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HiFi reviews in general, and 6moons in particular


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On 04/03/2021 at 8:00 PM, Hatzi said:

John Darko (I saw him make a coffee and I lost all faith in humanity let alone taking his advice)

 

I hope you’re  joking.  

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All ad-revenue website reviews are worthless if you read the conclusions as they always say the same things. You could rip out a conclusion of a $1000 pair of speakers and apply it to a $10,000 pair a

Oh dear! Not another ASR led objective vs subjective thread which will lead to the usual trolling and inevitable shutting down...

Interestingly, there's been some of that in the past on ASR - many of the reviews are hardly impartial!

I used to love HiFi World in the years before Simon Pope took over which pretty much killed the mag for a good while.

Haven't had the $$ in recent years to return to solid paper mags.

Would be really interested in David Price's view of the changes that occurred in HiFi World over the years.

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I generally use reviews and websites such as here to keep up to date with what is out there - ultimately, my ears (and wallet more importantly) make the final decision.

 

If I find that the day at work has been a little too stimulating and sleep is eluding me, I venture over to 6Moons where a competition to see who can abuse a thesaurus the most times in a single paragraph is a badge of honour apparently.....micro dynamics / macro sensory inputs / ethereal awareness of the cables vice like grip etc etc - **** word bingo on steroids. I feel dumber after reading a review there........

 

Unfortunately, the days of the late Ralphe Neill at Australian HiFi and the Age Green Guide are long gone - he was a great reviewer beholden to no-one - I vaguely recall him giving a Nakamichi (from memory) product some well researched stick when everyone else was fawning over it by- no Christmas cards from the distributor that year I bet!!

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4 hours ago, Sime said:

 

I hope you’re  joking.  

You didnt find that funny? As always I amuse myself more than others it seems.

 

No I did not lose all faith in humanity and I still watch/read his reviews but his coffee making is hilarious. I gotta find that review where he makes a coffee as part of his filler scenes, its the thinnest wateriest most insipid thing ive ever seen! 

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26 minutes ago, Pigpen said:

I generally use reviews and websites such as here to keep up to date with what is out there - ultimately, my ears (and wallet more importantly) make the final decision.

 

If I find that the day at work has been a little too stimulating and sleep is eluding me, I venture over to 6Moons where a competition to see who can abuse a thesaurus the most times in a single paragraph is a badge of honour apparently.....micro dynamics / macro sensory inputs / ethereal awareness of the cables vice like grip etc etc - **** word bingo on steroids. I feel dumber after reading a review there........

 

Unfortunately, the days of the late Ralphe Neill at Australian HiFi and the Age Green Guide are long gone - he was a great reviewer beholden to no-one - I vaguely recall him giving a Nakamichi (from memory) product some well researched stick when everyone else was fawning over it by- no Christmas cards from the distributor that year I bet!!

Maybe its indeed a case or word bingo or I am merely a simpleton and philistine (I snuck the word philistine in to pretend im not one) either or, I think if it becomes hard work reading a review then its probably not the review for me. Not that I am lazy or disinterested but it does need to resonate somewhat with me to keep me working through a wall of text. 

 

The more im learning the more I realise I know nothing, and would prefer not to cloud my judgement with an advertorial disguised as a review, hence reaching out to stereonet members for their wisdom. Thanks again all!

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hehehe, cutting through all the crap that is included in every review is the most challenging part of the learning process. But hey, this is how these people make a living and there's no way around it. Even though I'm very sceptical about every single review I read, I'm still subscribed to Stereophile (more than 20 years now) and keep buying HiFi News and Record Review at the local newsagent, just so I can get at least two perspectives of the industry. I love reading about hifi, and each magazine has a small music section, where very useful tips can found about new releases, vinyl or digital. Note that UK mags are generally a lot more biased toward their own locally made equipment, at least that's what I noticed.

Another important thing is knowing the taste of the reviewer. No matter how objective they claim to be, they will have their own preferences, either toward type of equipment, or toward particular manufacturers, brands or designers. 

