Reviews in magazines....

Hifiver

Active member
Jan 2, 2022
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They are still down to personal taste and the subjectivity of the reviewer, to an extent, aren't they?

Not everybody will prefer a highly rated piece of equipment?
 

Gray

Well-known member
So it is simply that we have individual preferences and tastes? Neither is right or wrong?
Some say there is no right or wrong sound.
I don't agree with that. Some sound (when compared to the original) is very definitely inaccurate and wrong....but if that suits a person's taste, good luck to them.
 

twinkletoes

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2021
70
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They are still down to personal taste and the subjectivity of the reviewer, to an extent, aren't they?

Not everybody will prefer a highly rated piece of equipment?

Depends on how they are reviewing that said item, some things are not opinions some are facts. but some of those opinions are touted as fact and vise versa.

eg A better measuring device is a fact, whether you like that better measuring devices sound is opinion.
 
But they are at least opinions from people who've heard more of what's available than the majority of us - that has to count for something.
I would agree. Reviews are a persons opinion often based on years of experience, this however becomes somewhat meaningless if their hearing or tonal preferences are completely different to yours. The trick is to find a particular reviewer or reviewers that have the same opinion as you when you audition a piece of equipment and then pay more attention to their reviews.
To be frank even their hearing changes over the years, I know mine has.
As such I now find the most relevant reviews are those done by a bunch of people in the form of a Group Test like the publication HiFi Choice presents
 
D

Deleted member 197450

Guest
They are still down to personal taste and the subjectivity of the reviewer, to an extent, aren't they?

Not everybody will prefer a highly rated piece of equipment?
I now look at reviews from around 5 different online reviews and then demo to try and make up my mind. I hate it when you can’t choose your new TV because a manufacturer gives you a new TV from its new range because yours has become faulty eg Samsung!
 
I now look at reviews from around 5 different online reviews and then demo to try and make up my mind. I hate it when you can’t choose your new TV because a manufacturer gives you a new TV from its new range because yours has become faulty eg Samsung!
Well they are hardly likely to replace it with a TV made by another manufacturer are they?
The last sentence is pretty irrelevant
 
D

Deleted member 197450

Guest
Don't we all.... :)
The problem was I purchased from John Lewis and it went faulty within a year so it then lies with the manufacturer. Despite the amazing reviews of the new range it was not a patch on the previous years flagship! When my LG OLED went wrong after 3 years John Lewis offered a new TV of my choice or a refund.

I suppose I am partly to blame because I didn’t spot the problem within the return period at JL and even if I did (can’t remember either way) they were out of stock after my purchase.
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
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About having personal taste, well that's going to be true of all publications isn't it, no matter how scientific they are, no? And I certainly won't buy a component just based on what Audio Science Review says.

I don't think there's anything wrong with WHF's reviews. I've bought a few components based on their recommendations in fact, with only one duffer - a pair of Shure in ears.

The trick is to read several reviews, glean what they think the strengths of a component are, find the strengths common in all reviews, then decide.

The truth is for some auditioning will be difficult, so they will be going on blind faith, in which case reviews and feedback from other owners will be their main factor.

I don't think it's helpful just to dismiss reviews. Just use a bit of common sense too.

The Bluesound Node is one good example, for all versions. I've already gleaned one common observation across some reviews - that it may not have the greatest soundstage, which may be a limiting factor for me. The Marantz NA6005/6 on the other hand has soundstage as a strength which may let me overlook its shortcomings in other areas.
 
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The problem was I purchased from John Lewis and it went faulty within a year so it then lies with the manufacturer. Despite the amazing reviews of the new range it was not a patch on the previous years flagship! When my LG OLED went wrong after 3 years John Lewis offered a new TV of my choice or a refund.

