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  1. #1

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    Default Which reviews do you find the most credible/honest/reliable?

    I'm posting this question here because of the newest Affordable Audio, which I find to be a credible source. Stereophile is a great magazine, but you have to read between the lines too much with their reviews. AV Revolution and Enjoy the Music haven't posted a negative review since their inception. Absolute Sound is too biased towards old school, but very informative...

    What do you think?
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  2. #2

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    I hate to say this.. but I think of late Stereophile has been more and more critical of certain pieces. Granted, it is probably no small coincidence that they have been making more attempts at reviewing affordable or "budget" pieces...

    However, that whole Zanden debacle still makes me ill.
    I never had it like this where I grew up. But I send my kids here because the fact is you go to one of the best schools in the country: Rushmore. Now, for some of you it doesn't matter. You were born rich and you're going to stay rich. But here's my advice to the rest of you: Take dead aim on the rich boys. Get them in the crosshairs and take them down. Just remember, they can buy anything but they can't buy backbone. Don't let them forget it. Thank you.Herman Blume - Rushmore

  3. #3

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    I usually trust 6moons, but as of late I am a little skeptical. Audioreviews.com is usually good, just becasue you can have vastly different opinions. I usually read alot of different reviews on one product, if they all say the item has certain attributes I tend to believe it. Unless the reviews sound exactly the same, then I tend not to.

    Jared

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    I usually read alot of different reviews on one product, if they all say the item has certain attributes I tend to believe it. Unless the reviews sound exactly the same, then I tend not to.

    Jared[/QUOTE]

    Thats pretty much what I do.Take most with a grain of salt.Untill they can be tested out by normal folks anyway.
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    I get Sound & Vision at home & read it cover to cover. But if I am interested in getting a piece of gear I go to Audioreview. I much prefer real people giving me the low down on the gear rather than magazines.
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  6. #6

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    I go to Audioreview.com about 5 times a day. Give street prices, honest reviews, etc. Can't beat how realistic they are, and you can read through and get different persons opinions on what they like and don't like. Also, several points of view from high-end audiophiles to midfiers like myself.

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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaara
    I usually trust 6moons, but as of late I am a little skeptical. Audioreviews.com is usually good, just becasue you can have vastly different opinions. I usually read alot of different reviews on one product, if they all say the item has certain attributes I tend to believe it. Unless the reviews sound exactly the same, then I tend not to.

    Jared
    I personally can't stand AudioReview.com. Most people there are ignorant about how audio can sound and often give low quality and poor sound pieces of equipment stellar reviews. I'm glad they find their pieces worthwhile, but I find my ears quite a bit more judgmental when it comes to liking/disliking sonic quality than Joe Sixpack. This is nothing against their ears, but I find harsh tweeters harsh and boomy bass, well, boomy. Perhaps it's the fact that I like listening to classical and acoustic music and the details I like are normally lost among low-fi. Nothing against them, just not for me. Then, there's also the fact that manufacturer's will often times post on there as well, giving their products top reviews in order to push up their reviews...

    I can't comment on their reviews of higher priced gear since I rarely look at it ; )

    I like affordable audio because of their focus on, clearly, more affordable gear and how they keep the review comparisons within a certain price range. I liked Stereophile until I saw that they completely ripped apart a product and then recommended it at the end. My problem with them is that they review equipment against truly high-end (read: greater than 100 grand) gear, whereas I think they should keep the reviews relative to the price range and the gear they're supposed to be competitive with.

    I also like to read tnt-audio. They mostly focus on high end gear, but they certainly delve lower and don’t bash budget components for being budget. They keep the reviews relative to the price range.

    Finally, I like good old Polk folks here. My ears tend to be similar to a fair number of our members, so I trust and respect their opinions and if they suggest something that I’m looking for, I’ll certainly give it a listen. More often than not my ears agree with them.
    Last edited by Refefer; 02-02-2007 at 01:08 PM.
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  8. #8

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    In reference to Stereophile, they reviewed the Zanden transport/DAC combo (which just so happens to be the most expensive at $45,000) and basically proclaimed it the best ever. No big surprise there.

    Nevermind that bench tests provided measurements which were god-awful and had more in common with a low-fi megachanger than any piece of serious high fidelity. No real problem here as far as I'm concerned, as I don't believe you can ever truly measure how sonically pleasing a piece of gear is. Still..

