Petition to update Stereophile's recommended headphones/amps list
post-190083
Thread Starter
Post #1 of 78

markl

Hangin' with the monkeys.
Member of the Trade: Lawton Audio
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Messages
9,130
Reaction score
39
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Posts
9,130
Likes
39
This post is in reference to an earlier thread from the Headphone section:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showth...threadid=17002

Long story short: there was some controversy over the incompleteness of the headphone and headphone amp sections of the latest round-up of Stereophile's recommended components list for 2002. Stereophile has a policy of dropping products from its list after a period of time after the original review has appeared. As a result, given their relatively scant attention to headphones, their list is now woefully incomplete.

I suggested that I would help coordinate a petition of some kind on behalf of the headphone community (consider this my "community service" for crimes of blowing my top at the mods unjustly) here at Head-Fi to be sent to the editor of Stereophile to help convince him:

1. Headphones are a serious hobby with a large constituency. I would direct him to Head-Fi as proof of the growing phenomenon.

2. As well as being a serious audiophile end unto themselves, headphones are a "gateway drug" to the world of hi-fi, and a great starting point for younger folks just getting into the hobby. Our forum is proof of this. Stereophile should support headphones more vigorously on this basis alone.

3. Their headphone and headphone amp sections do not adequately represent the choices currently available to the headphone buyer/enthusiast and are therefore not very useful, and are in serious need of a thorough update.

4. A new article comparing the best currently available headphones and amps is long overdue and would be appreciated by the Stereophile readership and the headphone community as well. It would be from this "shoot-out" that the 2003 recommended headphone and amp section could be compiled.

Why should we care about what Stereophile has listed in their recommended components section? Like it or not, Stereophile still (arguably) occupies a special place in the audio world as a taste-maker and source of information on the "best" audio products currently available. It would help the headphone hobby and our community to persuade Stereophile to do a more thorough job of covering our hobby.

OK, so the task at hand is two-fold:

1. We need to identify the headphones that should be reviewed by Stereophile. If someone has the current list of phones included in the 2002 recommended list, please post those here so we can see what they have so far and can decide what else we'd like to see. Personally, I'd prefer to see a shoot-out between the top phones available, rather than the sub-$100 group of phones. Remember, we can't give them a list of 500 phones-- we need to narrow it down to 5 or fewer new phones to be reviewed. I personally would like to see Stereophile review the CD3000 (since the R10 is technically no longer available), as well as the Audio-Technica W2002 or W100. What are your thoughts? What phones would you like to see evaluated? I think we should "agree" as a community before we e-mail Stereophile.

2. What amps would we like to see reviewed? Again, if someone has the current list of amps included in the 2002 recommended list, please post those here so we can see what they have so far and can decide what else we'd like to see. Also, I believe Stereophile has a policy of not reviewing products that aren't available through a certain number of retail dealers, so this rules out things like JMT's amps, Jan's Corda, and the META products. Someone correct me if I'm wrong on this. Again, I'd like to see a shoot-out of 5 or so of the top amps available, but that is my bias. What commercially available amps would you like to see reviewed? Again, I think we will ultimately have to limit ourselves to 5 or fewer.

*phew* Let's flex our collective muscles! I'd be willing to bet Stereophile would be delighted to hear from us and would be more than willing to accomodate our request. We may not agree with their ultimate review and conclusions regarding the various headphones/amps, but that's the chance we'd be taking.

So, who's with me?


Ultimately, I envision a separate thread from this one that would contain the actual "petition" that individul members would "sign" by simply posting and giving their approval. After we've achieved some kind of critical mass in this new thread, I would e-mail the editor of Stereophile with our list of "demands"
and a link to the petition thread.

What do you say?

Mark
 
     Share This Post       
post-190084
Post #2 of 78

markl

Hangin' with the monkeys.
Member of the Trade: Lawton Audio
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Messages
9,130
Reaction score
39
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Posts
9,130
Likes
39
Drat! I meant this to appear in the "Member's Lounge". I've got a lot of nerve, I know, but can you help Mods?


