View Full Version : August Hifi News


Chris M
21-06-12, 01:30 AM
Some interesting articles as usual including the story of the Mission speakers around 1980, group streamer test and Leema Elements DAC and Perreaux amp reviews.

The most revealing comment comes near the end of a Ken Kessler review of a 23,000 power amp from the Krell designer: "Thanks to a number of causes, I'm in a 'perfect storm' of financial woe...." (so won't be keeping the amp).

What, Ken Kessler's gone bust? The man who's been telling us for 25 years to buy super-bling American gear? The guy with a purpose-designed room full of 301s, 401s, Quads, Thorens, LS3s etc?

Now, let's see if I can find the connection....

337alant
21-06-12, 01:39 AM
I dont know if it was Hifi News or Hifi World but I enjoyed reading the write up on the the Sole LP12 sub chassis from Audio inovations it got a realy good write up so very well done to JohnR a PFM member.:cool:;)
I remember on PFM when John produced his first sole and there was a group buy of them, they allways get good reviews from buyers and his latest version looks excellent quality indeed.

Alan

narabdela
21-06-12, 02:03 AM
August HiFi News in June.

Is it just me or...?

hifi_dave
21-06-12, 02:18 AM
Not just you, it used to come out in July. Not sure when the change happened. I guess they are desperate for the advertising revenue !!!

Cato
21-06-12, 02:33 AM
Kessler makes his living writing about the high end - not just hifi but watches, wine etc and his publications and thus his paymasters, will acutely be suffering from advertising blues...

2 many boxes
21-06-12, 03:13 AM
If HFNRR had any credibility with me it went completely when they did that quality = power test 'meter' on the cover at the instigation of Musical Fidelity :rolleyes:

That was the biggest bag of balls I've come across in recent years

kristoffer
21-06-12, 06:36 AM
Some interesting articles as usual including the story of the Mission speakers around 1980, group streamer test and Leema Elements DAC and Perreaux amp reviews.

The most revealing comment comes near the end of a Ken Kessler review of a 23,000 power amp from the Krell designer: "Thanks to a number of causes, I'm in a 'perfect storm' of financial woe...." (so won't be keeping the amp).

What, Ken Kessler's gone bust? The man who's been telling us for 25 years to buy super-bling American gear? The guy with a purpose-designed room full of 301s, 401s, Quads, Thorens, LS3s etc?

Now, let's see if I can find the connection....

Which streamers are in the group? :)

Arkless Repairs
21-06-12, 07:41 AM
All the comics talk total nonsense anyway..... I just hate the fact that most of the bollocks has become "accepted wisdom" after being propagated for so long.
They are in it to make money (obviously) and therefore it is in their interest to encourage the whole foo peddling scam as it gives them copy, attracts advertising from dealers and manufacturers and encourages plenty of propeller heads to write in to the letters pages!

Doomlord_uk
21-06-12, 07:56 AM
Anyone can run out of money; however every now and then KK will lament being unable to buy this or that as a standard part of his spiel. Consider it the ultimate hyperbole - "so good I'd buy it"!

paskinn
21-06-12, 08:40 AM
All the comics talk total nonsense anyway..... I just hate the fact that most of the bollocks has become "accepted wisdom" after being propagated for so long.
They are in it to make money (obviously) and therefore it is in their interest to encourage the whole foo peddling scam as it gives them copy, attracts advertising from dealers and manufacturers and encourages plenty of propeller heads to write in to the letters pages!

How sad that you write this sort of stuff. You are in business, so you too are 'in it for the money'...does that mean that you 'talk nonsense' and 'bollocks.'? According to your logic it must do.
Hi Fi mags are a vital part of the hobby, they are not 'comics'..Hi Fi News has far more qualified writers than you (I suspect). Most have good degrees from Imperial College. You don't have to buy the mags, but why be so destructive?

Mescalito
21-06-12, 09:25 AM
How sad that you write this sort of stuff. You are in business, so you too are 'in it for the money'...does that mean that you 'talk nonsense' and 'bollocks.'? According to your logic it must do.
Hi Fi mags are a vital part of the hobby, they are not 'comics'..Hi Fi News has far more qualified writers than you (I suspect). Most have good degrees from Imperial College. You don't have to buy the mags, but why be so destructive?

Oh come on, Paskinn! The hi fi press ran out of credibility 35 years ago. Nobody but the most inexperienced or gullible views ANY of them as more than works of fiction and fantasy.

Chris

Arkless Repairs
21-06-12, 10:31 AM
How sad that you write this sort of stuff. You are in business, so you too are 'in it for the money'...does that mean that you 'talk nonsense' and 'bollocks.'? According to your logic it must do.
Hi Fi mags are a vital part of the hobby, they are not 'comics'..Hi Fi News has far more qualified writers than you (I suspect). Most have good degrees from Imperial College. You don't have to buy the mags, but why be so destructive?

Actually I knowingly lose a lot of business because I'm so honest with my customers..... I may be on the breadline (really!) but I sleep soundly ;)

There was a time when good engineers such as Angus Mckenzie, Stanley Kelly, Donald Aldous et al were responsible for the majority of the copy published in UK hi fi magazines. Those days are long gone. There's Paul Miller and erm.... can't think of any others off hand.... must be some.
Most are career journalists who may well have worked for "Woodworker Monthly" or "Catering Today" or whatever before writing for hifi magazines and I can assure you that they often talk total rubbish!
You may remember one Ian Rankin who went on to greater things? He admitted having made up reviews without even unpacking the equipment when he was a respected hifi journalist!!


Destructive? Just don't like to see huge numbers of enthusiasts hood-winked by pseudo scientific bollocks into wasting their money.... Especially when said bollocks becomes so entrenched in the minds of magazine reading non engineers that they end up not believing the likes of myself, Serge and other pros when we try to point out that it is indeed bollocks!

Arkless Repairs
21-06-12, 10:32 AM
Oh come on, Paskinn! The hi fi press ran out of credibility 35 years ago. Nobody but the most inexperienced or gullible views ANY of them as more than works of fiction and fantasy.

Chris

At least we can agree as long as we stay away from politics then Chris! :)

darrylfunk
21-06-12, 10:42 AM
Oh come on, Paskinn! The hi fi press ran out of credibility 35 years ago. Nobody but the most inexperienced or gullible views ANY of them as more than works of fiction and fantasy.

Chris

wholeheartedly agree....nice pictures though...

sq225917
21-06-12, 12:36 PM
I love his line, "So good even I'd buy it"..... Except he bottles in with a vague excuse, priceless.

