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Awards

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jules153

Well-known member
Jul 7, 2016
17
4
4,525
Thanks Al ears :cool:

So there we have it, a magazine that has always had the quest to promote the best sound quality has given an award to a streaming service (Tidal) that only 1/4 of the streamers can fully decode and only 1/3 of the DACs. Just doesn't make sense to me. Also it's the most expensive compared to Qobuz and Amazon HD.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
284
169
19,070
Thanks Al ears :cool:

So there we have it, a magazine that has always had the quest to promote the best sound quality has given an award to a streaming service (Tidal) that only 1/4 of the streamers can fully decode and only 1/3 of the DACs. Just doesn't make sense to me. Also it's the most expensive compared to Qobuz and Amazon HD.
I think it’s quite legitimate that they chose Tidal, just as it‘s legitimate that my nearest high-end dealer switched their account from Tidal to Qobuz because they preferred the sound.
I use Qobuz and love it, but others find it lacks repertoire and is ‘too French’. It’s a free world, and you’re not obliged to choose only what WHF likes. And the worst thing would be to combine awarded products imagining they’d create a good system.
 

Al ears

Moderator
Thanks Al ears :cool:

So there we have it, a magazine that has always had the quest to promote the best sound quality has given an award to a streaming service (Tidal) that only 1/4 of the streamers can fully decode and only 1/3 of the DACs. Just doesn't make sense to me. Also it's the most expensive compared to Qobuz and Amazon HD.
I believe they test on the basis of the companies standard form of delivering music and not on any specialised format therefore there choice is valid.
Something is not "better" simply because it can handle one extra format.
 

jonboywalton75

Well-known member
Jan 11, 2012
84
10
18,545
I believe they test on the basis of the companies standard form of delivering music and not on any specialised format therefore there choice is valid.
Something is not "better" simply because it can handle one extra format.
I really like Tidal, had the top tier for years, but i tried Amazon HD music and really enjoyed it.
It also saved me £5 a month
as i have Amazon Prime.
But

I went straight back to Tidal as using HEOS with Amazon was terrible.
I've tried Qubuz, its great except for the choice of tracks for my taste.
So I'd vote Tidal, whether its MQA or not
 

Romulus

Well-known member
Nov 21, 2014
74
36
10,570
Maybe an award for best recorded music and at same time the most musically involving music of that particular year? I mention 'musically involving' because often in HiFi shows expensive HiFi systems are playing something which is really well recorded (most probably chosen to highlight the HiFi stuff in the sound) but utterly boring musically, usually music which is banal and often pretentious, offering just sounds and nothing more...
 

Al ears

Moderator
Maybe an award for best recorded music and at same time the most musically involving music of that particular year? I mention 'musically involving' because often in HiFi shows expensive HiFi systems are playing something which is really well recorded (most probably chosen to highlight the HiFi stuff in the sound) but utterly boring musically, usually music which is banal and often pretentious, offering just sounds and nothing more...
I feel the musically involving could lead to an interesting thread...... :cool:
 

SpursGator

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2012
51
40
18,570
I don't think anything is wrong with the Awards, although the suggestion of having best new product in each category is a great one.

There is such as thing as the British (or French or German or whatever) Audio Industry. "The industry" consists of manufacturers, dealers, press, and consumers based in that country. It also includes imported products that are either sold at local dealers, or which are popular locally. It is an ecosystem in which businesses are competing, but also collaborating to market the whole industry. Many are just plain trying to survive another month.

WHF is a for-profit media site that covers the British audio Industry. Why is it so hard for everyone to get their heads around that? They know what people are buying, and where the money is flowing. They have advertisers and they have to survive in an industry where most publications are dying.

In the software industry, where I work, we spend a lot of time trying to get the local industry publications in each country to give us awards - and they try to get us to buy advertising. The trade publications do a lot of marketing for the industry as a whole, and thus for its biggest players. If no one buys adverts, the publications die, and it becomes that much harder to market your products. So we never were offered an award or good review, but we understood that to expect to be considered for an award, we couldn't just buy nothing, do our own marketing, and throw up a website. If you want an industry award, you need to at least participate in the industry, right?

That said, I NEVER believed we were buying an award - and a lot of the time, we spent and still didn't get the award (ESPECIALLY the British ones, you'll be proud to note). As an industry publication aimed at consumers, I find it rather amazing that WHF has been able to give ratings AT ALL and still survive - everyone else giving ratings is either behind a paywall (like Which in the UK or Consumer Reports in the US) or has become a smaller, niche website (like Stereophile). It's so risky to give anything but a 5* review to the big boys that it just isn't worth it.

Frankly, talking about all this like it is some kind of conspiracy theory is just dumb. Within the bounds of reality for an industry-promoting "magazine" in 2020, WHF is pretty good . We're here, right? This forum is paid for by advertising. I have seen some pretty harsh takes on these forums - surely the advertisers would prefer it censored.

You shouldn't buy any audio product without looking at it from many perspectives. WHF is one, and it's one of the best precisely because it isn't like the others, filled with graphs and esoterica. The fact that readers might still have to use their brains a slight amount, even after they have seen how many stars it got, does not make it a bad site. It does not make the reviews dishonest. And guess what? Since almost every product they review is sold at a British dealer, if you think they have it wrong, you can go down and hear for yourself! You can get the Truth and then come to THEIR forum and tell the world how biased they are. For free.
 

plus 1

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2019
861
145
570
That's fair feedback and I'll pass that along to the team. Since we have the discussion going, if anyone else wants to add info on what they'd like to see in the awards, we'd love to hear from you.
how about printing pictures of your test / review room showing actual pictures of the products being tested in situ as such ?
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
284
169
19,070
how about printing pictures of your test / review room showing actual pictures of the products being tested in situ as such ?
They do have pics of the rooms in the ‘How we Test’ feature on page 3 of the magazine.
But snaps of the actual products set up would be informative, mainly speakers. And I’ve frequently asked for pictures with grilles on as well as off, to no avail.
 

Romulus

Well-known member
Nov 21, 2014
74
36
10,570
One element of WHF reviews gives some credibility to the reviews in that they use ATCSCM 50 speakers which would really sort out the good from the bad. ATC speakers do like power, the more power usually the better outcome on sound, yet WHF will use all kinds of amplifier via these particular speakers for a review. What I would really be interested as to how the components managed via the ATC speakers especially as to amplifiers which are not so powerfully endowed to drive these speakers sufficiently, at least on paper, to do a review of that particular amplifier?
 
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Wil

Well-known member
May 8, 2020
98
41
70
You're selling your wants short, I believe you'd rather see a recording of the entire review-session-in-progress, no editing, as many hours as it actually took.

no...pictures of the actual review in progress.
(showing the kit in situ whilst being tested...)
 

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