Do you like to read reviews of really expensive equipment in Stereophile?

Do you like to read reviews of really expensive equipment in <I>Stereophile</I>?
Love the expensive equipment reviews
37% (207 votes)
A few are fine
32% (179 votes)
Only once in a while
21% (116 votes)
Would rather they disappear
4% (21 votes)
Sam Tellig from cover to cover!
5% (30 votes)
Total votes: 553

A common complaint about <I>Stereophile</I> is that we review too much expensive equipment that our readers could never afford. Does this bother you, or should we continue to pursue state-of-the-art sound, without regard to cost?

Arnel Enero's picture

A 50/50 balance of expensive and affordable systems is the way to go. I admit I only buy equipment in the lower bracket of the equipment that Stereophile reviews, but that does not mean I don't need to know about higher-league products. It's good to read about expensive stuff, so I know how close my system's sound gets to "audio Nirvana" gear. At the same time, I want to see an equal number of reviews of stuff that I can actually afford, so I know my options. In my opinion, Stereophile currently reviews more expensive stuff than the "real-world" gear. I hope to see more of the latter in the future issues.

Jay in Madrid's picture

Sam Tellig is definitely the best of Stereophile. But an occasional review of the expensive stuff is allright.

Anonymous's picture

It's called hi-fi, isn't it? Who needs another rack and midfi journal?

Rob's picture

I enjoy reading the expensive equipment reviews, but think you focus too much on them. I read them, but would not miss it if there were less of them and would much appreciate more on more affordable equipment that I could actually buy at some point.'s picture

Dreams are part of life. Please keep continue reviewing megabuck gear! You perfectly blend dream machines with real world ones, and it's because you review expensive gear that people buy cheaper ones, but buy anyway. If you would review only cheap things, people would buy even cheaper and mid-fi equipment.

Todd R's picture

Why read about a product that costs as much as a house? What's the point? A review of the ultra expensive is only for the 50 peole who might buy it. Useless for everyone else.

Amrik Shah's picture

What a waste of space! The few who prefer to read such reviews should cease to live in fantasy land and come down to earth. Shame on Stereophile for attempting to delude readers by reviewing a $25,000+ speakers and then adding a bunch of "power stones" at $300-500 along with a Rat Shack portable at $200 just to claim that average reviewed product price is (20,000 + 400 + 200)/3 = $6900. Furthermore, do not use the analogy of car magazines -- I abhor the waste of space in those mags, too, when they fantasize about exotic 1.5 seaters priced at $150,000+.

Claude Whiting's picture

I can't afford any of the esoteric stuff you review, but I do like reading about it. However, please keep don't dedicate an entire issue to expensive gear, it just depresses me! The magazine is great when there is a mix from inexpensive to expensive.

mikenificent1's picture

Hell yeah, even if I can't afford them! We need more of them, so keep 'em coming!

Tony P., Washington, DC's picture

Reviews of ultra-expensive equipment certainly do not bother me, but I would welcome a higher proportion of affordable components. Currently, I read the magazine mostly for the record reviews (which are excellent, BTW) and the columns, but more coverage of gear like the $650 PSB speakers in the latest issue would certainly get me to read the equipment reviews with more interest.

Karl's picture

Even though I could never own a Ferrari, I love to read about them.

Miika Jantti's picture

A Martin-Logan Statement 2 review would be nice to read!

David Allcock's picture

Please keep the ultra high end equipment reviews! You are one of the very few mags that still has the guts to say "This is expensive equipment and this is the reason we think it's worth the money". So what if I can't afford it today. If it's digital, in five years' time I will be able to afford it, because digital equipment experiences very fast trickle down. If it's any other component, then Audiophile Nervosa will mean that most makes of equipment will turn up on the used market in five to seven years' time and then it will be very affordable. The ultra high end equipment reviews serve another purpose, they give us all a glimpse at what is possible. We are still a long way away from being able to truly fool the listener into believing they are at the original musical event, but this equipment give us an idea of how close we are, or how much further we have to go. I, for one, would be saddened if Stereophile gave in to the politically correct bleatings one often hears. So what if a pair of speakers cost as much as a new car. Stereophile has always been known for showing us the cutting edge, and if being on the cutting edge means covering $100,000 speakers, then that is what you should cover.

tones's picture

It's always nice occasionally to know how the other 50x10(superscript)-8 live, so I could stand a few. But only a few. ;most of we hi-fi owners have to live in the real world of mortgages, health insurance bills, etc., so I'd prefer to have reasonably-priced stuff get more coverage. And it IS getting a lot better.