Evil Emperor
21-06-12, 01:52 PM
Almost no-one buys stuff simply on the basis of how it performs from a technical standpoint these days; if they did, Apple would have gone out of business last century.

Whether or not they are comics, hi-fi is a review-led business. If enough people see the magazines as purveyors of expensive nonsense to the gullible, both the magazines and the hi-fi 'industry' dies, and dies fast.

It's a symbiotic relationship.

Of course, if the magazines are discredited, and the manufacturers don't have an outlet to show their products, who stands to benefit? The repairers!

Strange isn't it that things went from petty whining to 'bollocks' in the hands of a solder monkey.

Arkless Repairs
21-06-12, 02:27 PM
Rarely have i seen such a hyperbolic argument... Especially one ending in a completely unwarrented personal insult! You actually think i went through the same twisted chain of "logic" as you?! Sad.

wwelly
21-06-12, 03:07 PM
Form his writing, I would say that Kessler's a pompous Ass! Always has been. Always will be.

Maybe he's different in person but I doubt it....


I still buy "the comics" though.

John Channing
21-06-12, 03:15 PM
Form his writing, I would say that Kessler's a pompous Ass! Always has been. Always will be.

Maybe he's different in person but I doubt it....


I still buy "the comics" though.

I thought the same from his writing, but then I heard it talk at a hifi show a few years back and he came across as quite a decent bloke.

wwelly
21-06-12, 03:49 PM
I thought the same from his writing, but then I heard it talk at a hifi show a few years back and he came across as quite a decent bloke.

Fair enough, but I only have exposure to his literary persona...
and I don't like it :-)

SCIDB
21-06-12, 05:13 PM
Some interesting articles as usual including the story of the Mission speakers around 1980, group streamer test and Leema Elements DAC and Perreaux amp reviews.

The most revealing comment comes near the end of a Ken Kessler review of a 23,000 power amp from the Krell designer: "Thanks to a number of causes, I'm in a 'perfect storm' of financial woe...." (so won't be keeping the amp).

What, Ken Kessler's gone bust? The man who's been telling us for 25 years to buy super-bling American gear? The guy with a purpose-designed room full of 301s, 401s, Quads, Thorens, LS3s etc?

Now, let's see if I can find the connection....

Hi,

Maybe Ken hasn't enough room in his den to buy more stuff.


http://www.hifinews.co.uk/sites/13/images/article_images_month/2012-02/kessler%202%20full%20width1.jpg

http://www.hifinews.co.uk/sites/13/images/article_images_month/2012-02/retro%20goodies1.jpg

http://www.hifinews.co.uk/sites/13/images/article_images_month/2012-02/kessler1a.jpg

http://www.hifinews.co.uk/sites/13/images/article_images_month/2012-02/shelving%20full1.jpg

http://www.hifinews.co.uk/sites/13/images/article_images_month/2012-02/sme%20full1.jpg

http://www.hifinews.co.uk/sites/13/images/article_images_month/2012-02/kessler%201%20half2751.jpg

Dean

Evil Emperor
22-06-12, 12:21 AM
Rarely have i seen such a hyperbolic argument... Especially one ending in a completely unwarrented personal insult! You actually think i went through the same twisted chain of "logic" as ypu?! Sad.

I trust no-one in this stinking cesspool of an 'industry' anymore. Everyone it seems is too busy having an agenda and attacking one another to actually attempt to progress things. If it's not you, it's Avondale. Or AVI. Or NVA. You are all alike, all angry little men, separated by ideologies.

You DO NOT get to liken yourself to Serge, or Chris or any like minded objectivist in this. Unlike them, you have a dog in this fight; that makes me distrust your motives, even if I agree with your message.

narabdela
22-06-12, 12:35 AM
You are all alike, all angry little men, separated by ideologies.


I'm all for a healthy dose of cynicism, but that's OTT. :(

Mescalito
22-06-12, 12:40 AM
I trust no-one in this stinking cesspool of an 'industry' anymore. Everyone it seems is too busy having an agenda and attacking one another to actually attempt to progress things. If it's not you, it's Avondale. Or AVI. Or NVA. You are all alike, all angry little men, separated by ideologies.

You DO NOT get to liken yourself to Serge, or Chris or any like minded objectivist in this. Unlike them, you have a dog in this fight; that makes me distrust your motives, even if I agree with your message.

Personally, I don't give a toss if a contributor has a vested interest. I will read what he has to say, and unless he goes totally OTT pushing his commercial interest (Hi, Ashley!), gauge the worth of his standpoint or opinion on it's merit.

Arkless, as far as I have been able to ascertain, does not push his business in his general interactions on this forum. He occasionally posts a one liner in threads where someone has specifically asked for repair advice, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.


Chris

Barrymagrec
22-06-12, 12:55 AM
The suggestion that the opinions of anyone in the trade should be disregarded because of self interest would deny forum members of a huge amount of useful information that cannot be found elsewhwere. If any opinions should be ignored it is those of some who spout ignorant rubbish based on the assumption that nobody else knows anything.

Stunsworth
22-06-12, 01:29 AM
Everyone it seems is too busy having an agenda and attacking one another to actually attempt to progress things

That sort of thing has been going on for decades though - certainly since the Linn/Naim alliance in the 70s/80s where Naim dealers wouldn't sell you an amp unless you were using an LP12. Of course that all changed once Linn started manufacturing amplifiers.

I've sat through demos where the rep would be demonstrating the improvements between two pieces of kit and while the first one was playing he'd stand looking a bit glum, or at best disinterested, then when the 'better' bit of kit was playing there's be a smile and he's be tapping his foot. Pathetic really, but it probably persuaded some people that the second demo had nore 'rhythm' or 'pace'.

I've not read the Hifi press for over a decade but I bought a couple of issues of HiFi News recently because they were reviewing equipment I was interested in. To be honest they didn't seem that bad, though I'd have preferred there to be more record reviews.

As for Kessler, I'm ambivalent. I was never convinced he was really hearing all of the subtle differences that he claimed to be, certainly I never heard much difference between cabling for example, and he always seemed to love the big expensive American equipment that I assume he could buy at trade or less. Overall though I have to say I've enjoyed reading his articles - even if I often disagreed with him.

If nothing else this thread has persuaded me to dig out some of my old HiFi News from the 50s and 60s.

sonddek
22-06-12, 01:38 AM
Almost no-one buys stuff simply on the basis of how it performs from a technical standpoint these days; if they did, Apple would have gone out of business last century.

