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rmeyer52
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What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

I really look forward to receiving my monthly issue of Stereophile but I have to admit that in all likelyhood that I could never afford 85% of the components within the issue. As much as I enjoy the magazine here are some things I would like to see:

Product Reviews: On the side of the page I would have a section for components say under $5k and below and then $7K and below etc. There is nothing more of a bummer than reading a great review of a product only to learn that one could never afford to purchase it.

Recommended systems: How about recommended systems every month by a certain price point for everything? There seem to be a lot of posts on the board for people asking for recommendations and a recommended system by certain price points would be a great place to start.

I love listening to hi-fi and always fantasize about upgrading but don't want to have to take out a second mortgage to do so...

JIMV
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

My problem is not that they review a lot...well, almost all, gear that I cannot ever buy, but that the gear is so rare I know I will never even see it set up or hear it. It is like reviewing great art in overseas museums, but worse as this does not require a picture to get an idea of the item, but sound.

My second pet peave is in reviews of mega priced (anything over 4 digits in price) gear that have easily heard flaws, like this months hum in a $13K pre-amp, but that end with lines like "Few amplification products are more beautiful, more effective, more fun to use, and, consequently, more recommendable." One could add, 'with a design flaw' and also be correct. A $13K component should at the very least, operate flawlessly. The review should be about the sound of the product, not how to fix\live with design flaws.

Poor Audiophile
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

I generally agree with both of you. While I like the magazine overall, I think it is generally geared to people who have way more money than I do!
Maybe someone should start a new mag like

tomjtx
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

Check out the Sensible Sound

They are a no nonsense mag geared toward value.

cyclebrain
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

What I would like to see is some test data to back up the rave hardware reviews of some of the products such as Unison or the Musical Fidelity A5 and KW500.
Also I challenge John to come up with a standard test for interconnects and speaker cables. Yes, I know the issues with the task, but still some basic measurements to weed out obvious problems.
Come on John, get busy, test more stuff. Maybe it's time to bring in a protege.

gkc
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

Poor Audiophile, your post caught my eye. The best sound isn't cheap. It never has been, and it never will be. Stereophile has always been committed to reviewing the components that sound the best, in whatever specific context you wish to define "best." Unfortunately, the cutting edge can never be mass produced. By definition, man-hours and the most technologically advanced building-blocks for amplifiers, speakers, and source components do not come cheap.

As all of the Stereophile staff, at one time or another and over the years, have noted, "expensive" does not necessarily mean "the best," in and of itself. But the best is always relatively expensive.

As a music lover who has chased the ideal (the reproduction of the memory of live sound in my home) for decades, I can assure you that I have not always been able to afford the best. Now I can. But there have been good times AND bad times, down through the years, and Stereophile has always been there to review all the price categories of enjoyable sound.

There are plenty of Stereophile - reviewed components that are affordable for the most meager incomes, reviewed in equal time with the very best. The reviewers always try to qualify value. The phrase that comes up most often is "subtractive flaws," rather than additive ones. "First, do no harm," is another well-penned phrase.

But you can only go so low, when it comes to the basic task of delivering music with some semblance of the fidelity one hears live. Quality costs money. It doesn't matter if you are talking about cars, homes, or beefsteak.

I personally think Stereophile does a great job of crossing the great divide between what is affordable and listenable and what is at the cutting edge. That is why I still subscribe.

The tenor of your post suggests that you would like a magazine that reviews only affordable components. Now, THAT would get me UNsubscribed in a hurry.

I think the magazine strikes a wonderful balance between the affordable and the very best (regardless of cost). To ask JA to skew the balance of reporting away from the best, which always costs "too much," towards the merely affordable would defeat the central purpose of the reporting.

Happy listening. And remember. I drive a $10,000 Honda -- and it is 7 years old. And I love it. If you drive anything more expensive than that, and you wish for compromises in the area of excellent music reproduction, re-examine your priorities. Quality always costs. And I prefer quality in my music -- after all, a car is only a life-support system for a radio that plays good tunes.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

To the author of this thread,

I totally agree with Clifton, and with his automobile choices. I would rather own an SME 20 turntable than a new car. My last new car, is 2003 Saturn Vue with power windows, locks, Crusie, Tilt, Nakamichi sources CD changer, and moon roof was all of $18K at 0 interest. My friends all laughed when I bought it with a 5-speed, 4 cylinder engine. At 61 it may be my last car. With gas prices...who is laughing now? My friends who own Hummers and Expeditions are not laughing.

I can think of a number of near $1K cd players that can get you 90% there, including units from Quad, Jolida, Rega, Music Hall, Onkyo, Onix (at AV123.com), Oppo ( who'd a thunk it), Marantz, and many others. Or take what you own and add a Benchmark DAC.

John Marks raved about the cheap Harman Kardon receivers that you can buy for under $300 at J and R in NYC with a phono stage built in. Pair it with a pair of Triangle Titus or Cometes (they are in my main system up in the living room), add a $299 JBL sub as the HKs have a sub out and listen to any type of music that floats your boat. Angonize over your $1K+ speaker choices more, like the Monitor Audio RS6's and that would be a pretty revealing system. Or you could go with any of the affordable Jolida Tube amps for a sonic change of pace. Agonize over your speaker choices more is most important.

I look at all of the speakers John Marks has reviewed lately at around $1K for proof that some pretty amazing sound can be bought on the cheap. The problem is the masses are so buried in MP3 land that they cannot support the manufacturers that supply our market in numbers to help lower the ROI. We 1%er's are left to tote the load on our own. I am sure that the new Ayre preamp is worth all of the $18.5K that is asked. I still like reading about it even though I will never own one. Someday I will take the time to go hear it if I can. I need to upgrade my sonic sensibilties and reference points from time to time. And, besides, go listen to some live music at a local college. I have enjoyed immensely going to Emory's Emerson Hall to reacquaint my senses as to what it all about anyway, live music on real instruments.

If you listened to MP3s, none of this matters, but to us it all does. Besides, it is about the music and spend more money on new tunes and stop worrying about what you are not hearing.

I am sitting here typing this and listening on my old (free-cycle gift) of an old pair of Large Advents I refurbished, through an old Technics 50 watt/channel receiver ($35 off Ebay) driven by my old Sony 755 DVD/SACD player to Warren Burnhardt's SACD Amelia's Somg. The people who come to the house wished their gear sounded that good. THAT STATEMENT IS ALMOST LAUGHABLE IF IT WASN'T SO PATHETIC. But it does tell you the state of the audio equipment world today for the masses living in MP3 land. Am I hearing what Clifton hears...not even close, but so what. It still sounds like WB is 10 feet from me. Since I play a Steinway B just about every Sunday at church I know what a great piano sounds like. How these throw-away Advents do that for me is quite remarkable, and how someone could discard them is beyond me.

