Originally Posted by maverickronin
Unfortunately that's probably never going to happen. Any magazine that actually tested all that kind of stuff properly would find that their supply of free and loaned out review kit would dry up rather quickly. They'd have to pay for most of the reviewed products themselves and the audiophile market isn't big enough to support a consumer reports style business model.
It'd probably get boring as well. How many experiments that end up confirming the null hypothesis would you like to organize each month?
In the first paragraph I do agree. The problem being that as all hi fi publications seem to simply give glowing reviews with no technical analysis at all then anyone who starts to question the quality of the stuff either from listening to it or from technical analysis will not get anything to review. Why would hi fi manufacturers send things to a critical publication when there are so many uncritical ones?
In your second para, I agree as well, however to my credit I didn't really suggest that.
What I did say was that I thought that it would be good if magazines/blogs had a technical correspondent who could give a good technical overview of products being reviewed.
The current situation where each magazine/blog "review" is simply the impression someone had of some piece of equipment is really failing badly, well at least for me. I don't read them any more. After the first couple of sentences of the reviewer going through his or her CD collection, which includes 1 classical recording, like Beethoven's 9th or something, for which we get some passing comment about hearing individuals or not in the choral bit, then after that they go to what the reviewer really cares about which is something by the Prodigy or Steely Dan's "Aja" depending on their generation. Well it is just really boring.
It wasn't always like this. I remember when all audio reviews as a matter of course included technical analysis, and in fact I remember when often audio reviews were often only technical analysis, there being so subjective account of the sound at all.
This emphasis on the experience was a great thing when it came in the early eighties, but what I would like to see now is a balance.
There used to be a UK magazine which reviewed everything blind. They did the reviews as groups, say, 5 amplifiers or something, and there was a little panel of their journo's. They would write notes on the sound of each item. This wasn't a major scientific enquiry, but rather simply a way of reducing the influence of expectations.
I thought that was rather a good idea and I think that if publications did that it would be more interesting.