     

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I wouldn't be trusting any one or two reviewers.

 

The difficulty in auditioning in your own home makes reviews (to me) necessary for a shortlist and they have resulted in some purchases—none of which have been a mistake—so far:).

 

However, I was taught how to accumulate information and evaluate it, and only then act.

 

To read reviews you need to work out what you like and dislike and then read enough by each reviewer to learn their likes, , dislikes, and foibles. It also helps to think about any agendas that they may have (advertising dollars for instance). Then compare their reviews with what you know you like/want and work from there.

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I like stereophile a hifi new &reviews - for actual review and the accompanying specs measurements. 

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21 hours ago, LHC said:

Here is a cynical opinion piece about the Audio Press and Magazine from an experienced audiophile and ex-retailer

 

http://www.high-endaudio.com/magaz.html#Con

 

Yes, in the end he does recommend a few worthwhile magazines

 

 

100%. However he doesn't recommend any magazines.  He tells of when certain  magazines could last be trusted, meaning there are none now.

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Guest Eggcup the Dafter

One way to judge the value of reviews or a particular reviewer is to read reviews of equipment you've owned in the past. or know well. In a fair few cases you'd be in for a shock!

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I think Ken Kessler ( Hi Fi News a UK magazine) really good value. The reviews posted under AUDIOGON are a different matter and I find a lot of contributors really over the top negativity-wise.

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On 05/03/2021 at 10:02 AM, RoHo said:

they have to have similar taste to you

Agree 100%. Different reviewers are paying attention to different details. I like:

stereo.net.au

Thomas & Stereo

audiosciencereview

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On 14/08/2020 at 12:29 AM, Marc said:

I do believe there aren't many bad products out there these days. If there is, they may be a a DIY product or from a tiny, obscure boutique manufacturer who will never put many out in the marketplace anyway. Occasionally, reviewers request a specific product that interests them, but more often we are asked or offered a product for review. The smart product managers these days already know how good their product is, how it competes with the competition on performance and price, and will never send something out they think is not up to scratch....

 

And I'll volunteer the Crossly turntables as one of the less-common bad products! 

 

In a more serious vein, while I do agree in general that there aren't many bad products out there (the technology has matured), there is still variation at pricepoints.  For example, one SNA member has compared many phono stages and has reflected that some expensive model's performance is similar to lower-cost models, and I also recall similar comments in threads about the quality of some DAC's being less than the majority of competitor's products at the same pricepoint.  So I think it is appropriate for a reviewer to make comments like "while it produces a good sound, it's not meeting the quality of it's competitors" or "this model's performance is a cut above other's at the same general price point". 

 

And I do acknowledge that making negative comments about a product is difficult for magazine reviewers, as they don't' want to bite the (advertising) hand that feeds them.  The diplomatic approach reported that they tend not to review the poorer quality items is understandable.  However, it does give the impression that there are no bad products out there, which I'm sure is not the case (although less common). 

 

 

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13 hours ago, Irek said:

Agree 100%. Different reviewers are paying attention to different details. I like:

stereo.net.au

Thomas & Stereo

audiosciencereview

ASR is a real mixed bag IMO.  I find the speaker measurements really interesting and informative.  But the range of speaker types tested is small and very skewed.   And the electronics reviews are verging on pointless - a never ending list of  DACs with sub-audible distortion.

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23 minutes ago, RoHo said:

ASR is a real mixed bag.

Yes, they are crazy about distortion and measurements but they have some good points as well. As example if 2 DACs or preamplifiers have almost identical measurements it's going to be very hard to hear any difference during auditioning even if there's significant gap in prices.

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I recently auditioned some Wharfedale Lintons, based on some positive reviews - Ah not my cup of tea by a long shot. So grain of salt with all reviews.

