ZMF Verite
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Monsterzero

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Moreover, they can describe what they're hearing while not knocking the product if it doesn't fit their preferred ideals.
You know whats the hardest review to do for me? Reviewing a product I cant stand and trying to find good things to say about it. I did that a couple times in the past,but now I simply decline to do the review. Ive been told that many of Head fi's elite wont do negative reviews,and I now understand why. Its really hard to find good things to say about a product that I find to be flat out bad.
A few months ago I was sent a headphone by a brand new one man company and I hated the sound,fit,comfort and usability of it. I really didnt want to torpedo this person's dream,so I exchanged emails with him and informed him of my reasoning for not reviewing it. He thanked me in the end,and I wish the guy nothing but the best.

Being the first to review a given headphone carries a lot of responsibility. Its very easy to read or watch other reviews of headphones that have been out awhile,put your own spin on it and call it yours,but really,theres little risk involved.
With the VC,it was the easiest review Ive ever done. The only hard part was not sounding like a total goofy fanboi.
 
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bryceu

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That’s a smoking pair of Auteur you have. Too bad you are giving them up, but you might have convinced me to hold out until I get a pair of VC........after my open arrive. Just have to be diligent about saving for the VC.
I’m in the same boat
 
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post-15225303
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bryceu

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Yeah,I love them,but apparently nobody likes them enough to buy them. I dont have to sell them,but seems rather silly to have such excellent headphones and not be using them.

FWIW I think the VC is def worth holding out for. I could easily have the VC as my only headphone and be more than content.

In case you havent noticed...I friggin love the VC :wink:
Since getting the VC and having it for a bit, do you still find the VO getting any head time?
 
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post-15225329
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KcMsterpce

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You know whats the hardest review to do for me? Reviewing a product I cant stand and trying to find good things to say about it. I did that a couple times in the past,but now I simply decline to do the review. Ive been told that many of Head fi's elite wont do negative reviews,and I now understand why. Its really hard to find good things to say about a product that I find to be flat out bad.
I understand. I think it's imperative to remain honest with your impressions. However, it's also unprofessional to be a jerk about it. I used to be a movie critic. When I hated a movie, I would go off on it, BUT... I would then finish with "If you like [this type of movie], that [does this and is like that], then there is a good chance this one is worth considering." I would say how it didn't fit my preferences, but it doesn't mean that you, the viewer/reader, would feel the same. I would reference movies that were similar in style or execution to said film, and use that as a barometer for the person watching/reading to decide for themselves if it fits their choices.

Another fun anecdote was Leonard Maltin, and Gremlins. He and Joe Dante are/were close friends. Joe Dante requested Leonard Maltin to review Gremlins. It turns out that Maltin hate it. So, he was torn. He was like "Do I sacrifice my integrity and say it's good because he's my friend?" He ended up being honest in his review.
That's why in Gremlins 2, there's that scene where he's mocking the first movie, and the gremlins attack him.

For me personally, if I was given a product for review that I didn't like, I might do what you did... be honest to the company/individual directly about how I felt about it before going public. I would actually write a quick synopsis for them to read, then offer a choice as to whether they want me to proceed with a review or not.
 
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JM1979

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You know whats the hardest review to do for me? Reviewing a product I cant stand and trying to find good things to say about it. I did that a couple times in the past,but now I simply decline to do the review. Ive been told that many of Head fi's elite wont do negative reviews,and I now understand why. Its really hard to find good things to say about a product that I find to be flat out bad.
A few months ago I was sent a headphone by a brand new one man company and I hated the sound,fit,comfort and usability of it. I really didnt want to torpedo this person's dream,so I exchanged emails with him and informed him of my reasoning for not reviewing it. He thanked me in the end,and I wish the guy nothing but the best.

Being the first to review a given headphone carries a lot of responsibility. Its very easy to read or watch other reviews of headphones that have been out awhile,put your own spin on it and call it yours,but really,theres little risk involved.
With the VC,it was the easiest review Ive ever done. The only hard part was not sounding like a total goofy fanboi.
something I really appreciate about your review was your discussion about the genres of music you listen to and how the VC paired with them. I think that is extremely valuable to understand.
 
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Monsterzero

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Since getting the VC and having it for a bit, do you still find the VO getting any head time?
To be perfectly honest,as great as the VO are,the VC for me is just simply better,so no,not a single headphone as adorned my skull in over one month. YMMV.

something I really appreciate about your review was your discussion about the genres of music you listen to and how the VC paired with them. I think that is extremely valuable to understand.
Thanks,oddly I forgot to mention blues. Im a massive blues fan,and yes,the VC is stellar with the old stuff too,but if its a thin old recording,the VC gives no quarter. The VC will reveal all,for better or for worse.
 
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Torq

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You know whats the hardest review to do for me? Reviewing a product I cant stand and trying to find good things to say about it. I did that a couple times in the past,but now I simply decline to do the review.
Reviews, honest ones at least, are hard enough at the best of times. Doing one or two can be fun. Over time they become progressively more taxing.