This is the system I tote to Middle School when I take time to teach a one period math/science class using MS Power Point about how the music my students listen to is now 1's and zeros! It is quite fun having them pick out which format is which. By the end they can. Many now just load their portable players with full format files and have bought Grado 60's.

I am about to add a new CD/SACD player to my main system of AR58's, Yamaha CX2/M60 class A Amp. I will not spend more than $1K, but my choices are many and the sound will be excellent, even if I choose to buy just a Benchmark DAC. I don't give a poo about snob appeal. Hopefully the author of this thread will not either. Life is too short.

JIMV
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


Quote:
I think the magazine strikes a wonderful balance between the affordable and the very best (regardless of cost). To ask JA to skew the balance of reporting away from the best, which always costs "too much," towards the merely affordable would defeat the central purpose of the reporting.

You inadvertently hit the point...the 'balance' is what I have a problem with. It is not that much of the gear is megabuck but that almost all the gear is megabuck, at least 80% of every issue.

Let me refine my complaint a bit...is it more to the readers advantage to review a $20K component of which a couple hundred or thosand total will ever be produced and that 99% of the readers will never see or hear much less own,than to read about $4K items they can at least strive for and that many, many more will be sold, seen, and heard?

Finally, I still insist that any $13K component that hums in use is defective and not worthy of a rave review summary.

I like car analogies, so lets continue with the $10K Honda. With a $10K 7 year old car one expects perhaps worn tires, perhaps minor oil leaks, the odd rattle and gas milage not what it was when the car was new.

Now triple the price and make the car new. Would one give it a rave review if it leaked oil, pulled to the left, or the brakes grabbed? If one was comparing it to a car of identicle cost that had none of the same flaws, would the car still get a rave review? Not in any car magazine I can think of. The caveats would be many and loud. When such a magazine reviews a $160K car that goes 150 mph BUT has a ground clearance of 6 inches so as to lose the oil pan every time it is driven on real roads with real rocks and debris, they make it very clear that the thing is only for the very few folk who own their own race tracks and not the well healed going to work on the 405.

The same issue has a follow up review of a speaker, an expensive speaker, a speaker that apparently sounds magic if one can find the perfect room and placement for it but half the review is about speaker placement in real rooms that are not quite perfect. The reviewer really sounds like he wants to love the thing and tries to convey that BUT, who in the real world builds a home around a set of speakers? Should a speaker that expensive have so many placement problems in a real world room? Do speakers at 1/2, 1/3/ or even lower price actually sound better in those real world rooms? It sounded to me that this was the conclsion the reviewer was trying to avoid. To his great credit, he finaly does come to the final conclusion that another expensive speaker works better in his rooms. It was obvious to me that the speaker being reviewed was both vastly overpriced and too tweaky for the real world. Having read the review, even if I had megabucks, I would avoid the thing.

ncdrawl
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


Quote:
The best sound isn't cheap.

pure nonsense. You cannot make such claims with any authority.

1.)expensive and best are not interchangeable terms. You cannot put any sort of qualifier on "best", whether it be relative to money spent, parts, labor , whatever.
2.) sound is subjective.. that really should have been number one, as that fact is all that matters... anyway.

please dont fool this reader into believing that he has to spend gigabucks to get a great nay the BEST sounding system. That is dangerous and foolish. Good for you that you can buy really expensive things... but your path is yours alone.

to the reader.. pay no I mean NO attention to any rag or person that makes expensive a requirement for "best"

In times past ive had much more money than sense. I am a sound engineer and things aint all common sense there either. Fair amount of snake oil, and yep, i have bought things I had no business buying(after extensive listening, mind you.. I dont buy blind..but I realize now that the pricetag had more to do with the percieved sound than any of the components within).

I make a good living, but I remember when I did not. I can not, in good faith(or sense) continue throwing tens of thousands of dollars in the direction of items that are well, I mean WAY past the area of diminishing returns. (how many real differences sound wise were there between my expensive gear and my lower cost gear?? id venture to say not many.if any at all... but I was of the thinking that if it is more expensive that it had to sound better... how dumb, how utterly effing stupid. jesus.

now I spend my money on things that matter. Like my wife. My daughter. The garden. House renovations. Vacations.

I have spent a long time unlearning this very thing you speak of , Clifton. I thank God I have had some sense knocked in to me.

Stereophile is , in short, a catalogue for those with more money than sense, a wish lish for some, and entertainment to others(like me. I wouldnt trade my subscription for anything..I view it in the same way that I view maxim or RS, that is.. I dont take it too seriously, but it is fun to read!)

Poor Audiophile, buy what pleases you, and please dont get the notion that you have to spend X amount of dollars to get "that sound". Anyone that tells you you do is

1.) an utter moron.
2.) a sales person
3.) a combination of 1 and 2

EOM nothing follows. FOUO.................................

FRAGO

and if you want to read a magazine that has a much better signal to noise ratio....read the sensible sound. that was a great suggestion.

Buddha
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


Quote:
The same issue has a follow up review of a speaker, an expensive speaker, a speaker that apparently sounds magic if one can find the perfect room and placement for it but half the review is about speaker placement in real rooms that are not quite perfect. The reviewer really sounds like he wants to love the thing and tries to convey that BUT, who in the real world builds a home around a set of speakers? Should a speaker that expensive have so many placement problems in a real world room? Do speakers at 1/2, 1/3/ or even lower price actually sound better in those real world rooms? It sounded to me that this was the conclsion the reviewer was trying to avoid. To his great credit, he finaly does come to the final conclusion that another expensive speaker works better in his rooms. It was obvious to me that the speaker being reviewed was both vastly overpriced and too tweaky for the real world. Having read the review, even if I had megabucks, I would avoid the thing.

Hi, JIMV, I think you inadvertantly hit a point, too.

It appears that you were able to make it through a review and draw an independent conclusion about a product.

This might be true for several other readers, as well, perhaps many.

Perhaps a reader with a different room might read into the review and be more willing to listen for himself.

Maybe the magazine is giving us a little credit.

So, (assuming you would allow this product to be reviewed in the first place) if the conclusion is not boffo or reveals product idiosyncracies, what should JA do? (WWJAD?)

The conclusion of the review could not be reached without doing a review, eh? Quite a catch-22.

Was it the language of the review, the price of the product, or the conclusion that bothers you?

rvance
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


Quote:

Quote:
The best sound isn't cheap.

pure nonsense. You cannot make such claims with any authority.

