Stereophile's Products of 2014 Overall Component of 2014

Overall Component of 2014

Vivid Audio Giya G3 loudspeaker

Some years, we see a number of products that take first place in more than one category. This year, there's only one, and it's also our joint Loudspeaker of the Year: the Vivid Audio Giya G3. The G3 did more than merely earn JA's respect: it gave him immense enjoyment, and effectively doubled the field of contenders for the coveted title of John Atkinson's Retirement Loudspeaker (the other being the jointly anointed Wilson Alexia).

1214poty.vivd.jpg

Notes on the vote: The results of this contest are especially interesting: It was won, handily, by one of this year's Joint Loudspeaker of the Year winners—yet the other Joint Loudspeaker of the Year, the Wilson Alexia, dropped to sixth place in the Overall Component list. At the same time, the popular DeVore Fidelity Orangutan O/93, our second-place choice for Loudspeaker of the Year, maintained the same strong showing in this category—not bad for a Brooklyn-built product that sells for four figures.

Finalists: (in alphabetical order)

Audeze LCD-X headphones
Auralic Vega D/A processor
Dan D'Agostino Momentum preamplifier
dCS Vivaldi digital playback system
DeVore Fidelity Orangutan O/93 loudspeaker
MSB Technology Analog DAC
Pass Labs XA60.5 monoblock power amplifier
Sony HAP-1ZES media player
VPI Industries Classic Direct turntable with JMW 3D 12" tonearm Wilson Audio Specialties Alexia loudspeaker

COMMENTS
AllanMarcus's picture

What's a Yearp?

John Atkinson's picture
AllanMarcus wrote:
What's a Yearp?

A typo, now fixed. :-)

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

corrective_unconscious's picture

It was one of Oxford's new words for 2012, if you recall.

tvandewalle's picture

And what about The Brinkmann Bardo that you also reviewed?
Maybe you should do a follow up with the 12" tonearm and the EMT Ti element?

lo fi's picture

What about the 2014 Editor's Choice? Has John Atkinson actually heard this speaker? I know that he hasn't measured it. I understand that the editor's choice category has been expanded to give every Stereophile contributor the opportunity to nominate an audio component that particularly impressed, but that seems to defeat the purpose of having an editor's choice. I hasten to add that I have heard the SCM19 and regard it highly. However, it is not an efficient stand-mounted speaker and requires a powerful amplifier for optimum performance - a drawback of the sealed enclosure design presumably (Ben Lilly of ATC recommended an amplifier rated at 150W plus). That notable caveat is missing from the "Editors' Choice" blurb.

John Atkinson's picture
lo fi wrote:
What about the 2014 Editor's Choice? Has John Atkinson actually heard this speaker? I know that he hasn't measured it.

No, I haven't heard this ATC.

lo fi wrote:
I understand that the editor's choice category has been expanded to give every Stereophile contributor the opportunity to nominate an audio component that particularly impressed, but that seems to defeat the purpose of having an editor's choice.

I thought it appropriate to expand the category, to give each the reviewer the opportunity to nominate their personal favorite of the past year. I don't think that was unclear.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

lo fi's picture

I find it odd how a component that has not been auditioned by the editor of Stereophile can qualify as an editor's (or editors') choice.

I didn't find the explanation for expanding the category unclear, but I think that the title has become misleading as a consequence. Changing the title to reviewers or contributors favourites would more accurately reflect just who is making the choices don't you think?

John Atkinson's picture
lo fi wrote:
I find it odd how a component that has not been auditioned by the editor of Stereophile can qualify as an editor's (or editors') choice.

It is usual in publishing in the US to refer to regular contributors to a magazine as "editors," with the person who edits the magazine (me in the case of Stereophile) called the "editor-in-chief." Hence each product listed in this year's "Editor's Choice" is indeed the choice of an editor.

If you wish, you can think of this feature as being called "Editors' Choices." But I am okay with the existing title.

John Atkinson
Editor (In Chief), Stereophile

lo fi's picture

That's interesting. An editor and a contributor are distinctly different roles in publishing - hence the titles. I'm familiar with the structure of an editor-in-chief, editorial staff and writing staff.

So you are saying that at Stereophile there is effectively no practical distinction between an editor and a contributor and this is common practice in US publishing. Then why make the distinction at all and why formalise it by naming a category after it?

Given that Stereophile's Editors' Choices of 2014 are actually those of the contributors, I think a change of title to reflect this actuality would be appropriate and more meaningful.

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