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


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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

Awfully complicated toy...

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


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


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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.

I did drop my subscription for a year or so because I found myself skipping long winded reviews of equipment that cost more than my car.

I do enjoy the magazine but I still have to ask...just how many of those $15K items are actually sold? If a company makes a few score, or hundred $15,000 items, just what are my chances of hearing it? I'd say about zip. If I, and 99.999% of the reading audience never, ever will see, hear, or own such a toy, are all the words devoted to it really needed. Would not a few hundred words about a $2K integrated tubed amp by Jolida be out of order? After all, do more of your readers probably actually own one or something similiar than the $15K toy, or the preamp with the hum, or the speakers with the placement problem in a real room. Why not devote a bit more to we poor folk. Now and again I actually buy audio gear and I never have and never will buy a $13K pre-amp with a hum, or any other $13K pre-amp.

Kal Rubinson
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


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

Awfully complicated toy...

Nah. If you are referring to the XZT, it is among the easiest to use. If you are referring to a computer, it is a common tool these days.

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


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Scott, what is it with you people who cannot read? Or refuse to.

Interesting approach: "Argumentum ad hominem is the last shelter of a cornered demagogue..."


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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.

You are entitled to believe whatever you want. Where have I said any different?


Quote:
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.

Its a fair generalization. You are taking it personally.

You continue to miss the point. Enjoy yourself. When have I said any different.


Quote:

"The pursuit of unhappiness is constitutionally guaranteed, and you're free to go after it in any way you see fit. Go ahead and sink all your money into whatever it is that baits your hook or frosts your cupcake: A whole roomful of speakers. A 10-channel amplifier to go with your 10-gallon hat. A processor that you and I both know will be obsolete before the ink has even begun to dry on this page.

You are not free, however, to [impose] your vision of unhappiness on everyone else"
--Art Dudley

This is IMO where you crossed the line.

You were directly responding to a post that clearly stated cost was an issue and the first words out of your "keyboard" were:

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The best sound isn't cheap. It never has been, and it never will be.

Where did he say "cheap"? You made the association that "budget" is "cheap".


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[I have money, bla, I also have money,bla,bla,bla]

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...).

I am certainly in no position to be saying anything against having money. Brandishing it, however, is in poor taste.

Have you ever noticed that the people who are most focused on money are the ones that don't feel they have enough? Listening to the rhetoric coming from either side of the coin is annoying. Next time you are at the local CC have a look around talk to people. It's always the newbies with bucks that are the most annoying and usually the most unwelcome. Why? Because they haven't yet learned the difference between money and wealth and (sill) have cash confused with class.


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

Again these are your words and you are writing them. If you are referring to what may be implied at least try to consider your own words in the same light.

And again, as far as "wrenching" words, go back and look at your own posts. This is your primary tactic.

"Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind."
-- William Shakespeare

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


Quote:

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

Awfully complicated toy...

Nah. If you are referring to the XZT, it is among the easiest to use. If you are referring to a computer, it is a common tool these days.

A slide rule was pretty common 40 years ago. Just how many folk would have wanted to play with one to set up their stereo?

That is my last gripe about the magazine today (and I know it is the wave of the future)...too many articles about gear that is simply a computer in drag, and reads like a PC magazine. I suffer from terminal nostalgia for the halcion days of actual stereo gear, not PC World with articles about music files and the toys and software that make them....

Still, the wave of the future so I guess I'd better get used to it.

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

I want to make it very clear that the writing in the magazine is top notch, I just wish the same effort was devoted to gear I might someday buy, or at least see and hear.

Kal Rubinson
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


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A slide rule was pretty common 40 years ago. Just how many folk would have wanted to play with one to set up their stereo?

I started as a physics major and the slide-rule was a badge. Slide-rules, however, never made much penetration into the mass market. PCs are in most homes these days.


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That is my last gripe about the magazine today (and I know it is the wave of the future)...too many articles about gear that is simply a computer in drag, and reads like a PC magazine. I suffer from terminal nostalgia for the halcion days of actual stereo gear, not PC World with articles about music files and the toys and software that make them....

Still, the wave of the future so I guess I'd better get used to it.

I know how you feel. Installing a pair of speakers or, more recently, an analog preamp for review were a familiar pleasure. No computers, no programming.

Kal

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

I'm old fashioned...tubes, vinyl, and gear I can understand. It is also what I like to read about. Tweaks that I can afford and gear I can at least hear out here in the hinterland. You folk write well, just not enough about stuff I might someday see.

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


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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.

Clifton- You are the first person I've known that has recognized Chi Chi on this album cover except my brother-in-law who played with him on the pro-am tour in the '60's (said he was the funniest, foulest mouth s.o.b. on the tour).

