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RobertSlavin
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Record reviews section missing

What happened to the record reviews section this month? Other than a Recording of the Month, it isn't there. I miss it.

Has this been cut to reduce freelance expenses because of a lack of advertising?

Toussaint

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Re: Record reviews section missing


Quote:
What happened to the record reviews section this month?

Unfortunately, Stereophile is no more immune to the current state of the economy than any other business and some difficult decisions have to be made, necessitated by the magazine's advertising sales falling below the target required by the magazine's owners. In the case of the September issue, I was required to cut 8 pages of planned editorial content at the very last minute before we went to press. I couldn't cut the regular columns; I did reduce the number of equipment reports by omitting a review of an Acoustic Energy speaker, but I couldn't go below a certain minimum given that these reports are the core of Stereophile's content. I had to choose, therefore, between eliminating the Woodstock anniversary feature, which was time-sensitive, and the regular record reviews section (other than Recording of the Month), which was not.

I reassure you that our regular record reviews section will reappear in the October issue.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

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Re: Record reviews section missing

Woodstock, pages of it, is hardly an audiophile topic. More like elderly nostalgia...

Moving on...when are you going to review the PS Audio transport and DAC.

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Re: Record reviews section missing


Quote:

I reassure you that our regular record reviews section will reappear in the October issue.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Thank you very much.

s.

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Re: Record reviews section missing

Does that account for why the page index never seems to be right ?

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Re: Record reviews section missing


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Does that account for why the page index never seems to be right ?

Thanks for blowing the lid off the index fiasco. I'm glad there's no issue too trivial for you to bitch about.

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Re: Record reviews section missing


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Does that account for why the page index never seems to be right ?

Are you referring to the contents page listing on pp.4-5 or the index of adverts at the back of the book? We double and triple check the former; the latter can sometimes be wrong because ads are switched around at the very last minute to avoid a clash with editorial content.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

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Re: Record reviews section missing

Contents page, page 87 Parasound amp, nowhere to be seen.

This has happened several times lately

rvance
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Re: Record reviews section missing

You mean the Parasound Halo JC1 monoblock follow-up that's compared to the Moscode 402Au? It's in my issue- all over pg. 87.

I really like the way Stereophile indexes follow-ups for the readers/customers who may have a special interest in those units.

I'm sure the subscription dep't. will be glad to replace your defective copy.

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Re: Record reviews section missing


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You mean the Parasound Halo JC1 monoblock follow-up that's compared to the Moscode 402Au? It's in my issue- all over pg. 87.

That's the Parasound reference I intended. I suspect that Wes Phillips' habit of giving his review subsections poetic quotation headings rather a bald "Parasound Comparison" makes this not as obvious as we might have wished for.


Quote:
I really like the way Stereophile indexes follow-ups for the readers/customers who may have a special interest in those units.

Thank you. I list such a mention as a "Follow-Up" in the Contents listing if it includes new and relevant information that will be of use to readers.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

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Re: Record reviews section missing

Sorry

As usual i take things at face value.

I expected an index reference to refer to a product test or follow up. Seems like my simplistic approach has got me in trouble again, my belief in fact's, physics and electrical engineering just dont seems to mix with hifi

Alan

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Re: Record reviews section missing

I often think that people need to put a little more effort into things before building an argument. If you had read page 87 -- that is, if you had examined the facts -- you would have found your answer.

At the same time, however, I do agree that we can help the readers (and, consequently, help ourselves) by making certain things more obvious. That's something we can definitely improve.

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Re: Record reviews section missing

The thing is that claiming that you mentioned a product for two words is hardly worthy of an index listing.

If you look at the products tested in this months edition it is basically 3 headphones, a luxury car priced speaker and one real world amplifier. That basically means the only sensible product testing was the Moscode amp.

Its my belief that indexing the follow ups in that way is a shameless effort to make the magazine more attractive to the person who scans it quick at Borders.

But again im a real world cynic

Alan

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Re: Record reviews section missing

Holy 'growed up in a negative household', Alan. Nice one. Way to shed those unbalanced upbringins...

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Re: Record reviews section missing


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The thing is that claiming that you mentioned a product for two words is hardly worthy of an index listing.

The mention was rather more than "two words." As I said in an earlier posting in this thread, I include such a mention as a "Follow-Up" in the Contents listing if it includes new and relevant information that will be of use to readers. That, of course, is a judgment call on my part and inevitably there will be those who disagree.