I suppose I am partly to blame because I didn’t spot the problem within the return period at JL and even if I did (can’t remember either way) they were out of stock after my purchase.
Unfortunately I still don't see how this applies to reviews in magazines. Please keep postings to point in a thread. However, sorry to hear of your experiences
 

doifeellucky

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Feb 3, 2016
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Back in the day (90s) I always thought WHF was this group (somewhere around 10-15) of all knowing and revered hifi experts that I could trust, They sat down together and came to a mutual agreement regarding the rating for products. Oh how naive I was.
 

Oxfordian

Well-known member
Mar 20, 2021
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So it is simply that we have individual preferences and tastes? Neither is right or wrong?
Absolutely, that is why there is so much choice out there.

It doesn’t matter what set up you have as long as you enjoy it, have a look at peoples signatures on this forum you will see huge differences in set ups, not one of them is wrong, each individual set up meets the owners needs (well in theory it does as long as you don’t mention upgrades :) ).

In the same way we have differing tastes in music, how we listen to it, it’s all about your listening enjoyment, not mine or anyone else’s.

If you are just starting in this daft crazy hobby, then I have a bit of advice, take it slowly, don’t rush and use your ears and not what me or anyone else tells you is good, we can suggest, hint and try to point you in the right direction but ultimately it is your choice and gear is expensive.

Reviews are good but only buy if you like what you hear, not because some mag says that the gear is the best thing since ….. well you get the picture.

Most importantly, have fun, if you’re not sure then ask the question, there is no such thing as a stupid question if you don’t know.

Sorry I have rabbited on far too much.
 

manicm

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May 1, 2008
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Back in the day (90s) I always thought WHF was this group (somewhere around 10-15) of all knowing and revered hifi experts that I could trust, They sat down together and came to a mutual agreement regarding the rating for products. Oh how naive I was.
So how different are WHF's ratings to any other magazine?
 

manicm

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May 1, 2008
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It seems WHF can't win here. Linn sycophants used to pour scorn over WHF, then when favourable reviews arrived they just sat silent, with neither praise nor criticism.

Some here remind me of those Linnites.

Zeal either way makes me switch off.
 

doifeellucky

Well-known member
Feb 3, 2016
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So how different are WHF's ratings to any other magazine?
Sorry, my point was about me believing that there was this large group of ‘trusted experts’, and so in principle anything getting 5 stars would be a unanimous decision, and so would be an outstanding product. But as the reality is more often just one person’s opinion, it highlights how often reviews, especially in WHF as you often have no idea who actually did the critical listening, should be taken with a pinch of salt. I’d now only ever use reviews to form a potential shortlist, but back in the 90’s you often had nothing to compare against, it was WHF or nothing, so you had to assume they knew what they were talking about. Dealers had very limited stock at my end of the budget spectrum so you were effectively buying on WHF’s advice. An audition just wasn’t an option. If I’d have known it was just one person’s opinion my trust would certainly have been far lower. I certainly bought a few items when I was younger that seemed fairly average in their performance despite a glowing review.
 
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Edbostan

Well-known member
Aug 5, 2021
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They are still down to personal taste and the subjectivity of the reviewer, to an extent, aren't they?

Not everybody will prefer a highly rated piece of equipment?
I bought my original Cyrus One largely after reading reviews published in What Hi-Fi as it won best buy awards year after year. It has its weaknesses such as a lean presentation. I still use it and appreciate the transparency and resolution but only for short term listening as it becomes tiring. I listen mainly to my Onkyo 9010 as it has a smoother presentation but at times sounds lethargic. Which? magazine reviews separates so are their reviews more accurately given because they are not persuing advertising revenues?
 
I bought my original Cyrus One largely after reading reviews published in What Hi-Fi as it won best buy awards year after year. It has its weaknesses such as a lean presentation. I still use it and appreciate the transparency and resolution but only for short term listening as it becomes tiring. I listen mainly to my Onkyo 9010 as it has a smoother presentation but at times sounds lethargic. Which? magazine reviews separates so are their reviews more accurately given because they are not persuing advertising revenues?
No, more likely than not they are just another persons opinion
The reason you find your Cyrus One lacking is exactly why you use reviews as a shortlisting device and then go and audition yourself to confirm said reviews
 

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