Their first album (produced by Brian Eno) promoted DEVO's theory of de-evolution- that man and society was devolving back to their origins in the primordial ooze- in a very funny way. It's kind of like Beck on MORE acid.

The following link tells the weird story of the picture and how it was modified to satisfy the record label.

http://www.tommcmahon.net/2007/04/q_are_we_not_de.html

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

I somewhat miss slide rules. They were very quick and forced you to think about the result you were getting. Few of us made decimal place mistakes as you needed to pay attention.

I don't understand the gripe that expensive equipment is reviewed. Equipment of every price level is reviewed and/or discussed in the regular columns. I find it all interesting. There are articles about many products I doubt I will ever buy, but I want to know they are out there and to learn about them.

Stereophile is a magazine for enthusiasts who are fascinated by sound reproduction. How could you not find it all worth at least skimming?

Of course we all wan the balance to be exactly to our preferences. I would enjoy more articles on early music (the Jordi Savall article was wonderful by the way) but I expect I'll be suffering through many more pop artist articles. <sigh>

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

Should Stereophile not review the state-of-the-art? Isn't the point of an enthusiast magazine to demonstrate the range in their field of focus from quality entry level to the most exotic available? I would be so bored with no esoteric and exotic equipment reviews. There are certainly some great bargains out there and Stereophile is quick to point them out (such as the Shanling all-in-one for $2500 in this month's issue.) However, the most expensive, often most sophisticated, often most wonderfully built and very often best sounding equipment is also very interesting to read about.

Interesting how JIMV has pushed the old "review stuff I can afford" agenda mercilessly through this thread and yet in his listing of this month's expensive gear he includes the above referenced Shanling. JIMV mentions that he wants a $5000 system and lists the Shanling among the out-of-range equipment. However this $2500 Shanling is a complete all-in-one system. Add a $300 iPod, $2000 speakers, and $200 for speaker wire and you have one hell of a little system. $2000 buys sensational speakers plus you get CD, FM, and a music server (the iPod), and tube amp all for your $5000. There's the bargain you want right there in Stereophile!

By the way, the Ayre pre-amp is gorgeous! Machined out of a solid piece of aluminum, awesome!

We just need more pictures!!!

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

I stopped reading "The Sensible Sound" when one of the reviewers commented that he liked a particular cd player because the "Pause" function worked well! Stereophile covers the playing field exceptionally well, EXCEPT for, as someone else posted earlier, reviews of vinyl recordings. I suppose I can read Fremer's MusicAngle on-line, but I actually prefer to have a magazine in my own grubby little hands. And yes, more photos!

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


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...(I am an old army dog and combat vet(Irag/Afghan/Bosnia/Kosovo)...)...
thanks at any rate.

No need to thank me. My efforts to combat tyranny are trivial compared to yours.

Thank you!

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

Actually, I believe I called the Shanling something one can aspire to and left the realm of the absurd somewhere above $10K.

This is a rants and raves forum. Someone began with a complaint and I simply added mine.

Think about it for a moment...all I advocate is a 180 shift in review policy from 80% top end unafordable and seldom/never encuntered or heard to 80% above Best Buy but still in the realm of affordable and actually found...$2K amps instead of $20K amps. Same writers, same insights, just gear most of the readers and not only the top 1% own and buy.

Put another way, I would rather read a review of $2K Jolida or Mystere tubed amp than a $13K preamp that hums. If one is going to review a dozen items a month, emphasize the best of the affordable and not the best of the never purchased.

Here is a question...of the folk responding to this thread, how many actuall own a single $10k or more item in their system? How about $20K, and $30K? I suspect few if any. How many have a system carefully assembled with $2 or $3K bits. I suspect most. Would you not like a magazine of the quality of stereophile that covers more of your gear and buying ability? I would.

I used to like 'Listener' long ago, skipping the leftist politics, because the gear reviewed was more in the realm of mere mortals.

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


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I do enjoy the magazine but I still have to ask...just how many of those $15K items are actually sold? If a company makes a few score, or hundred $15,000 items, just what are my chances of hearing it? I'd say about zip. If I, and 99.999% of the reading audience never, ever will see, hear, or own such a toy, are all the words devoted to it really needed. Would not a few hundred words about a $2K integrated tubed amp by Jolida be out of order?


