Rafe's Inner Fidelity
Jun 8, 2018 at 11:55 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 323

Roscoeiii

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Thought it might be worthwhile to start a thread on the changes in Inner Fidelity with Rafe behind the wheel. Because my experiences commenting on Rafe's most recent post at Inner Fidelity have been far from pleasant. And my comments and the comments of others have now been removed.

The thread in question:

https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/true-fi-headphone-software-correction

I commented about this post being a warmed over press release and that one of the reasons I visited Inner Fidelity was the relative lack of posts like this. Since it has been deleted I won't be able to give my exact post (if anyone knows how to find these I'll most happily post the full dialogue). But here was Rafe's (now deleted) reply:

Reply posted by: Rafe Arnott
Reply title: Evaluations
Reply comment:
Evaluations are not something I can set up and post in day, but bringing news
to this site about product updates is.

As I mentioned earlier it was posted because I thought it of interest and so
did many others who started a conversation about the product and its use –
which is exactly what I asked.

If you don't understand that, there's nothing I can do for you roscoeiii.


IIRC in the meantime, I'd mentioned that since there is a free trial available, perhaps the post could have been improved by him taking some time to give some initial impressions on a well known headphone like the HD650.

That post was followed later by this reply:

Reply posted by: Rafe Arnott
Reply title: Succeeded...
Reply comment: First, to be clear, I'm not soliciting advice on how to run
this site from IF commenters.
Second, it is presumptuous to assert that you and you alone know what makes
this site a success.

That is your /opinion,/ nothing more. What you like may not be what thousands
of others who visit this site like.


In my last post, I noted what a large proportion of Rafe's Part Time Audiophile posts were warmed-over press releases (which may give some indication of IF's new direction), and noted that when I scanned through about half of his 391 Part Time Audio posts, I found that only 2 were headphone related and both were again warmed over press releases (a Noble sale, and an announcement about Shinola headphones), which would suggest a real lack of experience with the headphone world and his audience for Inner Fidelity.


And my comments were not the only ones that were deleted. I was not the only one unimpressed by the post.

Not an auspicious start over at Rafe's Inner Fidelity. What made it great was the fantastic ratio of excellent content to minimal fluff. Run by someone with deep experience with headphones who would engage in quality dialogue with his readers.
 
Jun 8, 2018 at 11:56 AM Post #2 of 323

Roscoeiii

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Also came across this comment on unrelated Inner Fidelity post:

I find it very discouraging that...
Submitted by Hifihedgehog on June 7, 2018 - 10:50pm


instead of allowing open dialogue, this new editor is sterilizing any comments from users who may have some advice and when he does comment, he chooses to be closed minded. Just see the article immediately after this one, where commenting has since been disabled and all comments (approximately 20) that do not meet his criteria have been deleted.
 
Jun 8, 2018 at 8:12 PM Post #4 of 323

Roscoeiii

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Jun 8, 2018 at 10:20 PM Post #5 of 323

JayG

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It’s all pretty tragic/hilarious. I was one of the other people posting whose comments have now been deleted. In my last, quite lengthy, comment, I tried to be as civil as possible under the circumstances and actually engage in the “discussion” he says he wants to encourage, but it seems that was the last straw.

Now that he’s gone with the nuclear and counterproductive, hopeless option of trying to squelch any criticism or dissent, I don’t think there’s any further cause for benefit of the doubt. He’s clearly in way, way over his head—as a commentator on headphones (of which he’s demonstrated less than zero knowledge) and as an editor/content director in general (having immediately thrown away his credibility and independence by introducing his “vision” for the site with a manufacturer’s press release).

Truly, it’s difficult to imagine how he could have released the dogs on himself more effectively with his first piece of content if he had tried. In just one brief post, he managed to communicate that he doesn’t have any real experience with headphones, he doesn’t have any knowledge of DSP software, he feels that posting press releases verbatim is legitimate content for his “news/commentary” site, he’s willing to write about a product he’s never even tried, and, maybe most of all, doesn’t have the awareness to REALIZE that these are the obvious conclusions that people will draw from what he posted. He seems to think that the IF readership can’t tell the difference between real content and a post containing a vacuous introduction and a copy/pasted press release. I think he’ll find otherwise.

Also, my initial engagement with the post was a sarcastic one-line comment about IF apparently now being a site that distributes PR. That would have been all he ever heard from me if he hadn’t felt the need to demonstrate his insanely thin skin and respond arrogantly about knowing what the people want and trying to delegitimization any negative feedback. He did the same to roscoe and others, and he got the predictable response. I mean, this is elementary stuff.

Sure, he’s deleted the comments he doesn’t like and disabled commenting (itself the clearest possible sign of weakness and inability to stand behind his piece), but he’s left his original post, so the reality is there for anyone with a brain to see.

