John Atkinson no longer editor of Stereophile.

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Thouston, Mar 2, 2019.

  1. Thouston

    Thouston Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Mattoon, IL
  2. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    What impact will this have on the publication, if any? Do we expect the review "style" or format to change?

    I only ask because I really have no insight into the internal workings, and wondering what significance this has? I of course read Stereophile's work on a regular basis, it's unavoidable for someone like me in the gear hunt phase for the last couple of years.

    What's it all mean to a consumer of their work like me? :)
  3. 56GoldTop

    56GoldTop Forum Resident

    Nowhere, Ok

    I have always appreciated his measurements. Continuing those, in my opinion, is a good thing. Keeps manufacturers honest.

    Otherwise to be frank, I dropped Stereophile over a decade ago and only renewed my AS subscription about 2 years ago.
    Grant, Funky54, ls35a and 3 others like this.
  4. Giacomo Belbo

    Giacomo Belbo Journalist for Rolling Stone 1976-1979

    Decision of the new owner, probably more to come. Stereophile's approach is pretty dated I think but still has some of the best writers (Herb, Art) and quite a bit of credibility as well, let's see.
    Dan C and SandAndGlass like this.
  5. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Los Angeles CA USA
    I like to see stuff actually MEASURED, and Stereophile has been a rarity for that. Measurements don't tell you everything, but they can tell you if basic performance expectations have been met. Otherwise all you have is a lot of blathering and adjectives.
  6. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    +1 - as an engineer, hard to argue or disagree -- these days so many reviews are words / opinion and subjective. The gear that comprises the audio hobby is measurable and able to be compared objectively - but these days very little of that is done objectively. I think it's by design in some ways.

    I like opinions and wordy / flowery statements --- but I like DATA more!!
  7. Davey

    Davey I carry the moon inside a silver bag

    SF Bay Area, USA
    John Atkinson has always been one of the good guys in audio, not only a good reviewer, but he's always seemed like a good person too, and very diplomatic responses to all the vitriol spewed his way at the various internet sites ... measure, but in the end, trust your ears.
  8. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    Agreed, of course --- but before I can trust my ears I have to have the gear in my listening room --- until then I have to trust someone else's ears. That's why it's nice to have data to supplement that only-so-useful assessment of someone elses ears that many of us rely on in reviews to help us make a choice.
    Kristofa, Robert C and head_unit like this.
  9. LC2A3

    LC2A3 Well-Known Member

    Not really a step forward, more sideways
  10. Catcher10

    Catcher10 I like records, and Prog...duh

    What is Stereophile.......never heard of it. Do they tell you what is good and what is not?
  11. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Catcher- are you serious? (Not meant to be snarky, just curious).
  12. pscreed

    pscreed Upstanding Member

    Man that’s kind of the end of an era. I enjoy reading John’s stuff and I respect the perspective he brings on measurements. I can recall a couple of occurrences where he basically called out the reviewer, pretty much saying that the measurements did not align with the subjective review.

    I’m a fan and have appreciated his work, hopefully his objective view will continue to be a part of their content for a long time.
    Thouston and PhxJohn like this.
  13. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    East TN
    +100 from me. I like data, science, and the technical side to go with the opinions and superlatives. This broadcast engineer is like someone from Missouri, Show Me! Take It Off (The top cover if you please, I want to see this). And measurements help keep manufacturers honest. I approve your post to the highest.
    62caddy and TheVinylAddict like this.
  14. BIGGER Dave

    BIGGER Dave Forum Resident

    J.A. is out! J.A. is in!
    patrickd, Fruff76 and Helom like this.
  15. bhazen

    bhazen Magical Mystery Tourist

    Newcastle, WA
    Interesting times.
  16. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    "Interesting Times"

    Sounds like a good new name for an audio magazine!
    Helom and bhazen like this.
  17. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan

    Jim and his manager Paul Miller are fairly big measurement guys. John will stick around and be the Technical Editor so I think largely more of the same but I would expect a more technical/scientific viewpoint.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019
    McLover likes this.
  18. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan

    Measurements AND subjective evaluations are needed.
  19. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    Exactly, agreed.

    We have the subjective part nailed, no shortage of that anywhere...... the measurement part is a little scarce these days! That was my point.
  20. F1nut

    F1nut Forum Resident

    The Mars Hotel
    "If it measures good and sounds bad, -- it is bad. If it sounds good and measures bad, -- you've measured the wrong thing."
  21. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan

    Don Parkhurst and bhazen like this.
  22. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Los Angeles CA USA
    I think that is too simplistic. I've never like that quotation since I think it is used as a license to purposely ignore bad measurements and excuse incompetent engineering. If a listener likes something, say a DAC, but to be extreme say basic* measurements like linearity and frequency response and noise are awful, "you've measured the wrong thing" is stupid nonsense. Linearity and noise and frequency response are basic function of the device and if they measure awful it implies poor engineering. The question in such cases should be
    - Why oh why are those basics bad?
    - What good thing is going on that makes the listener like it anyway? And is it really accurate or is it just temporarily attractive?* Or "euphonious colorations" gag me with a spoon.
    - Why doesn't the device have the good thing AND good basic measurements?
    Devices should perform their basic functions AND sound good! That is how we get progress, though in audio the progress is more like a random drunkard's walk than any kind of increasing curve ha ha.

    *By basic I'm excluding stuff like "we used a filter in the DAC which is -3 dB at 20 kHz but the time response is improved"-that is a trade-off. "We used an unsuitable tube/transistor and it sounds great at the end of the day after puffing up a few fat ones since by then we don't notice the signal-to-noise ratio is only 30 dB because we think that buzzing is inner head" is...well, I don't know what that is, I'm channeling James Joyce I guess.
    **All kinds of things "sound good" at least for a while: BBE, loudness controls, ambience extractors, smiley-curve EQs. But they are not accurate, and they don't really sound good in the long run.
    BillWojo, ZenArcher, Mike-48 and 8 others like this.
  23. Catcher10

    Catcher10 I like records, and Prog...duh

    Sneaky Pete likes this.
  24. Hifi Kenny

    Hifi Kenny Forum Resident

    Paul Miller also has a consuting business with Naim, Arcam and Chord Electronics among his current or previous clients - Miller Audio Research . I cannot recall him declaring that potential conflict of interest in his magazine reviews.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
    Don Parkhurst and ls35a like this.
  25. Giacomo Belbo

    Giacomo Belbo Journalist for Rolling Stone 1976-1979

    Talking about the importance of measurements.

    slcaudiophile, LeeS and chacha like this.

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