Apple have never been a hardware product company. They make their money from selling the hardware, but their product is software. People have kept buying Mac/Apple stuff over the years because they like the way the software works. In respect of HCI, it is arguable that Apple has always had a telling, and even technical, advantage over the main competitor, and that is what has kept it in business. If they had allowed Mac OS to run on IBM-compatible systems they would have gone out of business last century. So no, Apple doesn't suffer in performance comparison, precisely because performance is largely determined by HCI, and Apple users are impatient or wise or foolish enough to have worked this out.

narabdela
22-06-12, 01:44 AM
...and while the first one was playing he'd stand looking a bit glum, or at best disinterested, then when the 'better' bit of kit was playing there's be a smile and he's be tapping his foot.

"Uninterested", yes; but "disinterested" is exactly the opposite of what he was.

Stunsworth
22-06-12, 01:46 AM
"Uninterested", yes; but "disinterested" is exactly the opposite of what he was.

You are correct.

paskinn
22-06-12, 02:44 AM
My point is ''why be so destructive'? I know some of the hifi journalists...most are perfectly decent guys who do their best.Of course they pull their punches a bit, like every other form of consumer journalism.But there is still plenty of interest (at least for me) in these mags. Hi Fi News has loads of stuff about records etc. That's why I buy it.
It's the sheer vitriol directed at them which I find distasteful. Without the mags the hobby would just die completely..they are a vital part of it, 'comics' or not.How about a bit more generosity towards those with different views (perish the thought!)

Alan Sircom
22-06-12, 02:56 AM
I trust no-one in this stinking cesspool of an 'industry' anymore. Everyone it seems is too busy having an agenda and attacking one another to actually attempt to progress things. If it's not you, it's Avondale. Or AVI. Or NVA. You are all alike, all angry little men, separated by ideologies.

You DO NOT get to liken yourself to Serge, or Chris or any like minded objectivist in this. Unlike them, you have a dog in this fight; that makes me distrust your motives, even if I agree with your message.

While it's hardly in my interests to come to the defence of someone who thinks so little of what I do for a living, I think your antipathy toward hi-fi in general has clouded your judgment here.

You are absolutely correct that what someone does for a living should be taken into account (if it is relevant), but to dismiss their statements as agenda-driven simply because they are 'in the trade' is paranoid and potentially leads to nonsensical conclusions. In this case, I think you can omit the word 'potentially'.

-

I do take issue with one thing Arkless said. I don't think anyone who writes about audio is in it 'for the money', and that's potentially one of the problems with audio publishing today. Those who write about hi-fi today generally do so because they are enthusiasts, because if they weren't, they might kick off about the fact the rates we pay our writers have at best stayed the same for more than 20 years.

Those of us who worked in larger publishing houses (Dennis, Future, Haymarket, IPC) did get on-the-job training, some of us have branched out to survive, and like anyone we strive to improve our products by honing the required skills (which in today's publishing industry appear to be 'preventing copyright theft', 'not getting sued over a typo', 'learning how to do twice as much for half as much' and, specifically for hi-fi 'generating enthusiasm about anything). But most come to writing about hi-fi through a love of hi-fi.

busb
22-06-12, 03:03 AM
Perhaps some here should take up music as a "hobby" instead of HiFi. It's just a means to an end. I not suggesting for one moment that people should spend as little as possible but merely remember what it's for.

Plinius
22-06-12, 03:04 AM
Almost no-one buys stuff simply on the basis of how it performs from a technical standpoint these days; if they did, Apple would have gone out of business last century.

Whether or not they are comics, hi-fi is a review-led business. If enough people see the magazines as purveyors of expensive nonsense to the gullible, both the magazines and the hi-fi 'industry' dies, and dies fast.

It's a symbiotic relationship.

Of course, if the magazines are discredited, and the manufacturers don't have an outlet to show their products, who stands to benefit? The repairers!

Strange isn't it that things went from petty whining to 'bollocks' in the hands of a solder monkey.
Well he's right & you could not be more wrong.
The paranoid attack was not called for.

Mescalito
22-06-12, 03:08 AM
My point is ''why be so destructive'? I know some of the hifi journalists...most are perfectly decent guys who do their best.Of course they pull their punches a bit, like every other form of consumer journalism.But there is still plenty of interest (at least for me) in these mags. Hi Fi News has loads of stuff about records etc. That's why I buy it.
It's the sheer vitriol directed at them which I find distasteful. Without the mags the hobby would just die completely..they are a vital part of it, 'comics' or not.How about a bit more generosity towards those with different views (perish the thought!)

The hi fi comics have actually contributed a hell of a lot to the decline of the industry.

A newcomer or potential newcomer reading a review of a 500 kettle lead is going to take one look, burst out laughing & walk away shaking his head.

And most of them richly deserve the vitriol & ordure poured upon them. They routinely mislead & lie.

Chris

Robert
22-06-12, 03:31 AM
Good issue, especially as 'RobRistors' get discussed by Jim Lesurf in a piece on how to make your SS amp sound more tubelike :)

JohnW
22-06-12, 03:54 AM
Form his writing, I would say that Kessler's a pompous Ass! Always has been. Always will be.

Maybe he's different in person but I doubt it....


I still buy "the comics" though.

I remember during one Penta HiFi show for Pink triangle, Ken had such an outburst at me, we are talking about raving mad - I'd said nothing to trigger him off!!! - ever since then I've just consider him very much a "Pompous Ass".

And I don't care about stating my feelings in public - He'll not be getting any of my designs for review...!

John

JohnW
22-06-12, 03:57 AM
The hi fi comics have actually contributed a hell of a lot to the decline of the industry.

A newcomer or potential newcomer reading a review of a 500 kettle lead is going to take one look, burst out laughing & walk away shaking his head.

And most of them richly deserve the vitriol & ordure poured upon them. They routinely mislead & lie.

Chris

100% agree - no make that 200%!!!!

Sick, Sick, Sick....

Plutox
22-06-12, 04:19 AM
a piece on how to make your SS amp sound more tubelike :)

Why on earth would I want my nice, linear solid state amplifier to sound more "tube-like"? That's nearly as daft as all those people who think that good digital sounds more "analogue-like"!

JohnW
22-06-12, 04:20 AM
Why on earth would I want my nice, linear solid state amplifier to sound more "tube-like"? That's nearly as daft as all those people who think that good digital sounds more "analogue-like"!

Hey :)))) I'm one of those guys who targets my Digital designs to sound more "analogue-like"! :)

Joe P
22-06-12, 04:20 AM
Rob,

Good issue, especially as 'RobRistors' get discussed by Jim Lesurf in a piece on how to make your SS amp sound more tubelike :)
Neato mosquito. Did he call them RobRistors?