When I first started posting impressions, never mind "reviews" (look up "Life after Yggdrasil") it was relatively easy to be negative. And I was. A LOT. As time wore on, just spending the time to properly evaluate things I didn't enjoy become progressively harder. A few years on ... I can't even bring myself to mention, let alone post impressions/reviews of, things I didn't truly enjoy.

Some took that as bias ...

And it was ... but only in the context of preserving my sanity.

If I don't enjoy something enough to write positive things about it, I damn sure don't want to spend more time listening to it than is necessary to form a basic opinion. And for gear I don't enjoy (be that down to preference, performance or more ephemeral concerns) it just isn't worth talking about, let alone the protracted nonsense that tends to follow any negative commentary (literal death threats over a negative review of an objectively POS DAC ... who has time for that sort of unbalanced nonsense).

So, today, I don't even comment on gear that I don't find appealing, well performing and/or enjoyable. The outward appearance of which is that I only positive review. But the reality is that I just can't be bothered to spend the necessary time with stuff that I'd review negatively ...
 
post-15225780
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BunnyNamedCraig

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Currently laid back on my couch with phone plugged into the Mojo, plugged into a Liquid Carbon. I got the Verite’s on and the track playing is “Rio” by Duran Duran from a custom station I made. Man I love how I can hear the bass guitar in the background of this whole song. Never noticed that before... having a great night gang after my shift at work. Hopefully I don’t stay up obnoxiously late, but moments like this are worth riding out.

Enjoy your time with the ZMF’s. It really got me back to listening for the fun of it
 
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Monsterzero

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Reviews, honest ones at least, are hard enough at the best of times. Doing one or two can be fun. Over time they become progressively more taxing.

When I first started posting impressions, never mind "reviews" (look up "Life after Yggdrasil") it was relatively easy to be negative. And I was. A LOT. As time wore on, just spending the time to properly evaluate things I didn't enjoy become progressively harder. A few years on ... I can't even bring myself to mention, let alone post impressions/reviews of, things I didn't truly enjoy.

Some took that as bias ...

And it was ... but only in the context of preserving my sanity.

If I don't enjoy something enough to write positive things about it, I damn sure don't want to spend more time listening to it than is necessary to form a basic opinion. And for gear I don't enjoy (be that down to preference, performance or more ephemeral concerns) it just isn't worth talking about, let alone the protracted nonsense that tends to follow any negative commentary (literal death threats over a negative review of an objectively POS DAC ... who has time for that sort of unbalanced nonsense).

So, today, I don't even comment on gear that I don't find appealing, well performing and/or enjoyable. The outward appearance of which is that I only positive review. But the reality is that I just can't be bothered to spend the necessary time with stuff that I'd review negatively ...
Yep.
When I first started my channel I reviewed a headphone that I had purchased thru Kickstarter. That particular product arrived on my doorstep nearly 16 months after a glowing review done on a prototype by a respected member here,so the hype was real.
Man that headphone was such a disappointment,and I held nothing back in my review. In retrospect I regret lambasting that product as its one of the few reviews out there on it,and the product,as well as the company itself has essentially fallen off the map. I tried to say positive things about it,but my utter disappointment was quite evident. I mightve even called it "crappy sounding" too. Never again. I just wont do anymore reviews on bad headphones. Its draining.
 
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Zachik

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Yep.
When I first started my channel I reviewed a headphone that I had purchased thru Kickstarter. That particular product arrived on my doorstep nearly 16 months after a glowing review done on a prototype by a respected member here,so the hype was real.
Man that headphone was such a disappointment,and I held nothing back in my review. In retrospect I regret lambasting that product as its one of the few reviews out there on it,and the product,as well as the company itself has essentially fallen off the map. I tried to say positive things about it,but my utter disappointment was quite evident. I mightve even called it "crappy sounding" too. Never again. I just wont do anymore reviews on bad headphones. Its draining.
Totally agree with you and @Torq regarding negative reviews. However, the other side of that coin is: searching for reviews for product X, if nobody bothers to post negative reviews, the product would look much better / positive than it really is... so, at times, negative reviews are actually a service to the Head-Fi community.

My 2 cents :)
 
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I’ve only done a couple of reviews, and I’ve already run into this problem...it just isn’t fun and I just don’t have time to write about something I don’t enjoy. I do my best to find what is good about them, and what others may like but even then it turns more into an impression than a full review. The LCD-X is a good example, and my very much so not getting along with the Empyreans was the final straw...so to speak...that put me on a break/desire to write “reviews” I would rather do the chain of conscious thoughts impression style that I did with the VC, due to writing “raw” to some degree about what I’m hearing and feeling about the headphone/amp/DAC. At least then people know to some degree my thoughts and experiences as I’m having them.

I will probably start reviewing again at some point but, honestly I would rather take pictures and have discussions/chain of consciousness style posts, it is more enjoyable, especially when you can be passionate about the subject matter.
 
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Pharmaboy

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Reviews, honest ones at least, are hard enough at the best of times. Doing one or two can be fun. Over time they become progressively more taxing.