1.)expensive and best are not interchangeable terms. You cannot put any sort of qualifier on "best", whether it be relative to money spent, parts, labor , whatever.
2.) sound is subjective.. that really should have been number one, as that fact is all that matters... anyway.

please dont fool this reader into believing that he has to spend gigabucks to get a great nay the BEST sounding system. That is dangerous and foolish. Good for you that you can buy really expensive things... but your path is yours alone.

to the reader.. pay no I mean NO attention to any rag or person that makes expensive a requirement for "best"

In times past ive had much more money than sense. I am a sound engineer and things aint all common sense there either. Fair amount of snake oil, and yep, i have bought things I had no business buying(after extensive listening, mind you.. I dont buy blind..but I realize now that the pricetag had more to do with the percieved sound than any of the components within).

I make a good living, but I remember when I did not. I can not, in good faith(or sense) continue throwing tens of thousands of dollars in the direction of items that are well, I mean WAY past the area of diminishing returns. (how many real differences sound wise were there between my expensive gear and my lower cost gear?? id venture to say not many.if any at all... but I was of the thinking that if it is more expensive that it had to sound better... how dumb, how utterly effing stupid. jesus.

now I spend my money on things that matter. Like my wife. My daughter. The garden. House renovations. Vacations.

I have spent a long time unlearning this very thing you speak of , Clifton. I thank God I have had some sense knocked in to me.

Stereophile is , in short, a catalogue for those with more money than sense, a wish lish for some, and entertainment to others(like me. I wouldnt trade my subscription for anything..I view it in the same way that I view maxim or RS, that is.. I dont take it too seriously, but it is fun to read!)

Poor Audiophile, buy what pleases you, and please dont get the notion that you have to spend X amount of dollars to get "that sound". Anyone that tells you you do is

1.) an utter moron.
2.) a sales person
3.) a combination of 1 and 2

EOM nothing follows. FOUO.................................

FRAGO

and if you want to read a magazine that has a much better signal to noise ratio....read the sensible sound. that was a great suggestion.

We've heard this everyman, class-warfare, anti-elitist BS before. BOOOOORING! You can't summarily dismiss opposing viewpoints with such self-righteous indignation without exposing your own narrow agenda.

And we always get the old sound engineer appeal to expertise and authority and the sad story of how you've reformed from your free-spending ways. Please- spare us.

I've asked you before why you are here if you find Stereophile so objectionable and you gave the same lame answer again: Stereophile is "mindless entertainment"(before), not to be taken "too seriously" (now). Like Maxim??!!

IMO, people who need a lot of mindless entertainment are pretty mindless people. IMO, what's more important than $$ is time and people who waste theirs are morons. And morons should appreciate salespeople a little more, since morons don't have the brains to possibly know what to buy or why.

ncdrawl
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


Quote:
We've heard this everyman, class-warfare, anti-elitist BS before. BOOOOORING!snip etc etc


then why dont you just skip on by?? this wasnt directed at you, but at pooraudiophile. I make a good living, this isnt "class warfare" , just a dose of common sense.


Quote:
You can't summarily dismiss opposing viewpoints with such self-righteous indignation without exposing your own narrow agenda.

and what agenda would that be?? I am not a manufacturer, a salesman, audio reviewer, distributor,.... Id say the statement above is more befitting to you. My only hope is that the guy doesnt go broke chasing some phantom magic sound that cannot, according to the hifi rags, be obtained without spending exhorbitant amounts of money..

Quote:

And we always get the old sound engineer appeal to expertise and authority and the sad story of how you've reformed from your free-spending ways.

again, feel free to skip my posts. I dont remember addressing you?


Quote:
IMO, people who need a lot of mindless entertainment are pretty mindless people.

well I guess thats that, then. Hilarious.

JIMV
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

Still, what is that thing, a $40K set of speakers that only works right in very special rooms? Madness...

A few score reviews of mid price Maggies, tubes one can actually buy and find and hear, etc, would not be out of order...Sometimes elites, even audio elites, need a reminder about life in the real world, in real rooms, and with real budgets. There is no such a thing as a $3K 'budget' component unless one is making 6 significant figures, or has no other life but his stereo.

rmeyer52
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

Some nice posts here. First let me say I don't want Stereophile to review lower priced components that would be ridiculous. However that said it would be nice if the monthly reviews were broken down by section (cost). Like I said nothing like getting excited at a great review and then finding you could never afford the product

As for recommended systems..why not have one? Yes the sound is subjective and as I say on my website (www.hifirotation.com) the only thing that should drive your purchase is your ears and the credit line on your plastic. Still it means a LOT to have such a distinguished mag recommend systems at certain price points and it would be a great starting point for new audiophiles.

I also agree that the biggest misconception is that price=quality=sound. I love my Arcam Solo and Paradigm Studio 100's and the only person I need to impress is myself. When and if I ever upgrade I would need to hear a substantial improvement that warrants extra dollars.

judicata
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


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the only thing that should drive your purchase is your ears and the credit line on your plastic.

Even that could get you into some trouble. Might want to start with what is in the black in your bank account.

Buddha
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


Quote:
Still, what is that thing, a $40K set of speakers that only works right in very special rooms? Madness...

A few score reviews of mid price Maggies, tubes one can actually buy and find and hear, etc, would not be out of order...Sometimes elites, even audio elites, need a reminder about life in the real world, in real rooms, and with real budgets. There is no such a thing as a $3K 'budget' component unless one is making 6 significant figures, or has no other life but his stereo.

Good reply!

While I tend toward agreeing with you, I also think there is something more to a review than people have mentioned so far.

I don't read a review just to see what a reviewer thought of the particular product being reviwed.

Oftentimes, there are discussions about placement, set up, or what not, that relate to more situations than just what a reviewer heard from a piece of audio meat.

I frequently enjoy reading about music reviewer's music selections, and have been turned on to cool music via reviews on several occasions.

Then, even when a review mentions a piece of music I already own, I further enjoy seeing how others have heard it, and what a piece of gear does with that music. At any price point, I enjoy comparing a reviewer's impressions with my own. This is certainly independent of price considerations.

Sometimes, a certain product feature may be mentioned in a review that makes me consider the same feature when I shop using my own ears and fingers.

There is so much more to a good review than, "This 18,ooo dollar preamp sounds great," that on many occasions, I wonder why people kvetch when a review was about so much more than a piece of gear and its subsequent ridiculously reductive "letter grade" come April or October.

One last thing, and then I shall end my rant...

Look at this month's review of the 43K phono-preamp. Makes me happy to have my one kilodollar phono pre, without the lumpy or whatever bass problem that some genius trying to build a cost no object piece can't master!

I tell ya what, reviews like that one, or the speaker with 'special needs' that you mention also serve to validate a system path at much lower cost!

Oh, one more final final thing.