I don't think we're getting anywhere b/c we are not engaging each other in a conversation? I find this statement to be way exaggerated, JIMV. I'm one of the "us poor folk" and I've heard some of these $15K amps. Sure I'm located in NYC, but my friends in Michigan and California and other places have also heard similarly priced amps with no problem. You say 99.99999% of the reading audience won't hear them? Again, I find this stat to be just SLIGHTLY exaggerated. Many of my audio buddies who are way less than wealthy have such amps, mostly acquired used, and almost all of them have heard such amps they are interested in. I know you're being a bit polemical to make your case, but I think your polemics don't really reflect the truth of the situation. If 99.9999% of Stereophile's readers have never (or will ever, as you state!) heard these amps, nor will own one, how exactly does the magazine maintain its readership? How do the manufacturers even stay in business? Preposterous, no? I think you are projecting your situation & desire upon the general readers of Stereophile, rather than actually assessing the demographic realistically.

And frankly, I do think Stereophile does cover budget tube integrateds, albeit the ones you may not have personal interest in. Bob Reina gave a full review to the $1300 Cayin tube integrated a few months ago... in fact, I've seen many Cayin amps get featured in reviews here. I guess your primary gripe is that this magazine doesn't review Jolida, then? But that's an editorial decision or a decision made on the part of the manufacturer which you have to take into perspective, just as you would with any publication.

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


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I don't think we're getting anywhere b/c we are not engaging each other in a conversation? I find this statement to be way exaggerated, JIMV. I'm one of the "us poor folk" and I've heard some of these $15K amps. Sure I'm located in NYC, but my friends in Michigan and California and other places have also heard similarly priced amps with no problem

I admire your luck..the last time I was in the wilderness and heard a top line, technology breaking item it was a Sony PCM F-1 digital recorder in 1982 or 1983. My question remains...just how many of those $15K preamps are really made...hundreds, a few thousand? That does not equate to a product widely available in the local audio store, if one is fortunate to live near one. I have wanted to attend one of the big audio shows lke a Stereophile show, for years, but I have not been within 500 miles of one ever and would prefer to spend on the gear or media and not the trip. Those are the real opportunites to hear the rare and exotic.

Would it really destroy the character of the magazine to change the relationship of the real and available with the amazing and impossible to get a bit? I don't think so.


Quote:
If 99.9999% of Stereophile's readers have never (or will ever, as you state!) heard these amps, nor will own one, how exactly does the magazine maintain its readership?

The same way magazines that show million dollar houses or $200K cars stay in business, they cater to wishful thinking and a lust for the best. Just how many of those Ayre preamps will be built before they move on? I would bet the number would be around 1 or 2 thousand total. Part of the reason they charge so much is the requirement to turn a profit on low relative sales. If the identicle machine was made by sony and carried in 10,000 stores world wide, it would cost 1/10 as much for the same reason 3 nuclear subs cost 2 billion each and 10 cost 1 billion each.

linden518
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


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Would it really destroy the character of the magazine to change the relationship of the real and available with the amazing and impossible to get a bit? I don't think so.


I do agree with this. The difference is, that I do see Stereophile covering budget items, and you'd like to see more. Again, a difference in perspective, I guess. But I used this mag as a guide when I was looking for a budget amp, too. Read reviews of Creek, Onkyo, Cayin, NAD amps, and learned a lot. I routinely see reviews of equipment under $2K on Stereophile, and am happier for it, so it's very puzzling for me when someone claims that Stereophile doesn't do so. Contradicts my own experience.

I've never been to a single audio show. The prospect kind of creeps me out. Maybe b/c I always see stereo-listening as a private, solitary experience, and the idea of a room full of audiophiles bursting into applause at the end of a demo seems weird. But I've auditioned gear at dealers before. Many dealers, when I requested to hear a certain item, even when they knew it was above the price range, let me hear it. I'm also fortunate enough to have met some good friends, I guess. I do empathize with your frustration of being so far away from everything... where exactly do you live???

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

Hi, Selfdivider!

How about if we just do a little linguistic flip and tell readers who don't like the high priced stuff that Stereophile is doing them a great favor by reviewing a product they will find used at half the price in three years?

Otherwise, how will they know if that old stuff is any good?

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

A good suggestion..I am bidding on a DAC on Ebay as we type.

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


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Quote:
If 99.9999% of Stereophile's readers have never (or will ever, as you state!) heard these amps, nor will own one, how exactly does the magazine maintain its readership?

The same way magazines that show million dollar houses or $200K cars stay in business, they cater to wishful thinking and a lust for the best. Just how many of those Ayre preamps will be built before they move on? I would bet the number would be around 1 or 2 thousand total. Part of the reason they charge so much is the requirement to turn a profit on low relative sales. If the identicle machine was made by sony and carried in 10,000 stores world wide, it would cost 1/10 as much for the same reason 3 nuclear subs cost 2 billion each and 10 cost 1 billion each.