Joe

Alex M
22-06-12, 04:21 AM
Some interesting articles as usual including the story of the Mission speakers around 1980, group streamer test and Leema Elements DAC and Perreaux amp reviews.

The most revealing comment comes near the end of a Ken Kessler review of a 23,000 power amp from the Krell designer: "Thanks to a number of causes, I'm in a 'perfect storm' of financial woe...." (so won't be keeping the amp).

What, Ken Kessler's gone bust? The man who's been telling us for 25 years to buy super-bling American gear? The guy with a purpose-designed room full of 301s, 401s, Quads, Thorens, LS3s etc?

Now, let's see if I can find the connection....

Perhaps the BWFH has chucked him out at last...

Alex

Fox
22-06-12, 04:23 AM
You only have to listen to the lectures at the AES to hear that there are a lots of really careful committed practitioners of this intersection of science and art. I was given a series of lectures one of which included Rupert Neve (by martin of this parish) and a more charming, eloquent and gently thoughtful and insightful lecture on the current state of the industry in of digital audio one could not hope for. Not pimping his own stuff, not dissing anyone else's, just deep pragmatism and humour garnered from working a lifetime in the industry. Working though them I really don't think its fair to say the industry is full of charlatans. Sure you get the tent sellers at the outside gates... but thats ok you know where not to shop (or where to shop if you like that sort of thing).

It was inspiring and made me be *much* more careful with that DAC eugene.

sergeauckland
22-06-12, 04:24 AM
Why on earth would I want my nice, linear solid state amplifier to sound more "tube-like"? That's nearly as daft as all those people who think that good digital sounds more "analogue-like"!

I suspect that behind that article was Jim guffawing up his sleeve at those who pay large amounts of money for the "tube sound" when they could achieve the same with a 299 SS amp and a 2 ohm resistor.

S.

Fox
22-06-12, 04:31 AM
Actually you can do it with a $30 RTAS or AU plug in. There are several and you can dial in different levels of THD. I use them to grime up over-clean recordings that are just a little too similar to the sounds around them. Sparingly mind, I was taught to only go lo-fi when you have made the HiFi version and the end result feels wanting. Still not found a Tape Saturation plug in quite like a 7.5IPS Revox B77 with slightly off-aligned heads and an old tape. It'll come, some smarts will nail that modelling simulation and pop songs for half a decade will become all organic and earthy. I henceforth dub this movement the New Digital Laptop Folk Re-Revival.

You read it first on PFM.

Plutox
22-06-12, 04:35 AM
Hey :)))) I'm one of those guys who targets my Digital designs to sound more "analogue-like"! :)
When folks use that awful phrase, it usually appears to be in the context "analogue" == "gramophone". Of course there is absolutely nothing wrong with good analogue electronics - it has long been so far ahead of the capabilities of human hearing as not to matter i.e. my hearing (and more especially, my listening) is far more likely to vary from day to day than my power amplifiers.

But vinyl just sucks, in my view. Noisy, telephonic sound quality - limited bandwidth and, within that bandwidth, massive distortion. Ugh!

russel
22-06-12, 05:07 AM
"Thanks to a number of causes, I'm in a 'perfect storm' of financial woe...." (so won't be keeping the amp).

What, Ken Kessler's gone bust? The man who's been telling us for 25 years to buy super-bling American gear? The guy with a purpose-designed room full of 301s, 401s, Quads, Thorens, LS3s etc?

Now, let's see if I can find the connection....

Another way of looking at might be. "Good reviews are available for a discount as I am broke"

Beobloke
22-06-12, 05:10 AM
There was a time when good engineers such as Angus Mckenzie, Stanley Kelly, Donald Aldous et al were responsible for the majority of the copy published in UK hi fi magazines. Those days are long gone. There's Paul Miller and erm.... can't think of any others off hand.... must be some.
Most are career journalists who may well have worked for "Woodworker Monthly" or "Catering Today" or whatever before writing for hifi magazines

I can offer a degree in Electronic Engineering and a previous career in loudspeaker design, if that's any good to you?

Regarding 'Catering Today' - does it cover the process of catering or the end product? If the latter, do you have their contact details? I quite fancy doing a Beef Wellington group test, or discussing the best Hollandaise sauce for my Eggs Benedict....

;)

Stunsworth
22-06-12, 05:16 AM
I always liked Hi fi answers because it talked a lot of sense and seemed to cut out the nonsense

Errr, Jimmy Hughes?

I wonder how many people built Graham Holliman's infra-bass design. Schematic here...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Graham_Holliman_Velocity-Coupled_Infra_Bass_speaker_design.jpg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Graham_Holliman_Velocity-Coupled_Infra_Bass_speaker_design.jpg)

paskinn
22-06-12, 05:51 AM
Just a reminder that it was Ken Kessler who started the whole 'anacrophile' thing in Hi Fi News...that has been hughly influential. And. for example, just look at his article recently on the history of SME..even the factory think that pretty definitive.You don't have to like KK (I don't) to see that he has made rather more valuable contributions than some of the flat earthers who inhabit these threads.....

sergeauckland
22-06-12, 06:34 AM
Just a reminder that it was Ken Kessler who started the whole 'anacrophile' thing in Hi Fi News...that has been hughly influential. And. for example, just look at his article recently on the history of SME..even the factory think that pretty definitive.You don't have to like KK (I don't) to see that he has made rather more valuable contributions than some of the flat earthers who inhabit these threads.....

When I read HFN (which is the only HiFi mag I subscribe to), KK's articles are one of the first things I read. Whist I have no time for his subjective reviews, I do like his writing style, and if he ever wrote a novel, I would most probably buy it.

As something of an anacrophile myself, I do like to read about the great (and sometimes not to great) products of the past, the ones that either influenced my interest in HiFi, or that were technically interesting.

It was mentioned above that Magazines are now very largely reviews driven. That is the least interesting part of a HiFi (or any other) magazine for me, I'm much more interested in the history, the technology and of course the music reviews. Not so much for the reviewers' opinions, I care very little for those, but for making me aware of new releases or just reminding me of the existence of a certain recording. I've bought a fair number of reviewed recordings as the review drew my attention to it, sampled it on Spotify and bought it.

The great reviewers of the past like Angus McKenzie, Percy Wilson, Donald Aldous and the other belong to another era, when HiFi was a technical hobby, and largely objectively studied. The later subjective reviewers, started by Paul Messenger have set the current style. Alan Sircom has commented that people now can't be bothered with the numbers and graphs, and want to know "what it sounds like". I'm sure he's right, and will know what readers want far better than I do.

