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Buddha
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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?

You should come to Denver for Rocky Mountain Audio Fest!

No "idle" travel?

Sounds fun!

Seriously, no "idle" travel?

Jan Vigne
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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?


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Seriously, no "idle" travel?

Hell no! It's 90 M.P.H. or not at all. That idling BS just wastes time.

Directions to L.A. from Dallas; get to Hwy. 30 and turn left.

JIMV
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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?

Yeah, that makes sense...travel the equivalent of the distance from NY to Miami. For the grand such a trip would cost, I can buy something nice for the system.

aquinas
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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?

John,

I'll do as you say and stop posting on this subject. At least outside of this thread. I'll continue to read Stereophile; I'll develop an opinion based on personal knowledge, as you suggest. Except, that's what I've already done. I pointed out a perception that many people have of your magazine, a negative perception that understandably caused you to react defensively. Several posters have commented that these observations or accusation are getting old. They're tired of addressing them. I've read comments like mine (and some of your responses) at audioasylum several times. I know it must get old. But why do you think that people are making these observations? Because that is what they see! The perception is real! Time and time again it's been pointed out to you that Stereophile (and others) operate in such a way as to arouse suspicion in your readers. And your response always seems to be the same: scientific dissection of the readers post and insistence that the poster must be wrong because Stereophile does not do what it appears to be doing!

You insist that things are not what they appear. Fine. Then alter your operations or protocols so that the perception goes away. If you find yourself having to respond to the same comment again and again, maybe it means that the situation requires action on your part. Again, I know it gets tiresome, but you're running a business and your customers are speaking to you! If an observation is repeatedly made to you describing practices that appear fishy, could you step back and look at how things might be improved before settling into to your defensive posture? When customers suggest that there is a problem and that you may be able to make positive changes, your response can't be, "By doing what? I can't change people's perceptions". That doesn't sound like a leadership response, that sounds like a complacency response.

Though I guess it doesn't sound like it right now, I think that Stereophile is the best magazine of its kind. It's a good magazine. But it could be a great magazine. If I've understood you correctly, you formed a certain philosophy for Stereophile to operate under, a philosophy based on honesty, transparency, and professionalism. It's not enough. Not anymore. It needs to be supplemented. And the way I know that is that the perception that I've described exists, as myself and others have told you.

How do you change? Well, I'm not exactly sure, but I'd start by listening to some of the suggestions from readers and posters on this and others forums. You've got instant and easy access to thousands of readers and audiophiles.
Here are a couple of things that I'd look at if so tasked:
- review the policy of allowing reviewers to purchase gear that they review at a discount. Obviously, this accommodation only exists because the manufacturer benefits from the arrangement, or thinks he does.
- review the history of reviews of equipment from manufacturers who are large advertisers. Question weather a reader might mistakenly draw a line between lots and lots of ads and only rave reviews.
- Should a review be required to contain comparisons with other gear? I'm speaking specifically about the YG review here.
- Why are almost all reviews so positive? Do they have to be that way? Who loses if they're not?

That's all I got. Oh, and this: Stereophile operates differently than magazines like TAS. You've described the differences. I'd beat them over the head with that. I would do whatever I could to increase traffic to the Stereophile forums, even if it meant advertising them. I would remove all of the political statements from the magazine, double the amount of music reviews, and increase the size (pages) of Stereophile itself. I'd also publish each reviewer

Buddha
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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?


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Yeah, that makes sense...travel the equivalent of the distance from NY to Miami. For the grand such a trip would cost, I can buy something nice for the system.

But but but...with all that cash you saved by moving to Idaho, it'd be like getting a free trip!

Beside, it's only an hour in the plane! Closer than driving to Spokane, or Montana, and more fun!

For that grand, you'd be getting a vacation in audioland. Auditioning your brains out, meeting new people, getting to check out new music...I honestly can't think of a better way for an audiophile to spend his money.

It would be positively awesome to meet in person and get to chat Hi Fi and politics - you seems to give a great deal of thought to your approach to both!

Tickets to RMAF...50 dollars.

Plane ticket and hotel...600 dollars.

Meeting other audiophiles and using your music to audition 20 new speakers...priceless!

aquinas
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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?

John,

Here's a couple more ideas:

1. Is it possible for you to also review each piece of gear that your reviewers write up? Having at least two perspectives on each item would be great. You have them there with you to measure anyway, right?
2. How about a designated Stereophile Listening Room at your company office. You could chart the changes in the sound as different pieces are added or removed.
3. Compile a list of trusted amateur audiophiles (sounds like you've already started this perhaps) and have a section for their write-up's or observations of various pieces of their gear. Free labor.
4. Create a section in the magazine for vintage gear.
5. Have a special section for reviewing up-and-coming gear from little-known manufacturers and those that don't meet the 5 dealer requirement. This would help alert potential dealers to new products, help the industry develop, and pay dividends for Stereophile down the road.
6. Publish a list of all recordings used during all reviews in a given year. Some of us like to look to reviews for new music.
7. Have the various regional audio societies occasionally select a member's system for review by one of your writers.
8. Numerically rank each reviewed component against another similar component.

-Doug

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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?


Quote:

Quote:
Yeah, that makes sense...travel the equivalent of the distance from NY to Miami. For the grand such a trip would cost, I can buy something nice for the system.

But but but...with all that cash you saved by moving to Idaho, it'd be like getting a free trip!

Beside, it's only an hour in the plane! Closer than driving to Spokane, or Montana, and more fun!

For that grand, you'd be getting a vacation in audioland. Auditioning your brains out, meeting new people, getting to check out new music...I honestly can't think of a better way for an audiophile to spend his money.