Jerry M's picture

I like to see reviews of expensive equipment once in a while in the same way that I like to see reviews of expensive cars in car&driver or road&track. I would rather read about hifi equipment (or cars) that I can actually afford to buy. Plus, I beleive that the largest bang-for-buck comes at from upgrading from "consumer" components to the lower end of high end (which is what I did). I'm talking about stuff like: NAD, ADCOM, Paradigm, PSB, AMC, Adcom and similar.

David McGahee's picture

I love to see the really high end stuff every now and then, but realistically, I prefer to read about components that are under the $10000 barrier.

doowight's picture

Love might be too strong a word to describe my opinion regarding reviews of megabuck equipment. While I enjoy reading about the "cutting edge" technology of some stereo hardware, I am equally amused by the "emperer's new clothes" aspect of it all. That, and when some reviewer connects an $18,000 amp to a pair of $1200 speakers, and tells us budget audiophiles what a great combination they make!

G.  Smith's picture

Most equipment is mid-price. Most purchases have mid-budgets. Why concentrate most of your print on the highest priced equipment? I do enjoy reading about the best there is, but I want you to give me a comparison to more affordable gear so I understand the value of the top end. Comparing top end gear only to itself provides no scale to measure against.

Kaming Chan's picture

Recently, I noticed your magazine has bowed out of having ultra high end and expensive items for review. What gives? I if wanted low- and mid-priced equipment reviews, I would buy Stereo Review instead. How about a review of some high end speakers, like the Avalon Eidolon, Wilson Audio Watt Puppy 6.0?

Ron Brodine's picture

It's great to dream about them. However, the law of diminishing returns surely applies to most equipment. More "giant killers" would be great if they exist.

James's picture

I enjoy reading about the best equipment available!'s picture

I skip the super-high-end stuff. I can only dream if there is some possibility of someday being able to purchase it. Speakers up to around $15k, components to $5k to me represent the edge of reasonable.

KJ's picture

It's something like pornography, I like to see it like, I like to read it, but it can't beat the real thing.

Buck Maxey's picture

Obviously it must be kept in balance but, like cars, I like reading about what's available at the high end.

TDA's picture

Do I like reviews of expensive equipment in Stereophile? Explain to me again why I would read the magazine without them?

Mike H.'s picture

Sam Tellig from cover-to-cover is an interesting concept, because most of the equipment I can actually afford is written up in Sam's space. However, I will have to choose "A few are fine" because I enjoy reading some of the reviews of megabuck equipment, especially when the manufacturer's theoretical brouhaha is not in agreement with the Stereophile testing bench, or the writer's listening experience.

John Adams's picture

Just because it's expensive doesn't mean it's state-of-the-art. I'm more impressed when the performance is state-of-the-art and affordable at the same time. Your readers are helped more by finding and reviewing high value (for the money)equipment.

George Simler IV's picture

It would be nice if Mr. Pretentious (i.e. Mr. Scull) reviewed some real world products some time. His reviews of "affordable" (cough cough) $10000 preamps wired to "low-end" $20,000 Krell amps using "cheap" $900 cable and then wired to "oh so right" $19,000 speakers would sound a lot less like he has a 99.999999% pure copper grounding bar up his rear if occasionally we got to hear him review...say... NHT SuperTwo's... His recent review of the cheapy DVD-A was nice, but everybody wanted to review that sucker....

Jim Treanor's picture

While it's appropriate for an audiophile magazine to review state-of-the-art equipment, highlighting too much of the unaffordable may in fact be counterproductive with respect to attracting potential consumers to the high end. More review balance between the creme-de-la-creme and affordable quality products would likely benefit all of us.

akk's picture

Once in a while it is interesting to see what a cost-no-object piece can do. I mostly care to see the measurements compared to other gear that is priced reasonably.