Yes, this is all "mindless" frivolity. It's when searching for the ultimate triangle decay harmonics becomes regarded as 'actually' important that we are all in big trouble!

Cheers.

* I hope none of that sounded flame-like. It was meant purely as cocktail/bar chat amongst friends.

JIMV
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

I agree with most of that. I guess my rants is about a very few things

1. Too many reviews of gear no one reading will ever see or hear or buy
2. Too few reviews of quality gear above Best Buy that we can hear, see and buy
3. Bizarre reviews of very expensive gear with flaws that normal folk would not accept in $1K gear, much less stuff costing 10 times as much
4. Odd reviews of gear that requires a vast amount of tweaking to work, but have very high prices.
5. Calling gear that costs more than 3 months of my mortgage 'budget'. That is simply elite BS.

I have no problem with recommended components, I just wish more were under 4 significant digits.

gkc
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

JIMV, you said I shouldn't draw conclusions about matters I know little about.

Then, you imply that my Honda leaks oil, rattles, and sports worn tires. It does none of the above. You shouldn't draw conclusions about matters you know nothing about, much less, "little."

You did a nice job of blowing up my comment, in order to pick out the pieces that support your argument and leave the rest buried in the debris. I believe I said that not all expensive equipment is the best, but that the best sound is relatively expensive. Indeed, sometimes the most expensive systems sound the worst. I believe that, when this is the case, Stereophile reviewers duly point out the flaws. As in the case of the $43,000 phono preamp. How would you be able to write about these kinds of flaws if you hadn't learned of them via Stereophile's due diligence??

You are able to carp about ridiculously overpriced equipment because of Sterophile's investigative thoroughness.

I do believe I am qualified to make judgments in these areas. I have owned cheap, average, expensive, and ridiculously overpriced equipment, over the past 30 years. I have seen the industry evolve. I have posted many times on this site that a well-chosen $10,000 system, today, will outperform the most expensive systems you could buy in, say, 1970 through 1980, and those systems were generally custom-designed and costing $50,000 and up. And that was before the purchasing power of your currency lost 60%-80% (depending on how you shop) of its buying power.

Jim and Poor Audiophile mentioned the wonderful products made by Jolida. And they are wonderful. But they are not the best. Nor are the equally wonderful products made by Cayin. Still, they can get you 90% or so of the very best, if well matched to other components in the system. Unfortunately, you have to do that work yourself.

And guess who is there to help you. Yep. Good ol' Stereophile. No other publication has so painstakingly qualified, instructed, and trouble-shot so many components and systems from all economic strata, over the years, as Stereophile.

One final point. JA's reviewers tend to be kind to value-oriented gear. There will be a few references to "great for the money," or "distortions are never additive, but subtractive," but the conclusions always root for the manufacturer who creates value. They DO go into hyper-critical mode when reviewing hideously expensive gear that does not cut it, for whatever reasons -- everything from unreliability to system incompatibility. It is the pretentious, but unfullfilling gear that gets slammed, or, worse, damned with faint praise.

Next time, read the entire post, before you set me up as a straw dog with only half his straw.

Happy tunes. And, yes, you really ought to consider a Honda -- cheap, great mileage, and low-cost maintenance.

JIMV
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


Quote:
JIMV, you said I shouldn't draw conclusions about matters I know little about.

Then, you imply that my Honda leaks oil, rattles, and sports worn tires. It does none of the above. You shouldn't draw conclusions about matters you know nothing about, much less, "little."

I don't recall saying that, though the bit about old cars is spot on. We do accept more warts on an old car than we would tolerate in a new one. Why do we accept obvious warts on car priced audio gear?

The rest is mostly hyperbole. I agree about the value of the magazine and the writing is generally good. My disagreements are limited to the price of the gear reviewed and its scarcity.

I ask again, what is the value of pages of words about gear 99.9% of the readers will never see, hear or buy when there is a vast universe of gear that one can aspire to that goes unreported, the vast middle between Best Buy and $13K preamps that hum?

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


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Jim and Poor Audiophile mentioned the wonderful products made by Jolida. And they are wonderful. But they are not the best. Nor are the equally wonderful products made by Cayin

so what is the best then, clifton? can you say? Can anyone say?? No. That'd be akin to saying the creator of the universe is X, not Y or Z.
More of the same un-truths. It is IMPOSSIBLE to put a qualifier on best. Please understand that, and once you do, please quit spreading those poisonous statements around. Your truth is yours alone. Your statements may hold weight with some of the newcomers, and as such it is your responsibility to guide them in the right direction with fact, not conjecture.

again.

1.) it is IMPOSSIBLE to make absolute statements about that which cannot be put in absolute terms..
2.) expensive and good are not interchangeable. expensive and best are not interchangeable.

3.) BEST lies in the ear of the beholder. the most anyone can hope to say is that X gear performs best to MY EARS.

Blanket statements such as yours above are misguided, dangerous, and just plain wrong.

finally.. JIMV said nothing. I did. I get really irritated when I read such misleading statements, Clifton. You are doing the newcomers and those who dont know any better a huge disservice.

gkc
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

Ncdrawl, you ask "can I say" what is the "best"? Absolutely. For me. Can you say what is the "best" for you? If you can't you are about to waste a lot of time and money figuring out what you want.

Can I say what is "best" for "YOU" (or anybody else)?

Of course not.

The "creator of the universe" is not on spec. Still, an ongoing project is an ongoing project, and time is endless.

Now, from your (infinitely higher than mine) podium, after making absolute statements about "the creator," whoever He, She, or It might be, perhaps you could tell an old man -- is "it" X, Y, or Z?

Poisonous statements. Now, THAT's a serious charge. Whom have I poisoned? And in what sense? Which "newcomers" have been poisoned by my lack of "responsibility"? In what SENSE have I abrogated my "responsibility"?

And (the best for last), where in hell did you study logic? Can you READ, man? I took care of all your objections in my posts. There is NOTHING that I have written, TAKEN IN CONTEXT, that substantiates your accusations.

Of course, any idiot can take anything out of context, right? I can understand the proliferation of idiots, these days -- hell, it goes all the way to the highest levels of government. But I'll never understand their desire to publicize their foolery.

Sigh. Whatever. Happy tunes.

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


Quote:
I agree with most of that. I guess my rants is about a very few things

1. Too many reviews of gear no one reading will ever see or hear or buy
2. Too few reviews of quality gear above Best Buy that we can hear, see and buy
3. Bizarre reviews of very expensive gear with flaws that normal folk would not accept in $1K gear, much less stuff costing 10 times as much
4. Odd reviews of gear that requires a vast amount of tweaking to work, but have very high prices.
5. Calling gear that costs more than 3 months of my mortgage 'budget'. That is simply elite BS.