Mark
 
     Share This Post       
post-190094
Post #3 of 78

carlo

Founder of 5 in heavy rotation
Joined
Oct 9, 2001
Messages
1,270
Reaction score
10
Joined
Oct 9, 2001
Posts
1,270
Likes
10
whats up mark,

i hear atkinson is pretty open with this type of stuff, you may just want to shoot him an email off stereophile's website.

if you're jonesing for some reviews of headphone stuff from the audiophile press, positivefeedback is adding a regular headphone article every month (once the reviewers do their articles, ahem) with stuff from grado, headroom, cardas, and asl. i've heard grumblings that other audio mags are doing the same.

welcome back,
carlo.
 
     Share This Post       
post-190123
Post #4 of 78

KR...

Curator of the Headphone Lust Museum
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Messages
9,534
Reaction score
27
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Posts
9,534
Likes
27
This would be great, I say go for it. Anyone here should be able to make a list of the best Headphones and Headphone Amps off the top of their heads without breaking a sweat


Stereophile is pretty reader friendly, so don't be afraid to e-mail about these types of things.
 
     Share This Post       
post-190144
Post #5 of 78

JMT

JMT Audio:PPA/META42 Amp Factory
Moderator
Joined
Jun 21, 2001
Messages
6,733
Reaction score
18
Joined
Jun 21, 2001
Posts
6,733
Likes
18
Quote:

Also, I believe Stereophile has a policy of not reviewing products that aren't available through a certain number of retail dealers


Wouldn't that then also rule out HeadRoom's amps? I do recall a couple of reviews of their amps....the Blockhead and the Supreme.
 
     Share This Post       
post-190145
Post #6 of 78

eric343

Member of the Trade: Audiogeek: The "E" in META42
Joined
Jun 23, 2001
Messages
6,033
Reaction score
11
Joined
Jun 23, 2001
Posts
6,033
Likes
11
Sign me up!

Stuff they should review: (forgive me if I include stuff they've already reviewed; I don't really keep current on what they do review)
W100s
CD3000s
Headroom Cosmic
MG Head/TwinHead
MicroZOTL
Sugden Headmaster
Stax Omega 2
JMT CHA47/META42
 
     Share This Post       
post-190272
Post #7 of 78

Dusty Chalk

Head-Fi-holic: With headphones would just be a benny.
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Messages
6,565
Reaction score
15
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Posts
6,565
Likes
15
Quote:

Originally posted by markl
So, who's with me?


Aye!

The only thing I would add is that the reviewers need to all have at least one pair of headphones, and actually review the headphone jack of all equipment that has one. I do realize that the common consensus is that they are thrown in as an afterthought, but this would accomplish two things:

1 - identifying the exceptions;
2 - this would put some pressure on the companies to maybe put some serious forethought into this oft-overlooked area.

If they can measure the waterfall response of a speaker, they can listen to a pair of headphones for a couple hours.
 
     Share This Post       
post-190350
Post #8 of 78

taipeileviathan

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 8, 2002
Messages
233
Reaction score
0
Joined
Aug 8, 2002
Posts
233
Likes
0
i'm definitely up in this with u mark!
plus, i'm also one of the many members here that provide living proof of the "gateway drug" theorem.. :p

phones i'd like to see reviewed... W2002, CD3000, AKG K1000, RS1, and some electrostatic stuffs...
 
     Share This Post       
post-190353
Post #9 of 78

KR...