It would be positively awesome to meet in person and get to chat Hi Fi and politics - you seems to give a great deal of thought to your approach to both!

Tickets to RMAF...50 dollars.

Plane ticket and hotel...600 dollars.

Meeting other audiophiles and using your music to audition 20 new speakers...priceless!

I moved to Idaho to survive the current depression and the lefts policies to deal with it...

AND, I'd have to buy something I cannot afford...have to as in would not forgive myself if I didn't, AND I'd have to explain to a lot of relatives and friends around the world why I had money to go on an audio extravaganza yet could not visit them.

andy_c
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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?


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Tickets to RMAF...50 dollars.

Plane ticket and hotel...600 dollars.

Meeting other audiophiles...

Pay me 50 bucks!

Kal Rubinson
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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?


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John,

Here's a couple more ideas:

1. Is it possible for you to also review each piece of gear that your reviewers write up? Having at least two perspectives on each item would be great. You have them there with you to measure anyway, right?

Let me step in here and point out that, at the present time, John does the work of at least two men in editing the magazine, writing his own reviews and testing all the equipment, to say nothing of his additional writing and recording efforts. It seems quite unreasonable to expect more (and what you are suggesting is, really, quite a bit more) of any human.

Kal

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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?


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Here's a couple more ideas:

Thank you, Doug.


Quote:
1. Is it possible for you to also review each piece of gear that your reviewers write up?

As Kal Rubinson has pointed out, time constraints don't allow this as a general policy, though I do very occasionally write something where there is an aspect of the product that I feel need further exposure. See, for example, the Revel Salon2 report in our current (March) issue. More often, I commission a Follow-Up report from another Stereophile reviewer.


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2. How about a designated Stereophile Listening Room at your company office. You could chart the changes in the sound as different pieces are added or removed.

We had this luxury from 1987 through 1998, when we were based in New Mexico. We are now based in Manhattan, where real estate prices don't allow this, I am afraid. But on the other hand, this would not be of any use to our review team, who are both geographically diverse and intimately familiar with their own rooms (all of which I have visited and have become familiar with).


Quote:
3. Compile a list of trusted amateur audiophiles (sounds like you've already started this perhaps) and have a section for their write-up's or observations of various pieces of their gear. Free labor.

Started a list of "trusted amateur audiophiles"? What gives you that impression? But for some time we have wanted it be possible for _anyone_ to append their comments to our on-line reviews, like we do with our blogs. Unfortunately, the current Content Management System (CMS) we use for reviews does not allow this and our blog CMS is not optimized for on-line review and feature preparation. I am told that the next CMS version will have this feature.


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4. Create a section in the magazine for vintage gear.

We already do this -- see the on-line archive's "Historical" section -- but it was put on hold a couple of years back due to the writer, Peter Breuninger, having a serious accident. Peter will be returning this summer with a review of the AR3a speaker.


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5. Have a special section for reviewing up-and-coming gear from little-known manufacturers and those that don't meet the 5 dealer requirement. This would help alert potential dealers to new products, help the industry develop, and pay dividends for Stereophile down the road.

This function is already served very effectively by the plethora of webzines. As I have written many times in the magazine and on this forum, the "5-Dealer Rule" is in place for legitimate reasons.


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6. Publish a list of all recordings used during all reviews in a given year. Some of us like to look to reviews for new music.

We have actually compiled such a list and I will be posting it on-line in the archives when I can catch a moment to do the HTML coding.


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7. Have the various regional audio societies occasionally select a member's system for review by one of your writers.

Not a bad idea.


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8. Numerically rank each reviewed component against another similar component.

Our sister magazine Home Theater used to do this, as still does HFN in the UK. But given my experience compiling our biannual "Recommended Components" listing, I am skeptical of the ability of a single numerical rating to accurately define a product, given the multidimensional nature of its performance and features. Already, each class rating in "Recommended Components" covers a wide spread of performance, which is why in the feature's preface we insist that readers thinking of making a buying decision read the original reviews. To narrow the rating down even further to a single numerical ranking might look objective but it would actually be misleading.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?


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I pointed out a perception that many people have of your magazine, a negative perception that understandably caused you to react defensively. Several posters have commented that these observations or accusation are getting old. They're tired of addressing them. I've read comments like mine (and some of your responses) at audioasylum several times. I know it must get old.

Indeed. I have been answering the same questions and addressing the same points for the past 20 years, since the advent of pre-Internet dial-up BBSes.


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But why do you think that people are making these observations? Because that is what they see! The perception is real!

Sadly, yes. But no matter how many people think something is true, that doesn't mean it is true. Reality is not something subject to a ballot.


Quote:
Time and time again it's been pointed out to you that Stereophile (and others) operate in such a way as to arouse suspicion in your readers. And your response always seems to be the same: scientific dissection of the readers post and insistence that the poster must be wrong because Stereophile does not do what it appears to be doing!

That's correct. Stereophile does _not_ operate in the manner that so many perceive.


Quote:
You insist that things are not what they appear. Fine. Then alter your operations or protocols so that the perception goes away. If you find yourself having to respond to the same comment again and again, maybe it means that the situation requires action on your part.

Actually, I don't think there is anything we can do to alter those perceptions, other than what we currently do, which is to operate as honest and as transparent an operation as is possible.


Quote:
Again, I know it gets tiresome, but you're running a business and your customers are speaking to you! If an observation is repeatedly made to you describing practices that appear fishy, could you step back and look at how things might be improved before settling into to your defensive posture?

Except, as I have tried to get you to understand, at root those observations don't come from customers. Yes, there are some people like yourself who repeat the hearsay, but every time over the years when I have tried to track down the original criticism, I have found almost without exception that the following scenario is in operation: the original comment has been made by a competing publication or website; the original comment has been made by a disgruntled manufacturer; the original comment has been made by a disgruntled dealer; the original comment is, in fact, true but concerns a different magazine.

