"Why no bad reviews?" -- Twittering Lavorgna

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Eno_Fan, Nov 23, 2021 at 3:58 AM.

  1. tIANcI

    tIANcI Wondering when the hifi madness will end

    Location:
    Malaysia
    I find ASR to be unreliable. Why? Because it focuses on measurements only and they do not listen (well, now they do a bit more but still).

    Example. They sing the praises of the Topping D90. Never listened to it. They reviewed other products that measure less than the D90 say it cannot be recommended. Never listed to it.

    I’ve had those products in my system and found that the D90 ain’t great sounding but it is good for the money. This is not about personal taste but rather it’s about parameters such as detail, sound stage and clarity.

    I love my Benchmark AHB2 to bits, ASR says it’s totally amazing (based on measurements). But there are other power amps which do not measure as well yet gives me a lot more listening enjoyment.

    Then it’s known that Amir says listening at something like 90dB is not loud. Loud for him is quite a bit more than that. What’s his hearing like?

    So even when I question ASR, I do have points to try back up my apprehension about them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2021 at 10:47 AM
  2. vwestlife

    vwestlife Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    Audio journalists actually do freely speak negatively of any companies and products which they deem to be below their minimum acceptable standards of what they consider to be in the "audiophile" realm. We've seen the all-too-common tropes of "avoid the best-selling turntable on the market today, which is almost singlehandedly responsible for the vinyl revival, because it's junk and will destroy your records" and "Beats headphones are all garbage, even though I've never actually tried any of them".
     
    timind likes this.
  3. tIANcI

    tIANcI Wondering when the hifi madness will end

    Location:
    Malaysia
    I just started headphones. It’s reviewers. Not users. It’s pretty different in that scene. Was an eye opener for me. :D
     
  4. captwillard

    captwillard Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
    If you don’t like a publication don’t read it. Audio is so subjective, that there is no guarantee that you will agree with a reviewer. I think that the description/features, review, and test results do add some perspective to an item. The reality is that everybody has their own perspective and there are a lot of manufacturers who build good sounding products.
     
  5. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    Well, unless you have objective ways of taking measurements of detail, soundstage and clarity, then it IS about personal taste and subjective impression.
     
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  6. tIANcI

    tIANcI Wondering when the hifi madness will end

    Location:
    Malaysia
    So a double blind test is worthless without measurements? :eek:
     
  7. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    I thought they were all or nearly all member/user posted reviews posted per a web form -- How to Submit Reviews and Add Entries to Head Gear I don't have the same expectations of professionalism or editorial obligation of user posted reviews as I do of an editorial enterprise (though I assume the best have guidelines and do the basics to avoid libel and such).
     
  8. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    There's nothing wrong with one's subjective evaluation of the sound. I mean, in the end we're going to be listening to the gear not using it on a test bench. I'm just saying its not a fact or an objective measure, one's impression of, say, soundstage. I mean, there's no actual instruments on a stage in front of you. Its a psychological construction in your mind in response to something in the recording (maybe phase information, relatively amplitude of elements of the signal, and heavily impacted by the listening room, and most people's listening room are really having a big impact on soundstage presentation in a way that isn't necessarily translatable to someone else's listening situation).
     
    tIANcI likes this.
  9. HIRES_FAN

    HIRES_FAN Forum Resident

    Hardly any bad gear???!!! It comes down to one's point of reference, I suppose...
    When I lived in California, I had access to a circle of high rollers/dudes who owned more exorbitantly priced gear. I could swap my gear and audit things (with those guys) aka without buying everything on my own dime. One of the amps I got to audit was BS Audio's BHK 300 monobl (16000 dollars!!) that could drive anything without breaking a sweat apparently! Well, that piece of sht overheated/protection mode/etc within an hour of me pounding on it. In comparison, my current stack, the Luxman C900+M900 can manhandle my speakers without anything remotely close to breakin a sweat. Of course, I didn't hurt the dude's feelings by telling him that his amp was a piece of sht...:D

    There you go...and that's one brief non sugar coated experience from a consumer about bad gear out there....there's lots of it out there...
     
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  10. If I built my system based on reviews I wouldn’t be running the best system I’ve had in my life now. It’s simple as that.
     
    Fruff76 and PopularChuck like this.
  11. elvisizer

    elvisizer Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Jose
    why does it matter if complaint #1 is that he doesn't listen?
     
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  12. Dream On

    Dream On Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    I agree with your sentiments, which you have expertly articulated. However, the bolded part above is the crux of the matter IMO. You can't really expect a niche publication like a hifi review magazine or video channel to cater to it's readers first and foremost when it relies on manufacturers first and foremost to succeed. It's just not logical.

    If audiophiles want such a publication then they have to pay for it. But I bet a lot of the folks whining and complaining about the state of audio reviews wouldn't want to spend a dime in support a review publication, to ensure that their reviews are honest and impartial. They don't want to be part of the solution, they just want to complain and act all high and mighty towards others who enjoy this hobby.

    I personally don't even see a real need for completely honest audio gear reviews, given that most products produced today are very good, these are luxury items, we've got the Internet to do all the research that we want ahead of time, a used market to try out gear, and return options if we don't like what we bought, and so on. There are important things in life that need unbiased reviews. High end audio gear, as much as I love it, is way down on the list.
     
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  13. Eno_Fan

    Eno_Fan Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Izieu, France
    It is being said repeatedly here in semi-defense that there is "hardly any bad gear" but this simply isn't true -- look at the €30,000 Aavik amplifier-debacle at Stereophile where their reviewer thought it was the best thing since sliced-bread but JA's test-results -- results that they refuse to publish and would be out of place in a €30 chip-amp -- were so bad that he didn't know if the amp was just hopelessly designed or physically broken (Aavik Acoustics U-380 integrated amplifier ). The Editor-in-Chief (Jim Austin) has been providing one BS excuse after the other for not pursuing the manufacturer over this for over a year now -- a manufacturer who apprently has no spare replacement to send Stereophile but who has plenty of loaners to send to other gushing review-platforms that don't measure their equipment.