Again, however many certain company builds & sells, I have no idea and it would merely be speculation, which is basically what your claim about Ayre is. I also don't argue with the rationale that those audio exotica are priced higher b/c they have to turn a profit. That's a flabbergastingly obvious point. If you look at my previous post, I'm sure you'll see that I too believe in supply/demand economics at work in our world.

But I was pointing out the obvious exaggeration in your polemic, which is totally off base & unrealistic, that 99.99999% of the readers of Stereophile would not only own $15K amps, but would never SEE OR HEAR such a thing! Totally off & exaggerated. If we take a poll of just this forum - who are presumably Stereophile readers - I'm sure more than 0.00001% of them would have heard some $15K amp. Some might actually own them *gasp*! And by extension, I don't think you're evaluating clearly when you say 99.99999% of Stereophile readers do not own some $10K equipment. Many don't, and do not wish to. But many do own such equipment and enjoy them, and I'm willing to bet these hopelessly spoiled consumerist rats number greater than 0.00001% of the Stereophile readers. I know you're exaggerating to make your point by projecting your own opinions, desires and frustrations, JIMV, but sometimes exaggerations & hyperboles are closer to falsities than truths. (I'm NOT calling you a liar, btw!)

linden518
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


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Hi, Selfdivider!

How about if we just do a little linguistic flip and tell readers who don't like the high priced stuff that Stereophile is doing them a great favor by reviewing a product they will find used at half the price in three years?

Otherwise, how will they know if that old stuff is any good?


You are WAY smarter than me, Buddha. Buddha for president.

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


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I've never been to a single audio show. The prospect kind of creeps me out. Maybe b/c I always see stereo-listening as a private, solitary experience, and the idea of a room full of audiophiles bursting into applause at the end of a demo seems weird.

Wow!

I've been to loads of shows and have never seen anything like that!

That does sound weird.

Mostly at shows, it's a matter of trying to listen around some guy who's sitting in the sweet spot talking over the music. (Usually a reviewer... ...)

_____

On the other front, why is it that so many audiophiles need either...

1) Stereophile's "validation" of gear they already own, and/or...

2) Use Stereophile as some sort of sole shopping catalog?

If listening is so darn private and solitary, then why the need for public validation or a 'shop with the crowd' mentality?

If an audiophile is really a maverick, he'd be out trusting his own ears or showing enough curiosity within the hobby to seek out listening experiences during his travels.

Audiophiles, if you travel to a big city, do you ever hit the audio houses? Never been to a show? Why not? It's a great way to see the sights, all in one place. Well worth the 'investment.'

Listening "expeditions" should be de rigueur!

I think too many audiophiles are lazy. They wait for some neat 'letter grade' recommendation from a publication in order to foment an opinion.

"Fie," I say, "FIE!!"

linden518
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


Quote:

Quote:
I've never been to a single audio show. The prospect kind of creeps me out. Maybe b/c I always see stereo-listening as a private, solitary experience, and the idea of a room full of audiophiles bursting into applause at the end of a demo seems weird.

Wow!

I've been to loads of shows and have never seen anything like that!

That does sound weird.


I read that in some audio show coverage, can't remember the magazine... so I thought that was a routine occurrence at these shows. Clapping profusely at an inanimate pair of hot mono blocks and gargantuan speakers. When read it, I said to myself 'are you kidding me?' and told myself I can never go.

If it's not like that, I'm glad to hear it because then I'd for sure want to check a show out.

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

I do remember one time I was asked to leave a room because I forgot to stick out my pinkie as I sipped my tea.

Or, was that a Stereophile party?

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


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I do remember one time I was asked to leave a room because I forgot to stick out my pinkie as I sipped my tea.

Or, was that a Stereophile party?

Well, I mean.. come on, you DIDN'T LIFT YOUR PINKIE FINGER!! What do you expect? Civilized human beings cannot stand for such lack of etiquette. You let that slip, and the next thing you know, it's anarchy!

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

You are being awfully literal to avoid my clear point, the vast majority of folk reading the magazine do not have such equipment and most also have never heard most of the stuff reviewed. I would be surprised if most also did not desire to read more reviews of gear that they can realistically aspire to. As I have noted, there is a universe of gear above Best Buy and below $10K that never gets reviewed.

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

Look, let's grant that it's impossible to define "reasonably priced." But there are categories -- like entry-level preamps -- that have remained empty for a long time. And it doesn't help that inexpensive gear is very likely to get to the "haven't heard it in a long time" bin more quickly than stuff that the staff (understandibly) likes to listen to.

Of course, I'm like everybody else: what I'd really like to see is reviews of stuff that I might stretch my own budget to afford and that's vastly better than almost anything else in the known universe...

linden518
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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

I'm not avoiding anything, JIMV. I'd say it's actually you who are backtracking away from your hastily said exaggerations. When I say your claims & rhetoric are way too exaggerated to make a truthful claim, that's exactly what I mean, nothing more, nothing less. In a discussion, the minimum you should do is to own up to your words, that's all.