The first example I have already given you: that the incorrect perception that Stereophile's choice of what products it reviews is dependent on what products are advertised stems from something that was said to a manufacturer by TAS publisher Mark Fisher. And you yourself have confirmed what I have been told by some manufacturers, that while there is a magazine that practices that strategy, it is not Stereophile but TAS.

Second, a storm raged on the Audio Asylum a few years back over the supposed revelation that Stereophile charges manufacturers a fee for putting their products on the magazine's cover. (We don't.) It didn't take much investigation to reveal that the magazine in question was not Stereophile but The Sensible Sound.

Third, the allegation was made on the Asylum and since repeated elsewhere that Stereophile only puts products on its cover that are made by advertisers. (We don't; there is actually a slight inverse correlation.) Tracking down this allegation, it came from a dealer who was pissed off that we put products on our cover that he didn't sell.

Fourth, it was stated as fact on the Asylum that Stereophile reviewers take kickbacks from manufacturers to give products positive reviews. Once more, I spent a lot of time tracking down the basis for this statement. Sadly, it turned out to be true: that a reviewer did appear, if not actually taking bribes, to be behaving in an unethical manner. The reviewer, however, did not work for Stereophile but TAS.

Fifth, it was stated as fact on Usenet some years ago that Stereophile's reviewers act as paid consultants for audio companies. I have published just 2 such writers in the past who had pre-existing consultancy businesses: the late Peter W. Mitchell and Martin Colloms. In both cases, my agreement with them was they would _never_ write about companies for whom they had done consultancy. Also, in the case of Peter Mitchell, he didn't submit reviews. And in the case of Martin Colloms, the policy proved insufficient in that it could be argued that he shouldn't be writing reviews about products from companies that competed with those for whom he had performed consultancy. With regret, therefore, as Martin is both scrupulously honest and a superbly gifted reviewer and engineer, I removed him from our team of reviewers many years ago.

But this all predated the furore, and it turned out that the reviewer in question worked for a competing magazine.

Sixth, it was asserted on the Asylum that Stereophile reviewers sell review samples that they have not paid for. Yes, sadly, there was one example of this in Stereophile back in 1988, and I immediately fired the writer and compensated the manufacturer. But the example that started the shitstorm on the Asylum concerned a high-profile writer for a _different_ magazine.


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When customers suggest that there is a problem and that you may be able to make positive changes, your response can't be, "By doing what? I can't change people's perceptions". That doesn't sound like a leadership response, that sounds like a complacency response.

It's not complacency; it's a recognition of something that, with respect, appears to escape you: that the "echo chamber" effect of the Internet is both amplifying the revelation of corrupt audio magazine practices and assigning them to what, by far, is the highest-profile magazine, Stereophile, regardless of the underying reality.

There seems to be an inherent tendency for people to assume that success equates with corruption, that failure equates with honesty. (By far the most dishonest reviewer and editor I have the misfortune to know published a small magazine that is now out of business.) Add to the the fact that many readers don't appear to discriminate between magazines - I regularly get questions from readers about articles or review that actually were published in TAS - and you get the current scenario: that if someone, somewhere, behaves in an unethical manner, it will eventually be assumed that it involves Stereophile. :-(


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Though I guess it doesn't sound like it right now, I think that Stereophile is the best magazine of its kind. It's a good magazine.

Thank you.


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But it could be a great magazine. If I've understood you correctly, you formed a certain philosophy for Stereophile to operate under, a philosophy based on honesty, transparency, and professionalism. It's not enough. Not anymore.

If true, then that is indeed a sad comment on society.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?


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As I have written many times in the magazine and on this forum, the "5-Dealer Rule" is in place for legitimate reasons.

A question, no make that two...does the rule apply to internet direct sales companies? 2nd, does it make more sense to review $100K speakers from folk who sell a dozen sets through those 5 dealers instead of a manufacturer who sells 10,000 pairs through the internet or only one dealer. Should not volume of sales really be the driving caveat and not brick and mortar operations?

I am not sure of your current standards so my question is serious.

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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?


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Quote:
As I have written many times in the magazine and on this forum, the "5-Dealer Rule" is in place for legitimate reasons.

A question, no make that two...does the rule apply to internet direct sales companies? 2nd, does it make more sense to review $100K speakers from folk who sell a dozen sets through those 5 dealers instead of a manufacturer who sells 10,000 pairs through the internet or only one dealer. Should not volume of sales really be the driving caveat and not brick and mortar operations?

I am not sure of your current standards so my question is serious.

Yes, I want a Bose Wave Radio review to read when I go eat at the biggest selling restaurant.

Is volume of sales something that makes you more prone to favor a product or think that should be the driving force behind choosing gear for reviews?

Heck, start a "Buyers Guide to Best Buy" and be done with it!

Kal Rubinson
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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?


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A question, no make that two...does the rule apply to internet direct sales companies?

Why is it that the people who are so focused on these issues cannot read what has been printed and posted? No, there are other criteria.

Kal

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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?


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As I have written many times in the magazine and on this forum, the "5-Dealer Rule" is in place for legitimate reasons.

does the rule apply to internet direct sales companies?

No, how could it? Again as I have written many times, judging whether a product sold direct qualifies for a review in Stereophile has to be a more subjective decision than one sold through the usual retail channels. I am not interested in giving coverage to something that is made by someone in his garage in his spare time. Yes, some of those garagistes will eventually grow to the point where they are legitimate manufacturers whose products merit Stereophile's attention. But most do not. And until the time they do, that is what the webzines are for.


