One of my pet peeves about reviews/reviewers is inconsistency. For example, take Technical Descriptions, the part of a typical Stereophile review that usually comes before the "Subjective Sound Quality" section. Lack of details in Technical Descriptions really hurts the review and may prevent me from taking that reviewer seriously. Now they all can't be Robert Harleys (or at least RH during his Golden Years -- the 1990s, at Stereophile), but in his write-up for the Ayre QB-9, Phillips does not bother to mention the DAC chip or output components/topology this D/A processor uses. As a subscriber, an in-depth reader/analyzer, and a potential purchaser of reviewed products, I was/am/will always be expecting these details -- I like to know what I'm looking at or buying. If anyone knows these details about the Ayre DAC**, please reply to this message ... thx!
BTW: hats off to JA for the superb Measurements section of this review (tho' I'm a bit puzzled about the missing p-p jitter data). JA: I've seen you slip in Technical-Decryption details into your Measurements section (e.g. specific components) when the main reviewer may have "missed" them. But, frankly, I don't like to fish around for this info -- it should be standardized to the Technical-Description section. If a reviewer isn't "tech-savvy", a crash course in how to use a Torx wrench, a digital camera and basic PCB-component-identification is in order!
** Yes, I realize components, by themselves, are not the be-all/end-all of a product's ultimate performance ... implementation is equally (if not more) important: i.e., components must be encapulated in highly-effective and robust topology. That said, it's important that reviewers discribe both design/topology and components. Yes, there is a slight reverese-engineering risk here for the manuf. But that's what the USPATO is for!