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Reviewing components

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I get a lot of hifi mags and like some reviewers more than others but i am a little confused about how they review the components.
It seems to me that aside from technical measurements they simply install the said component into an existing system and then listen.
How do they know what a component brings to the party?
I changed my amp at home a few times whilst testing potential replacements and i didnt hear any difference other than gain. The amp seemed to me to be transparent in all cases.
I have also changed my sources and the only one that i noticed a significant change with was going from CD to Ipod dock playing lossless, all the CD players i tested sounded identical.
It seems to me that speakers will always be capable of the biggest change in a hifi setup.
post #2 of 9
In case of transparent components you're right that it doesn't make much sense, if any.
post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by astroid View Post
I get a lot of hifi mags and like some reviewers more than others but i am a little confused about how they review the components.
It seems to me that aside from technical measurements they simply install the said component into an existing system and then listen.
How do they know what a component brings to the party?
I changed my amp at home a few times whilst testing potential replacements and i didnt hear any difference other than gain. The amp seemed to me to be transparent in all cases.
I have also changed my sources and the only one that i noticed a significant change with was going from CD to Ipod dock playing lossless, all the CD players i tested sounded identical.
It seems to me that speakers will always be capable of the biggest change in a hifi setup.
Mostly I think they imagine things a lot. I wish they would be forced to do blind testing with level matched components, but that aint going to happen...
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post
Mostly I think they imagine things a lot. I wish they would be forced to do blind testing with level matched components, but that aint going to happen...
I don't want to see anyone be forced to do anything.

I do think that a stereo magazine that prided itself in robust (i.e. level controlled, blind, etc) testing would be fascinating. I am really at a loss as to why such a publication doesn't exist.
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaceman_Spiff View Post
I don't want to see anyone be forced to do anything.

I do think that a stereo magazine that prided itself in robust (i.e. level controlled, blind, etc) testing would be fascinating. I am really at a loss as to why such a publication doesn't exist.
Sorry, my irony detector is on the blink

The Audio Critic was a pretty hard line objectivist mag , but they seldom did blind tests instead they would say that there was no reason to suppose that X would be different from anything else based on specs.

Of course if there were blind tests and the $12,000 amp was not distinguishable from the $230 Pioneer receiver how would the mag write it up ? oh wait...

http://bruce.coppola.name/audio/Amp_Sound.pdf


post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post
Sorry, my irony detector is on the blink

The Audio Critic was a pretty hard line objectivist mag , but they seldom did blind tests instead they would say that there was no reason to suppose that X would be different from anything else based on specs.

Of course if there were blind tests and the $12,000 amp was not distinguishable from the $230 Pioneer receiver how would the mag write it up ? oh wait...

http://bruce.coppola.name/audio/Amp_Sound.pdf


No irony detector necessary, I am being earnest. It also seems that my ignorance is showing.

I suppose I have been hanging around in subjectivity land for too long. Thanks for the link to The Audio Critic, and that amplifier article.

I suppose the real question is why anyone would want to read flowery ******** in lieu of a real review.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hifi choice uses blind testing in its reviews.
post #8 of 9
Matrix HiFi --> Blind testing high end full equipments
Quote:
The result speaks by itself
post #9 of 9
The answer to your question is obvious when you notice how many pages of said magazine are advertisements. Same goes for their website.

For a counter example, look at car mags like Road and Track or Car and Driver. They do their share of flowery reviews, and are always sure to point out at least a few good points of any vehicle. But they also hammer the flaws and shortcommings, especially in their head to head comparisons and long term tests.

Then again, most people at some point in their life will NEED to purchase a car. Not so for expensive audio gear.
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