I have no problem with recommended components, I just wish more were under 4 significant digits.


I do understand this position, especially as I came into this hobby less than a year ago. What bothered me was how hideously expensive some components were, and also how hoarily elitist some of the writing in audio magazines was, just the tone of it. I especially found the usual justifications, comparing audio gear to exotic wines & sports cars, very cheesy and gag-inducing, no matter how true that may be. The fact is, music is one of the rare things in life that is closest to being THE common denominator in people's lives. And the exorbitant pricing of these gears, in combination of the usual elitist justification for them, made it seem as though these gears did not exist to bring music closer to us, but rather acted as some alienating agent.

But here's the thing. I'm not a mega-rich person. I've recently finished school & just entered the work life. Yet somehow, I've managed to put together a rather nice system which delivers the music in the way I really love to hear. I don't think I would've been able to have been afforded this small but great pleasure of mine without Stereophile or other friends who were more knowledgeable about audio. Perhaps it's because I live in NYC, but I did get an opportunity to listen to a lot of things that are reviewed by Stereophile. And personally, I find the reviews very helpful and informative.

So I see your point, JIMV, but I think some statements are a bit hyperbolical? There are places which review affordable audio, like, um, affordableaudio dot com or something? Or even CNET has stuff like that. There are channels of information which specialize in budget gear. And I do believe Stereophile does accentuate particular gears that deserve mention, such as the sub-$200 Oppo players or sub-$25 Playstation; JM is in his ongoing search of those speakers that are reality-priced, and ST is always keen to highlight some budget piece. I've learned first about sub-$500 speakers like PSB Alpha 1 or Infinity 162 from Stereophile, and actually heard them & loved their sound. Still, I don't think the magazine should radically alter its focus just because some people cannot afford some pieces. Although I find it great that Stereophile doesn't neglect certain budget pieces in their coverage, Stereophile - in the end - is a magazine about the ultimate pursuit of hi-fi. I mean, we don't read "Moby Dick" to actually catch the damn whale; we read it because we understand something about Ahab's quest and obsession, which in turn applies to some other ordinary facet of our lives. Likewise, most of us will never own a $100K turntable, but we can still use the discerning comments from the review that discusses such a TT to develop our own criteria. I find Stereophile to be a fun & informative tool.

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


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again, feel free to skip my posts. I dont remember addressing you?

Clifton wasn't addressing you when you called him a moron, either. And how can Clifton's comments about equipment be "dangerous?" Explain that gem.

If you are going to come here and flame Stereophile, you might get a response. If an atheist goes to church and starts ripping the believers, expect the same.

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

I dont feel any need to flame stereophile. I do feel the need to do right by folks that are just coming in the hobby, and as such , statements such as "x is not the best" or " the best equipment is not x dollars" or "x is not in league with y or z" don't sit well with me. Give the folks that are new at this the facts, they will be better off for it.

that is all.


Quote:

Quote:
again, feel free to skip my posts. I dont remember addressing you?

Clifton wasn't addressing you when you called him a moron, either. And how can Clifton's comments about equipment be "dangerous?" Explain that gem.

If you are going to come here and flame Stereophile, you might get a response. If an atheist goes to church and starts ripping the believers, expect the same.

rvance
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Yes, this is all "mindless" frivolity. It's when searching for the ultimate triangle decay harmonics becomes regarded as 'actually' important that we are all in big trouble!

Buddha- You know your brand of frivolity runs to the mindfully ironic and absurd. That's why it is so enjoyable. But never "mindless."

Lowther drivers and psychedelic light shows might be the quintessence of frivolity- and exactly what our hobby needs-the opposite of sensible sound. I want sensible SHOES, not sound!

However, ncdrawl comparing Stereophile to Maxim, that mass/crass/anti-cultural paean to pseudo-success and male puffery, is mindless indeed! Yes, Mr. Natural, it don't mean shit...but getting to that musical place requires an expansion of consciousness and a love of beauty- not the celebration of mediocrity.

We're pinheads now
We are not whole
We're pinheads all
Jocko Homo

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

To get back to the main question:

In these economic times I would like Stereophile to do at least one "value" equipment review each month. I'm using the term value in reference to the price -vs- quality; not being inexpensive or "budget". i.e. "The Wanka speaker has the quality of sound of a speaker twice it's cost."

This can be used in context of a budget CD player or a $10,000 tube amp.

I also would like a continuing article that would build on itself. It would start with an inexpensive intergrated amp & speaker combo for someone that only listens to music downloaded from iTunes. Yes iTunes. i.e. NAD C 315BEE, & PSB Alpha B1. Then it would add a DAC. A turntable. With the sources covered it would continue with making upgrades. Better speakers, maybe a tube amp. It would be a growing, "living", endorsed system that would climb the price ladder. True it might be beneath most of the readers at first but it would draw in the younger generation and then continue refining the sound quality.

Just an idea.

Todd Giencke

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

Interesting. First, let me try to actually answer the question posed for this thread, this is what I would like to see in Stereophile:

1. MORE PICTURES!!! The pictures are near pathetic. TAS is better, Hi-Fi+ is MUCH better. Most frustrating is when you describe the "terrific ergonomics of the preamps control layout" and then don't show a picture of it! PLEASE add more photography.

2. Hate something. Please give something a bad review. Sometimes it seems like you love EVERYTHING!

3. Give a rating. I would love to see a standard rating scale for everything you review such as PC magazine does and some of the British audio mags. Even better would be a "Value" scale and a "Regardless of Price" scale. This would be very informative and might give some perspective to the "why are you reviewing $20,000 speaker cable" camp.

3. Give a pros, cons, and summary for each component you review. I like this in PC magazine and in Car and Driver and also in some of the British audio mags. This and the ratings gives some standard of comparison for the readers.

4. Did I say to add a lot more pictures?

5. Add more music reviews

6. Discredit some of the snakeoil. Please tell me which wires are just as good as Valhallas for the price of an old Honda instead of a new Mercedes!

7. Have some comparisons, particularly for things like cables, CD players or preamps that can be more directly compared versus speakers.

Other than these suggestions, I love Stereophile. To the "you only review rediculously expensive stuff" people:

a) This is not true
b) Some of us like to read about the state-of-the-art because we are in that market or dream to be in it someday
c) Stereophile not reviewing the state-of-the-art would be like Car and Driver or Automobile not reviewing Ferraris or Bugattis.

Personally, the exotic stuff is what most interests me. I like some of the low end reviews, however I would definately not subscribe if this is all that was reviewed.

That's my 2 cents. John, please impliment my suggestions immediately!

