Stereophile's Products of 2008
Since 1992, Stereophile has named a few choice components as its "Products of the Year." In doing so, we happily recognize those products that are capable of providing musical pleasure without boundary, far beyond our formal review period. We break it down into five categories: "Loudspeakers" (including subwoofers), "Amplification Components" (preamplifiers, power amplifiers, etc.), "Digital Sources" (transports, processors, music servers, disc players), "Analog Sources" (phono cartridges, turntables, tonearms, FM tuners, etc.), and "Accessories" (all those little extras that keep us busy and satisfied). New for this year, our writers and editors declare their personal favorite components. Finally, the two most important categories are self-explanatory: Our overall "Product of the Year" is the best of the best and our "Budget Component of the Year" leaves us with the most cash to spend on new recordsan economic bailout of sorts.
The voting was simple: Each of Stereophile's 14 hardware reviewers and editors was asked to nominate up to six components in each of the eight categories. To be a contender, a product had to have been reviewed in one of the 12 issues of Stereophile from November 2007 through October 2008, in a full Equipment Report, a Follow-Up review, or in one of the regular columns by Art Dudley, Michael Fremer, John Marks, Kalman Rubinson, and Sam Tellig. That way, only those components could be nominated for which a writer had put his opinion in print for public scrutiny. We then compiled a ballot form listing all components nominated by three or more writers and/or editors. This process ensured that most nominees in most categories will have been auditioned by the most reviewers. Each editor or reviewer gave three votes for his first choice in each category, two votes for his second choice, and one vote for his third choice (if any). A consensus emerged, and the winners became clear. Editor John Atkinson tallied the votesyou can see JA's comments on how the voting process works hereaddress your love letters and hate mail to him.
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And the winners are . . .