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Ken Rockwell Audio Reviews - Ultrasone Edition 8 and Stax - Page 2

post #16 of 24

Rockwell is to photography as the folks who insist FLAC sounds different from WAV despite identical checksum and playback equipment are to audio rolleyes.gif

 

In photography circles, which is his primary industry, he's almost universally considered a joke by non-Nikon users, and largely considered a joke by Nikon users.  I won't begin to guess at his "credentials" to review audio equipment are considering the complete fiction that makes up most of his coverage of his real industry.  It's more of a rant than a review.   Why Woo has his quote on their front page at the moment is thoroughly confusing and disturbing.   Woo's much better than that quote would lend one to think. 

post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

In photography circles, which is his primary industry, he's almost universally considered a joke by non-Nikon users, and largely considered a joke by Nikon users.  I won't begin to guess at his "credentials" to review audio equipment are considering the complete fiction that makes up most of his coverage of his real industry.  It's more of a rant than a review.   Why Woo has his quote on their front page at the moment is thoroughly confusing and disturbing.   Woo's much better than that quote would lend one to think. 



While true, it is a laughable fact since half of the photography circles are jokers who actually believe better equipment will make them better photographers. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

 

The way I see it is that Ken provides pretty good reviews and mostly healthy opinions about certain things in the photography industry. It's not that I take everything he says as gospel, but there are certainly a lot of "silly stuff" going on -- especially among amateurs -- such as "the more pixels, the better the pictures". His website isn't targeted at a professional crowd, and shouldn't really be evaluated as such. I think of it more to the happy amateurs out there that could easily be swayed into believing that more expensive gear are always much better and everything else is crap. You have to admit that there are a lot of nuts saying that you need $2000+ equipment to take good pictures, which is just ... nuts.

post #18 of 24

Yep, I agree with you 100%.  We have several people here who love to show off and brag about their $2000 camera.  Then, when they show their pictures, I think to myself that those are not very good pictures.  A camera makes a good photographer not.  I'm sure the lenses used by Ansel Adams were vastly inferior to the lenses found in the iPhone these days, but his works are masterpieces.  Good photography comes from the space between the ears.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coq de Combat View Post



While true, it is a laughable fact since half of the photography circles are jokers who actually believe better equipment will make them better photographers. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

 

The way I see it is that Ken provides pretty good reviews and mostly healthy opinions about certain things in the photography industry. It's not that I take everything he says as gospel, but there are certainly a lot of "silly stuff" going on -- especially among amateurs -- such as "the more pixels, the better the pictures". His website isn't targeted at a professional crowd, and shouldn't really be evaluated as such. I think of it more to the happy amateurs out there that could easily be swayed into believing that more expensive gear are always much better and everything else is crap. You have to admit that there are a lot of nuts saying that you need $2000+ equipment to take good pictures, which is just ... nuts.



 

post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgjy View Post

Yep, I agree with you 100%.  We have several people here who love to show off and brag about their $2000 camera.  Then, when they show their pictures, I think to myself that those are not very good pictures.  A camera makes a good photographer not.  I'm sure the lenses used by Ansel Adams were vastly inferior to the lenses found in the iPhone these days, but his works are masterpieces.  Good photography comes from the space between the ears.
 

 


 

Exactly. I haven't read a lot from Ken Rockwell lately though, but when I did, I usually ended up with the feeling that he was trying to say, while clumsy at times, that you shouldn't be too focused on your gear but more about the pictures you take/make. Sometimes, when reading photography forums it seems to be more about the technical abilities of certain gear that are in focus, rather than becoming a better photographer.

 

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

Oh, the irony of me complaining about such things on a headphone forum, owning more than 10 headphones. At the end of the day, I guess we're all a bit nuts in our own ways..

 
I think my main point of defending Ken here is that I find it rather pointless and a bit childish to call him a 'joke' when his opinion differs from others. We weren't all made in the same factory, it happens that people have different priorities and we all need to accept that without retorting to call one another a joke. Seeing at my last post, I guess that goes for me as well.

 

 

post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coq de Combat View Post


 

Exactly. I haven't read a lot from Ken Rockwell lately though, but when I did, I usually ended up with the feeling that he was trying to say, while clumsy at times, that you shouldn't be too focused on your gear but more about the pictures you take/make. Sometimes, when reading photography forums it seems to be more about the technical abilities of certain gear that are in focus, rather than becoming a better photographer.