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On 05/03/2021 at 11:33 PM, LHC said:

Here is a cynical opinion piece about the Audio Press and Magazine from an experienced audiophile and ex-retailer

 

http://www.high-endaudio.com/magaz.html#Con

 

Yes, in the end he does recommend a few worthwhile magazines

 

 

Yeah I read that - thanks for the link.  Mags are commercialized but if you stick with one mag for quite a while you get to understand the reviewers.  After a while they will review products that you have.  Whether or not your experience is the same as the reviewers you will start to develop a 'relationship'.  Well it would be a relationship if it was two-way.  A few mags I follow are Stereophile (USA), Stereo (Germany) and Hi-Fi News (UK), Australian HI-Fi.  Incidentally all include some measurements.

 

So much for the subjective stuff.  What I cannot fathom is even why there is a Subjective vs Objective debate.  There is surely no speaker (or electronic) manufacturer in the world that does not follow measurements and also listen.

 

My position is that I will take on subjective reviews but also I am interested in measurements. 

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3 hours ago, SL1200 said:

<snip>My position is that I will take on subjective reviews but also I am interested in measurements. 

But, but, but, if you don't take sides how can you fight?

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There is no substitute or alternative to hearing top sound gear in a treated room. By this I mean the better hi-fi showrooms, GTG systems and the homes of friends. It's identical to the process of developing your sensory experience in the fields of wine & food, or in art. Education and understanding and appreciation.

 

Your personal preferences are always in comparison to the 'real thing'. So, you must listen to live music as well to keep yourself 'tuned'.

 

Reviews are very difficult to write because they're inherently subjective. I like them particularly when they venture into territory I could never afford to explore! But, one man's meat is another man's poison; why bother taking up arms? There's room for all opinions (surely).

 

Long live variety and this Forum.

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On 09/03/2021 at 2:42 PM, vinilink said:

To get honest reviews, all things must be done in blind testing. Period.

If everyone would practice blind testing than half of brands would have to close business. 

Edited by Irek
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2 minutes ago, Irek said:

If everyone would practice blind testing than half of brands would have to close business. 

 

Luckily for them, it’s rather difficult/expensive to do proper ABX testing of hardware.

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On 09/03/2021 at 1:14 PM, DAMO 1147 said:

I recently auditioned some Wharfedale Lintons, based on some positive reviews - Ah not my cup of tea by a long shot. So grain of salt with all reviews.

 

 

Thank god I am not the only one. I couldn't agree more mate. I thought they were tres ordinaire.

 

However, I know many good people here who I like and respect and they absolutely love them, so my opinion is just for me and my preferences, biases and situation.

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On 24/12/2020 at 3:51 PM, LHC said:

This is an exemplary audiophile review of the LS50 Meta - it combines subjective listening and objective measurements to corroborate the two. Note that it uses the spinorama approach to speaker measurements as promoted by Sean Olive's Harman-based standard. Best of all it explains in easy to understand english for the layperson. 

 

 https://thenextweb.com/plugged/2020/12/17/review-kefs-ls50-meta-upgrades-an-audiophile-fave-to-near-perfection/

 

Maybe not everyone would agree with its over the top praises or some specific technical points, but there is no argument this review approach is a good one. 

 

Unusually, in the opening paragraphs he says that he never particularly loved the original LS50's finding them "a little harsh and bright" (a view with which I can relate). At the time of their release, I can't recall ever reading a review that wasn't glowing about the original LS50's. It would have been interesting to read a review from this fellow about the originals - I wonder how blunt it would have been about the shortcomings he perceived. Very different when you're about to heap praise on the successor speaker as I would presume a large potential market would be current owners of the original looking to 'upgrade'.

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On 10/08/2020 at 4:50 PM, marlott said:

I do in some ways prefer raw measures of performance, like on Audio Science Review, mixed with random user reports though...that seems a better way to get at the 'truth'.

 

Measuring performance can also be as misleading .... if it's not rigorous (which is super difficult)..... a lot of measurements you see give the perspective that 99.999% is better than 99.998% .... when in reality all it says is that the device passed basic tests and isn't broken/garbage.    More expensive tests are both hard to do and hard to interpret.