    There's "bad gear" in this silly-money game, don't you doubt it.

    The earlier Kershaw review-statement that I linked-to up-thread ("...I recently reviewed the Pure Fidelity Harmony Turntable. Designer John Stratton was very pleased with the review; he offered me very generous terms to acquire one for the new Audiophilia reference before the review was published": My new Reference—The Bergmann Audio Magne Turntable — Audiophilia ) frankly beggars belief and would be sufficient to close a paper-magazine down.

    How do these goons get away with all this? Because it's the interweb (I best not get started on Fremer letting a 14-yr-old kid review hardware and make recommendations on kit that readers may spend $10s-of-1000s on)..?
     
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  14. Dream On

    Dream On Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    Yeah, but pointing to one or two examples as evidence against a vague phrase like "there is hardly any bad gear", isn't really evidence that such a phrase is wrong. I'm sure there is some bad gear out there. What percentage is it out of the total? And when someone says something is bad, how many times is that down to their own subjective tastes? Or how many times is that down to them misusing the gear, poor matching, or setting it up incorrectly? Because all of that shouldn't count.

    And I won't shed any tears for someone who can afford a €30,000 amp! I think if one sticks to the more affordable stuff made by respected names, i.e. the stuff that 95% of us will buy, that is more relevant to this particular point. IMO, of course.
     
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  15. tIANcI

    tIANcI Wondering when the hifi madness will end

    Location:
    Malaysia
    Because he’s been listening a bit of late. His comments on listening is pretty darn short too.
     
  16. elvisizer

    elvisizer Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Jose
    so complaint #1 is invalid but you're still making it?
     
  17. WillD

    WillD Active Member

    Location:
    NYC
    You seem awfully invested in a website that you claim to be above reading.

    If you're curious what the article says, read it yourself. If you're not curious enough to do that, move on.

    Or, I guess you could instead argue with strangers on the internet. Yes, that seems like time richly spent.
     
  18. tIANcI

    tIANcI Wondering when the hifi madness will end

    Location:
    Malaysia
    I referred to the Topping D90 review where no listening was done. So complain #1 is very valid. ASR only started to listen of late.

    You know what is meant but just …
     
  19. “Why no bad reviews?”
    Could be those company hit men…
     
  20. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    Sure I can, and sure it is. I ran a trade publishing start of business of my own in the tech industry 25 years ago. It was a very similar circumstance -- my advertisers, sources, AND sometimes too my readers were largely part of the same industry community. I understand the tensions and difficulties a company has to struggle to balance between journalistic integrity and financial success. I used to tell my advertisers, they wouldn't want to advertise with us if we weren't a trusted resource to our readers. We lost some sales that way, but not many, but that was the choice we made.

    Certainly hifi gear ain't a matter of life and death or a thing that the fate of republics and the freedom of people hinges on. But integrity is integrity.
     
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  21. Eno_Fan

    Eno_Fan Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Izieu, France
    If it saves someone from following a questionable recommendation then it is time well-spent. If mouthy fools like you bite on those recommendations instead then so much the better...
     
  22. LeeS

    LeeS Ghost Meters

    Location:
    Atlanta
    A few thoughts on the topic from the trenches...
    1. The print magazines in high end do have substantial influence in terms of both readers and manufacturers. There is a lot of desire among manufacturers to have a favorable review because it creates sales.
    2. There is so much good audio gear that magazines do prefer to spend their time on the better stuff. There is little to be gained from a bad review and in some cases could cause harm to a small business that might have other products that are good.
    3. A review in a large publication does remain a sort of Good Housekeeping-like seal of approval for audiophiles. If a product doesn't have a review in a mainstream publication then one should be wary.
    4. Reviews should not be the end all of a purchase decision but serve the consumer as a way to build a short list of products to audition at local dealers.
    5. Both Stereophile and The Absolute Sound (and sister publication hifi+) work daily at separating the review side of the business from the ad sales side of the business. Both publications publish reviews from manufacturers that don't spend a dime on advertising in the magazine.
    6. For the most part, the more established audio manufacturers with long histories make great products and offer good service as well.
    One thing to keep in mind is that the industry suffers to a large extent from a lack of consumer awareness, unlike other luxury niches. Reviews and supporting dealer and show visits are one of several ways to improve awareness. Becoming more digital in outreach is having a huge impact as well and that is where I am helping take TAS and hifi+.
     
  23. brucej4

    brucej4 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Mateo, CA, USA
    Who says that it's really journalism, in the purest sense?

    Stereophile is basically a commercial publication that caters to hobbyists. It's not a news magazine. I get a model train magazine that is, in many ways, a mirror image of Stereophile. Lots of reviews, none really negative. In part, that's because they likely limit themselves to things that they believe will be quality products. Unlike Stereophile, they are not getting manufacturer loans - they are buying the items, which makes a difference. I don't think that they believe that they are "journalists" - they are hobbyists who are sharing their experiences, much like here on SHF. They are subsidized by advertising, but I honestly don't believe that it affects the reviewing, because most train manufacturers do make high quality products today. It's the only way to stay in business.

    Most specialty magazines, whether about food, fantasy football, gardening, etc., don't look much like journalism to me, and never have.
     
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  24. yamfan

    yamfan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Missouri
    Before the internet, a marginal review from Stereophile or The Absolute Sound could tank a small audiophile company.
     
  25. vwestlife

    vwestlife Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    Before the Internet, a lot of small audiophile companies didn't exist.
     

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