Quote:
Its my belief that indexing the follow ups in that way is a shameless effort to make the magazine more attractive to the person who scans it quick at Borders.

If that were the case, shouldn't I be listing the products mentioned as follow-ups on the magazine's front cover?


Quote:
But again im a real world cynic

I guess so.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

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Re: Record reviews section missing

Why Wes still has the Moscode 401HR which he reviewed 3 years ago and the Parasound Halo JC 1 monoblocks which MF reviewed back in February 2003 would be some new and relevant information this reader would be interested in.

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Re: Record reviews section missing


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Why Wes still has the Moscode 401HR which he reviewed 3 years ago and the Parasound Halo JC 1 monoblocks which MF reviewed back in February 2003 would be some new and relevant information this reader would be interested in.

I don't know why you are interested in this information. But the Moscode was a long-term loan arranged after the original review. To use the earlier Moscode amp as a basis for comparison with the new Moscode seems logical. Both old and new Moscode amps were returned to the manufacturer earlier this month.

The Parasounds are a pair I borrowed in late summer 2007 in order to prepare my March 2008 review of the Parasound JC 2 preamplifier - see http://www.stereophile.com/solidpreamps/308para/ . Given the high value offered by the JC1, I arranged for a formal long-term loan, in order for other reviewers to be able to use the JC1 as a reference. The loan agreement was renewed this past spring.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

rvance
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Re: Record reviews section missing


Quote:

Its my belief that indexing the follow ups in that way is a shameless effort to make the magazine more attractive to the person who scans it quick at Borders.

But again im a real world cynic

Alan

I believe everyone has potentially redeeming qualities, and I am not unaware of my own failings, so I am loathe to criticize when I have so much to improve in myself.

But your "cynicism" is just petty carping taken to a deeply disturbing level. You are determined to be miserable. Does this hobby bring you any joy?

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Re: Record reviews section missing

RVance,

I agree. Thanks to JA et.al we all enjoy a great magazine. I do not think a long or short term loan matters to the reviewer, because if it did I think, in the long run, they would be found out.

Phile is not the only mag that reivews gear and to have someone else pan something that one reviewer liked is too dangerous in the long run.

Follow ups I find relevant as the Benchmark and other reviews point out when there are "issues" that must be worked out like with ITunes and others. The DacMagic is another case in point in finding out how detrimental switching power supplies are to USB feeds.

Hovland's demise shows just how difficult business is these days in audio. But, often it is marketing decisions that were flawed. The folks at Hovland gave it all they had.

So, now Sony introduces a new PS3 with a larger harddrive, included wifi, and then leaves out SACD playback. For the life of me I just do not get Sony. This right after they bring out the 5400 SACD player everyone seems to be raving about.

It makes me wonder when I teach Probability in school if Sony has their own version with a spinner in back with pie-shaped pieces labeled SACD, BluRay, PS3, PSP, and anything else they want to add. That is their marketing plan? The problem is the SACD "pie slice" is very small. The pointer just never lands there enough. But, when it does the 5400 pops up. Hopefully that slice will not disappear forever on day. Sony could easily do what Marantz is doing for 2 channel. Why they don't remains a mystery.

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Re: Record reviews section missing


Quote:

Quote:
Why Wes still has the Moscode 401HR which he reviewed 3 years ago and the Parasound Halo JC 1 monoblocks which MF reviewed back in February 2003 would be some new and relevant information this reader would be interested in.

I don't know why you are interested in this information. But the Moscode was a long-term loan arranged after the original review. To use the earlier Moscode amp as a basis for comparison with the new Moscode seems logical. Both old and new Moscode amps were returned to the manufacturer earlier this month.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Thanks for the lip service. A little research on this very site indicates Wes has had the Moscode 401HR for approx 4.5 years. The question was

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Re: Record reviews section missing


Quote:

Quote:
The Moscode was a long-term loan arranged after the original review. To use the earlier Moscode amp as a basis for comparison with the new Moscode seems logical. Both old and new Moscode amps were returned to the manufacturer earlier this month.

Thanks for the lip service. A little research on this very site indicates Wes has had the Moscode 401HR for approx 4.5 years.

The original review was published in June 2006, ie, just over 3 years ago.