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2nd, does it make more sense to review $100K speakers from folk who sell a dozen sets through those 5 dealers instead of a manufacturer who sells 10,000 pairs through the internet or only one dealer.

I don't believe it an either/or decision, except for those specific pages in that specific issue.


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Should not volume of sales really be the driving caveat and not brick and mortar operations?

No, because the center of gravity of the purchases made by Stereophile readers, as evidenced by the readership surveys we do, is considerably more focused than overall mass-market sales statistics would suggest. If we followed your strategy exclusively, we would be devoting all our space to products that the majority of our readers would not be interested in reading about.

In the same way we occasionally choose to review a ridiculously expensive product, like the YG speaker in this issue, which is off the chart at one end of the price spectrum, we also review the occasional very inexpensive product that appears to punch above its weight.

What matters to me as editor is that the balance of the products we choose for review coverage is centered on the center of gravity I mentioned above.


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I am not sure of your current standards so my question is serious.

I make no secret of why we do what we do. A few minutes' searching in our on-line archives will find most of the answers to questions like yours. See, for example, www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/307awsi and www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/746.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?

Perhaps I was not clear....The magazine reviews a lot of very good gear from a lot of manufacturers. They also seem to skip a lot of very good gear from a lot of good manufacturers. If one reviews 3 items from a single manufacturer over a year while completely skipping any mention of others who might also have quality gear but sell much more...

Maybe a special category...a review a month of stuff from folk who do sell a lot but do not meet the 5 dealer criteria. Emotiva comes to mind...I believe they sell direct. I read a lot about their gear elsewhere but they might not even exist as far as Stereophile is concerned.

Perhaps the 5 dealer requirement is becoming obsolete in the internet and direct sales age.

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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?


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No, because the center of gravity of the purchases made by Stereophile readers, as evidenced by the readership surveys we do, is considerably more focused than overall mass-market sales statistics would suggest.

Thank you for your answer....I note that you often rely on these surveys in many of your answers. This brings up another question....you have about what, 85,000 subscribers and perhaps several times more than that in news stand sales. When you take a survey, do you get back 100,000 responses, or 10,000...0r 5,000, or less. Is it not true that your response to such surveys does not reveal what the couple of hundred thousand readers are thinking, or even what your 85,000 subscribers are thinking but only what the much smaller number of respondents are thinking?

Relying on information from such a limited response (and I assume the response is probably less than 10% of the universe of possible responders) perhaps gives one a skewed view of what that far more vast majority who did not respond are thinking.

Put another way....just because tiny minority of a survey group advises they do something, spend so much, or make a wage does not mean they represent accurately the entire group.

I used to go to my cities public comment budget meetings. If one took the universe of folk who showed up and spoke as representative of the cities population, the city was poor, unemployed, without heath care, didn't pay taxes, and were fat and over 50 years old....

There is nothing scientific in a poll that requires the reader to respond. Good polls always come to the subject not the subject to the poll.

I may well have misrepresented circulation and subscription rates, though I seem to recall having read what I posted but the idea remains true...if one only gets a small response from a vast potential audience, then one cannot draw definitive conclusion from the result. Perhaps you have oversampled the rich, or the equipment junkie or some other subgroup of readers.

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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?


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...the center of gravity of the purchases made by Stereophile readers, as evidenced by the readership surveys we do, is considerably more focused than overall mass-market sales statistics would suggest.

Thank you for your answer....I note that you often rely on these surveys in many of your answers. This brings up another question....you have about what, 85,000 subscribers and perhaps several times more than that in news stand sales. When you take a survey, do you get back 100,000 responses, or 10,000...0r 5,000, or less.

Very much less than 5000. However, the primary surveys are performed by a professional market research company that tries hard to ensure that they have chosen both a representative sample of readers and a sufficiently large number to give accurate results.

If those criteria are met, then the error in the results will be proportional to the sample size in relationship to the overall set. As few as 100 readers surveyed may well give you data that are reliable to the left of the decimal point; 1000 gives you additional precision that you might not be able to make use of; 5000 is definitely overkill.

We also perform informal surveys of attendees at our shows and on our site, both of which are by definition a self-selected subset of the overall population of readers. The differences between those results and those revealed by the rigorous third-party surveys in no more than you might expect and don't give me any reason to suspect that my editorial strategies are in significant error.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Incidentally, I am not uninformed in this area. One of my tasks in the research lab I worked at in the early 1970s after graduating with my bachelor's degree in science involved reducing a sample of several tons of crushed rock to a single kilogram's worth for chemical assay and particle size analysis.

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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?

Thanks...great answer. I was of the impression that such surveys required a response to the magazines inquiry, not to a separate call/letter from a marketing survey company.

Interesting

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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?

bravo! Isn't it amazing that readers of Stereophile and other high end magazines have people cry and whine about the cost of "the high end"! Hiow ofter do you read people cry and whine to auto magazines for articles on Ferraris, Maybachs, Porsches ...etc? How many magazines serve the yachting, airplane, high end housing market? Do their readers complain about cost. I doubt I will ever afford the finest as new but maybe as used down the road and if not, at the very least, a trickle down effect usually happens to improve the less cost systems. Besides, honestly, how many people out there did not wonder if the ads for YG were hype, legit of marketing bs? The purpose of advertising is to create awareness and YG's ad people (and maybe others such as Focal,Lamm and Wilson to name a few) should be congratulated for creating awareness in their product. And if an audio editor is sharp, they will request to review such products as the markets interest is piqued. I hope Stereophile continues to review equipment priced at all price points.

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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?


