Author Topic: Audio Reviews Worth it ????  (Read 693 times)

Offline rollo

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Audio Reviews Worth it ????
« on: January 16, 2019, 11:53:49 AM »
   Recently after reading some reviewers comments.  I have lost my faith in most reviewers. There are a few I respect. Part Time Audiophile, Enjoy the Music, Planet 10, Computer Audio, AV Showrooms, HI Fi+ and few others.
   I need to see a photo of room used for starters. Then set up of speaker or component reviewed. One would cringe after seeing some set ups used. When a reviewer has to stick socks in ports to review because his room is limited for said speaker, GIVE IT TO ANOTHER WHO HAS A PROPER ROOM. Their hearing, rooms, gear is NOT yours so mostly reviews are moot. Fun read maybe but that is it.
   When the reviewer likes the component and is thrilled only to be derailed by the measurement guy. WTF ? Is it me or have you noticed as well seasoned reviews appear to favor brighter, leaner reproduction or hear a non linear sound or claim top end is not detailed or lively. Hearing loss ? I'm 68 and know that personally. Just cannot hear ALL the high frequencies any longer. Can only hear to 22K Hz now  :duh :duh :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: Believe me NOT alone. The balls to admit it as well. Truth !
  Recently several components reviewed were bashed. Those components have sales off the charts as the customers just love them. However did not measure up to someones standards and reviewer now "shaking his head" over pricing after measurements and a positive review. hearing reviewers say I loved it but "Had my pants pulled down by measurements" Did the sound change after measurements ? No just the recco. BS.
Your opinion ??
 

charles

 
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Offline James Edward

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Re: Audio Reviews Worth it ????
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2019, 02:55:43 PM »
I hadn’t really thought about the qualifications of the listening area vis a vis the review, until I saw the video of a pair of Sonus Faber Aida’s being delivered to Michael Fremer for review. You judge for yourself: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FfzCsP7WZOc

I can’t help but read the reviews, and anything audio related, as it interests and entertains me. As far as what they are- a total crock of shit. I don’t have any total recall of particulars, but how does this ad lib ‘review’ sound:
“I reviewed XYZ 2 years ago, and if I hadn’t had the baby just then, I would have purchased it. Now that I hear the XYZ MK 2, I am gobsmacked at how much wider the soundstage is. How did they manage this for only $2,000.00 more?”
Or:
“Sure, it’s a $9,000.00 DAC, but the ABC $2,000.00 power cord really opened things up, and if you are spending this much on a DAC, you might as well go all in.”
Or: (a personal favorite of mine when 2 or more items are compared)
“Piece A is really great at 199.00, but at 219.00, piece B adds more air, and a blacker background. But if you have the scratch, piece C has it all for 249.00.”
“Oh, and did I mention that my industry accommodation price is peanuts relative to what you, dear reader, pay?”

For 12.00, get a subscription to Road and Track or Car and Driver magazine. If all you read for comparative reviews are audio magazines, you’ll be shocked. The car mags regularly cite what they don’t like in new models, chide manufacturers about what they never seem to get right, etc., etc.

The entry point to becoming a manufacturer of audio gear is extraordinarily lower than in autos, so maybe reviewers don’t want their bad review to bankrupt someone just starting out. But they seem to use the same qualifiers no matter the size of the company.

Offline Nick B

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Re: Audio Reviews Worth it ????
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2019, 04:13:26 PM »
I hadn’t really thought about the qualifications of the listening area vis a vis the review, until I saw the video of a pair of Sonus Faber Aida’s being delivered to Michael Fremer for review. You judge for yourself: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FfzCsP7WZOc

I can’t help but read the reviews, and anything audio related, as it interests and entertains me. As far as what they are- a total crock of shit. I don’t have any total recall of particulars, but how does this ad lib ‘review’ sound:
“I reviewed XYZ 2 years ago, and if I hadn’t had the baby just then, I would have purchased it. Now that I hear the XYZ MK 2, I am gobsmacked at how much wider the soundstage is. How did they manage this for only $2,000.00 more?”
Or:
“Sure, it’s a $9,000.00 DAC, but the ABC $2,000.00 power cord really opened things up, and if you are spending this much on a DAC, you might as well go all in.”
Or: (a personal favorite of mine when 2 or more items are compared)
“Piece A is really great at 199.00, but at 219.00, piece B adds more air, and a blacker background. But if you have the scratch, piece C has it all for 249.00.”
“Oh, and did I mention that my industry accommodation price is peanuts relative to what you, dear reader, pay?”

For 12.00, get a subscription to Road and Track or Car and Driver magazine. If all you read for comparative reviews are audio magazines, you’ll be shocked. The car mags regularly cite what they don’t like in new models, chide manufacturers about what they never seem to get right, etc., etc.

The entry point to becoming a manufacturer of audio gear is extraordinarily lower than in autos, so maybe reviewers don’t want their bad review to bankrupt someone just starting out. But they seem to use the same qualifiers no matter the size of the company.