JR

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Quote:

1. MORE PICTURES!!! The pictures are near pathetic. TAS is better, Hi-Fi+ is MUCH better. Most frustrating is when you describe the "terrific ergonomics of the preamps control layout" and then don't show a picture of it! PLEASE add more photography.

4. Did I say to add a lot more pictures?

I agree. Porn for audiophiles, at least for me. Why else would anyone buy those "other" magazines?

Cost is irrelevant. If you feel the need to flaunt it, have fun. If you are convinced that is the main criterion then you're hopelessly caught up in the hyperbole. You are entitled to that as well. When you try to pull others in to your hyperbolic delusion it becomes irritating.

This is not directed at you JRsystems, I'm using "you" as a reference to whomever it applies.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

Quote:
Jim and Poor Audiophile mentioned the wonderful products made by Jolida. And they are wonderful. But they are not the best. Nor are the equally wonderful products made by Cayin. Still, they can get you 90% or so of the very best, if well matched to other components in the system. Unfortunately, you have to do that work yourself.

This is a great point and the point I was making. I wish I could afford tube gear from the likes of VTL, Lamm, McIntosh, Cary, to name only a few. I have no doubt that their products are worth their asking price and the folks who own them enjoy them immensely.

Jolida and Cayin, to name a few, give the rest of us a chance to own and sample that technology and see if "tube sound" is something we can enjoy. The price of admission is easily in the realm of most who claim to be audiophiles.

In Clifton case I would trust his judgment as he has owned good gear to the best, but more importantly, he attends live concerts to keep his perspective on task. I think that attending live concerts is critical to monitor your gear's ability to reproduce "real music" played in a real space. I know the performance space is not the same as "your space", but all of us suffer through that recording to recording.

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

I would like to see more comparisons, for example when reviewing Andromeda CD player, compare with like-price units and lower priced units too if feasible. So Andromeda is now $13500, so compare with Playback Designs, or an Esoteric X03SE, or even Esoteric X01D2. I am new to this forum. I saw Andromeda (Jan 2008) compared to Primera, of much cheaper price. Thanks.

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Quote:
There are channels of information which specialize in budget gear. And I do believe Stereophile does accentuate particular gears that deserve mention, such as the sub-$200 Oppo players or sub-$25 Playstation; JM is in his ongoing search of those speakers that are reality-priced, and ST is always keen to highlight some budget piece. I've learned first about sub-$500 speakers like PSB Alpha 1 or Infinity 162 from Stereophile, and actually heard them & loved their sound. Still, I don't think the magazine should radically alter its focus just because some people cannot afford some pieces. Although I find it great that Stereophile doesn't neglect certain budget pieces in their coverage, Stereophile - in the end - is a magazine about the ultimate pursuit of hi-fi

When I lived in NYC I also could see and hear much of what was discussed. When I lived in SC, Maine and Idaho, such product was simply etherware. You do raise an interesting observation. The magazine does seem to review a lot of speakers well below megabuck level, as well as the ridiculous stuff, but the same is not true of other classes of gear. The odd review of a $500 universal player does not make up for 75 reviews of $5K CD players. They also have a pretty good record on DAC's in the realm of reality, but their amp review record is again balanced toward the unatainable.

I like the way they write, enjoy the magazine, but their emphasis is not on product anyone other than the very well healed or audio reviewers will ever see. We mere mortals with our $5K total audio budgets get short shrift.

This months effort was simply too much..look at the reviews

As I flip through the pages...

shanling system - $2500
Naim phono amp - between $3300-11,800
Trulife phono stage - $43.500
Rives Audio PARC equilizer - $5000
XZT room analyzer - $320 but requires a computer
Ayre KXR preamp - $18,500
DNM 3D six preamp - $13,495 complete with hum
Luxman M800-A amp - $16,000
Cary CD 306 - SACD - $8000
Vincent headphone amp - $899
Harbeth M40.1 speaker - $12,999

I might have missed something but I see an accessory, a headphone amp and nothing else below $1K, one item normal folk can save for, a CD player that costs more than my entire system, and the realm of the unatainable.

Now look at what is avertised in the same magazine...a score or so of gear under $3K from companies that never get reviewed. What is an Exposure integrated amp? What about Mystere? I have not seen a JBL review in years. All those afordable tubes by Jolida or Antique sound labs...nada, silence.

Stereophile used to be where I went first for audio news and reviews. I even let the subscription lasp after a decade and just recently came back, but what I didn't like is worse than ever...to much gear I will never, ever see, hear or own and too little I can aspire to.

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Quote:
c) Stereophile not reviewing the state-of-the-art would be like Car and Driver or Automobile not reviewing Ferraris or Bugattis

Would either get by ONLY reviewing Ferraris or Bugattis? Do they not make the bread and butter of their magazine stuff normal folk can and do own?

Some folk have some realy good ideas for change. My only one would be regular reviews of gear folk can someday own. Not too much to ask.

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


Quote:
Would either get by ONLY reviewing Ferraris or Bugattis? Do they not make the bread and butter of their magazine stuff normal folk can and do own?

Some mags do, some don't. This isn't "consumer reports" for audio people. I mean, we're just dickering over where on the spectrum Stereophile is or should be. My two cents - I don't own a single piece of equipment over $1,000 (although I likely will within the next several months), and I think Stereophile gets it about right. Sometimes, I really do want more of a guide for, say, sub $900 integrated amplifiers, but I don't look to Stereophile for that.

linden518
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Quote:
You do raise an interesting observation. The magazine does seem to review a lot of speakers well below megabuck level, as well as the ridiculous stuff, but the same is not true of other classes of gear. The odd review of a $500 universal player does not make up for 75 reviews of $5K CD players. They also have a pretty good record on DAC's in the realm of reality, but their amp review record is again balanced toward the unatainable.

Now look at what is avertised in the same magazine...a score or so of gear under $3K from companies that never get reviewed. What is an Exposure integrated amp? What about Mystere? I have not seen a JBL review in years. All those afordable tubes by Jolida or Antique sound labs...nada, silence.


I do hear your frustration, but as I said, it's impossible to hit everyone's sweet spot in terms of budget. Like I said, there are sites like affordableaudio or CNET that do hit that spot, but that's their thing. I think asking Stereophile to do that gig is to tell them to compromise their vision.

That said, it almost seems as though we are reading a different magazine! Stereophile DID cover Exposure integrated; AD covered the 2010S, which retails for less than $1500, and raved about it, and even recommends the cheaper 2010S rather than the beefier, more expensive 3010. Stereophile is also where I learned about >$1500 integrateds by companies like Creek, NAD, etc. when I was looking for an integrated amp around $1K as I was trying to put together my first system last year. Yes, Stereophile covers a plethora of hideously expensive amps of which sound I really didn't care for in actual audition, but I've seen a plenty of amps that they covered which I can reasonably aspire to, which I loved.