As I said previously in this thread, I do understand how a lot of readers would like to see more budget pieces reviewed, although it is my personal belief that Stereophile does cover many of the key budget pieces. (Was it you or some other poster who thought Exposure amps weren't reviewed, when in fact they had been?) Look, it's already established by most of us that we like it when Stereophile reviews quality budget gear. I don't think either of us disagrees with that. But my point is that shouldn't come at the expense of Stereophile's direction as a magazine to cover the entire spectrum of hi-fi, both high-priced and low. I just don't like jumping into hasty conclusions based on narrow & often falsely formulated assumptions, that's all. And to randomly guess that 99.99999% of the readers (and now the vast majority) wouldn't ever be able to hear or aspire to some pieces seems like a subjective, random guess, mostly based on your whim, based on a quick poll of the imaginary people who live in your head or something. Because the fact of the matter is that a lot of the people - whether you like it or not - DO own $15K amps or some other piece, and they're not fabulously rich. They might have purchased them used, or at some steep fire sale discount, but the fact is that there are a significant number of audiophiles who own or listen to such gear. These are some of the very people who read Stereophile, who participate in these forums, who trade in Audiogon, walk the streets like anyone else. Just because you are not willing to acknowledge their presence or their way of listening to music doesn't mean that you can air-brush that fact away with conveniently broad-stroked, hyperbolical statements, JIMV.

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


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Actually, I believe I called the Shanling something one can aspire to and left the realm of the absurd somewhere above $10K.

This is a rants and raves forum. Someone began with a complaint and I simply added mine.

Think about it for a moment...all I advocate is a 180 shift in review policy from 80% top end unafordable and seldom/never encuntered or heard to 80% above Best Buy but still in the realm of affordable and actually found...$2K amps instead of $20K amps. Same writers, same insights, just gear most of the readers and not only the top 1% own and buy.

Put another way, I would rather read a review of $2K Jolida or Mystere tubed amp than a $13K preamp that hums. If one is going to review a dozen items a month, emphasize the best of the affordable and not the best of the never purchased.

Here is a question...of the folk responding to this thread, how many actuall own a single $10k or more item in their system? How about $20K, and $30K? I suspect few if any. How many have a system carefully assembled with $2 or $3K bits. I suspect most. Would you not like a magazine of the quality of stereophile that covers more of your gear and buying ability? I would.

I used to like 'Listener' long ago, skipping the leftist politics, because the gear reviewed was more in the realm of mere mortals.

Actually my system is pretty much up there:

http://forum.stereophile.com/photopost/s...um/cat/2/page/1

I am really only interested in pretty high end stuff. Frankly, I'm pretty much a dedicated McIntosh freak, but I am still very much interested in other high end gear. I also like reading about less expensive stuff to see what's out there and to recommend to my friends. If Stereophile focused on all modest price "attainable" gear and minimized the state-of-the-art coverage it would be pretty boring. Not a lot of fashion magazines focus on The Gap. Also a lot of that high end technology tricles down or is a bargain used down the road.

How about a compromise that defers back to the point of this thread. What I would really LOVE to see and which would address much of the price range debates is to do comparisons of like equipment in DIFFERENT price ranges. How interesting would it be to have a pre-amp shootout with say, Cambridge, Parasound, McIntosh, Ayre, and Lamm units? How about a comparison of speaker cables from $200 to $5000 a pair? Give a rating scale with and without object to price. Car and Driver does this all the time. Why can't Stereophile try it, it would be fascinating and it covers all the ground and puts things into (clearly much needed ) perspective.

JR

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

Don't need to skip the best of the best, just not spend most of ones time there. There is a lot of room between 3/4 of the reviews being high cost items and 50-50 with more realistic stuff covered as well in greater qantities.

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


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Don't need to skip the best of the best, just not spend most of ones time there. There is a lot of room between 3/4 of the reviews being high cost items and 50-50 with more realistic stuff covered as well in greater qantities.

I think this is the point that many people in this thread seem to be missing: No one who reads the magazine can claim that affordable gear is not reviewed.. Because it is... the problem is the quantity... In a single issue, you might have say 8 reviews, but 0 or only 1 product of the 8 is anywhere near affordable... That is not covering the full audio spectrum... it's mostly just chasing start of the art...

Would it kill the quality of the magazine to have a more balanced approach to reviews? for example if there are 8 reviews then have them in at least 4 different price classes, ranging from affordable to not in this lifetime prices... It would make the magazine more useful for many actual and potential readers...

