Author Topic: John Atkinson stepping down as Editor of Stereophile Magazine  (Read 1218 times)

Offline steve

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I did not know where else to post this.

John Atkinson is stepping down as editor of Stereophile Magazine as of April 1st. He served for over 33 years.
He will assume the position as "Technical Editor". Jim Austin will assume the role of Editor.

https://www.stereophile.com/content/stereophile-next-generation

I was acquainted with John from participation on Stereophile Forum and a few emails. He is
a stand up guy, appreciated him in his role as editor.

Cheers

Steve
« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 09:00:47 PM by steve »
Steve Sammet (retired, owner, SAS Audio Labs)
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Offline Nick B

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Re: John Atkinson stepping down as Editor of Stereophile Magazine
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2020, 11:38:55 PM »
Thanks for the info, Steve. I stopped subscribing to Stereophile over a year ago. But I assume John is still happily taking all those measurements.
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Offline rollo

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Re: John Atkinson stepping down as Editor of Stereophile Magazine
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2020, 12:03:49 PM »
  Well some will be unhappy and others happy. The voicing crowd won't cry. The measurement crowd will. John was always a good Guy to me. Came to our show rooms and had very nice comments.. I will miss him as Editor.


charles
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Offline Nick B

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Re: John Atkinson stepping down as Editor of Stereophile Magazine
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2020, 12:40:56 PM »
  Well some will be unhappy and others happy. The voicing crowd won't cry. The measurement crowd will. John was always a good Guy to me. Came to our show rooms and had very nice comments.. I will miss him as Editor.


charles

I understand, Charles. Wasn’t intending to knock John. It’s just that the poor measurements hurt some manufacturers who’s equipment sounded quite good. Like my BP SE dac, for example.
I read and enjoyed Stereophile for many, many years. I’ve learned much more, though, from audio forums and especially this one.
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Offline dBe

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Re: John Atkinson stepping down as Editor of Stereophile Magazine
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2020, 01:16:16 PM »
Years ago (1998) Larry Archibald (remember him - He was truly a great guy) hired me to design the new Stereophile listening room in their upcoming construction in Santa Fe.  This was right before Petersen Publishing bought Stereophile.  Never got built because they moved the magazine to this location:https://www.stereophile.com/content/810-san-mateo-drive-santa-fe  It sucked that they didn't have the ir listening room any longer.

I had more than a few lunches with Larry and JA attended one of the lunches and was a total jackass.  Perhaps he was having a bad day.  We are all entitled to those.  It is just a shame that my initial impression was that he was I guy I had no desire to know.  Too bad.  Wes Phillips was great, so were the other people I interacted with during the process.  JA, not so much.

Offline steve

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Re: John Atkinson stepping down as Editor of Stereophile Magazine
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2020, 05:47:17 AM »
I had not read a lot of the magazine, but from what I read I thought he attempted to correlate measurements to perception.

I mainly know him from the Stereophile Forum where we discussed things, and we caught several
nefarious individuals posting obvious false information to mislead individuals, including attempting to
sabotage a 5 year study involving 3 national medical organizations, numerous universities,
peer reviewed study/experiment etc.

Also, at one point, I was receiving emails from John and a scammer (who did not know I was
receiving the emails) who was attempting to leverage his $11,000 yearly advertising budget against
his permanent ban from the forum. John stuck to his principles, which I appreciated, even though he
lost that $11,000 revenue from this individual. I am sure he picked it up from another individual with
better ethics.

I did not know John that well, so please don't take my comments as correcting anyone elses opinion.
It was just my experience.

cheers
steve
 

« Last Edit: February 11, 2020, 05:50:12 AM by steve »
Steve Sammet (retired, owner, SAS Audio Labs)
"V" Very Low Capacitance ICs, 40pf 1 meter
SAS Audio Labs Test Phono Stage
SAS Audio 11A Tube Reference Preamplifier
SAS Audio Labs 25 W Triode Reference Monoblocks
2 way test Spkrs, 28 - 20khz  -3db (28hz)

Offline Folsom

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Re: John Atkinson stepping down as Editor of Stereophile Magazine
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2020, 04:25:05 PM »
I hope to simply believe change is good. That magazine needs a fresher-upper big time. Although ironically as a somewhat moral person I'm not sure it's best he's the first to go.