Curator of the Headphone Lust Museum
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Messages
9,534
Reaction score
27
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Posts
9,534
Likes
27
Headphones to review :

Grado RS-1 (again)
Alessandro Music Series Pro
Alessandro Music Series 2
Grado SR-325
Audio Technica ATH-W100


Headphone Amps :

The New Max
New Maxed Out Home
Sugden Headmaster
MG Head
TwinHead (once it's released)
Audio Valve RKV 3
MicroZOTL
Zeus Headphone Amp
Earmax Pro
Manley 300B Preamplifier

Cables :
Cardas 600 cable
Cardas Blockhead cable
 
     Share This Post       
post-190361
Post #10 of 78

Nadim

Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 21, 2002
Messages
65
Reaction score
0
Joined
Sep 21, 2002
Posts
65
Likes
0
Quote:

Originally posted by Dusty Chalk
The only thing I would add is that the reviewers need to all have at least one pair of headphones, and actually review the headphone jack of all equipment that has one.


Good thought, I heartily second that request! As someone who's been looking for (and listening to) sources recently, I've gotta say that there certainly are jacks out there that sound better than your average headphone amp (and why not, where is it written that a $2000 receiver, by necessity, must have a worse headphone output than a $200 headphone amp?). Now, I would expect the best headphone amps to be the best overall, of course, but a lot of us just need "very good", not the absolute cost-no-object best.

Unfortunately, from the way mags today review things, I have absolutely no idea which ones are good and which ones are terrible, meaning I pretty much have to listen to just about everything in order to find the good stuff.

-Nadim
 
     Share This Post       
post-190374
Post #11 of 78

markl

Hangin' with the monkeys.
Member of the Trade: Lawton Audio
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Messages
9,130
Reaction score
39
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Posts
9,130
Likes
39
Quote:

Wouldn't that then also rule out HeadRoom's amps? I do recall a couple of reviews of their amps....the Blockhead and the Supreme.


That's a good point. We really need someone with a copy of this issue to check for us what their criteria are for inclusion on the list as well as the actual 2002 list of phones/amps. Anyone?

Quote:

The only thing I would add is that the reviewers need to all have at least one pair of headphones, and actually review the headphone jack of all equipment that has one.


Great idea Dusty! Let's add this to our list of "demands"
.

Quote:

Cables :
Cardas 600 cable
Cardas Blockhead cable


Good idea KR! This will help show how far the hobby is progressing, that cable manufacturers of the calibre of Cardas are manufacturing replacement cables.

Please, keep the ideas coming! I'll work up a draft of the letter and submit it here for your review.

Mark
 
     Share This Post       
post-190379
Post #12 of 78

Calanctus

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 9, 2002
Messages
875
Reaction score
10
Joined
Apr 9, 2002
Posts
875
Likes
10
Sure, I support this idea.

The W2002 is a limited edition phone, now unavailable through normal channels. I'm pretty sure they won't review it for this reason.

I think all the major candidates for review have been identified. I'd personally be most interested in reviews of the W100, CD3000, EarmaxPro, TwinHead and RS1 (again).
 
     Share This Post       
post-190382
Post #13 of 78

LTUCCI1924

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 22, 2002
Messages
6,240
Reaction score
11
Joined
Mar 22, 2002
Posts
6,240
Likes
11
HI all. I for one would really lik to see a review of the Max-Out META42 built by JMT by someone who knows how to do a good review on it. please
 
     Share This Post       
post-190391
Post #14 of 78

KR...

Curator of the Headphone Lust Museum
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Messages
9,534
Reaction score
27
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Posts
9,534
Likes
27
Quote:

Originally posted by LTUCCI1924
HI all. I for one would really lik to see a review of the Max-Out META42 built by JMT by someone who knows how to do a good review on it. please


I am pretty sure they are not going to review a homemade amp.


Commercial amps only.
 
     Share This Post       
post-190405
Post #15 of 78

bkelly

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 26, 2002
Messages
427
Reaction score
0
Joined
May 26, 2002
Posts
427
Likes
0
mark,

The drag here is that they won't review limited edtion or out of production models which make up a large percentage of the better headphoness.

Also, units with cable upgrades would not get reviewed either so I am unsure as to how complete a Stereophile review might be.

We need something like testing with blinders on. Where the reviewers didn't have clue as to what they were listening to. Then we might have something. Anything else is ultimately kind of questionable.

Talk soon.






Best
Brian
 
     Share This Post       

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top