If you hadn’t posted that link, I would not have believed it. I’ll admit to knowing little about room acoustics and room size as to the size of speakers, but that setup seems like a disservice to the speaker manufacturer.
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Offline rollo

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Re: Audio Reviews Worth it ????
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2019, 08:12:21 AM »
  EXACTLY gentleman. They say the "room" is the most important part yet most use inferior rooms. Yes Jim it is entertainment reading however not what I'm there for. How about the " measurement police". Put down more great sounding components just because they measure differently.
Remember this whole thing is an illusion of sorts. We still cannot get the full force and dynamics of live. However we can get emotional impact from an SET with higher distortion than a SS amp.
So I say again, show us your room.


charles
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Offline AJ Soundfield

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Re: Audio Reviews Worth it ????
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2019, 10:04:31 AM »
They say the "room" is the most important part yet most use inferior rooms.
That's because the manufacturers never say "Speaker not to be used in, or sold to, those with 'inferior' rooms".
Know any that do?

How about the " measurement police".
..we can get emotional impact from an SET with higher distortion than a SS amp.
No such Police, anymore than Santa Claus. The measurements are simply objective data points. Often difficult or impossible to translate into subjective preferences. One mans SET "magic"/SS "transparency" is anothers colored distortion/sterility...and vice versa. Neither is right/wrong, just simple preference. Many audiophiles confuse their own preference for something else.

So I say again, show us your room.
You know what I love about audio shows? 90% of the "rooms" are exactly the same. Same layout, dimensions, construction, etc. all exactly the same.
Yet you go from one to another and hear great sound...to shyte sound. How do the "inferior 'room' police" reconcile this?
I love me some shows. 8)
See ya soon

cheers,

AJ

p.s. please leave that snow at home lol
« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 10:06:26 AM by AJ Soundfield »
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Offline rollo

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Re: Audio Reviews Worth it ????
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2019, 11:55:19 AM »
  AJ I'm talking reviewers here. Their room should be right. The measurement police exist at Stereophile. Lots of tension lately over their stance.
  Well if all the rooms are the same it appears the electronics and set up of such are the key there. Some actually treat said room and measure to get best result.

charles
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Offline AJ Soundfield

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Re: Audio Reviews Worth it ????
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2019, 03:00:09 PM »
AJ I'm talking reviewers here. Their room should be right.
But there is no such thing as a "right" room, nor does a single manufacturer claim that you must have a "right" room for the product to function. Manufacturers will sell to everyone, with "right" and "wrong" rooms, just like reviwers have. Too many variations out there for anything to be "right".
A lot of personal preference there too. The better the speaker design, the less chance the room will be "wrong".
Lot's of rooms take the blame for crappola clueless audiophile designs. That's my point about show rooms. How the heck can it be the room if someone else is getting great sound in the exact replica room?
Clearly, it would be the speakers/equipment/setup and knowledge of the exhibitor that matters. IMO, outside an extreme tiled bathroom/closet/etc. blaming the "room" is a piss poor excuse.

The measurement police exist at Stereophile. Lots of tension lately over their stance.
Coincidentally, one of the rare few that can measure! What tension??? At best, differing opinions, most likely from (mis)understanding.

Well if all the rooms are the same it appears the electronics and set up of such are the key there. Some actually treat said room and measure to get best result.
Bingo! The "room" can't be reasonably scapegoated for poor sound there, when next door, same darn room, good sound. As you said, setup is key.

cheers,

AJ
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Offline jimbones

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Re: Audio Reviews Worth it ????
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2019, 06:12:57 AM »
 Recently several components reviewed were bashed. Those components have sales off the charts as the customers just love them.

Charles you found a reviewer saying negative things about a product?! I've never seen that before. My problem is they never say a bad thing about anything!!! Thats why I dont trust them. I read very carefully and get ideas from other enthusiasts and make my own choice.
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Offline Nick B

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Re: Audio Reviews Worth it ????
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2019, 07:47:47 AM »
I read professional reviews and that’s a helpful starting point. Customer reviews are the most useful, but the caveat being is the associated equipment that the customer owns. So it’s great that we have guys like Charles, Pete etc that have exposure to and own excellent equipment. Probably the most useful thing I’ve ever done in improving my system incrementally is joining this forum years ago 👍
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Offline AJ Soundfield

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Re: Audio Reviews Worth it ????
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2019, 07:55:30 AM »
Recently several components reviewed were bashed. Those components have sales off the charts as the customers just love them.
I thought you were quoting Bose!  :rofl:
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Offline jimbones

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Re: Audio Reviews Worth it ????
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2019, 08:49:24 AM »
I read professional reviews and that’s a helpful starting point. Customer reviews are the most useful, but the caveat being is the associated equipment that the customer owns. So it’s great that we have guys like Charles, Pete etc that have exposure to and own excellent equipment. Probably the most useful thing I’ve ever done in improving my system incrementally is joining this forum years ago 👍

Agree, find someone in the club or in this forum that has owned the equipment and understand the context of how they used it and how it will be used in your system. It's always a risk.
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Online Folsom

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Re: Audio Reviews Worth it ????
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2019, 10:16:06 AM »
I enjoy NewRecordDay, too. All in all I try to read between the lines. I'm the guy that'll say "I think it sucks, but I'm sure someone likes it for X reason".

Offline P.I.

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Re: Audio Reviews Worth it ????
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2019, 08:33:00 PM »
For as long as I can remember the vast majority of audio”journalists” have been as corrupt as the “drive by media” is today. 
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Offline JBNY

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Re: Audio Reviews Worth it ????
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2019, 10:24:09 AM »
Those reviews were very eye opening. Those measurements were almost appalling they were so bad. But the reviewers loved them. So was it that the gear really sounds good or was it a case of expectation bias. And if the gear really does sound good, even with all that terrible distortion and poor frequency response, then what does that say about the idea of gear trying to bring you all that is in the recording unaltered.
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