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

Here's what I think:

1. Class
2. Balance
3. Pictures

Just the other day I was considering a Challenger 850 and it hit me...

Take a look at the Robb Report (ignore the watches). It has all of those and most of what everyone else is asking for. But its coverage of fine audio gear is essentially non existent. Stereophile (IMO) is perfectly suited to fill this gap and is very close to being there already.

Ok, so the Robb Report is tilted heavily towards the super high end, and they don't go into any depth on anything and their recommendations don't seem to be based on anything, and it generally has more puff than pudding but at least they have a price guide and cool pictures

(just kidding)

Actually, in addition to the 3 above, I kind of like the idea of a connoisseur's guide, or a vintage guide, or maybe a getting started guide.

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


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Actually my system is pretty much up there:

http://forum.stereophile.com/photopost/s...um/cat/2/page/1

What's wrong with me?! I read Stereophile and I can't even afford the electricity to run your system.

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


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Quote:

Actually my system is pretty much up there:

http://forum.stereophile.com/photopost/s...um/cat/2/page/1

What's wrong with me?! I read Stereophile and I can't even afford the electricity to run your system.

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


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I think this is the point that many people in this thread seem to be missing: No one who reads the magazine can claim that affordable gear is not reviewed.. Because it is... the problem is the quantity... In a single issue, you might have say 8 reviews, but 0 or only 1 product of the 8 is anywhere near affordable... That is not covering the full audio spectrum... it's mostly just chasing start of the art...

Would it kill the quality of the magazine to have a more balanced approach to reviews? for example if there are 8 reviews then have them in at least 4 different price classes, ranging from affordable to not in this lifetime prices... It would make the magazine more useful for many actual and potential readers...


Personally, I think maybe the ratio should be more like 30% for under $4K gear, 40% $4K-$10K gear, 30% $10K+ gear. At least from my experience, among people I know, that represents the sweet spot, and that would hit the sweet spot for me, too, personally Let's face it. Most of us do move up the food chain in life, and with that, a bit more disposable income. I doubt that most of the audiophiles and music lovers, once they hear the difference in some equipment, will stay at one cost bracket if they can afford to improve their equipment. I know that some of you do maintain phenomenal sound can be had from cheap gear, and from my experience, this is true to some marginal degree, with a piece here & there. But the general rule of thumb, in my experience, has been that the manufacturers & engineers aren't stupid and they do charge more for better parts & engineering and material construction which very often lead to better sound. Hence, we tend to upgrade some time or another inevitably. Anyway, if you go 30-40-30, you hit the great big bulk of the readers - the beginners & the mainstream-under-$10K audiophiles - without neglecting those interested in pursuing the cost-independent audio nirvana.

But again, it's a stupid idea to impose this rigorous rubric on the writers, too. If I were the editor, I wouldn't either. We often forget that reviewers & writers are also passionate music lovers & audiophiles, too (see AD's column this month) and they have to be given the freedom to choose the pieces they are passionate about. Sometimes that will be a $25 Playstation, sometimes it'll be the $13K preamp (in AD's case). We can wish all we want, but I really think the prerogative is the writer's.

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


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Personally, I think maybe the ratio should be more like 30% for under $4K gear, 40% $4K-$10K gear, 30% $10K+ gear. At least from my experience, among people I know, that represents the sweet spot, and that would hit the sweet spot for me, too, personally

Sounds good to me. They do a very good job of reviewing stuff I will never see. I wish they gave the same effort to stuff I can save for.

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

Art Dudley? With his $20,000 Lamms, his endless fiddling with Lowthers and their endless varieties of boxes, his antique turntables and $3,000 phono pick-ups? Hell, he has probably spent more money on this stuff than I have.

We're both probably about equal when it comes to happiness, though, each in his own unique approach. After all, we both love the music.

On the other hand, Scott, you don't sound all that happy.

"Wretched Queen, Adieu!"
--William Shakespeare

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


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Art Dudley? With his $20,000 Lamms, his endless fiddling with Lowthers and their endless varieties of boxes, his antique turntables and $3,000 phono pick-ups? Hell, he has probably spent more money on this stuff than I have.

We're both probably about equal when it comes to happiness, though, each in his own unique approach. After all, we both love the music.

On the other hand, Scott, you don't sound all that happy.

"Wretched Queen, Adieu!"
--William Shakespeare

Non sequitur. (Material fallacy - Irrelevant Conclusion)

"revenge is a dish best served cold"
-- Old Klingon Proverb

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


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Personally, I think maybe the ratio should be more like 30% for under $4K gear, 40% $4K-$10K gear, 30% $10K+ gear. At least from my experience, among people I know, that represents the sweet spot, and that would hit the sweet spot for me, too, personally

Sounds good to me. They do a very good job of reviewing stuff I will never see. I wish they gave the same effort to stuff I can save for.