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bravo! Isn't it amazing that readers of Stereophile and other high end magazines have people cry and whine about the cost of "the high end"!

amazing? readers support the magazine and have a right to voice concerns. reader feedback allows a magazine to grow..I read a lot of other magazines(guns and ammo, acoustic guitar, fretboard journal, classical singer magazine, audio eXpress, RS, FLEX, EQ, Sound on Sound and many others) and if you think Stereophile readers are the only ones that complain about pricing, you are deluded. if a lot of people are saying the same thing, just maybe they are hitting on something. would you rather have it so that noone complains ever? anything goes? is the magazine staff untouchable? perfect? is the magazine all it could be? No. It never is.

as for YG, that review gave no answers as to "the hype"(although the price is ridiculous unless the speakers make dinner and give blowjobs) ..that can only be answered on ones own living room...although any person that says such a thing as "we make the best speakers in the world" is an idiot.

"the greatest menace to the life of an industry is self-complacency"- Joyce Carol Oates

"An audience shouldn't listen with complacency."
Peter Maxwell Davies

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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?

It's not whether it is relevant or not - it's that I enjoy reading about it.

I don't buy speakers every month, yet Stereophile comes out that often. Is everything you read a prospective purchase? I don't think so. If you enjoy hi-fi, then you should just enjoy reading about it.

JSBach
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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?(do

I don't care how many million dollar speakers Stereophile reviews as long as there's something technologically innovative about them that might one day trickle down to the sane end of the market. However, no matter how superb those $100,000 numbers sound I wouldn't allow anything so ugly in my listening room. They have all the charm of a giant cheese grater.

gkc
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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?

Tom and Stephen, who gives a fuck how they "measure?" I didn't even read the review, because my subscription lapsed. I'll renew when I get a breather from the markets (very challenging, these days, if you haven't noticed, but I am doing okay and makin' money...) and the demands of learning a new golf swing.

Look. I am older than most (if not all) of you. Here is all you need to know, if you have a personal reference for what "good" sound is.

If you listen to mostly chamber music and jazz, and you live in a small listening space, REJOICE! You can get GREAT sound on the cheap.

If you listen to background music, then buy a Bose. Problem solved.

If you go regularly to live symphonic concerts, and you love the big whomp, you are doomed. Mahler. Stravinsky. Berlioz. Bruckner. Bruch (oh my gawd, that violin concerto...). Wagner (pity you, but sound is sound, and he lets it ALL out). Richard Strauss (see the above). Ginestera. AND, you have a large listening space. Sorry. As I said, you are doomed. To spend money. Because that is what it is gonna take.

Listen. I have heard God from a $5,000 system (total, first-rate analog included) in a 12' X 18' X 8' room, playing Palestrina, Miles Davis, Bach (but not the B-Minor Mass...), and even the good Count Basie.

But, put the same stuff in a room that is 25' X 40' X 12', and (I am soooo sorry) your $5,000 would have been better spent on a good whore. Seriously. I shit you not. I have been fighting this battle for 30 years. If you want to fill a big room with big sound, sit back and indulge (with no distracting absences...), and wake up next week and do it again, IT IS GOING TO COST YOU. Period. I have empirical proof. My own ears, and my memories of real music in a real concert hall.

It depends on what you like. If you like the "Full Monty," a hundred large may be goin' on the cheap. If you like the smaller stuff (not in QUALITY, mind you, but in decibels required to get the full memory...) in smaller rooms, you lucked out.

I am SO sick and tired of reading posts accusing me of spending too much money on music. SO sick and tired. I need music. And I need it loud without strain. In a huge room (although not even a hundredth as huge as where I heard it performed live...). And yes, folks, that costs money.

You can always waste money, by overbuying. But NOT IF YOU ARE AS FUSSY AS I AM ABOUT WHAT I WANT IN MY BIG ROOM. Believe me, I have been every bit as careful with my $200 grand as ANY of you has been while agonizing over whether to spend $700 or $300 on a CD player.

Know your own ears, your own passion, and your own space. Just get off of dismissing $100,000 speakers JUST because they cost $100,000. A half-million might just be a bargain, while a half-grand might be the world's biggest rip-off.

It depends on who you are, what you love, and where you live.

Happy tunes.

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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?


Quote:
noticed, but I am doing okay and makin' money...)
I have been every bit as careful with my $200 grand as ANY of you h

God damn! I knew youd come through!

1.) you bragged about income!
2.) you mentioned how much your system costs! hot damn!
3.) you proselytized about having to "spend a lot" to get good sound! woot!

just when I think you are going to disappoint, you come through, in a big way!

christ, guy.... do you actually sit back and read your posts?
people that constantly brag about money or possessions normally have enormous deficiencies elsewhere(maybe a small dick, extremely ugly, obese, cant get women, get beat up a lot, socially retarded, etc etc etc)

1.)does anyone give a shit if you are making money or not?
2.)wouldnt brag about spending 200 grand on hifi gear..that isn't really anything to brag about. if you dont know why, i cant tell you.
3.)and for the umpteenth fucking time, there is no ballpark, or magic number that one has to spend to get "great sound"

dunno// maybe you are alright in person, but you sound like an enormous douche.

gkc
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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?

Nor did you disappoint me, ncdrawl (whatever that means...).

1) You bitched about my income (without knowing what it is...could this be a metonymical figure for all your premature and fractioned conclusions on the comments of others?).

2) I mentioned how much my system costs. See #1.

3) "Proselytizing" has nothing to do with it. You spend your dough, I'll spend mine. Mind the size of your listening room, though. Again, see #1.

Q. "Does anyone give a shit whether you are making money or not"?
A. Apparently, only you. And, of course, I. If you are trading to LOSE money, I would suggest you change your approach to the markets. If you are not trading, in your case, that would be a wise decision, given your preference for half-truths.

