". Yes - I know he shills for way to many products - but he's an entertaining read most of the time. I suspect I will give TAS a try as I'm on the upgrade path again after moving up to some nice JM Lab Be speakers recently.
Well, At one time I subscribed to both. I was tired of the always kind reviews and stopped subscribing to either. I recently returned to Stereophile (cost) and not much has changed. I must admit that I do anticipate the "recommended Components" issue of Stereophile. The Letter to the editor posts have not changed much either. Maybe I'm the one that has changed. Nonetheless, I will continue reading and subscribing to Stereophile, and Absolute Sound. As always I appreciate your feedback