Part-Time Audiophile Best of the Year Awards

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by LeeS, Dec 26, 2017.

  1. russk

    russk Forum Resident

    Location:
    Syracuse NY
    Glad to see Elekit made the list. Their gear sounds great. The preamp I built with a friend and the alarm clock I helped my youngest son build were incredibly easy, well packaged and we'll documented. Really neat company. Though I don't think they've sold that particular amp for awhile now.

    Wilson Audio though. Seems like every best of list has either them or Magico as the obligatory top picks. Can't stand either of them. Though I haven't heard any Wilson Audio speakers since the Watt/Puppies and the Grand Slam.

    Do you guys ever compare your top picks?
     
    inperson likes this.
  2. timztunz

    timztunz Audioista

    Location:
    Texas and Brasil
    Yeah but if he or others don’t post things like this the troglodytes are just left to wallow in their mediocrity. It’s more of a PSA.
     
    LeeS likes this.
  3. No Static

    No Static Gain Rider

    Location:
    Alabama
    PSA. I laughed.
     
    LeeS likes this.
  4. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta
    Russ,

    The new Wilsons are much better than the old Watt/Puppies. I find the new CST tweeter has allowed them to be more musical than in the past but with the hallmarks of imaging and resolution that they were known for in the past. It's a more organic sounding speaker. I would encourage to have a listen to the new stuff as the sound as evolved nicely. Similar things are happening with Magico.
     
  5. russk

    russk Forum Resident

    Location:
    Syracuse NY
    I'm going to either TAVES or the NY Audio Show this year so hopefully they'll have an exhibit. As someone that frequents audio shows which do you recommend?
     
  6. Mogens

    Mogens Forum Resident

    Location:
    Green Bay, Wis.
    So it’s acceptable to refer to folks as troglodytes wallowing in mediocrity when they point out that a “budget” system costing $3000-5000 would sound like a joke to most people in the US, but questioning the morality of spending $300,000 on a set of cables is way, way over the line. Got it. I sincerely hope that you enjoy your lives and music as much as I do, but the fact that so many here are so defensive leads me to believe that that’s not the case. Have a great 2018!
     
    ralf11 likes this.
  7. Kal Rubinson

    Kal Rubinson Forum Resident

    Indeed, this is the case and I know of no solution. As you imply, the reviewer and his references should be a "known quantity" and the underlying information is available in print and on-line. Reviews (as opposed to measurements/tests) are opinions and one cannot assess the relevance of an opinion (review) without knowledge of the source (reviewer). There are reviewers whom I rarely read (based on history) and whose opinions I discount when I do read them; That applies to spheres other than audio, as well.

    Admirable but too rare for obvious reasons. Done properly, this entails a major disruption (and distraction) of the reviewer's world for a significant period of time. More often, a responsible reviewer will make useful comparisons as part of the review of every individual product.
     
    LeeS likes this.
  8. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta
    The closest and best show would be to go to Axpona in Chicago if you can. Rocky Mountain in Denver is my favorite.
     
  9. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta
    Personally I don't mind people talking about high prices in high end audio but I think this shouldn't be a topic of discussion every time someone posts an article that mentions expensive gear. The problem here is that it comes up so often the Hardware section has lost some knowledgeable, well-regarded members who have expensive gear but have decided that this board is too hostile to have reasonable conversations. Some are still around but don't post often so the quality of the community suffers.
     
    bajaed, btf1980, Eigenvector and 5 others like this.
  10. putz

    putz Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    Capital Audio Fest in Maryland is another show you should consider since you are on the east coast. The NY show is not one I would recommend.
     
  11. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta
    A possibility but it is very small compared to Axpona or RMAF. I would recommend buying a plane ticket and going to Chicago. It may be a little more $ (maybe not if you reserve soon since it is in April) but you will see and hear a lot more gear.
     
  12. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Both!
     
    russk likes this.
  13. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    Another option, often neglected these days, is to visit an audio colleague with the gear in question and listen to it in a home environment, rather than a show or showroom. Granted, there will still be variables in the component make up of the system, and set up, but it's an enjoyable way to get more engaged. Given that we are all geographically dispersed-- sort of the nature of the Internet (a much broader, international audience rather than a small, local community)--that may involve a trip- a road trip or plane flight. But, most audiophiles I know are pretty generous that way- and will be happy to have a guest for a couple nights. And, it is fun spending face time with people you only know virtually from the boards.
    Back in ye olde days, pre-Internet, that's pretty much how we got to listen to components outside of shows and dealer showrooms. And audio clubs, to the extent they exist in your locality. (Those are often gab sessions though, and social events beyond the strict discipline of listening- still fun though).
     
    LeeS likes this.
  14. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    I think the problem I have with lists is that IMO they add a certain degree of confusion on the one hand and they absolutely influence uying decisions. I remember buying tje Arcam Delta 290. Largely a piece of crap that Stereophile raved endlessly about awarding it class B. The least expensive integrated to get class B. Being young and dumb i trusted the reviews over buyong tje Sugden A21a. This was mid 90s before the internet and who the hell was Sugden. Sugden not on list. Arcam was the favorite.

    It isn't the first time amd many audioohiles blow a poop ton of money relying on lists and usually get nowhere. Thebmain problemis tjat very different sounding gear winds up with the politically correct gold star. But when an Audio Note Jinro makes a list alongside a Krell or Krell like amp and both are touted as class A. Well hearing both in the same room a to b it's a head scratcher to me that someone can walk away saying they're both the same class of quality sound.