And, for the "umpteenth time, there is no ball park or magic number that one has to spend to spend to get 'great sound'." I agree. I think that is what I said. It depends on who you are, what you want, and where you spend your nights.

However. If you spend your nights in large rooms, and you want to hear the full dynamics of a symphony orchestra, then it is going to cost you more than trying to duplicate your memory of Bill Evans in your 12' X 18' cubicle. I know, because I have both (you failed to mention my obvious statement of that fact). They are not interchangable.

Hey. You want to save money? I'm all for it! Get a small room. It's not against the law. Some of my best memories of pussy in the dark are of small rooms. You live in your space, I'll live in mine.

I am sorry this pisses you off, ncdrawl (whatever that means -- do you have a real name, or is this just your idea of being clever?).

Not.

Do I actually sit back and read my own posts. No. Do you?

I just toss 'em off, trying to capture how I see things, in the moment and on reflection. Like, I assume, everyone else does.

Now, if YOU are trying to write the definitive paranoid statement against those of us who listen carefully and are willing to spend what we earn on what we deem to be the best for our purposes, then congratulations.

You have succeeded. Now, if you could only figure out where and when to claim your prize...

Happy tunes.

gkc
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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?

But it is okay to spend, routinely, $20,000 (and more -- much more) on an obsolete gas-guzzler. Remember, even though this piece of weld-slammed metal passed all the robot-eyes, it will achieve the destiny it was conceived to achieve, 2-5 years down the road. That is, a $10,000 (and less -- much much less) obsolete gas-guzzler that you will, willy-nilly, trade in on another , $30,000 gas-guzzler in the year 2014) piece of shit that must be gotten rid of, at all costs, no matter WHAT makes sense.

As a contrast, I give you the Basis 1400 turntable (bought new in 1995, along with the Benz-Micro M09-0/Rega R300-B tonearm combo), all for a grand total of $2800. It still works. It still works fine.

And I don't have to put my public image on the line by driving it through Los Angeles in broad daylight. Thank God! No matter HOW good it is, I wouldn't want to risk my public image. Much less ncdrawl's opinion of my, ahem, "upper SES" ( that would be "socio-econonomi-status," moron -- OH, GOD! There goes my reputation...).

Seriously, folks. Buddha is being sarcastic. Sorry, Buddha. Apparently, literal morons have infested the planet. I apologize for cracking the code.

All of you out there who pretend to love music. Make a list of everything you have spent more than $10,000 on, over the last ten years, that HASN'T produced a musically enjoyable note.

Now, ask yourself (remember, you are a music-lover...yeah, right...) if you can afford a $10,000 music system, WELL-BOUGHT.

Yeah. That's what I thought. Blenders. HDTV's. Sealey mattresses (as if any of you could even HOPE, in your wildest dreams, to get a better fuck out of a Sealey than the raw dick you're getting with your futon -- it's not the mattress, moron, it's the PUSSY).

Sorry. I get excited, and then I digress. Meanwhile, where were we? Ah, yes. How "expensive" is the best music, custom-brewed in the privacy of your own home?

Ncdrawl says I am guilty of putting a price on it. I plead guilty.

Excuse me. I have a rare recording of Bizet's complete incidental music for "L'Arlesienne." And I want to hear it at its best. Sad stuff. Guess I better pop the cork off a Lagavulen, and get out the tissue.

Pity me. Oh, poor, poor me! Alas, all I have is my miserable music. Sob.

JSBach
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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?


Quote:

people that constantly brag about money or possessions normally have enormous deficiencies elsewhere(maybe a small dick, extremely ugly, obese, cant get women, get beat up a lot, socially retarded, etc etc etc)
dunno// maybe you are alright in person, but you sound like an enormous douche.


Well, I've been known to list my collection of audio toys in places like this and, yes, I've been accused of bragging and one-up-manship. But hey, believe me, you wouldn't be disappointed at the size of my dick, far from it. So glad you know all about douching darls.

Ajani
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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?


Quote:
Tom and Stephen, who gives a fuck how they "measure?" I didn't even read the review, because my subscription lapsed. I'll renew when I get a breather from the markets (very challenging, these days, if you haven't noticed, but I am doing okay and makin' money...) and the demands of learning a new golf swing.

Look. I am older than most (if not all) of you. Here is all you need to know, if you have a personal reference for what "good" sound is.

If you listen to mostly chamber music and jazz, and you live in a small listening space, REJOICE! You can get GREAT sound on the cheap.

If you listen to background music, then buy a Bose. Problem solved.

If you go regularly to live symphonic concerts, and you love the big whomp, you are doomed. Mahler. Stravinsky. Berlioz. Bruckner. Bruch (oh my gawd, that violin concerto...). Wagner (pity you, but sound is sound, and he lets it ALL out). Richard Strauss (see the above). Ginestera. AND, you have a large listening space. Sorry. As I said, you are doomed. To spend money. Because that is what it is gonna take.

Listen. I have heard God from a $5,000 system (total, first-rate analog included) in a 12' X 18' X 8' room, playing Palestrina, Miles Davis, Bach (but not the B-Minor Mass...), and even the good Count Basie.

But, put the same stuff in a room that is 25' X 40' X 12', and (I am soooo sorry) your $5,000 would have been better spent on a good whore. Seriously. I shit you not. I have been fighting this battle for 30 years. If you want to fill a big room with big sound, sit back and indulge (with no distracting absences...), and wake up next week and do it again, IT IS GOING TO COST YOU. Period. I have empirical proof. My own ears, and my memories of real music in a real concert hall.