Offline dBe

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Re: John Atkinson stepping down as Editor of Stereophile Magazine
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2020, 10:45:24 PM »
I hope to simply believe change is good. That magazine needs a fresher-upper big time. Although ironically as a somewhat moral person I'm not sure it's best he's the first to go.
:thumb:  Nomater my experience with JA he did much for the industry.

Offline rollo

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Re: John Atkinson stepping down as Editor of Stereophile Magazine
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2020, 02:17:56 PM »
  Nick I as well have a beef with JA over measurements of the Aqua Formula DAC. Many many sold and the buyers LOVE the sound. Same with Border Patrol DAC. Numerous units sold. Voicing is also an accepted means of music reproduction. IMHO that subject is the real reason. There have been complaints.  :roll:

charles
contact me  at rollo14@verizon.net or visit us on Facebook
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Offline Nick B

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Re: John Atkinson stepping down as Editor of Stereophile Magazine
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2020, 05:15:18 PM »
  Nick I as well have a beef with JA over measurements of the Aqua Formula DAC. Many many sold and the buyers LOVE the sound. Same with Border Patrol DAC. Numerous units sold. Voicing is also an accepted means of music reproduction. IMHO that subject is the real reason. There have been complaints.  :roll:

charles

Charles,
I had no idea that one of your favorite dacs measured bad. I’m fine with measurements, but ultimately how does the thing sound when it’s in my home. One of the guys here, maybe Doug, mentioned the detailed measurements that are done over at audiosciencereview and I do read some of the articles and check out the graphs. Fascinating stuff and nicely done.
Nick
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Border Patrol SEi dac
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Offline Folsom

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Re: John Atkinson stepping down as Editor of Stereophile Magazine
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2020, 05:48:11 PM »
Measurements are important but sound is what truly matters. If you like it, and the measurements say bad, ignore them - just don't forget them if you're trying to trouble shoot some part of the sound.

JA is a decent guy, but sometimes I kind of rolled my eyes because he'd be like "sounds great, measures like poo so I don't recommend it". He wouldn't take that position with everything, but sometimes... So I understand how not everyone is a fan all the time.

I'm thinking about making DBT enthusiasm a bannable offense here, actually.

Offline dBe

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Re: John Atkinson stepping down as Editor of Stereophile Magazine
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2020, 06:14:43 PM »
Measurements are important but sound is what truly matters. If you like it, and the measurements say bad, ignore them - just don't forget them if you're trying to trouble shoot some part of the sound.

JA is a decent guy, but sometimes I kind of rolled my eyes because he'd be like "sounds great, measures like poo so I don't recommend it". He wouldn't take that position with everything, but sometimes... So I understand how not everyone is a fan all the time.

I'm thinking about making DBT enthusiasm a bannable offense here, actually.
:thumb:

DBT is seldom conducted properly and those are mostly performed by people that don’t understand the time necessary to conduct the tests.

+1 for banning along with the belittlement from people that scream MEASUReMENTS are everything.

Just sayin’...

If people can’t hear they need a different avocation.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2020, 06:16:21 PM by dBe »

Offline Folsom

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Re: John Atkinson stepping down as Editor of Stereophile Magazine
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2020, 07:08:10 PM »
Measurements are important but sound is what truly matters. If you like it, and the measurements say bad, ignore them - just don't forget them if you're trying to trouble shoot some part of the sound.

