WHF review style.....an observation ??

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Andrew Everard

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May 30, 2007
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Omegaminx:
Well, I supposed WHF staff should take readers' opinion(s) into account and not be judgemental or assume someone is trolling.

My comment about trolling had nothing to do with observations regarding the magazine's star-rating policy or reviewing style.
 

Clare Newsome

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Jun 4, 2007
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Omegaminx:
Well, I supposed WHF staff should take readers' opinion(s) into account and not be judgemental or assume someone is trolling.
Take it as a constructive comment and see if it's logical.

More than happy to take opinions into account - that's one of the beauties of this Forum, where threads like this give us invaluable feedback. However, there is occasionally some 'history' behind certain comments and viewpoints that we have to handle!

Re the star-rating issue, it's key for us to be consistent, and we are - we're consistent to our core reviewing criteria of performance-per-pound.

If a product is no longer as good value as it was when we first reviewed it - thanks to newer, better-value competition coming along - then our ratings should reflect that, once we've comparatively tested the products in question.

But the ratings are there as a guideline, to help you make a shortlist for your own auditioning. You may not care a product has been outclassed by newer competition, as it may still be a far better product for your ears/eyes/system.

For example, as mentioned many times here previously, I use several four-star products in my system by choice, as they suit my set-up/tastes.
 

Thaiman

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Jul 28, 2007
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3 stars equipment in the right set up could sound better than 5 stars jobbie in the wrong rig!

Naim superNait was rated 4 stars, (may I tell you that it is the hottest amp in the last few years for under £3K) partner it with Neat Motive 1 and either Naim 5i or (preferably) Naim CDX2 and you will be hard push to get a better system at the price.

Another example, many years ago I bought a Linn Majik amp that rated 3 stars by what HiFi (which I agree that for £800, back in late 90's, you could buy better) however I build a system up with Cyrus 7 cdp and a pair of Ruark Talisman 2 and that totally out preformed my mate's Full Five star rig in every way.

So please don't worry too much about rating although I wouldn't go below 3 stars!) just my 2 pence worth
 

drummerman

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Jan 18, 2008
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Andrew Everard:Omegaminx:

Well, I supposed WHF staff should take readers' opinion(s) into account and not be judgemental or assume someone is trolling.

My comment about trolling had nothing to do with observations regarding the magazine's star-rating policy or reviewing style.

Thats what you get for trying to be sarcastic. I know, I had your reply.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I would love some technical analysis - maybe build, internal layout, quality of components, measurements a la stereophile and also wish the reviews were a bit longer. Sometimes it just reads like purely subjective analysis influenced by mood maybe :).

All said, I still buy based on star verdict in WHF. Not everyone has the luxury of spending hours listening to each component before buying !
 

professorhat

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2007
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neerajvatsa:Not everyone has the luxury of spending hours listening to each component before buying !
I kinda of think of it as a necessity rather than a luxury but maybe I don't have as much money to burn...
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I agree with Andy and Prof. If a product has been outclassed by something newer, then it's rating should drop so that we all know that there is something better out there. When it comes to anything at all, there will always be continuous improvement and it would be absurd to expect a product to still be the best after 10 years. That would mean that absolutely no progress has been made. I really don't understand why some people get so hung up about the stars? Do they tell all their friends that the stuff in their home are 5 stars just to show off? I mean if you happen to buy something this month and something better gets launched next month would you then regret your purchase? If that's the case, then life will just be full of regrets as something better is always just around the corner...
 

Thaiman

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Jul 28, 2007
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neerajvatsa:

I would love some technical analysis - maybe build, internal layout, quality of components

Now that is a great Idea. I love looking at HiFi porn! The transfomers, power supplies, Crystal clock etc...
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Clare Newsome:Omegaminx:
Well, I supposed WHF staff should take readers' opinion(s) into account and not be judgemental or assume someone is trolling.
Take it as a constructive comment and see if it's logical.

More than happy to take opinions into account - that's one of the beauties of this Forum, where threads like this give us invaluable feedback. However, there is occasionally some 'history' behind certain comments and viewpoints that we have to handle!

Re the star-rating issue, it's key for us to be consistent, and we are - we're consistent to our core reviewing criteria of performance-per-pound.

If a product is no longer as good value as it was when we first reviewed it - thanks to newer, better-value competition coming along - then our ratings should reflect that, once we've comparatively tested the products in question.

But the ratings are there as a guideline, to help you make a shortlist for your own auditioning. You may not care a product has been outclassed by newer competition, as it may still be a far better product for your ears/eyes/system.

For example, as mentioned many times here previously, I use several four-star products in my system by choice, as they suit my set-up/tastes.

Glad to be heard. Anyway, whether WHF drops a star or two from a product doesnt really disrupt my enjoyment of the product in particular. I'm just trying to highlight a point that this system despite being comprehensible isnt very consistent across the board (pls read my very first post on this subject to understand what I mean).

Example: If we look back Dec 2003 at the Dynaudio 52SE group test against ATC SCM12, Spendor S3/5se, B&W 705
Verdict: Dynaudio 52SE(5 stars-winner), ATC 12(5 stars), Spendor S3/5se (4 stars), B&W705 (4 stars)....

Fast forward to the next review between Ruark Sabre III against Dyn 52SE, Ruark Sabre III(5 stars-winner), Dynaudio 52SE(dropped a star to 4 stars)...no problem there but on reflection, that means the Dyn 52SE has fallen behind ATC SCM12 which stands at 5 stars still as there was no corrective adjustments made. Similarly, the Dyn 52SE has become on par now with B&W 705 and Spendor 3/5se which garnered 4 stars earlier from the group test.

Herein lies the inconsistency I was referring to. I dont really care whether you drop all 5 stars from the Dyn 52SE because I dont own them anyway. In fact, I was using the ATC SCM12 and SCM7 then, thus I paid careful attention to those reviews. Similarly, Rotel RA-05 amp received the same treatment and those pretty Quad 11L/12L which was at some time winner of their own group test at 1 time but I'm lazy to dig thru the mag collection just to quote them. Hope you see while it's valid striking off stars from products as they age, it has to be done to others reviewed in the same group as well to maintain consistency. Otherwise if you pit the Dyn 52SE against say, the ATC SCM11 now, you might want to drop another star from the Dyn 52SE making them a 3-star now, even worse rated than the old B&W 705 or Spendor S3/5se earlier---just simulating ok :)

But I do realize that this mainly happens to budget or medium priced hifi. At least the high end pricy kits don't get such treatment.

I do agree with some forumers here that personal enjoyment is the ultimate factor that matters regardless of WHF rating as to be honest, I disagree with WHF ratings 1/3 of the time when auditioning products...goes to show taste differs :)

Pls take my comments as a reader's opinion, simple as that. I don't intend to argue my point till it makes sense to anyone but this point is shared by many who follow your magazine through the years. Just to be fair, I also read other mags eg HF Choice, HF News, HF World, Stereophile, The Absolute Sound(TAS), Tone Audio(e-mag), Audioholics, HF Wigwam forums...

Cheers...
 

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