 



Oh, I've spent enough time in photography forums, I know how that goes.  Thankfully the Pentax, Olympus, and Minolta/Sony crowds aren't as gear driven as the C&N crowds in the "better gear takes better pictures sense."  That's not to say there's not a lot of attention paid to the gear and what it can do, but there's a lot more of using the gear to do things in those communities than the other two, overall.  It's very similar to the audio worlds....the camp that calls anything less than Stax "mid-fi" can easily relate to what you're talking about tongue.gif  That's a generality of the cultures of course.  There are plenty of C&N owners taking great pictures and plenty of other brand owners focusing on gear.  It's just the communities at large that seem to be focused in one direction or another more than the other.

 

Seriously, though, the finger pointing at Rockwell tends to have nothing to do with his "you don't need more gear" attitude, most are fine with that.  It's his apparent shilling for a single brand at the expensive of entirely unjustified rants on other brands alleged failings that earned him the most ire among non-Nikon users.  His so-called reviews and comparisons of virtually anything without an "N" on the front have been so entrenched in "opinion" with very little explanation or supporting fact generally walk a line somewhere between open slander and mere smoke blowing.  While that could easily be ignored, the appearance he gives of being an authority on the topic rather than just some guy with an opinion tends to ensnare a lot of noobs to follow whatever he says which is unfortunate and leads to the same kind of uninformed repetition that brings us Beats. 

 

Officially he strongly states that he receives no payment from Nikon for his opinions, maybe that's true, maybe it's not, but if you followed his coverage from the early-mid DSLR age, it gives every indication of either paid promotion or unhealthy fandom.  Contrasts between competing models of both brands used uneven "tests" that biased one way, or resulted in an opinion that wasn't backed by the factual, more scientific plotted tests, complete with examples, from more established sites like dpreview so wildly it be like claiming HD650 is bright and thin while DT880 is dark and veiled.  Other fun articles included one instructing that you don't actually need a tripod if you properly brace yourself and that he doesn't use one (or didn't?), which makes me wonder if he's ever taken low-light long exposure shots....ever.  It's impossible to take anyone who actually makes money on that seriously.  I agree he may have started out with good intentions but as the money and fame rolled in, I think all the substance of his writing must have gone somewhere else....and I don't think that somewhere is audio rolleyes.gif

 

I agree with both of you on the focus of the photo (and audio) worlds to be too much on hardware and not enough on function.  But that doesn't justify making money by empty ranting and shameless promotion to the uninformed.  That's Monster's job. wink.gif

post #21 of 24

The DT880 is his favorite dynamic?

 

Over the HD800?

post #22 of 24

 I've been involved in photography since 1982,most people in my photographic circles don't even read Ken Rockwells reviews.

Most professional photographers don't really up grade all that much {the top of the line Canon is about $7000.00}..I have have an old Leica from 1984...don't use it much,because I went digital..but still use the Leica lenses

 

If most people would just take the time,and slow down,compose carefully,their images would improve greatly.

Oh,yes,and RTFM,after that..get a good sturdy tripod.,you'd be surprised how your images will improve

 

The thought of Rockwell reviewing headphones/audio gear is...frightening,to say the least...imho.

 

post #23 of 24

Here is some more recent audio writing by Ken Rockwell. It is his "New" entry for March 20, 2012.

 

 

My suggested data rates and formats still stand: 128 kbps VBR AAC for all popular music, and 160 kbps VBR AAC for any real music (true stereo recordings of acoustic music).

 

I can't hear what's missing at 128 kbps AAC VBR, even on the reference Stax Omega II,

 

Not that I hear anything that you don't, but 128 kbps VBR AAC is still the ticket for me for popular music and 160k for real music, and sounds awesome like you wouldn't believe played-back on proper equipment.

 

 

Does this give you a lot of faith in his reports and opinions?  To each their own.

post #24 of 24

I really think he's overstepping his boundaries. I like to read his camera reviews though. Even then, I check back with Dpreview to see if they match up. 

 

More than likely, having seeing that, I'm going to disregard all his audio reviews.

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