Quote:
The question was
RobertSlavin
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Re: Record reviews section missing


Quote:

I

tom collins
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Re: Record reviews section missing

fwiw. my opinion (as if another one is needed) is that in the end, it all comes down to trust. regardless of the arrangements, do you trust the person doing the listening and writing and do you trust the editor?
In spite of the equipment arrangements and any possible motive or gain, we have to trust that the reviewers are professional. I think there is a huge difference between a reviewer having a long term loan vs. a regular guy. were i to get such a privilege, i would say "oh boy", and i would enjoy it as an end user enjoys his things (certainly not sitting there with pencil in hand making notes). i (personally) believe the editor when he says that the long-term loans help in the evaluation process. even though the reviewers may enjoy the hobby, to them, its still work, its their job. yes, there is enjoyment, but in the end, those loaners are tools. In rereading some of the latest magazines, I have seen many examples of referrence back to previous reviewed units that are on hand so that the reviewer does not have to rely on mere memory. i really want to know how x sounded in comparison to y. check out MF's review of phono carts this month. i think it was very important that he had the units on hand as opposed to going by notes. the same with the moscode review in the comparison to the older unit.
to sum it up, i am fine with the arrangement and will cancel my subscription when i am no longer satisfied.

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Re: Record reviews section missing


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I think I have to agree somewhat with RGibran. There is somewhat of a conflict of interest here in Stereophile arranging long-term free loans of gear....It seems to me the problem may come when the gear is loaned for long periods of time. Of course there is no magic point when one has reached "long." However, it seems to me one starts to get into it after 6 to 12 months.

A thoughtful post. The problem stems from the fact that for a reviewer to be informed and for his reviews to be informative, he needs access to more than one reference component. Even though Stereophile's reviews do include relevant comparisons, there is a steady demand from readers for there to be more comparisons.

As I said earlier in this thread, it is not feasible for a reviewer to purchase every product he needs to keep on hand for reference purposes. But if he doesn't have _some_ products on long-term loan, the quality of his reviews and his utility as a reviewer both suffer accordingly.

Also to be taken into consideration is the fact that when a reviewer purchases a component, its usefulness for reference purposes has a finite length. For example, back in 1998, I purchased a Mark Levinson No.380S preamp and a pair of Levinson No.33H amplifiers for my long-term use. Both products are now long discontinued, so now only have limited usefulness as a basis for comparison in other reviews.

We allow long-term loans as long as it is understood that the component remains the property of the manufacturer and that it be returned when requested or within a reasonable length of time. (Neither condition routinely applies at some other publications, please note.)

In the case of the Moscode 401, Wes had this for just over 3 years, not the 4.5 years claimed by rgibran. While 3 years is unusually long - the norm is closer to a year - I don't believe it unreasonable.

As I said before, I believe the criticism expressed by someone like rgibran stem more from envy - a reviewer has free access to many more audio components than someone who has to pay for his system - than from a true concern about the ethics of others.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

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Re: Record reviews section missing


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In the case of the Moscode 401, Wes had this for just over 3 years, not the 4.5 years claimed by rgibran. While 3 years is unusually long - the norm is closer to a year - I don't believe it unreasonable.

LOL. What is unreasonable in your book John? The Moscode 401 began showing in Wes's associated equipment listings as of November 2005. LINK Considering publishing lead times he would have had to have it by July/August 2005 or sooner. That's more like 4 years it has been in his possesion. My apologies for the 6 month overstatement. Maybe you could link us to all the reviews Wes did during that time where he used the Moscode as a reference? I've long since tossed my issues.


Quote:
As I said before, I believe the criticism expressed by someone like rgibran stem more from envy...

I see your stickin' with this 'envy' strawman. You used it recently over at the Asylum on an individual who merely expressed his opinion about the opinion of one of your writers. Why the ruffled feathers? Try staying on topic John. It's a discussion forum.

Envy? You flatter yourself and posse too much.

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Re: Record reviews section missing


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You flatter yourself and posse too much.

Yup, we saddled up and posse'd over to the Ponderosa to query the Cartwrights. Heard a rumor they wuz herdin' cattle on long term loan.

We called out Hoss and Little Joe. Told 'em I'm the law in these here parts and they had to answer to me.

Then Ben comes out with his infernal 12 gauge. Sez "You flatter yourself and posse too much." Guess he wuz right.

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Re: Record reviews section missing


Quote:

Quote:
In the case of the Moscode 401, Wes had this for just over 3 years, not the 4.5 years claimed by rgibran. While 3 years is unusually long - the norm is closer to a year - I don't believe it unreasonable.