JA is a decent guy, but sometimes I kind of rolled my eyes because he'd be like "sounds great, measures like poo so I don't recommend it". He wouldn't take that position with everything, but sometimes... So I understand how not everyone is a fan all the time.

I'm thinking about making DBT enthusiasm a bannable offense here, actually.
:thumb:

DBT is seldom conducted properly and those are mostly performed by people that don’t understand the time necessary to conduct the tests.

+1 for banning along with the belittlement from people that scream MEASUReMENTS are everything.

Just sayin’...

If people can’t hear they need a different avocation.

I don't think it has anything to do with the way the tests are run. Audio appears to be a field where DBT as we know them simply don't work at all.

It's against the rules to attack anyone already, so I don't see belittlement being a thing. It's more like I don't want this space to be the kind that tells everyone they're hallucinating and can't hear what they hear because they haven't proved with a DBT that they can hear it...

Offline tmazz

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Re: John Atkinson stepping down as Editor of Stereophile Magazine
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2020, 08:48:32 PM »
I simply looked at JA as I do with all other reviewers. After a while you can get a sense of what they like and don't like and from then out I read their writing with a sense of how they see things and how their take on things converges or diverges from my own preferences. Know how a writer thinks I can still gains some keen insight into how I would feel about a product by simply looking at the review through their lens and adjusting the conclusions accordingly. Once I understand a writers likes and dislikes I can still glean valuable information from a review even if my preferences don't align with theirs
Remember, it's all about the music........

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Offline dBe

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Re: John Atkinson stepping down as Editor of Stereophile Magazine
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2020, 10:29:25 PM »

I don't think it has anything to do with the way the tests are run. Audio appears to be a field where DBT as we know them simply don't work at all.
To run a double blind test properly can take hours to arrive at a conclusive single answer.  We learned this back in the 80’s when the engineering staff at the recording studio I worked at decided to optimize the gear we had.  That is what happens when there isn’t a ton of money to be able to buy “better” gear.  The old POOGE process in application.

The impetus:  we had an Otari 1/2” 30 ips mastering recorder that blew up the power supply.  The four of us that had worked with it for years absolutely knew that machine inside out concerning sonics.  A replacement power supply was over $1K back then, but worse yet getting one was at least a month out due to the shortage of two generation old technology.  The option was to repair the power supply.  When I tore the power supply down it was obvious that some of the components were minimal at best.  I replaced the smoked transformer with the only one I could find quickly with one that had twice the current capability.  The diodes that the TX took with it in its death throes were replaced with newer higher current versions. Smoked resistors were replaced with 10W wirewounds.  Filter caps were doubled in capacity because I found them at Sandis National Labs salvage for pennies on the dollar - again it was what I could find.  Rebuild took a week.  When we did the cross our fingers test all of us were astounded at the improvement in SQ of that machine playing back our Reference Standard tapes.  That is when we decided to begin upgrading the essential gear we had when possible.

We opted to use the jury method of auditioning parts and pieces to be used to upgrade the equipment.  It didn’t take us long to determine that in order to achieve 90%+ repeatability in selection meant spending time doing extended listening to choose the best parts, from caps to opamps and transistors, etc.

Why?

Simple.  Performance anxiety induced by making forced, hasty decisions.  One of the techs designed and built a random selection switch that was a choice of three.  It was the first ABX comparator any of us had seen.  When a test subject has time to leisurely do multiple comparisons with the opportunity to take breaks to prevent ear fatigue, all of us were able to independently determine the best sounding parts with repeatability and unanimity in selection as to what was best.

Total upgrade took a year.  From the original Otari victim through the outboard gear and finally the mixing desk...

The first Sara K GYPSY ALLEY album that got her a Chesky contract (another sordid story) was recorded on that gear.  The MCI JH16 2” multitrack recordings were mastered on a shitty Sony U-matic 14-bit (14 bits on a good day) digital recorder.  Even so, it still stands as a decent recording from the dawn of digital.

TMSAISTI...