I also like that ratio... I think it would allow enough reviews of each price category to satisfy most readers, while still allowing Stereophile to review lots of SOTA gear...

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

Ajani, I don't think pre-set ratios would work. Reality is sloppier than that. During a given, say, 3-6 month period (remember, this stuff has to be coordinated with manufacturers, and the reviewers have to keep the gear for at least a couple of months), JA's staff might be inundated with "expensive" gear. During another 3-6 months, the opposite might be true -- the most outstanding prospects for review might be "average" to "budget" gear.

You can't ask the industry to go on a schedule that conforms to some predetermined ratio, among different price categories. Everybody moves at a different pace.

Again, I think JA does a great job of balancing the perceived needs of his readers with the realities of arranging for equipment reviews with the HUGE variety of manufacturers out there.

I like the magazine very much the way it is. Each issue contains balanced coverage, professionally-done reviews (with unique perspectives among different reviewers with different personalities and writing styles), glorious advertising photos, unique perspectives on the business of recording and equipment manufacturing, and a lot of informative reviews of new recordings.

I am not necessarily resistant to change. But when something works, keep on doin' it.

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

If it worked folk wouldn't bitch

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


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If it worked folk wouldn't bitch

Folk ALWAYS bitch.

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


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Ajani, I don't think pre-set ratios would work. Reality is sloppier than that. During a given, say, 3-6 month period (remember, this stuff has to be coordinated with manufacturers, and the reviewers have to keep the gear for at least a couple of months), JA's staff might be inundated with "expensive" gear. During another 3-6 months, the opposite might be true -- the most outstanding prospects for review might be "average" to "budget" gear.

You can't ask the industry to go on a schedule that conforms to some predetermined ratio, among different price categories. Everybody moves at a different pace.

Again, I think JA does a great job of balancing the perceived needs of his readers with the realities of arranging for equipment reviews with the HUGE variety of manufacturers out there.

I like the magazine very much the way it is. Each issue contains balanced coverage, professionally-done reviews (with unique perspectives among different reviewers with different personalities and writing styles), glorious advertising photos, unique perspectives on the business of recording and equipment manufacturing, and a lot of informative reviews of new recordings.

I am not necessarily resistant to change. But when something works, keep on doin' it.

I really can't agree with that logic... Manufacturers don't control Stereophile's review schedule (they can certainly affect it, but JA could implement a ratio if he wants to)... How do other mags manage to review specific price ranges every month? Stereophile's focus on mostly Ultra-Expensive SOTA Gear is because that is what interests the Writers and Editors (and presumably some readers as well), not because the Manufacturers only choose to send them expensive gear....

Whether or not Stereophile chooses to adjust its review ratio, the magazine's hardcore fan base will remain... but I think that having more reviews of accessible gear could lead to increased readership.

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine

I'm sure JA can implement such a ratio as the mag's editor, but then again, I'd like to come back to the point that it really should be the choice of the writers ultimately. They should follow their whims and passions as writers and music lovers, because that's when they operate best. I say leave it up to them, they deserve at least that much. (This is kind of getting to be like playing video game Football on Xbox in Coach mode or something.)

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


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I'm sure JA can implement such a ratio as the mag's editor, but then again, I'd like to come back to the point that it really should be the choice of the writers ultimately. They should follow their whims and passions as writers and music lovers, because that's when they operate best. I say leave it up to them, they deserve at least that much. (This is kind of getting to be like playing video game Football on Xbox in Coach mode or something.)

I agree with you to a certain extent... Writers should be allowed to review what they want (or else we're likely to see the writers take out their frustration in print, on products they were 'forced' to review)... a possible solution would be to add another writer to the team: one who is interested in affordable gear... between him/her, Bob Reina's reviews of affordable speakers and the odd affordable gear review by the other writers, I think JA could implement the ratio without forcing writers to review products that don't interest them...

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


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I'm sure JA can implement such a ratio as the mag's editor, but then again, I'd like to come back to the point that it really should be the choice of the writers ultimately. They should follow their whims and passions as writers and music lovers, because that's when they operate best. I say leave it up to them, they deserve at least that much.

Hooray! That's what we are here to do. The only way to insure that we bring enthusiasm and energy to the task is for us to review products that excite us. As I have said many times, I see myself as a stand-in for readers who see or hear about a product and long for an at-home audition. My job is to tell you what I got from such an experience. Once or twice, I have accepted a product in which I had no innate interest and my experiences ranged from the disastrous to the surprising.