I think with the accessibility of information on the internet, one can easily find opinions on virtually any gear, at any price. But that doesn't give any reason for Stereophile to re-route its course, especially as - at least for readers like me - they do a reasonably good job of highlighting budget gears that are recommendable.

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Quote:

XZT room analyzer - $320 but requires a computer

Doesn't every one who posts here have a computer? For that matter, don't most people have one?

Kal

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Quote:

Quote:

XZT room analyzer - $320 but requires a computer

Doesn't every one who posts here have a computer? For that matter, don't most people have one?

Kal

Not me. I have Stephen call and read me the forum entries. Then I have him transcribe my replies.

If you ever want a good laugh, you should hear the voice Stephen uses while reading JA's replies.

He sounds like Aldous Snow talking about Hi Fi!

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As a music lover who has chased the ideal (the reproduction of the memory of live sound in my home) for decades, I can assure you that I have not always been able to afford the best. Now I can. But there have been good times AND bad times, down through the years, and Stereophile has always been there to review all the price categories of enjoyable sound.

You may have overlooked this article:
http://www.stereophile.com/artdudleylistening/104listening/

"the ideal" is in the beholder and can not be defined by others for anyone. I can say with confidence that your stated goal is more likely to lead to unhappiness than joy.

Trying to convince others of this is dangerous to ones wallet and has no basis in reality.

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

Scott, that is precisely the point I was trying to make.
You did so with more class(I am an old army dog and combat vet(Irag/Afghan/Bosnia/Kosovo), I am afraid that it still comes out in my interactions with folk )

thanks at any rate.


Quote:

Quote:
As a music lover who has chased the ideal (the reproduction of the memory of live sound in my home) for decades, I can assure you that I have not always been able to afford the best. Now I can. But there have been good times AND bad times, down through the years, and Stereophile has always been there to review all the price categories of enjoyable sound.

You may have overlooked this article:
http://www.stereophile.com/artdudleylistening/104listening/

"the ideal" is in the beholder and can not be defined by others for anyone. I can say with confidence that your stated goal is more likely to lead to unhappiness than joy.

Trying to convince others of this is dangerous to ones wallet and has no basis in reality.

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

I've been trying to stay out of this discussion, but, shit, you just inspired me.


Quote:
What is an Exposure integrated amp?

Here's one. And here's another.

I think this is a great thread, by the way.

The November issue did include a lot of high-priced gear, but, as others have pointed out, we would be compromising our goal and cheating many of our readers if we didn't review the high-priced stuff. We do review affordable gear, as well. It's that affordable and high-value gear that really gets many of our reviewers excited.

I'm sorry you are disappointed with the November issue, JIMV. I can't afford most of the gear reviewed in it either, but I still think it's an excellent issue. (But, of course I would!) If you look at what we cover over an entire year, I think you'll find lots of stuff that all music lovers and audiophiles can enjoy.

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Like I said, there are sites like affordableaudio or CNET that do hit that spot, but that's their thing. I think asking Stereophile to do that gig is to tell them to compromise their vision.

what vision would that be? to provide a catalogue for the independently wealthy? It sure as hell aint geared towards the common man. Cnet is geared towards an entirely different market(that is, not audio fanatics)where is the middle ground?.. there aint a soul thats going to tell me that there arent hundreds or thousands of reasonably priced products of "audiophile" quality out there. Even as a person that makes a pretty good living, I find some of those reviews just way, way out of touch.

you know what id like to see, really?

A section of the mag reserved for those that enjoy high fidelity but dont get caught up in the snake oil magic element.. a "cynic" or "just the facts, jack" corner.

Kal Rubinson
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Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

XZT room analyzer - $320 but requires a computer

Doesn't every one who posts here have a computer? For that matter, don't most people have one?

Kal

Not me. I have Stephen call and read me the forum entries. Then I have him transcribe my replies.

Does your phone have a USB jack?

Kal

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Not me. I have Stephen call and read me the forum entries. Then I have him transcribe my replies.

This is true. And I never ask for thanks, nor do I expect any.

smejias
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I also would like a continuing article that would build on itself. It would start with an inexpensive intergrated amp & speaker combo for someone that only listens to music downloaded from iTunes. Yes iTunes. i.e. NAD C 315BEE, & PSB Alpha B1. Then it would add a DAC. A turntable. With the sources covered it would continue with making upgrades. Better speakers, maybe a tube amp. It would be a growing, "living", endorsed system that would climb the price ladder. True it might be beneath most of the readers at first but it would draw in the younger generation and then continue refining the sound quality.

Gosh, this is almost exactly what we planned when we started my blog, "Elements of Our Enthusiasm," three years ago. I had been working at Stereophile for five years, but I listened to compact discs and, from time to time, cassettes(!) on a Magnavox boombox.

The blog was awesome back in those days. I wrote about girls and my alcoholic dad and... girls. These days, it's just all about hi-fi.

John DeVore of DeVore Fidelity was the first manufacturer to contact me. He helped set me up with a pair of his small gibbon 3 loudspeakers and an Arcam Solo all-in-one. From there, I have gone up and down the price ladder, becoming more and more experienced with hi-fi. At one point, crazily, I had over $20,000-worth of equipment in my small living room. But I have also spent much time with affordable components like the PSB Alpha B1 loudspeakers and Rega P1 turntable. It's been a great adventure, and there are a few readers here who have joined me the entire way. All have contributed to the experience with help, comments, and suggestions.

Now, I am addicted to vinyl. My current system is Rega P3 turntable; Exposure 2010 CD player (almost never touched these days); Exposure 2010 integrated amp with plug-in phono card; Totem Arro loudspeakers; Furutech cables.

I am spoiled.

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


Quote:
My current system is Rega P3 turntable; Exposure 2010 CD player (almost never touched these days); Exposure 2010 integrated amp with plug-in phono card; Totem Arro loudspeakers; Furutech cables.

What I'd love to see is more reviews of gear in that price range.... I don't want to see Stereophile stop reviewing ultra-expensive gear, but I would like to see a section each issue dedicated to components under $2K (products that more people can afford (or at least save up for in a few months))....

My favourite thing about Stereophile is the Class listings in the Recommended Components Issues... HiFi mags always have lists of their favourite gear (usually categorized by price class), but I find the Stereophile method far more interesting... Placing a $900 Marantz CD Player or a $1K Benchmark DAC in Class A along with $10K components takes balls... and really shows components that are exceptional value for money...

Now if only there where more sub $2K products being reviewed, then Stereophile would be more than just Hi-Fi Porn and would be really usefully in average buying decisions...