    The real problem was that when the company was made aware of these measurements, they realized they had an improperly wired unit. Are you SERIOUS?!?! If I'm shelling out 45K for a transport/DAC, I would like to know beyond the shadow of a doubt that "improperly wired" is not even an option.

    Nevermind (again) that the "new" unit still measured terribly...

    My point being that more often than not, price and "quality" are in direct correlation with these rags. Sure they throw the "giant-killer" bone at us from time to time... but come on.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Refefer
    I personally can't stand AudioReview.com. Most people there are ignorant about how audio can sound and often give low quality and poor sound pieces of equipment stellar reviews.
    I agree that they post lots of raving reviews on crap products. I still like audio review, but if I don't see a history of decent equipment in their reviews I skip past their post. A lot of people posting reviews are comparing their equipment to TIB stuff, Bose, and Walmart type crap.

    Ben

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by ben62670
    I agree that they post lots of raving reviews on crap products. I still like audio review, but if I don't see a history of decent equipment in their reviews I skip past their post. A lot of people posting reviews are comparing their equipment to TIB stuff, Bose, and Walmart type crap.

    Ben
    Yeah, I think Audio Review is one step above the Circuit City customer feedback ratings. In fact, I think its the opposite of a credible and reliable source--it's just random feedback.
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  11. #11

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    I use Club Polk and ask a question. Try to answer a few here or there to balance me out some. ;)

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  12. #12

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    The Audio Critic

    No Bull **** Science.

  13. #13

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    I like HiFi+ from accross the Atlantic. What I like about them is that they don't take 10 pages to say what you can say in 1.

    Little irritates me more than writers who are enamored of thier own prose.

    Keep it short and simple.

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  14. #14

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    Audioreview doesn't cut it. Unless they post their history with audio products you have no idea what their personal baseline is. I enjoy reading the reviews sometimes but put little to no stock in what they say. It is fun to read reviews of products I own or owned just to see how similar or different their view is, but beyond that nothing too beneficial.

    As always any input is better than none at all, so I use reviews as a small part of the bigger puzzle. Zines like Affordable audio are true to their nature in that they usually have hardcore people involved with reviewing the gear so you are getting a bit more substance. One thing to keep in mindis that many of the reviews are from owners, and if you didn't think the product was any good why own it and then why review it. However it may oepn peoples eyes to gear and products they wouldn't normally think about or have access to. The point of AA is more or less awareness of certain inexpensive products used by many in the hobby. National rags like Sound and Vision, Stereophile, etc. don't have the same focus. They are much broader for the casual public.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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  15. #15

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    I just buy what I want and if it's crap, I tell the world my humble opinion .... right after I move the piece of crap on to the next sucker ;) (Club Polk excluded from the sale of crap, of course!)

    I find audio reviews overall pretty worthless!
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    Yeah, I find 'em to be generally worthless in terms of determining whether or not a piece is an excellent buy. However, you read enough reviews and you can begin to at least develop a clear picture of a piece's attributes. And that to me is very important in narrowing down my search for a new component, speaker, cable, etc.

  17. #17

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    I had an chance to listen to a set of Linn Keilidh's. Affordable audio did a review of a set some
    months ago. They were set up in a separate listening room with 1st class amplificaion.
    The review and what I heard myself were dead on.
    When going to audioreview.com, I have to wade through and find out
    what the person doing the review has used in the past. It's amazing how cheap audio
    stuff gets more stars than the good stuff!
    The results are a mixed bag. I look for reviewers with some experience with other
    good equipment. Sometimes guys coming from lower or higher end stuff
    have opinions way out in left field.
    In the end, only your ears can tell, and it's hard when you can't find
    anywhere to do a good listen even if the gear is in stock locally.
    Most are set up just for Home theater demos.Yuk!
    Last edited by sucks2beme; 02-02-2007 at 03:08 PM.

  18. #18

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    The good thing is, that be taking the recommendations and opinions of people on this forum, I have been pretty lucky in that the things I have bought were to my liking. Not all made the "keep" list, but when they didn't they weren't off by much!
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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkg999
    The good thing is, that be taking the recommendations and opinions of people on this forum, I have been pretty lucky in that the things I have bought were to my liking. Not all made the "keep" list, but when they didn't they weren't off by much!
    I agree with this. I've gone with the recommendations of several of the forum members and have been very pleased with the results thus far. Sure, a couple suggestions didn't mesh well enough for me to keep for this reason or that, but for the most part I've been very satisfied.
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  20. #20

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    Audioreview is worthless IMO. It is either a forum for the cheerleader for gear they just bought or bashing it because they don't like it (and a lot of the time I'm not sure either one has actually heard the piece of gear they are "reviewing"). Not much objectivity from what I can tell.