BTW, nothing (and I mean, absolutely nothing) pleases a reviewer more than to discover an inexpensive product that has outstanding performance, for the price or regardless of price.

Kal

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


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The only way to insure that we bring enthusiasm and energy to the task is for us to review products that excite us.

Out west, we are facing one of those ballot measures where the teachers union says, "If you'd only pay us more money, we'd do a better job."

A reviewer saying, "I can only show enthusiasm while being paid to do my job if the procuct is sufficiently exciting," is a bit too too.

If a reviewer is set so delicately that he can only review products that "excite" him in advance, then perhaps some people are too jaded.

As a "stand in" for audiophiles, reviewers may also want to review against type and check out what the readers they 'stand in' for get excited over and are clamoring for.

I'm actually fine with what Stereophile chooses to review, if not some of the rationalizations behind those choices.

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


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BTW, nothing (and I mean, absolutely nothing) pleases a reviewer more than to discover an inexpensive product that has outstanding performance, for the price or regardless of price.

To discover it one needs to review it now and again One 'affordable' $2,5K item a month is not a lot of search for discovery (the headphone amp is an accessory)

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


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If a reviewer is set so delicately that he can only review products that "excite" him in advance, then perhaps some people are too jaded.

As a "stand in" for audiophiles, reviewers may also want to review against type and check out what the readers they 'stand in' for get excited over and are clamoring for.


This is a good and sound point, especially theoretically, but being involved in literary reviewing, I can offer my opinion, knowing that there are obvious parallels. Wanting to review a book (or some equipment) is based on one's proclivities & expertise. Not only that, the editors will seek your work based on your expertise & specialty, mostly. For example, if I specialize in a certain kind of reading, let's say, forgotten British avant-garde writers from the 60's, I will excel at that kind of review. This is not to say my expertise is limited to this, but chances are, my work will excel because of my specialty. I don't see this as a reviewer being set "delicately"... I don't really get what that's about. You see this in The New Yorker, NYRB, or Times Lit Supplement: certain reviewers review certain types of books, because they just kick ass in that area more than others, period. This is also why you don't see James Wood of The New Yorker reviewing The Da Vinci Code or something; that's not his cup of tea, both preferentially and expertise-wise. Accordingly, certain writers in Stereophile or some other audio magazines have their own specialty. I'm strongly for these writers - book critics or audio reviewers - branching out and stepping out of their comfort zones. But that's the kind of decision left best to the writer if the work is not to suffer.

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Re: What I would like to see in Stereophile Magazine


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If a reviewer is set so delicately that he can only review products that "excite" him in advance, then perhaps some people are too jaded.

As a "stand in" for audiophiles, reviewers may also want to review against type and check out what the readers they 'stand in' for get excited over and are clamoring for.


This is a good and sound point, especially theoretically, but being involved in literary reviewing, I can offer my opinion, knowing that there are obvious parallels. Wanting to review a book (or some equipment) is based on one's proclivities & expertise. Not only that, the editors will seek your work based on your expertise & specialty, mostly. For example, if I specialize in a certain kind of reading, let's say, forgotten British avant-garde writers from the 60's, I will excel at that kind of review. This is not to say my expertise is limited to this, but chances are, my work will excel because of my specialty. I don't see this as a reviewer being set "delicately"... I don't really get what that's about. You see this in The New Yorker, NYRB, or Times Lit Supplement: certain reviewers review certain types of books, because they just kick ass in that area more than others, period. This is also why you don't see James Wood of The New Yorker reviewing The Da Vinci Code or something; that's not his cup of tea, both preferentially and expertise-wise. Accordingly, certain writers in Stereophile or some other audio magazines have their own specialty. I'm strongly for these writers - book critics or audio reviewers - branching out and stepping out of their comfort zones. But that's the kind of decision left best to the writer if the work is not to suffer.

Hi, Selfdivider.

I read you loud and clear. Similarly, a classical music enthusiast might not be the guy to have write a review on Chinese Democracy (fictional GNR album.)

However, would a book reviewer ever say that he only gets excited by reading expensive books?

Would a literary reviewer only 'get excited' over books bound in the finest Corinthain leather and with museum quality paper?

If an audio reviwer falls back on, "I only get excited enough to do a good job if I'm given the most expensive gear," then that reviewer has a Hi Fi fetish, maybe, but doesn't strike me as an audiophile.

I just can't see "I need to review only the finest to be at my best" as a valid reviewer position.

By the way, Kal, I absolutely do not think of you in this way. I was just responding to the nature of what you said.

For an audio enthusiast, a PS1 review should be as exciting to review as that goll durn 23K darTZeel device. (Heck, even their damn spelling is pretentious.)

We shouldn't have to buy a reviewer's enthusiasm in order to motivate him.

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