I hope Keith Howard and the other contributors continue to bring valuable work to IF. and if Rafe actually does know what he’s doing and suddenly starts to bring something to the table, I’ll be glad. But he has really dug himself an impressive hole with very little effort so far.
 
Jun 9, 2018 at 2:14 PM Post #8 of 323

castleofargh

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my main concern is that the headphone database is rapidly going to lose it's purpose as new gears can't be integrated into it. and it will take time before a new one becomes relevant. that's more than 50% of why I go to innerfidelity so of course it blows.
so far we've had posts without actual content like that weird ad, "guys I don't like EQ and don't know the product, let me tell you nothing about that EQ app". what the hell was that? 5mn on google would have given something relevant to say, or simply watching Tyll's video on the damn product. I guess it was sort of an attempt to open a dialogue, but it sure felt empty.

the best post so far has been the watered down Harman paper summary, but only because Olive or Welti themselves have made it interesting in the comments. the new crew can thank Harman for giving both content and communication on that one.
oh well it's the start, small dogs want to make their mark, others have to get settled, I really hope things will start to take shape soon. I guess what surprises me the most is why have a guy who obviously doesn't fit like Arnott to make posts? if they simply had presented Keith Howard as Tyll's replacement, I would have said "oh, alright then". but Arnott... I'd picture him maybe replacing Lavorgna, or maybe work more behind the scene. but it's pretty clear that the technique and measurement costume left by Tyll doesn't fit him. it's not a critic for him, we all have our own style and set of skills.
 
Jun 9, 2018 at 2:54 PM Post #9 of 323

episiarch

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Although it included the press release, I thought the article itself was strangely pointless. Why write an article with paragraphs leading off with "It seems the goal is", "Apparently they are EQing", "This seems to", and "I'm not a fan of EQing" instead of contacting the company and asking a few sensible questions? Any why on earth do any of this without downloading the software and simply trying it and reporting the results? I assume the author must have some of the supported headphones, or if not have some of them on the way. Why not either wait or delegate the article to someone in a position to report on the product?

Personally I bought the True-Fi software a couple of days into the trial period, because I really like what it does to my K550s. I find it useful on my K702s. I find it not very useful on my P7 Wireless. Those are the only supported headphones I own apart from Apple EarPods.

In other words I like the product and for me it is money well spent. But I would also say my tastes are atypical: I like Etymotics, and I like the K550s, and I know that a lot of people like their highs more rolled off than I do. I don't think True-Fi is going to please them, and I'm certainly not going to say everybody should buy it. But I think anybody who's curious should just download the software and try it out. And while the InnerFidelity article suggests that too, I find it odd that the author didn't seem to have tried it himself before writing.
 
Jun 9, 2018 at 3:14 PM Post #10 of 323

JayG

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Although it included the press release, I thought the article itself was strangely pointless. Why write an article with paragraphs leading off with "It seems the goal is", "Apparently they are EQing", "This seems to", and "I'm not a fan of EQing" instead of contacting the company and asking a few sensible questions? Any why on earth do any of this without downloading the software and simply trying it and reporting the results? I assume the author must have some of the supported headphones, or if not have some of them on the way. Why not either wait or delegate the article to someone in a position to report on the product?

Exactly. We made these exact points in our comments, which have now been deleted. And he seemed legitimately shocked, insinuating that he's being unfairly criticized "for everything he does" to have people point out how empty and useless the post was, even though the comments cited specific problems, asked legitimate questions about his reasoning, and made sensible suggestions for more successful approaches. I think that's the scariest part. He doesn't seem to realize what was wrong with it or why people reacted the way they did. I'm not going to theorize the reason for that, but it sure doesn't inspire confidence. Nor does the fact that this post and his previous one, if read between the lines, suggest that, before taking this position, he didn't have on hand, and probably had no significant experience listening to, a single pair of quality, familiar-to-the-community headphones. And if that's true, well ...

What do we think the chances are that AVTech planned to just have him take over AudioStream, but then Tyll surprised them with his retirement, and rather than find (or being unable to find) an appropriate full replacement, said, "Well, let's just give Rafe that one too. He can hire other people who actually know what they're talking about to do most of the headphone writing, and he can do the scheduling, and post press releases to keep people 'informed,' and take some nice product photos from time to time. We'll just say it's a more diverse, exciting new 'vision' for the site. That should work, right?"
 
Jun 10, 2018 at 11:45 PM Post #12 of 323

SDBiotek

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Give it time, some of us seem overly eager to dismiss the efforts of the new IF crew. Granted, it's been underwhelming to me so far, but I am looking forward to seeing how the site evolves over time.
 
Jun 11, 2018 at 10:24 PM Post #13 of 323

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