It depends on what you like. If you like the "Full Monty," a hundred large may be goin' on the cheap. If you like the smaller stuff (not in QUALITY, mind you, but in decibels required to get the full memory...) in smaller rooms, you lucked out.

I am SO sick and tired of reading posts accusing me of spending too much money on music. SO sick and tired. I need music. And I need it loud without strain. In a huge room (although not even a hundredth as huge as where I heard it performed live...). And yes, folks, that costs money.

You can always waste money, by overbuying. But NOT IF YOU ARE AS FUSSY AS I AM ABOUT WHAT I WANT IN MY BIG ROOM. Believe me, I have been every bit as careful with my $200 grand as ANY of you has been while agonizing over whether to spend $700 or $300 on a CD player.

Know your own ears, your own passion, and your own space. Just get off of dismissing $100,000 speakers JUST because they cost $100,000. A half-million might just be a bargain, while a half-grand might be the world's biggest rip-off.

It depends on who you are, what you love, and where you live.

Happy tunes.

Though I'm unlikely to ever own a truly expensive setup, I agree with a number of your points... Room size and the scale of the music you're tying to recreate makes a dramatic difference in terms of cost... I've heard a $6K setup in an 11x11 room that sounded like heaven (but I'm sure would sound small and lacking in a 25x20 room)...

Luckily for me, I don't desire to recreate a grand concert hall sound, nor do I plan to dedicate a very large room to my stereo, so a $5 - $6K setup is all I'll probably need...

ncdrawl
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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?

my recording room is huge. ive spent a modest amount on the speakers and amps, and it sounds amazing.


Quote:
so a $5 - $6K setup is all I need

what is with the arbitrary number? it doesnt matter how big your room is. it doesnt matter what you listen to or how loud. there isnt some magic price or even price bracket.. it isnt always true that you have to spend "more" to fill a bigger room!

why one would even want to have "concert levels" inside a damned house is beyond my level of comprehension. you can hear a lot more with lower volumes. that sort of Loudness is for PA Speakers, not listening rooms.

Ajani
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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?


Quote:
my recording room is huge. ive spent a modest amount on the speakers and amps, and it sounds amazing.


Quote:
so a $5 - $6K setup is all I need

what is with the arbitrary number? it doesnt matter how big your room is. it doesnt matter what you listen to or how loud. there isnt some magic price or even price bracket.. it isnt always true that you have to spend "more" to fill a bigger room!

why one would even want to have "concert levels" inside a damned house is beyond my level of comprehension. you can hear a lot more with lower volumes. that sort of Loudness is for PA Speakers, not listening rooms.

If you're happy with your setup then that's all that really matters....

$5K - $6K is not an arbitrary number... it's the price of the best sounding setup I've heard.... I could easily put together a very good setup for $2K (all new items), but given a choice, I'd rather upgrade to the $6K one....

gkc
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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?

Ajani, well-said and sane. Apparently, you were able to distill all the crap out of my sewage and come up with an excellent precis that easily surpasses my prolix original.

In this endeavor, this quest for music in the home, one must cater to one's own personal sonic desiderata.

At the Los Angeles show, a few years ago (where I had the pleasure of meeting Buddha, Mike, Wes Phillips, and Steven), I kept coming back to the "cheap" room. Roy Hall's room. Music Hall electronics and source components, and Epos speakers. Probably about $5,000-$7,000 total, excellent analog included. I thought it was the best sound in the show.

But the room was, what? 15' X 15'?? Across the hallway was a megasystem, a half-million worth, with (I can't remember the brand names...I was too busy running from the shrieks and howls) humongous speakers and other exotica, and a room half the size of a basketball court. Terrible.

You have to know what you want. After 40 years of attending live symphonic concerts, I know what I want. And I have it. And, yes, it cost big money. But (are you listening, ncdrawl?) the progress, over the years, has led me to what I want in my big room.

Small room? The choices, as you say so eloquently, are NOT expensive, and they DO depend on what you are after.

As I have said many times (and, as the money-bashers continue to ignore), I still drive a 2001 Honda Civic. It works fine. If I needed more, I would buy more. But, WHY?

Priorities, priorities. Music is high on my list. That is why I have no conscience when it comes to spending for what I want. Waste is not high on my list. I have been dirt poor, and good habits have stuck.

Ncdrawl states that trying to get concert-hall sound levels in your listening room is a fool's endeavor. Perhaps. But trying to get the memory of the concert-hall experience, to me, is not. And, yes, there is a difference.

Ncdrawl is probably using some kind of mechanical SPL gauge. Fine. I don't need one. All I need is the recreation of the memory of the experience. If it is too loud, I turn it down, just as you or anyone else would. If it isn't loud enough, I turn it up. And being able to "turn it up" is what you pay for, when listening in a large room.

Ncdrawl is so pissed off that I have gone from dirt-poor to a point, late in my life, where I don't have to worry about money, that his judgment has become clouded, and his ability to read has become impaired. No problem. He is still a young pup, and there is always time...

Obviously, I agree with you. Follow your own muse, and mind your budget. There are great choices out there, from a grand or so to a half-million or so. The choices are individual, but we all want the same thing -- music that pleases us.

Happy tunes.

audiojerry
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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?

I believe it is very much possible to achieve high quality sound, always with the goal of greater involvement and connecting more closely to your music, on a low budget. I've done it. It can be accomplished with patience and a willingness to carefully shop the used market.

I sold off equipment listing for $12,000 (Audio Research VT200 and high-end preamp), and replaced it with a vintage Fisher receiver costing me $10 on Ebay after listening to it and realizing that it was still high-rez and very musically satisfying. If you pay attention to the details like having a quality (not expensive) front end and quality (not expensive) wire, the goal of serving the music can be achieved.