    I can sort of get speakers. I mean a big multi driver Wilson does zilch for me because the cohesion is laughably HORRIBLE. You hear every driver in unrealistic staging, all over the place sound. Great treble, big deep pounding bass yeehaw. Subtle as a jackhammer used thread a needle.

    So yes I rather detest such glorified Cerwin Vegas at 1000 times the price. I sort of get the appeal...but again, something like that gets a rave and something like a single driver speaket or panel or horn also gets a rave and a placement. Totally different sound... it's like throwing darts at a board. Eveey new priduct that came across the reviewer's desk wins an award.

    Someone asked me why i don't do a lot of reviews. Why? Because I have some standards. It's noy about making sure my name is attached to as much stuff as possible.

    I suppose I am being too harsh. Academy Awards are basically lists and people have fun discussing them and X should have been nominated and Y should not. But that is $15. People actually do go out and buy what we as reviewers recommend and they pay attention to lists and class A vs B vs C.

    Dealers like awards. They get to display the glass plaque in their store with the award winning products. Helps the manufacturers and dealers sell more product.
     
  15. rbbert

    rbbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    Reno, NV, USA
    I'm not quite sure what you mean here, but I can say what has been pointed out by many people over the years; if music and good sound is a priority, just spend $3000 - $5000 less on your next car and use that money to buy a good audio system, or better yet, just keep your old car a couple of more years. Judging from the sales and overall health of the automobile industry, most people in the USA have no problem spending vast amounts on new cars and trucks every few years, but are apparently much more reluctant to do so on an audio system. This despite the fact that cars last in good condition longer now than ever before.
     
  16. Joe Spivey

    Joe Spivey Your friendly neighborhood Spivey-Man

    Hours of enjoyment with this DAC. Never feel the need to turn it off.
     
    LeeS likes this.
  17. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta
    The best thing to do is use these lists to become aware of good sounding products and then select a short list to audition. I also always say to focus a lot of time on the speaker amp connection which is VERY important.

    I would never buy something just because it is on a list. But I would use that to come up with a round of products to audition.
     
  18. Augustus McRae

    Augustus McRae Forum Resident

    I enjoyed the article, irrespective of whether or not I can afford all of the equipment. After having read audiophile journalism for several years now, PTA is on my short list of favorites for its approach to this hobby. SHMF holds the same appeal, with the added benefit that abusive posters are quieted. My thanks to our host, LeeS, Mr. Hart, Mr. Rubinson, Mr. Austin, and all the others who provide thoughtful commentary and stellar entertainment about this hobby.
     
    toddrhodes likes this.
  19. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    No doubt about it, "Best of" lists are far from perfect- and the symbiotic relationship between the audio industry and the audio media is often over the top self serving. Nature of the business.
    To make it work for you when considering new purchases I like to read reviews where the reviewer is passionate about the product, that his (or her) perspective is less from history, specs and measurements and more about how they describe the listening experience.
    For example I read the Stereophile review of the Spendor D7 speakers and it was obvious that the reviewer loved the sound of those speakers. The review made me take note to the point of putting the Spendors on my list for consideration- with more work yet to come before actually making the purchase. The review was one source of information- a data point- that reflected an experienced listener who loved this product under those specific conditions. That it was at least possible to create a high level listening experience with that product. The review was not (and never should be) an absolute qualification to purchase the product. It's up to the reader to do more work to determine the probability that they would enjoy the product as much as the reviewer did.
     
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  20. Mike from NYC

    Mike from NYC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Surprise, AZ
    I came to the conclusion long long ago, in the early 70s, that measurements don't really mean all that much providing you like the sound of the music. I think we all may have heard some equipment that had great numbers and still sounded like crap.

    I always wondered how come components sounded so different if they measured basically the same? In more than 40 years no one has ever given me a good answer.

    How come some (many?) believe the 1950s and early 60s equipment sound better than today's equipment even though today's equipment, by and large, measure better?

    I personally don't care what people spend or don't spend, what I question is whether or not they can hear the difference between a 20K pre and a 95K pre or $30K wires and $300K wires. After speaking to many dealers in high end equipment over a 40 year period most of the salespersons were pretty cynical of their well healed clients and whether or not most could hear the differences. Let me perfectly clear - I don't know whether or not I could tell if the 20K component sounded worse than a 100K one - different yes, but better?

    BTW, every component I bought I checked for reviews online and agreed with most of them before I purchased a piece - I'll rely on someone with better ears than me
     
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  21. jh901

    jh901 Forum Resident

    There may not be a perfect solution, but Stereophile is worthless when it comes to delivering a general perspective of where today's offerings from the world's top engineers shake out. Sincerely, it shouldn't be so hard to convey to a reader of the past 12 issues which digital front end components, for example, are leading the way in sound quality at various price points. While there are no "one size fits all" components, there are indeed winners and losers.

    I only buy Stereophile to pass the time while commuting. Those days may be numbered.
     
  22. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog

    Location:
    Boston MA
    What are the dates of that show?
     
  23. Kal Rubinson

    Kal Rubinson Forum Resident

    I agree "there are indeed winners and losers" but my choices are probably not those of other reviewers. Why not tell the editor what you want?
     
    LeeS likes this.
  24. ralf11

    ralf11 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Earth
    I'd just be satisfied if "the world's top engineers" and their recent innovations were clearly separated from bilking snake oilers in ANY publication...
     
  25. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    OK now I am confused. The Technics SL1200 G won the year's best turntable award but I did not see a detailed review in the review index.
    Same with the VPI Voyager phono preamp. If they were reviewed, where are the reviews? If they were not reviewed, how did they win?
     

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