    I enjoy reading professional reviews about gear to get general information, features, build, price etc... I take everything I read with a grain of salt. At least they can tell me about the gear and then I decide if it is something I might want to investigate further. I have bought gear sight unseen based on various recomendations with the knowledge that I can move it. Since someone recommeded it...they must like it. Therefore I have no problems selling something that I don't like because the next person may have a different take.
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  21. #21

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    +1 on Shack's comments, though I do look on Audioreview for potential problems or patterns with certain issues. I pay no attention to the opinion's on the sound quality, character, etc. It's all over the map.

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  22. #22

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    This is precisely what I use AR for.:)


    Quote Originally Posted by steveinaz
    +1 on Shack's comments, though I do look on Audioreview for potential problems or patterns with certain issues.
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  23. #23

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    Sound and Vision can actually make an audio hobbiest dumber. They once claimed all amplifiers sound a like. They're the same camp that thinks digital is simply 1 and 0's and therefore all is equal.

    Stereophile will give a positive review to any product and or company that has the $$$ to advertise. For a period they were changing reviewers like socks. Now I pickup the mag if I ever get the urge to see high gloss print ads of speakers I may or may not have seen before.

    UHF magazine has the right idea, round table using the same components every time with the exception of the product under review. Sadly they seem to only review, Totem, SimAudio, Copland and then back to Totem...a splash of Wireworld and Gutwire products every now and again. If the public is lucky they'll be treated to the 100th review of Reference 3a loudspeakers. Then back to the usual grind. At least they provide measurements!

    The Absolute Sound is at least somewhat trying to push the boundries of sound. Their recent articles about room correction and reviews on DSP devices is an amazing leap forward for the entire industry. Products like TacT audio have been focused on for months. Even the use of Meridian amplified speakers and DSP room correction has been given the right treatement at TAS. I just don't favor the number of reviewers. The roundtable discussions are sometimes worth the price of admission. Ivor from Linn vs Dave Wilson on the source vs speaker debate was priceless. I bought that issue just to read the two of them going at it. Dave Wilson landed some nice blows, Ivor came back and I think won the arguement. The reader comments section is most amusing. The brutal honesty of it really show's how much of a readership TAS has developed. If anybody gets a chance to pickup the January issue of TAS an old two channel dealer actually wrote in about the death of HiFi in the United States...

    "Where have all the dealers gone?" - "we are still here, but we are selling high quality, high performance home theatre systems instead of high performance two channel audio. In my past life I operated a two channel only high end store, and I can tell you that I am glad that I no longer depend on that client to be sucessful. It was exhausting. "well, those speakers are good, but the soundstage isn't deep enough. Can you change the speaker and interconnect cable? If not, can I hear those other speakers with that CD player? "if not, can I take that equipment home for a week and listen to it at my house?" It seems to me that the preception of the two channel client is that they really do not need me. They can hook all their equpiment up themselves, run the big ulgy speaker cables across the floor, and purchase the equipment on Audiogon for 35% less then I sell it. Good Riddance. On the other hand, my home theatre clients want me, need me, love me, and cherish their retail experience. They bring their entire family to my store to see the new HD projectors and plasma TV's surrounded by wonderful audio.

    I laffed my ass off about those comments, nothing truer has been said about today's audio debacle. And that is a big reason I still to this day purchase issues of TAS.

  24. #24

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    Good post Lush. Well said.

    I do disagree with the Stereophile part. True, their reviews are market-driven and generally worthless, but I think it's a valuable source. Fremer's analog commentary, the Records to Die Four, even the "500 Recommended Components" (taken with a grain of salt) is good reading and good for the industry. We love that ****!