The irony, as far as I'm concerned is that today's equipment generally measures well, and the graphs and numbers do indeed look rather boring, as there's nothing much to show other than yet another transparent decent amplifier or CD player or whatever. As a consequence, these will sound pretty much the same, yet the subjective reviewer has to find some flowery prose to describe what is pretty unexciting. SO where does that leave the magazines? Reviewing ever more similar stuff or increasing the number of reviews of loudspeakers, cartridges and valves which at least give some diversity. And to think we all went away from valves in the late 60s and LPs in the early 80s to get away from diversity and have a uniformly better performance.

S.

Arkless Repairs
22-06-12, 07:25 AM
When I read HFN (which is the only HiFi mag I subscribe to), KK's articles are one of the first things I read. Whist I have no time for his subjective reviews, I do like his writing style, and if he ever wrote a novel, I would most probably buy it.

As something of an anacrophile myself, I do like to read about the great (and sometimes not to great) products of the past, the ones that either influenced my interest in HiFi, or that were technically interesting.

It was mentioned above that Magazines are now very largely reviews driven. That is the least interesting part of a HiFi (or any other) magazine for me, I'm much more interested in the history, the technology and of course the music reviews. Not so much for the reviewers' opinions, I care very little for those, but for making me aware of new releases or just reminding me of the existence of a certain recording. I've bought a fair number of reviewed recordings as the review drew my attention to it, sampled it on Spotify and bought it.

The great reviewers of the past like Angus McKenzie, Percy Wilson, Donald Aldous and the other belong to another era, when HiFi was a technical hobby, and largely objectively studied. The later subjective reviewers, started by Paul Messenger have set the current style. Alan Sircom has commented that people now can't be bothered with the numbers and graphs, and want to know "what it sounds like". I'm sure he's right, and will know what readers want far better than I do.

The irony, as far as I'm concerned is that today's equipment generally measures well, and the graphs and numbers do indeed look rather boring, as there's nothing much to show other than yet another transparent decent amplifier or CD player or whatever. As a consequence, these will sound pretty much the same, yet the subjective reviewer has to find some flowery prose to describe what is pretty unexciting. SO where does that leave the magazines? Reviewing ever more similar stuff or increasing the number of reviews of loudspeakers, cartridges and valves which at least give some diversity. And to think we all went away from valves in the late 60s and LPs in the early 80s to get away from diversity and have a uniformly better performance.

S.

I can't really disagree with any of that... well put. And I will say that Alan Sircom has garnered a certain respect from me by his very presence on this forum.

However.... The technical standards of the magazines have markedly dropped over the last 30 years or so. I very often see things written in the mags that are technically totally incorrect! Also I seen nostalgia type articles in which plenty of facts are wrong.... Pedantic? Maybe! :rolleyes:

The biggest problem for me though is the symbiotic relationship between the industry and the mags that someone mentioned earlier. A large percentage of a magazines profits no doubt come from advertising revenue, ergo they are not likely to give a poor review to a product that has a two page glossy ad in the same magazine...

Nor are they likely (possible vested interest alert! start grinding your axes!!) to give a rave review to a product from a small one man band company such as mine if that product is a rival for a similar product from one of their major advertisers (not that I've personally put that to the test before anyone asks)...
It would probably get something like "fairly competent at the price, may be just the ticket for the tastes of certain people but still has some way to go before this reviewer would put it on a par with the Cyrus xxxx or the Linn xxxx etc".
Of course if the small company can't afford to advertise in the magazine or to take the reviewer out to a swanky restaurant then being damned with feint praise (at best) is an even more likely outcome.... and yes I have seen this kind of thing in the industry.

Another issue is that even some of the most ridiculous snake oil products are unlikely to be slated, and possible purchasers warned off them, if the manufacturers are advertising in the mag... that would be bad for business...

I'm sure most readers of the comics have enough nous to work out all of the above for themselves and to read between the lines.... but not all!!

sergeauckland
22-06-12, 07:42 AM
I can't really disagree with any of that... well put. And I will say that Alan Sircom has garnered a certain respect from me by his very presence on this forum.

However.... The technical standards of the magazines have markedly dropped over the last 30 years or so. I very often see things written in the mags that are technically totally incorrect! Also I seen nostalgia type articles in which plenty of facts are wrong.... Pedantic? Maybe! :rolleyes:

The biggest problem for me though is the symbiotic relationship between the industry and the mags that someone mentioned earlier. A large percentage of a magazines profits no doubt come from advertising revenue, ergo they are not likely to give a poor review to a product that has a two page glossy ad in the same magazine...

Nor are they likely (possible vested interest alert! start grinding your axes!!) to give a rave review to a product from a small one man band company such as mine if that product is a rival for a similar product from one of their major advertisers (not that I've personally put that to the test before anyone asks)...
It would probably get something like "fairly competent at the price, may be just the ticket for the tastes of certain people but still has some way to go before this reviewer would put it on a par with the Cyrus xxxx or the Linn xxxx etc".
Of course if the small company can't afford to advertise in the magazine or to take the reviewer out to a swanky restaurant then being damned with feint praise (at best) is an even more likely outcome.... and yes I have seen this kind of thing in the industry.

Another issue is that even some of the most ridiculous snake oil products are unlikely to be slated, and possible purchasers warned off them, if the manufacturers are advertising in the mag... that would be bad for business...

I'm sure most readers of the comics have enough nous to work out all of the above for themselves and to read between the lines.... but not all!!

I too have aquired respect for Alan Sircom. He contributes very well to the Forum and it's very useful having that side of the Industry openly represented.

To take your comment about small companies further, it's not just small companies, but also large companies that don't play the Audiophile game that are seemingly disadvantaged. For example, in the latest HFN, they reviewed network players from 250 up to 1,300. Why wasn't the Squeezebox Touch included? Might it have anything to do with it at under 200 making the 1000players who do advertise look poor value?

Is Behringer ever included in a review of power amplifiers? They review plenty of amplifiers with far worse technical performance, at far higher prices, so why not Behringer? Anything to do with Behringer not advertising in HiFi mags?

I can't be sure that the absence of Logitech and Behringer advertising in HiFi magazines is directly correlated with their absence in reviews, but the suspicion is there.

Of course, if they did review these products, and the review was honest, then I can see a lot of complaints from those manufacturers that do advertise, so perhaps it shouldn't be any surprise.

S.

Beobloke
22-06-12, 07:46 AM
Nor are they likely (possible vested interest alert! start grinding your axes!!) to give a rave review to a product from a small one man band company such as mine if that product is a rival for a similar product from one of their major advertisers (not that I've personally put that to the test before anyone asks)...