PS: Another key for me was the acquisition of isolation transformers used with electron microscopes on ebay for $15 each. These made a world of difference.

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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?


Quote:
But the room was, what? 15' X 15'?? Across the hallway was a megasystem, a half-million worth, with (I can't remember the brand names...I was too busy running from the shrieks and howls) humongous speakers and other exotica, and a room half the size of a basketball court. Terrible.

This reminds me of a NY show at which Albert von Schweikert had rented a (not so) small ballroom complete with an arcuate balcony and, of course, under-balcony spaces. The speakers were a requisitely large 4-cabinet pair but the sound was awful for, at least, the first three days as Albert and the crew strove to "dial in" the setup. By the end of the show, they had gotten some decent sound out of it. However, as they played a Sinatra recording, a friend leaned over to me and said, "Y'know, if I had a room like this in my house, I'd just hire Sinatra." Yeah, it was too big for a personal listening room and suitable for a large crowd.

"Y'know, if I could have a room like this, I'd use it for parties and put my audio system elsewhere."

Kal

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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?


Quote:

Ncdrawl is so pissed off that I have gone from dirt-poor to a point,

nah, I really dont care. In fact, I think it is great to see one rise up from the ashes....Ive done the same myself. BUT when one constantly talks about money, how much their whatever is, yadda... it gets to be a bit much... i mean, yeah, it was ok the first thousand times you mentioned it, but hell....

gkc
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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?

Good for you, Audiojerry. Whatever pleases you is the real deal. And, getting it on the cheap is an additional bonus.

My first "component" system (that is how old I am -- there used to be a difference between "components" and a "stereo system") had a Scott integrated amplifier and a Fisher tuner -- I almost bought Fisher separates, but, at the time, I needed the extra $200 to finish my undergraduate degree.

Unfortunately, I don't have the technical knowledge to do the "electron-microscopes-isolation-transformers" thing. I'll just bet your system sounds terrific.

Happy tunes.

gkc
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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?

Ncdrawl, I don't "constantly talk about money." That is simply all that you are capable of extracting out of the larger context of my discourse. Certain phrases jump out at you, and you react angrily, ignoring said larger context. Selective reading is what you do best, in this case, because you are interested only in flogging your own peculiar mule.

Flog away. Selective reading, in the larger sense, has become a national pastime, from our highest political and economical leadership posts all the way down to YouTube.

Being retired from teaching, I no longer have to tilt at this particular windmill on an hourly basis. Good riddance.

Nice dip in gold the last 5 trading days. Buy it. Buy the dips. Buy AUY, IVN, and FCX (copper, too, will rise). Hell, buy UCO -- you don't REALLY think oil is going to stay under 50 bucks forever, do you? Or, sit around and complain about others who are making money in these difficult markets. And I am most certainly not the only one.

Happy tunes.

badolepuddytat
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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?

Yes, I know the chances of me being able to afford a $100K speaker rig looks pretty slim right now. This is precisely why I look foward to that type of review the same way I look foward to a car magazines review of a Ferrari 599 Fiorano. I have absolutely no need to read about the $200 bargain speaker when I can go to the local Best Buy and check it out for myself. I only trust my own ears anyway, and hell, I might even buy it for kicks, take it home and use it until the next $200 speaker comes out. On the other hand, consider the look from the salesman at the local audio boutique (if you even have one) when you ask to listen to that expensive gear. It's similar to the look you get from the Ferrari salesman after you ask to test drive that Fiorano (assuming you haven't been escorted off the property). A lot of the stuff isn't even available to sample in some areas. The point is that until a long lost uncle leaves me that $100 million, Sterophile is one of my links to how the other half lives. So I say keep it coming and crank it up a notch or two if you can.

JoeE SP9
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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?

This is not directed at you BadOlePuddyTat you were just the last to post.
It's all a matter of perspective. To those reading this thread 10, 20 or even 30 thousand or more dollars for a system is not out of the question. My neighbors on one side think $500 dollars for a "record player" is absolute insanity.
Lighten up. Just because something is way out of your price range doesn't make it an invalid choice for others. None of us are being forced to read the review or buy the "damn" things. We're supposed to be having fun. Pissing and moaning because you think something is too expensive, too big, too fast, too too is childish and stupid.

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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?


Quote:
As I have already said in this thread, Musical Fidelity's Antony Michaelson told me that Erick's review stopped US sales of the amplifier in their tracks. I fail to get your point, therefore.

That's interesting on several levels, to me.

1) I had no idea so many people shopped soleley via review. This seems to be becoming more the rule than the exception, which seems a little depressing for a hobby based on people being so discerning about their listening choices.

2) What did Antony think of the review? Did he have any insights into the differences between the reviews or what might have occurred during the second audition?

3) The fact that it was a Mu Fi product is kind of amazing, because it adds a "live by the review, die by the review" dimension to the story of the company and Stereophile's predilection for reviewing its gear. Double edged sword, for sure. (No editorial intent, just thinking of Mu Fi's frequency of appearance.)

4) What is your own impression of the amp?

tom collins
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Re: A review of speakers costing $100,000 is relevant to who?

budda: one thing that may be relevant to the review vs. purchase theory you mention is that you can now buy high line equipment such as the supercharger by mail order, at least through music direct (i think, or one of the others). so, in theory, maybe many people are actually buying without first listening as you suggest. a dealer might be able to show a potential buyer a system that has good synergy with those amps. i think it is a hell of a risk to buy unheard like that, but it may now be more common than you think. at least where i live, in the midwest - flyover country, audio stores are few and far between, so i can see why some folks take the gamble. i think for a short while, that amp was offered at 50% off, so i guess you could resell it with a small loss if it didn't work out.

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