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Darko has become my favorite audio review site

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by DaleClark, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. Doug Walton

    Doug Walton Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    A guy with opinions who posts opinion videos to youtube. Profound.
     
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  2. JackG

    JackG Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    I enjoy his videos. I don't get much from subjective impressions as they're only relevant to the speaker/poster, but I find his sense of humor entertaining and he presents his views well.
     
    Bevok likes this.
  3. BrilliantBob

    BrilliantBob Select, process, CTRL+c, CTRL+z, ALT+v

    Location:
    Romania
    I suppose you just deleted the other audio review sites from your bookmark. "Fantastic reviews", LOL. :pineapple::pineapple::pineapple:
     
  4. Whoopycat

    Whoopycat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Des Moines
    +1, love Darko. An audio reviewer must entertain first and foremost. John gets that.

    I'll watch his videos even though I could usually care less about the product he's reviewing.
     
    JackG likes this.
  5. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    I just discovered him about a week ago. I agree. I like his presentation even if I don't have any interest in the stuff he reviews. I do think he could have shown what the Cobalt Dragonfly sounded like on something other than on portable cellular connected buds, though. If I bought one, I would use it with a laptop around the house with over the ear headphones, which is why I think it should have been at least tested that way for a review.
     
  6. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek I’m a ray of sunshine & bastion of positivity

    I like John's channel, the last thing I want to watch is some dry content with a talking head just blabbering on about measurements. I love his taste in music, although I'm surprised about his dismissal of jazz or genres that he says he just doesn't like in general. I'm a pretty firm believer that there is great music to be had, no matter the style. And just to be clear, to the few here who stated they don't like his choice in music, he's using stock music and not the electronic music he references in many of his videos. I am a huge fan of electronic music and I can assure you that almost any album or artist he references is high quality stuff. He seems like a decent chap to hang out with and talk music, and I like his way of describing the sound/features the gear he features in non-flowery (for the most part) words that I can relate to.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2020
  7. Fruff76

    Fruff76 L100 Classic - Fan Club President

    He uses the L100 Classic as his main speaker, so he’s pretty solid in my book.
    -L100 fan club president
    Frank
     
  8. I enjoy his videos and reviews but yes, he is more of life-style reviewer and showcases equipment that actually has much larger audience than analogue/vinyl listeners. He is a digital guy and he has a strong visual style, with in his presentations and his taste in good looking equipment. I Love that he cares a lot about good interior and equipment design.

    Fans of the Michael Fremer or Stereophile school of reviewing, probably feel his presentations are superficial, but I think they are very strong is a very different direction.
     
    hifisoup and Fruff76 like this.
  9. er1c

    er1c Well-Known Member

    Location:
    07422
    John Darko attempts a kind of gentlemanly balance, doesn't make broad overly emotional generalizations. I was surprised he liked the JBL L100 Classics. Makes me want them more.
     
    recstar24 likes this.
  10. William Bryant

    William Bryant Forum Resident

    Location:
    Meridian, ID
    Darko is one of my least favorite audio review sites because he avoids using classical music (the sound of real instruments and voices recorded in real spaces) and often uses electronic music (the sound of waveforms that have no live original instrument or space) to evaluate equipment.

    If a reviewer evaluates speakers using recordings of string quartets, piano, baroque flute, soprano, he can say how the speakers do or do not REPRODUCE an original sound. In other words, he can say whether the speakers are any good--this, regardless of whether un-amplified acoustic sounds in real space are his preferred genres.

    If a reviewer evaluates speakers using Deadmau5, he can say "I like them" or "I don't like them" but he can't say "These speakers are good."

    I wish more people understood this.

    Regardless of your preferred music, the only way to evaluate audio equipment is to use recordings of un-amplified acoustic sounds in real space.

    Where is Harry Pearson when I need him.
     
    Anaplian, nosliw, Swann36 and 4 others like this.
  11. Whoopycat

    Whoopycat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Des Moines
    He’s dead. Like classical music.
     
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  12. William Bryant

    William Bryant Forum Resident

    Location:
    Meridian, ID
    Duh.
    That’s one of the stupidest things I’ve ever read.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2020
    Tim 2 and Whoopycat like this.
  13. Whoopycat

    Whoopycat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Des Moines
    It’s stupidity that I, Darko, and the other 99% of music lovers live with to enjoy our systems.
     
    contium, Billion$Baby and Synthfreek like this.
  14. William Bryant

    William Bryant Forum Resident

    Location:
    Meridian, ID
    From where I sit the last thing I would ever want to claim membership in is the 99%.—and that’s across the board.

    I’m just incapable of being a lemming.
     
    Tim 2 and Claude Benshaul like this.
  15. Fruff76

    Fruff76 L100 Classic - Fan Club President

    I think the idea that components sound “better” with classical music, and not electronic, rock, or others just means there’s a deficiency. The inanimate objects can’t decide whether or not the music is more culturally relevant or sophisticated. Just because a box is made of exotic wood and really expensive, shouldn’t mean it’s somehow more worthy of classical or jazz.
     
  16. ZenArcher

    ZenArcher Senior Member

    Location:
    Durham, NC
    I think the point is, with music made by actual instruments you can tell if an instrument sounds like it’s supposed to, live. There’s no reference for electronically generated music; how do we know how it should sound? Not to say any type of music is better than another. But how can we judge how well equipment reproduces life, if we never hear the sound it’s supposed to be reproducing.
     