Absolute rubbish (well, certainly from the perspective of the magazine I write for - I can't speak for others). In fact I have been very frustrated in the past by something from a small company arriving in my listening room, turning in a great performance and me saying so, and then no-one buying any! Very often it's the customers who like the reassurance of a well-known manufacturer's logo on the front panel of the products they buy, no matter how much we try and persuade them to consider widening their horizons a bit.

Equally however,(and please be sure that I am NOT referring to you here) we receive many 'bloke in a shed' type products that are truly dreadful, with the designers being, at best, enthusiastically misguided and, at worst, plain deluded.

Finally, and I realise that you and many others will probably not believe it but here goes anyway - advertising generally follows a good review. It does not precede it.

sq225917
22-06-12, 07:50 AM
The Touch had a full HFN review on it's launch, but like the Behringer gear it is largely stymied because they are not available in hifi retailers, only department stores and pro-shops respectively. So exactly the same reason you don't see Krell's latest cd player reviewed in Sound On Sound, it simply isn't the target audience.

sergeauckland
22-06-12, 08:00 AM
Absolute rubbish (well, certainly from the perspective of the magazine I write for - I can't speak for others). In fact I have been very frustrated in the past by something from a small company arriving in my listening room, turning in a great performance and me saying so, and then no-one buying any! Very often it's the customers who like the reassurance of a well-known manufacturer's logo on the front panel of the products they buy, no matter how much we try and persuade them to consider widening their horizons a bit.

Equally however,(and please be sure that I am NOT referring to you here) we receive many 'bloke in a shed' type products that are truly dreadful, with the designers being, at best, enthusiastically misguided and, at worst, plain deluded.

Finally, and I realise that you and many others will probably not believe it but here goes anyway - advertising generally follows a good review. It does not precede it.

In my days in the Audio industry, both as a HiFi dealer in the 1980s, and more recently as a distributor of Broadcast Equipment, I can definitely sympathise with the "man in a shed" issue. In some cases it was even many men in large sheds, but the result was the same, products that didn't work, poorly documented, overpriced and under specified, no infrastructure for support and so on, and yet the designers were so committed, so enthusiastic and so deluded that the product could sell. We always tried to support new start-ups, or small companies wanting to expand their distribution as those that we could help to became successful would help make us succesful, a mutually beneficial arrangement, but had to turn away more than we took on. Sometimes the products were superb, ADAM for instance, but we were the wrong distributor, and helped them or encouraged them to find somebody more suited. Other times, well let's not go there.

As to the final paragraph, I recall offers of great reviews in exchange for later advertising by some publications, so indeed, the advertising might have followed the review, but the booking and writing of the review was definitely with advertising in mind....of course a lot was made of the separation between editorial and advertising, that editorial space wasn't conditional on advertising, but I didn't believe it then and don't know if it's any better now.

S.

Darth Vader
22-06-12, 08:03 AM
When folks use that awful phrase, it usually appears to be in the context "analogue" == "gramophone". Of course there is absolutely nothing wrong with good analogue electronics - it has long been so far ahead of the capabilities of human hearing as not to matter i.e. my hearing (and more especially, my listening) is far more likely to vary from day to day than my power amplifiers.

But vinyl just sucks, in my view. Noisy, telephonic sound quality - limited bandwidth and, within that bandwidth, massive distortion. Ugh!

Assuming that that comment is not meant to be tongue-in-cheek I think that you owe it to yourself to try and get a listen to a high quality vinyl playing system. I think you'll be amazed of what vinyl is capable.

Cheers,

DV

PS my fave HiFi mags were TFR and HFR both gone to that great pulper in the sky.

daytona600
22-06-12, 08:04 AM
gave up reading hifi mags & visiting dealers many many years ago
they just want your dosh
my ears must be diiferent as all my kit never gets a review anyway
spend your money on music instead

337alant
22-06-12, 08:07 AM
Well I still do like to read the hifi mags HFN and HFW it keeps me up to speed with new products and I like the reviews of vintage kit in HFN.
I dont buy stuff based on their review but it gives you an idea what to shortlist or whats available if you are looking for a certain type of product.
Anyway most of my hifi is DIY anyway of which I have learned more by being a member of PFM DIY than reading any magazine, but it was an audio conversions magazine that started me off bodging:rolleyes::D

Alan

Joe Hutch
22-06-12, 08:14 AM
I carry on buying HiFi Plus, though increasingly I wonder why, as it always seems to review products from the same manufacturers (eg there's a Conrad-Johnson review in almost every issue) and the music pages aren't what they were. Better than the rest by a country mile though.

sergeauckland
22-06-12, 08:24 AM
The Touch had a full HFN review on it's launch, but like the Behringer gear it is largely stymied because they are not available in hifi retailers, only department stores and pro-shops respectively. So exactly the same reason you don't see Krell's latest cd player reviewed in Sound On Sound, it simply isn't the target audience.

Given how much business is done on-line these days, does it matter where physically an SBT or Behringer product is sold? I bought my SBT from the on-line department of a HiFi shop, I bought all my Behringer kit on-line from various MI dealers, Either way, I haven't walked into a bricks & mortar dealer of any sort for 20+ years.

Whilst the Krell CD player may not be of interest to a SoS reader, the SBT is certainly of interest to HiFi mag readers as so many of us here have them. There's also a fair amount of interest on here of "pro" sector products, especially active 'speakers and amplifiers, so I find it hard to understand why HiFi magazines don't give them more prominence if it's not anything to do with advertising and upsetting existing advertisers.

PS, can you remember when HFN reviewed the SBT? I have HFN going back some 13 years and don't recall it.

S.

Arkless Repairs
22-06-12, 08:29 AM
Absolute rubbish (well, certainly from the perspective of the magazine I write for - I can't speak for others). In fact I have been very frustrated in the past by something from a small company arriving in my listening room, turning in a great performance and me saying so, and then no-one buying any! Very often it's the customers who like the reassurance of a well-known manufacturer's logo on the front panel of the products they buy, no matter how much we try and persuade them to consider widening their horizons a bit.

Equally however,(and please be sure that I am NOT referring to you here) we receive many 'bloke in a shed' type products that are truly dreadful, with the designers being, at best, enthusiastically misguided and, at worst, plain deluded.

Finally, and I realise that you and many others will probably not believe it but here goes anyway - advertising generally follows a good review. It does not precede it.

Can't say I was aware that you were a hifi journalist... Had wondered about such an allusion in one of your previous posts! Who do you write for?