 

 

That being said, IMVHO, 6moons and the like are pure comedy gold.

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On 14/08/2020 at 8:03 AM, Martykt said:

On this point I have to disagree Marc.

I can easily enough get a handle on the features and functions directly from the manufacturers website.

 

How will you know that they work as well as claimed .... unless someone provides an independent description ?!

Lots of times the label says it's got this and that.... but they work like ?

 

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1 hour ago, Doppelganger said:

 

Unusually, in the opening paragraphs he says that he never particularly loved the original LS50's finding them "a little harsh and bright" (a view with which I can relate). At the time of their release, I can't recall ever reading a review that wasn't glowing about the original LS50's. It would have been interesting to read a review from this fellow about the originals - I wonder how blunt it would have been about the shortcomings he perceived. Very different when you're about to heap praise on the successor speaker as I would presume a large potential market would be current owners of the original looking to 'upgrade'.

I picture them as being in the flavour of the year file along with other components like NAD M51 and all the iterations of the Bluesound Node and there's a few others as well. I base this on the number of times they come up(came up) in the classifieds.

If they are so good why do so many come up for sale but there I guess you might find that the owners like the function and are upgrading to bigger and better...maybe.

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1 hour ago, davewantsmoore said:

 

How will you know that they work as well as claimed .... unless someone provides an independent description ?!

Lots of times the label says it's got this and that.... but they work like ?

 

 

Take Roon right now, for instance. How many websites are still claiming "Roon" capability. The truth is, they don't work.
I have 3 products here right now that are no longer Roon Ready or Tested. Yet their websites still claim them to be.

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1 hour ago, Luc said:

If they are so good why do so many come up for sale but there I guess you might find that the owners like the function and are upgrading to bigger and better...maybe.

 

Exactly. The Node / 2 / 2i has introduced so many people to streaming / MQA for the first time and it's so much better at doing so than its asking price. People them embrace the platform and move higher up the ladder. When you've sold so many of them, you're going to see more for sale down the track.

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28 minutes ago, Marc said:

 

Exactly. The Node / 2 / 2i has introduced so many people to streaming / MQA for the first time and it's so much better at doing so than its asking price. People them embrace the platform and move higher up the ladder. When you've sold so many of them, you're going to see more for sale down the track.

I have a Vault 2i (now with a NAD C658) - this is what actually convinced me that streaming is an actual, genuine, valid alternative to listening to music - before that I was so rooted in the dark ages that I thought "The Flintstones"  was a documentary........

Edited by Pigpen
My poor grammar
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17 hours ago, GregWormald said:

But, but, but, if you don't take sides how can you fight?

I dunno - my left brain and right brain seem to find a way ...

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To those that enjoy reading reviews (for whatever reason), have you ever gained anything useful from the mono&stereo website?  I swear i come out of every review more confused than going in.

 

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2 hours ago, Luc said:

I picture them as being in the flavour of the year file along with other components like NAD M51 and all the iterations of the Bluesound Node and there's a few others as well. I base this on the number of times they come up(came up) in the classifieds.

If they are so good why do so many come up for sale but there I guess you might find that the owners like the function and are upgrading to bigger and better...maybe.

With the Bluesound representing (relatively) new technology, upgrading to newer models with increased and improved functionality is fairly a natural progression I would think. And having heard an earlier iteration, it is very good at what it does. With speakers this would be less so unless moving to wireless technology.

Edited by Doppelganger
Typo
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On 11/03/2021 at 5:37 PM, Pigpen said:

I have a Vault 2i (now with a NAD C658) - this is what actually convinced me that streaming is an actual, genuine, valid alternative to listening to music - before that I was so rooted in the dark ages that I thought "The Flintstones"  was a documentary........

Edited Thursday at 06:00 PM by Pigpen
My poor grammar

 

I understand dude, I truly understand.  (But also spelling I'm afraid.) My poor granma too!

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