"Reviewed in the box!" is what Stereophile
's founder, the late J. Gordon Holt
, used to call it. You might think you're reading a review, but the realization slowly dawns that there's nothing in the text that could not have been gleaned from the manufacturer's brochure, nothing to indicate that the writer had even opened the box the product came in. When I read a review in another publication or online, I judge it by doing what I recommend Stereophile
's readers do when they read this
magazine: I look for the nugget I didn't
already know, the facet I wasn't
expecting, the concluding jewel I couldn't
have predicted without ever having tried the component myself. Sadly, all too often too many of what are promoted as "reviews" on the Web are merely descriptions.