Brand snobbery is certainly a major problem for any new, small manufacturer in a wide range of industries making aspirational products. It is also probably the most sought after factor for any manufacturer to acquire!
The old pulling the girl/impressing your mates by dangling the Ferrari key fob bit ain't gonna work if you have bought an equally fast and fine handling car from a new start up (and unheard of) manufacturer.
Unfortunately for small companies, the sort of kudos attached to firms such as Ferrari, Porsch, Rolex and yes Linn, Naim and Bang & Olufsen comes only after many years of advertising campaigns, reviews and market presence....
One can imagine a certain type of Hi-Fi enthusiast telling another (with a certain smug, self satisfied look on his face), that he has just bought a Krell... or an Audio Research or an Audio Note... But it probably wouldn't work (yet!...) with an Arkless! :)

Maybe I'll have to send you one of my products for review if you are truly so brand neutral and encouraging of new products.... That's if I ever make enough from repairs etc to turn one of the many prototypes into a saleable product.... In the present economic climate that could be some time :(

Purite Audio
22-06-12, 08:32 AM
Print magazines in every sector are dying ,it is just a matter of time.
Keith.

Beobloke
22-06-12, 08:47 AM
Can't say I was aware that you were a hifi journalist... Had wondered about such an allusion in one of your previous posts! Who do you write for?


Hi-Fi World.

And if you want to send a product in, just let me know which Michelin-starred restaurant you'll be buying me dinner at to discuss it and we'll take it from there... ;)

Arkless Repairs
22-06-12, 09:09 AM
Hi-Fi World.

And if you want to send a product in, just let me know which Michelin-starred restaurant you'll be buying me dinner at to discuss it and we'll take it from there... ;)

I would take that as 100% only joking if I hadn't previous experience of such things! :D

So behind your pseudonym you would be?

I contacted HFW some years ago with a view to my writing a/some technical articles and/or technical based nostalgia type articles... obviously with a by line and my business contact details at the end of the article, in just the same way as Haden Boardman and Graeme Tricker (amongst others) had previously done. I'm sure it must have brought in a considerable amount of business for them!
I was told "we don't do advertorial articles", whereupon I pointed out the previous articles of exactly the same nature as the ones I was proposing... and was basically told to bugger off! I'm guessing that was an example of it being "not what you know but who you know" in action! :D
Anyway that's in the past...

Beobloke
22-06-12, 09:40 AM
So behind your pseudonym you would be?


Adam Smith. Righter of wrongs and owner of far too many turntables...

Robert
22-06-12, 09:44 AM
Nor are they likely (possible vested interest alert! start grinding your axes!!) to give a rave review to a product from a small one man band company such as mine if that product is a rival for a similar product from one of their major advertisers (not that I've personally put that to the test before anyone asks)...



I often read this but can say from experience that it is completely wrong.

We've had stuff reviewed very favourably in Plus, World and Critic without ever handing over a penny for advertising.

In fact there is a review in World this month of a competitor product selling at a considerably higher price tag, where there is constant reference to our product which got a better review about two years ago.

It's very easy to assume the worst where magazines are concerned and perhaps there have been abuses, but I've not seen them.

Robert
22-06-12, 09:50 AM
Given how much business is done on-line these days, does it matter where physically an SBT or Behringer product is sold? I bought my SBT from the on-line department of a HiFi shop, I bought all my Behringer kit on-line from various MI dealers, Either way, I haven't walked into a bricks & mortar dealer of any sort for 20+ years.

Whilst the Krell CD player may not be of interest to a SoS reader, the SBT is certainly of interest to HiFi mag readers as so many of us here have them. There's also a fair amount of interest on here of "pro" sector products, especially active 'speakers and amplifiers, so I find it hard to understand why HiFi magazines don't give them more prominence if it's not anything to do with advertising and upsetting existing advertisers.

PS, can you remember when HFN reviewed the SBT? I have HFN going back some 13 years and don't recall it.

S.

Hi-Fi World also reviewed the Touch recently.

Arkless Repairs
22-06-12, 12:04 PM
I often read this but can say from experience that it is completely wrong.

We've had stuff reviewed very favourably in Plus, World and Critic without ever handing over a penny for advertising.

In fact there is a review in World this month of a competitor product selling at a considerably higher price tag, where there is constant reference to our product which got a better review about two years ago.

It's very easy to assume the worst where magazines are concerned and perhaps there have been abuses, but I've not seen them.

I'm glad that your experiences have been positive on this front and hope that the worst excesses of this sort of thing are consigned to the past. I have however witnessed the dark side of these shenanigans and (no names no pack drill) was in the position of having it strongly hinted to me that I would be much more likely to get a good review if the reviewer was allowed to keep the review sample in the not so dim and distant past :( Being someone who is often too honest for his own good, I told the person concerned where to shove it a manner that will certainly have burnt that bridge to a cinder :o

jay
22-06-12, 12:25 PM
Apple have never been a hardware product company. They make their money from selling the hardware, but their product is software.

Yeah, we'll, I'm going to have to disagree with you there.

What Apple got/get right is the combination of software and hardware that made their products/services work for people in the way they like/want. They are not a "hardware" or "software" company as such, those are purely means to an end in delivering something customers will pay for.

Peez
22-06-12, 02:09 PM
Print magazines in every sector are dying ,it is just a matter of time.
Keith.

some of the robust titles will simply evolve - print will die because we will allow tech to kill it - but the appetite for the content will remain - even if method of delivery alters - just look at youtube moving into TV proper - or the soon to be outdated name for a day off - bank holiday - with mobile banking etc the term is void but people still want the day off.


Hi fi will evolve also - politics and economics will affect appetite and it will be interesting to see whether less income drives demand in quality and things with "perceived "substance"

Alan Sircom
22-06-12, 04:57 PM
I'm glad that your experiences have been positive on this front and hope that the worst excesses of this sort of thing are consigned to the past. I have however witnessed the dark side of these shenanigans and (no names no pack drill) was in the position of having it strongly hinted to me that I would be much more likely to get a good review if the reviewer was allowed to keep the review sample in the not so dim and distant past :( Being someone who is often too honest for his own good, I told the person concerned where to shove it a manner that will certainly have burnt that bridge to a cinder :o

Given that over the past 20 years I have pretty much worked for every hi-fi title in the UK (except What Hi-Fi, although it offered me a job), what you have described is a sackable offence for all of them.

It's also a small enough business that if we knew someone was 'on the take', we'd know who was not playing fair and the person would be dropped.

I'm not saying this couldn't or didn't happen, but such things are the (very rare) exception, not the norm.

DAVEDWACK
22-06-12, 05:27 PM
Post of the month for me!

Well said that man.....respect!

Cheers,

Dave

Jodet
22-06-12, 09:10 PM
KK is still alive? Good for him. His review of the LS3/5a in, what, 1979? made a big impression on me. I still have a pair.