LOL. What is unreasonable in your book John? The Moscode 401 began showing in Wes's associated equipment listings as of November 2005.

Okay, 3.5 years instead of 3. Not a meaningful difference, in my opinion.


Quote:

Quote:
As I said before, I believe the criticism expressed by someone like rgibran stem more from envy...

I see your stickin' with this 'envy' strawman. You used it recently over at the Asylum on an individual who merely expressed his opinion about the opinion of one of your writers.

Yes. if I remember correctly, the thread concerned how unfair it was that reviewers could purchase audio components at the wholesale price. It's not a strawman. I think that those who carp about the fact that reviewers can borrow audio components on a long-term basis, as well as being able to purchase components at a lower price than non-reviewers are motivated by envy, pure and simple. We got what they ain't got.


Quote:
Why the ruffled feathers? Try staying on topic John. It's a discussion forum.

I haven't wondered off-topic. I have addressed your questions as best I can, though you obviously don't like the answers.


Quote:
Envy? You flatter yourself and posse too much.

I assume you mean "pose." Okay, if it's not envy, then what is behind these questions? I sincerely doubt that they stem from a genuine concern for the public good.

As another poster wrote today, either you trust the magazine and its reviewers, or you don't. And if you don't, then why are reading it?

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Poor Audiophile
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Re: Record reviews section missing

Exactly!!!

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Re: Record reviews section missing

The only reason Wes doesn't return gear is because the manufacturers have a cow when they see all the cat hair inside. He's stalling to avoid the grief.

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Re: Record reviews section missing


Quote:
The only reason Wes doesn't return gear is because the manufacturers have a cow when they see all the cat hair inside. He's stalling to avoid the grief.

. . .and don't forget about the shipping charges, oh the shipping charges.

I can't believe that people are slamming Stereophile for DIRECTLY comparing the old model to the new version. If it were logistically possible (which it isn't of course) I'd like to see that in EVERY review.

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Re: Record reviews section missing

Just curious

How many of the long term items used for comparison by the reviewers are entry level products ? you know $200 CD players ? $500 speakers ?

It seems necessary that all long term loaners are high end product ?

The thing that is lost in all this is that the reviewers have no idea of real world value, if you have a normal salary of $50-$150k like the rest of us and had to buy a $5,000 amp then you would be extremely thoughtful about your purchase. Just calling up anyone you fancy for a loaner does not instill real world value.

There would be different prospective when a set of speaker cables takes up a years worth of disposable income !!!

Alan

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Re: Record reviews section missing


Quote:
Just curious

How many of the long term items used for comparison by the reviewers are entry level products ? you know $200 CD players ? $500 speakers ?

It seems necessary that all long term loaners are high end product ?

The thing that is lost in all this is that the reviewers have no idea of real world value, if you have a normal salary of $50-$150k like the rest of us and had to buy a $5,000 amp then you would be extremely thoughtful about your purchase. Just calling up anyone you fancy for a loaner does not instill real world value.

There would be different prospective when a set of speaker cables takes up a years worth of disposable income !!!

Alan

I would expect that the use of a long term loaner item would be as a likely reference piece, so that might skew these items away from entry level gear or prices. At which price point would you expect an item to be of reference quality to qualify it for long term reference?

As to real world value, you may be right to a degree. I have never read a review where the reviewer said, "This product is so good, I'm paying retail!" However, in the realm of reviewing, much of what is said is via comparison with other products, making relative statements about value rather independent of a given unit's price in relation to the prices of other pieces. many review conclusions are comparative and give you an idea of where the reviewer would place a given unit in then hierarchy of gear, in his experience.

If a reviewer says a CD player is a great value and worth buying, he has already placed that piece in the context of its competition, so what would we care if the reviewer is rating pieces based on his acquisition price or MSRP? Wouldn't the conclusion be the same?

If you could get everything for half off, would it disqualify you if you offered an opinion on which units offered the best value?

I gotta call BS on your opining both the price point of long term loaners and whether a reviewer is able to judge pieces accurately based on his acquisition fees.

Not flaming, just disagreeing. I'm open to being persuaded if you can describe why both those concerns are so significant!

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Re: Record reviews section missing


Quote:
How many of the long term items used for comparison by the reviewers are entry level products ? you know $200 CD players ? $500 speakers ?