Note: when I say gear under $2K, I don't mean: $1.9K Speaker cables or a $2K pair of headphones... I'm thinking of gear like the Parasound Halo P3/A23 Pre/Amp Combo, Revel Concerta F12 (which was reviewed), Creek Evolution, Marantz PM8003 Integated Amp.. etc etc

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Like I said, there are sites like affordableaudio or CNET that do hit that spot, but that's their thing. I think asking Stereophile to do that gig is to tell them to compromise their vision.

what vision would that be? to provide a catalogue for the independently wealthy? It sure as hell aint geared towards the common man. Cnet is geared towards an entirely different market(that is, not audio fanatics)where is the middle ground?.. there aint a soul thats going to tell me that there arent hundreds or thousands of reasonably priced products of "audiophile" quality out there. Even as a person that makes a pretty good living, I find some of those reviews just way, way out of touch.


If you missed it in my previous post, the vision would be to cover the pursuit in hi-fi. That should seem pretty obvious, right? Apparently not. You're totally right... the pursuit in hi-fi definitely does encompass covering affordable, budget gear, but sorry to break anyone's bubble, it also includes - unfortunately for some, fortunately for others - covering very expensive gear. This is the case with food. Shoes. Clothes. (Plug your consumerist commodity here.) I hate to break it to anyone, but the U.S. and a great deal of the rest of the world is profoundly capitalistic the last time I checked. Which means virtually all of the consumerist goods - including audio items - will be stratified according to supply/demand. Which means there will almost always be something you won't be able to afford. Stereophile attempts to cover what we can afford, and also what only the very few people can afford, because its purpose is to cover hi-fi. Period.

Which is why I find your stance kind of naive, stubborn, and self-involved, ncdrawl. First of all, who made you the spokesperson for the common man? I know I'm nowhere close to being "independently wealthy," whatever the hell that means. I sure as hell know that Stephen Mejias isn't either, as aren't a host of other good people who post here, including some reviewers. But we all take from the magazine what's valuable & usable for us. Like I said, when I was looking for budget amps and speakers, I turned to the reviews here and found much that was of resource to me. And when I could afford higher, I could turn again to the mag for some opinions.

So, okay, there's not enough of budget item coverage for some of you, which I don't agree with, but understand perfectly. But living in this media-saturated society, it's not very hard to select and choose what's informative for us, each and every rational one of us, right? I mean, there ARE the affordable audio mags. There ARE mags like AudioXpress that emphasize DIY, no-frills audio. If that's your thing, then that's your thing. Go get it, tiger. Why should anyone moan and whine and bitch about it, imposing his/her narrow views and judgments as some spokesperson for the "common man"? I think even more annoying than some elitist audio snob who endlessly compares high-end audio to a rarefied wine or an exotic wristwatch is the moralistic average-Joe who condemns all the things that he cannot afford and the people who can afford them on some queer ethical basis. That doesn't seem so democratic to me, neither is it very "common man-ish."

gkc
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

Scott, what is it with you people who cannot read? Or refuse to. You say, "...the ideal is in the beholder." Where have I written otherwise? It is in the quote you put up from my post -- "...the reproduction of the memory of live sound in my home." I believe that statement adequately expresses my belief that system evaluations are subjective. Whose memory? Mine. Whose ears? Mine. Whose neural apparatus is processing the sound and the memory? Mine. Who goes to the concerts? I do.

Your prediction of unhappiness is wrong. There are no music lovers happier than I am. There may be those as happy. You "can say with confidence" absolutely nothing that has anything to do with my enjoyment of music, live or reproduced. Neither can Art Dudley. Art Dudley knows that. You, apparently, don't.

I do not own the most expensive gear in any component system category. I could afford to buy it, if I chose. But I am very selective when I buy sound reproduction gear. However, the best equipment, for my listening goals, does cost more than the less-than-best, average, or mediocre. So, yes. I can afford the best AND the most expensive. I opted merely for what is the best for me.

I have a $20,000 (actually, a little less) system in my 25 X 14 X 8 apartment in Los Angeles, about 10 minutes from Disney Hall. One of my favorite exercises is to come home from a concert and put on all or part of the program, while my audio memory is still fresh. Of course, it is inadequate. But it is also as close as I could get, and very enjoyable.

I also have a $120,000 system in my home in the Sierras. It is much "better," within the context of how I have consistently used that adjective, at capturing the memory of the live event. It should be, and it is. But it would be a disaster in my small apartment. I am satisfied, for now, with both systems. That may or may not change. Both systems have been in place for about 3 years, with a few minor changes. Now, I can afford to upgrade. Neither system, by any definition of "expensive," is the most costly system out there. I have been dissatisfied with costlier upgrades in both systems. My favorite preamplifier for the apartment system (the Adcom GPF 750, used in passive mode) costs $1,500 high retail, and I paid $950 for it. My current favorite preamplifier in my larger-room system (The VTL - 7.5) cost me $15,000+. Neither will substitute. The costlier pre-amp isn't as good as the Adcom, in my smaller system. The cheaper pre-amp won't cut it in the more costly system.

Yes. That is subjective. I have to satisfy my ears (they are the only ones attached to my head and wired to my brain -- yours won't do...).

Please stop wrenching my words out of context to mean what you wish them to mean. You didn't write them. I did.

Happy tunes.

gkc
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

Rvance, I just want to know where in hell you were able to find an old Chi Chi rendering, silhouetted against a golf ball, with Devo getting in on the act.

Sorry, Buddha, but you have been trumped in the realm of the absurd.

Buddha
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

"The ideal is in the eye of the beholder?"

You guys are gonna piss off JGH.

If he could hear you type that, he'd probably reply with some sort of rant and conclude it with an observation about how your generation is the most degenerate he's ever seen, a veritable pox on society.

gkc
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

Actually, Jim, the FM radio in my Honda sounds fine, in that particular environment. Just give me a strong signal, the open road, and nothin' could be finer. As you know. But it doesn't come close to what Jolida and Cayin can do in systems compatible with their strengths, which you also know.

Both of these wonderful examples of modern tube technology would put to shame the most advanced, and expensive, Marantz and McIntosh amplifiers of the late 1960's and early 1970's. I know. I've heard 'em all. Yet, the Marantz and McIntosh products, if priced in today's dollars, would be 5-figures.

Progress is a wonderful thing.

I hope everything goes well with you in this terrible economic environment...

gkc
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

Buddha, I'll take the pox and be grateful -- as long as it is contracted in a soft bed with a soft babe.

Hey. No risk, no reward.

JIMV
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


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Sometimes, I really do want more of a guide for, say, sub $900 integrated amplifiers, but I don't look to Stereophile for that.

Where do you look?

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