    EDIT: My bad...the topic is audio reviews, not periodical content. In that respect I fully agree with your comments.
    Last edited by cstpeter; 02-02-2007 at 07:43 PM.
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  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by steveinaz
    +1 on Shack's comments, though I do look on Audioreview for potential problems or patterns with certain issues. I pay no attention to the opinion's on the sound quality, character, etc. It's all over the map.
    +2 on Shack's comments. Agree that most of the reviews on Audioreview.com are from fanboys who just bought something and are in love with it. Unfortunately, many of the reviews are also posted there so an owner can sell the gear on the used market more easily by pointing to a bogus review listing. I haven't done this myself, but am aware of some who have. :o

    I read Sound and Vision, then toss it in the trash a couple of days after I get it. Hey, the subscription's cheap and it's entertaining. The trend there recently seems to be to tell anyone and everyone to go find a custom installer to do everything. I really do feel dumber after reading it. :)

    The Absolute Sound and the Perfect Vision (really the same thing with a slightly different focus) are ones I keep on the shelf. Their reviews are too short on detail and specifics, probably too limited to just one person's perspective. One thing I remember well about a review of the Denon DVD-2900 in Perfect Vision was the reviewer claiming the player wasn't up to par on CD playback. I didn't hear the same thing through my receiver and thought the guy was an idiot for a year. When I later tried out the same player on a higher resolution analog preamp more in line with what the reviewer had used, and compared the Denon to a stand-alone CD player, my opinion of his opinion shifted remarkably. I have bought several things based on recommendations from their reviewers, notably Epos ELS3 speakers and Kimber Hero cables, both of which are considered "budget" items in the industry and both of which exceeded my expectations in their performance.

    I also keep Stereophile. They have really tried lately to review gear that most people can afford. True, they do tend to love everything for what it is, and gloss over problems too readily. They do comprehensive test measurements, most of which I don't understand, but the graphs look cool. The best thing about the magazine is simply being able to see what's on the market, and reading between the lines from the smarter reviewers over a long period to understand what they really think of something.
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    I like Stereophile's reviews although I just have to take their word for most of them as I will never be able to afford half of the gear they cover.
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  27. #27

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    Reviews, well let me tell you a short story.

    About 15 years ago the Absolute Sound had some so called female PHD metallurgist, began with the letter Dr Lira??, who stated and proved with photomicrographs that playing LPs recorded by digital process caused the spindle of the turntable to deteriorate. That is, L said there was grain growth on the microstructure of the turntable spindle that occurred ONLY when playing LPs recorded with the digital process.

    My occupation requires that I analyze microstructures of ceramics and metals for a living. Her analysis was PURE BS. Her idea that playing LPs of ANY type can change the microsturcture of the turntable is nuts. She also went on to explain that this change in shaft microstructure then degraded the playing analog recorded LPs on the turntable.

    This was all very sad that this maganize would do anything to stop the digital technology. At that time ALL CDs were BAD. I wrote the magaizine a letter and stopped reading it for ever.

    Bad science is bad science.

    Be more discerning and use more objective reasoning.

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikezappa
    Reviews, well let me tell you a short story.

    About 15 years ago the Absolute Sound had some so called female PHD metallurgist, began with the letter Dr Lira??, who stated and proved with photomicrographs that playing LPs recorded by digital process caused the spindle of the turntable to deteriorate. That is, L said there was grain growth on the microstructure of the turntable spindle that occurred ONLY when playing LPs recorded with the digital process.

    My occupation requires that I analyze microstructures of ceramics and metals for a living. Her analysis was PURE BS. Her idea that playing LPs of ANY type can change the microsturcture of the turntable is nuts. She also went on to explain that this change in shaft microstructure then degraded the playing analog recorded LPs on the turntable.

    This was all very sad that this maganize would do anything to stop the digital technology. At that time ALL CDs were BAD. I wrote the magaizine a letter and stopped reading it for ever.

    Bad science is bad science.

    Be more discerning and use more objective reasoning.
    The female part is relevant how?:p
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  29. #29

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    It isn't to the review, I just don't remember the name and was adding information because I think it was a she and does contibutes regularly.

    Men do most of the bad science.

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikezappa
    It isn't to the review, I just don't remember the name and was adding information because I think it was a she and does contibutes regularly.

    Men do most of the bad science.
    I am just giving you a hard time...:D
    Sharp Elite 70
    Anthem D2V 3D
    Parasound 5250
    Parasound HCA 1000 A
    Parasound HCA 1000
    Oppo BDP 95
    Von Schweikert VR4 Jr R/L Fronts
    Von Schweikert LCR 4 Center
    Totem Mask Surrounds X4
    Hsu ULS-15 Quad Drive Subwoofers
    Sony PS3
    Squeezebox Touch

    Polk Atrium 7s on the patio just to keep my foot in the door.

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