When I first started posting impressions, never mind "reviews" (look up "Life after Yggdrasil") it was relatively easy to be negative. And I was. A LOT. As time wore on, just spending the time to properly evaluate things I didn't enjoy become progressively harder. A few years on ... I can't even bring myself to mention, let alone post impressions/reviews of, things I didn't truly enjoy.

Some took that as bias ...

And it was ... but only in the context of preserving my sanity.

If I don't enjoy something enough to write positive things about it, I damn sure don't want to spend more time listening to it than is necessary to form a basic opinion. And for gear I don't enjoy (be that down to preference, performance or more ephemeral concerns) it just isn't worth talking about, let alone the protracted nonsense that tends to follow any negative commentary (literal death threats over a negative review of an objectively POS DAC ... who has time for that sort of unbalanced nonsense).

So, today, I don't even comment on gear that I don't find appealing, well performing and/or enjoyable. The outward appearance of which is that I only positive review. But the reality is that I just can't be bothered to spend the necessary time with stuff that I'd review negatively ...
Great post--thoughtful, thought-provoking, by someone w/a ton of reviewing cred IMO.

2 random comments about comments & reviews (I've posted 2-3 of latter, 100s of the former):
  1. I feel weirdly guilty about over-praising a headphone in my 1st-ever HP review here (no names!). Only happened because it was still early in my headphone learning curve (despite decades of audiophile learning). I just didn't know better...
  2. A more nuanced issue is this: I worry that something I don't "like" today, may well be something I don't understand, am unprepared for--but might like better after I live with it. So blasting something might backfire in that way...
A related tale: early last year I picked up a gently used pair of ATC passive studio monitors--based on countless praise-filled comments for ATCs in general. I plugged them in at the same time I switched subs. To make a very long story short, only now, 1.5yrs+ later, have I really found how these things can sound. They revealed problems in my system I was totally unaware of. It was a slow & painful process to chase down possible "bad sound" suspects, then fix them. Now I'm getting astounding sound out of the ATCs.

Hypothetical: if I had reviewed the ATCs immediately after purchase, who knows what drivel I would have published. It wouldn't have been an outright pan--even w/my system issues, they were pretty amazing-sounding. But I would have alluded to certain sonic disappointments that no longer exist, that weren't part of the ATCs' inherent sound.

I have the greatest respect for people who pour time & energy into perceptive audio reviews. Thanks for yours!
 
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mixman

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Totally agree with you and @Torq regarding negative reviews. However, the other side of that coin is: searching for reviews for product X, if nobody bothers to post negative reviews, the product would look much better / positive than it really is... so, at times, negative reviews are actually a service to the Head-Fi community.

My 2 cents :)
I gotta agree. I don’t do reviews, but as a consumer those negative reviews have just as much value as the positive ones. If a product is not up to snuff, I want to know about it as it may give me pause to go and buy something blindly which will cost me a lot of money on a resale. There are sometimes like the Empy where I disagreed with Darthpool, but I valued his writing his thoughts on it anyway.
 
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Torq

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Totally agree with you and @Torq regarding negative reviews. However, the other side of that coin is: searching for reviews for product X, if nobody bothers to post negative reviews, the product would look much better / positive than it really is... so, at times, negative reviews are actually a service to the Head-Fi community.
I definitely think that negative reviews, or reviews that include negative and positive observations, are important - especially at a community level.

And I think if I was a professional reviewer (i.e. it was any part of my job, or I was compensated for it, rather that it strictly being a volunteer/enthusiast thing) I'd still be willing to put in the time to write such pieces myself. I've certainly done it in the past. The disconnect isn't in not wanting to say bad things about something - as long as its an honest opinion I have no issues there at all (beyond some of the behind-the-scenes nonsense that sometimes then ensues). Instead it comes from what it takes (for me) to write a review.

Spending several hundred hours critically listening (as well as doing so simply for pleasure) to something like the Vérité or an Yggdrasil or the SR1a etc. is a pleasure. And getting to do so essentially risk free (in the case of loaned gear rather than stuff I've already purchased for my own wants) is enough of a perk to make it worth while.

Spending the same level of time to do a proper review on something for which it is immediately apparent either isn't for me (it might be excellent, but not my thing ... the Meze Empyrean are a case in point there), or I just outright dislike, is another. And I don't feel good trashing products based on just a couple of hours exposure. Though if someone asks specifically, I don't tend to hold back - I just don't go pushing my thoughts on it (and often not even mentioning I've heard it) unless asked anymore.

I have come to a point where I generally won't audition, much less review, anything anymore unless it either a) has a high chance of being an upgrade to my primary rigs and/or b) is something that I might add/swap/buy myself for other reasons. Where as even just a few months ago I was quite happy to review gear that I had no intention of using myself or keeping (at least for any purpose other than future comparative reviews).

Even for gear I absolutely love, it's progressively harder to write feature-style reviews for. No product is perfect, but I dislike trying to find flaws in things if they don't crop up naturally, and sometimes that's the only way to have any kind of positive/negative balance in a review. Oddly, I find that happens more readily in stream-of-consciousness style reviews, which is likely how I will do all future reviews (excepting the SR1a which I have almost finished). Though I still plan only on covering stuff I have an active personal interest in buying for my own systems.
 

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