Originally Posted by wakibaki
Trust your instincts and reasoning.
If people are writing unsupportable (in evidence terms) stuff about cables, the chances are very high that the rest of what they write is unsupportable (worthless).
There are large numbers of essentially meaningless words which are used in audio reviews. A favourite put-down applied when the author can find nothing substantial to criticize in a piece of equipment's performance is to say that it was 'uninvolving'. Another is to say that it was 'fatigueing'.
Since the whole point of a review is to nail down specific failings in a piece of equipment, anyone using words like these automatically disqualifies themselves as a credible reviewer.
If you find sections in a review that you find hard to attribute a concrete meaning to, this is not a failing on your part, it's just part of an industry and a pastime that generates a lot of copy (written material) that sounds superficially impressive but means very little.
Since it usually sounds like it was written with absolute conviction, It's very easy for a person without much exposure to such material to be be misled by it and to question their own judgement.
That seems like a very broad stroke your painting with my friend. While I understand what you are trying to say, and I certainly agree in part with you, in my opinion your are generalizing. What does curry taste like? Describe it for me. Did you use words like spicy, hot, tasty? What do you mean, what does spicy taste like? Describing what we hear, or experience to another is very challenging, we all live in perception isolation from each other. There is not a single human being alive today, or ever has there been, who can experience what another person experiences. Still, we have constructed elaborate rituals and languages in an attempt to bridge this divide. When a reviewer says fatiguing, I understand what they mean because I have a frame of reference that fills in the blanks for me. Others may not have this same frame, but they can certainly work toward interpreting what a person reviewing a headphone means when they say the sound was fatiguing. Is it perfect? Of course not, but it works well enough. Would you not accept somebody telling you Sarah is a very nice person, you'll like her. That description is quite vague and subjective, but in context it is full of meaning, not to mention you can seek clarification can't you?
Imagine how dull reviews of equipment would be if all the reviewers were allowed to do was talk about the frequency here, the voltage swing there, endless technical jargon. For some that would be wonderful, but for others it would be a barrier and not provide them any useful information. You may discount the efforts of others who communicate in a style you consider fluff, but that in and of itself does not make your assertion correct. I have read many reviews here at head-fi, taken from them what I could and then purchased the equipment in question. Most of the time these vague and frilly descriptions had substance and my subjective experience of the equipment could find ties into how others attempted to relate their experiences through words. I'm sure you don't think it is easy to review audio experiences. Try this, describe for us your mothers voice without any vague descriptors, use only technically valid language. This should be easy shouldn't it? You have heard your mothers voice all of your life, surely it should be easy to describe. Like most reviewers, you won't have access to the diagnostic equipment required to construct a technical description of your mothers voice, just as most of us only have our ears, our subjective experience, and a language at our disposal. The fact that people bother and try to share in the face of such daunting challenges I applaud. I know I try to review equipment and I find it very difficult, but I will try, and I will try to be more precise and understandable with each new effort. That is the best I can hope for.