I have regularly mentioned in the magazine that I purchased three inexpensive digital products to use as references: a Benchmark DAC-1 ($975), a Pioneer DV-578A universal player ($150), and an M-Audio USB Transit USB audio converter ($79). I also bought an NHT Passive Volume Control ($100) as a reference for preamp reviews (though this hasn't proved as useful as I had hoped). And I used a loaner pair of PSB Imagine B bookshelf speakers ($1000/pair) as the primary reference for my fall 2009 series of minimonitor reviews.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

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Re: Record reviews section missing


Quote:

Quote:
How many of the long term items used for comparison by the reviewers are entry level products ? you know $200 CD players ? $500 speakers ?

I have regularly mentioned in the magazine that I purchased three inexpensive digital products to use as references: a Benchmark DAC-1 ($975), a Pioneer DV-578A universal player ($150), and an M-Audio USB Transit USB audio converter ($79). I also bought an NHT Passive Volume Control ($100) as a reference for preamp reviews (though this hasn't proved as useful as I had hoped). And I used a loaner pair of PSB Imagine B bookshelf speakers ($1000/pair) as the primary reference for my fall 2009 series of minimonitor reviews.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Bastard.

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Re: Record reviews section missing

I just read over this thread and wanted to say as a 16-year subscriber to Stereophile, I look forward to the music reviews. Do not let this 'economy' silliness take anything away from this great publication!

nunhgrader
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Oh no I hope they re-appear.

I love the music reviews - I love the articles & reviews more though.

Hope all is well - this economy is tough.

Kal Rubinson
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Re: Record reviews section missing

Note their reappearance in October!

Kal

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Re: Record reviews section missing

Please, oh Please Keep Robert Baird around..

he is a breath of fresh air from the cliche "gotta have classical or god-awful mishmosh of "audiophile reference discs" or jazz...

Rock and Roll, baby.

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Re: Record reviews section missing

rvance

Im different

I get my joy from music, not hifi. I believe that hifi is a means to enjoy music, not to enjoy hifi.

This seems to make me different

alan

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Re: Record reviews section missing


Quote:
Oh no I hope they re-appear.

I love the music reviews - I love the articles & reviews more though.

Hope all is well - this economy is tough.

I totally agree,
for me I find this a good way to branch out and identify/listen to music that I would probably have missed.
Without this I would say my listening habits become more narrowed.
Keep up the good work and I say more music, heck why not review more jazz albums and raise their status as it is such a debate on the forums

One of the hifi magazines in the UK review four to five albums every month for each of the primary different genres (pop/jazz-blues/classical) and on top of that LP focused albums and SACD.
Over twenty albums in total.

This last comment is not meant to be flippant, but there is such a passion with regards to audio hardware and always the discussion around the highest music fidelity on these forums....
Yet without promoting the review of these genres we do not have the music, for me its about both the hardware and importantly reviewed music.

Cheers
Orb

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Quote:
[ (pop/jazz-blues/classical)

um, guy...not to be flippant...but we could live under ground without any access to reviews for 100 years and have enough reviews of music in those genres to last us....

we need....
more indie.

more outlaw country

more rockabilly

more shoegaze

more punk

more country

more metal.

more bluegrass.

more alt country.

more folk.

more singer songwriter.

to hell with that "audiophile" rubbish.

(have you heard those demo discs?? Micheal Ruff?? oh god, what shit!!, Livingston Taylor?? horrid!! Hugh Masekela? Yikes! it seems like for ""audiophile""" releases they merge musak, 70s pR0n music, horrible world music and that crap you hear on viagra commercials... why cant they record something good for gods sake? the bw music club?? that stuff is retched!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Orb
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Re: Record reviews section missing

IF you tried to review 4 albums for a complete breakdown you have a magazine with hundreds of reviews.
Hence why you have a basic breakdown and then tie other categories to them, I doubt most listeners care that there is technically a difference between rockability, metal, punk,etc as an example.
Keep it simple I say and do 4-5 reviews for each basic category that means and potentially covers a diverse range as you say.

What you may find wretched another may enjoy, in terms of classical I just cannot get on with Mahler (tried various works) and yet much of his works are critically acclaimed, then again I love Chopin.
Now am I right to say classical music is terrible or that we should exclude Mahler?
The only way to open ones listening habit is to take a stab at listening to a diverse range of music, even genre and artists/composers that we may seem not to like or never knew existed.
Afterall it is about music, and maybe part of this is like expanding our palette in same way as food.

Cheers
Orb

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