    Tim 2, basie-fan, rischa and 4 others like this.
  17. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek I’m a ray of sunshine & bastion of positivity

    Please stop implying that synths and other electronic instruments are not “real” instruments. Call your oboes and tubas acoustic instruments to differentiate them if you must.
     
    Bevok likes this.
  18. ZenArcher

    ZenArcher Senior Member

    Location:
    Durham, NC
    If you’re addressing me, never meant to say that. I love much electronic music. My comment was strictly for evaluating the fidelity of high fidelity gear.
     
  19. jeffmackwood

    jeffmackwood Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ottawa
    Best Groucho Marxism I've read this week!

    :)

    Jeff
     
    Echo likes this.
  20. Fruff76

    Fruff76 L100 Classic - Fan Club President

    I get it. I’m just saying a good speaker can play either just fine.
     
    russk and ZenArcher like this.
  21. ZenArcher

    ZenArcher Senior Member

    Location:
    Durham, NC
    Totally agree!
     
    Fruff76 likes this.
  22. Dream On

    Dream On Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    It's not that classical (or any other specific genre of) music sounds better, it's just that if you are reviewing a component and it's ability to convincingly reproduce live music, you need to use recordings of real acoustic instruments and voices in real space. @William Bryant described it about as well as anyone could in post 35 of this thread. It's much easier to evaluate how convincingly a system reproduces sound, if you use a simple and honest recording in a room, without any studio manipulation to that recording. The more you manipulate the voice (or the sound of the instruments) the further you get from what the true sound of that subject was if you were present in the room yourself when it was playing, and the more it can sound like, well, just about anything. Most modern recordings also do not have a real soundstage, rather it is artificially created in a studio.

    I don't know what Darko specifically uses for his reviews so I don't want to comment on that too much, but I would think any pro reviewer should know the above and use at least some tracks in their review that meet these criteria. No one is saying that Darko cannot listen to whatever he wants in his leisure time, but when doing reviews that might not be the best choice of music for evaluating things like accurate timbre.

    I have several classical pieces that I use when evaluating a system, even though I pretty much never listen to classical music*. Some rock recordings (live with voice and acoustic guitar) can also be used in this way. We have all heard piano and acoustic guitar in a live setting, right? It's a known quantity (to a much larger degree). So when evaluating a system, it's not all about just listening to what you know and love, which can be synth or rap or whatever. It's also about listening to the type of music that will tell us the most about the system. You use the right tool for the job. But by all means, mix in your favorite tracks as well. That obviously has value because it's what you know best. Then, when you are done testing a system, go back and listen to whatever you want.

    * Even though I listen to mostly rock, if you have an open mind, you can probably find classical pieces that you will enjoy. It's crazy to write off an entire genre of music, especially something like classical music that had so much artistry and substance to it that you pretty much have to respect it. As I listen to more classical, jazz, and folk, much of it I don't like but I find things that I do. It's actually not that different from rock, as I dislike most of the rock music out there as well. I might like 5% of all the rock songs ever recorded - that is still a ton of songs.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2020
    William Bryant, rischa and Mike-48 like this.
  23. MattHooper

    MattHooper Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    Ah...Darko...

    On the plus side:

    - Seems like a good bloke. Smart guy. Often no-nonsense which I like.
    - Production quality of his videos is nice, so when I'm interested in the gear he's reviewing it's nice "gear porn."

    On the minus (just personal reactions):

    - I'm not keen on lots of the stuff he reviews. Just different tastes and gear orientation I guess.
    - I start to find his constant "Audiophiles like these things...I'm not like that..." stuff. Ok, ok, I got it the first time, you've broken off the the pack, an individual, different from
    audiophiles. Chill.
    - Produces some fairly annoying strawman-laced (or not terribly well-reasoned) "push-back against objectivism" pieces.
    - Unfortunately...and again I'm sure he is a swell guy...but I find he's often looking in to the camera delivering an opinion piece with a pained expression that says "I frankly can't believe I'm having to explain this to you...are you really this thick? Here, let me lay it out as simply as I can...I mean...my god...." It's like the expression I imagine his girlfriend/wife sees when she's said something dumb and they are having a row ;-)

    But, all in all, it's nice to have options in the audio reviewing world, and Darko does feel different some times and I like that.
     
    Claude Benshaul and Xarkkon like this.
  24. Xarkkon

    Xarkkon Would you like a Custom Title?

    Location:
    Asia
    bringing this thread back to being about darko... i stopped subscribing to his youtube channel entirely.

    whilst i always had doubts about his reviews (because he loves everything he reviews and never seems to call out any one product for being bad), he lost me when he finally came out to say that digital is actually analog because those 1s and 0s go through an analog medium which is electricity and cables.

    it's one thing to claim that ethernet cables and usb cables and dacs make a difference because of things like jitter and increasing sound stage, etc. it's another entirely to outright obfuscate the argument by confusing the matter entirely. digital signals will ALWAYS have to go through an analog medium and that doesn't stop it from being a digital signal.

    i'll still watch his videos, because they're entertaining, but his opinion doesn't hold much water in my books any longer.
     
    RolandG likes this.
  25. Xarkkon

    Xarkkon Would you like a Custom Title?

    Location:
    Asia
    Yes! Very much this! I've seen far better rationale and explanations on this site for the very issues that he champions. I actually think he's doing his stance a disservice with the way he puts forth his arguments
     
    Tim 2 and RolandG like this.

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