And a pair of Quad 57's. I like his pair in gold.

337alant
22-06-12, 11:00 PM
I'm glad that your experiences have been positive on this front and hope that the worst excesses of this sort of thing are consigned to the past. I have however witnessed the dark side of these shenanigans and (no names no pack drill) was in the position of having it strongly hinted to me that I would be much more likely to get a good review if the reviewer was allowed to keep the review sample in the not so dim and distant past :( Being someone who is often too honest for his own good, I told the person concerned where to shove it a manner that will certainly have burnt that bridge to a cinder :o
LOL :D, I work in a country where you can't get a Taxi without bunging someone :rolleyes:
Alan

337alant
22-06-12, 11:05 PM
I often read this but can say from experience that it is completely wrong.

We've had stuff reviewed very favourably in Plus, World and Critic without ever handing over a penny for advertising.

In fact there is a review in World this month of a competitor product selling at a considerably higher price tag, where there is constant reference to our product which got a better review about two years ago.

It's very easy to assume the worst where magazines are concerned and perhaps there have been abuses, but I've not seen them.

Robert
I read that review of those speakers (clones) that looked exactly like the audio smile speakers but at 3 times the price and not as good as yours I cant see them selling very many :rolleyes:
Looks like it was was a free punt for Audio Smile IMO ;)
Alan

Chris M
23-06-12, 12:02 AM
Just a reminder that it was Ken Kessler who started the whole 'anacrophile' thing in Hi Fi News...that has been hughly influential. And. for example, just look at his article recently on the history of SME..even the factory think that pretty definitive.You don't have to like KK (I don't) to see that he has made rather more valuable contributions than some of the flat earthers who inhabit these threads.....

Absolutely, I like his writing too, and massively appreciate his knowledge on hifi and music (though some of his journalistic tics are irritating, especially the way he always has to come out with some hyperbolic witticism at the end of a review). I was more concerned about the weird disconnect between the promoting of bling hifi, and an inability to manage one's finances. Happens to anyone I guess.

Adam S mentioned products he's reviewed which don't sell at all. Don't blame the potential consumer - it's the other disconnect, the retail chain, that's the problem. 40 years ago there was always somewhere you could hear these new products; now retailers are reluctant to stock, lend, demonstrate (yes). Understandably in some ways. Ergo - no sales.

sq225917
23-06-12, 12:12 AM
Given how much business is done on-line these days, does it matter where physically an SBT or Behringer product is sold? I bought my SBT from the on-line department of a HiFi shop, I bought all my Behringer kit on-line from various MI dealers, Either way, I haven't walked into a bricks & mortar dealer of any sort for 20+ years.

Whilst the Krell CD player may not be of interest to a SoS reader, the SBT is certainly of interest to HiFi mag readers as so many of us here have them. There's also a fair amount of interest on here of "pro" sector products, especially active 'speakers and amplifiers, so I find it hard to understand why HiFi magazines don't give them more prominence if it's not anything to do with advertising and upsetting existing advertisers.

PS, can you remember when HFN reviewed the SBT? I have HFN going back some 13 years and don't recall it.

S.

I understand your viewpoint, but it ignores the basic fact tht hifi magazines are there to support the 'hifi industry' (as they see it), and the SBT is a consumer good, not a piece of hifi sold in hifi shops. I agree it's a shortsighted worldview.

Sue Pertwee-Tyr
23-06-12, 03:01 AM
Adam S mentioned products he's reviewed which don't sell at all. Don't blame the potential consumer - it's the other disconnect, the retail chain, that's the problem. 40 years ago there was always somewhere you could hear these new products; now retailers are reluctant to stock, lend, demonstrate (yes). Understandably in some ways. Ergo - no sales.

Hands up anybody who's gone to a dealer, sat through a dem on a product, then gone online to see if they can get it cheaper, or secondhand?

That's why dealers are stocking less and less product. We get what we deserve.

Joe Hutch
23-06-12, 03:08 AM
Hands up anybody who's gone to a dealer, sat through a dem on a product, then gone online to see if they can get it cheaper, or secondhand?


Not me; I actually feel guilty if I don't buy the product being demo'ed!

Sue Pertwee-Tyr
23-06-12, 03:25 AM
Hurrah! Buy that man a pint. :D

Robert
23-06-12, 05:31 AM
Robert
I read that review of those speakers (clones) that looked exactly like the audio smile speakers but at 3 times the price and not as good as yours I cant see them selling very many :rolleyes:
Looks like it was was a free punt for Audio Smile IMO ;)
Alan

Yes, we are dead chuffed :)

Alan Sircom
23-06-12, 05:32 AM
I understand your viewpoint, but it ignores the basic fact tht hifi magazines are there to support the 'hifi industry' (as they see it), and the SBT is a consumer good, not a piece of hifi sold in hifi shops. I agree it's a shortsighted worldview.

But we've not ignored it. We've all reviewed it, and no review has been anything less than positive about the SBT. I wouldn't have bought one were it not a good device.

Given that a lot of hi-fi stores stock SBTs, Sonos and Cocktail Audios (as well as Meridian-Sooloos, Linn and Naim), I think you might be confusing what you think is happening with what is actually happening. Yes, some are still in the dark ages, some will remain there until the store closes down or someone dies and some cut off their own nose to spite their face and only deal with the hi-fi approved stuff, but most of us are acutely aware the world has changed.

Audio Images
23-06-12, 05:45 AM
we will carry on just selling gramaphones,black and white tv,s, hardback books, h&e magazines and airfix kits. its the future!

Alan Sircom
23-06-12, 06:13 AM
we will carry on just selling gramaphones,black and white tv,s, hardback books, h&e magazines and airfix kits. its the future!

How very modern. I'm thinking of changing the name of the magazine to What Henge. Neolithic retro is the new black.

Sue Pertwee-Tyr
23-06-12, 06:39 AM
How very modern. I'm thinking of changing the name of the magazine to What Henge.

I trust you'll be reviewing the Rock Reference.

Arkless Repairs
23-06-12, 06:43 AM
:o....

Alan Sircom
23-06-12, 06:47 AM
I trust you'll be reviewing the Rock Reference.

Stone me, I didn't think of that!

Sue Pertwee-Tyr
23-06-12, 06:47 AM
Will you be building a mega lithening room?

Arkless Repairs
23-06-12, 07:40 AM
To house AAD Solstice speakers maybe? :D (anyone remember them?)

Stunsworth
23-06-12, 07:47 AM
Sounds like there'll be 5 star reviews for Roxsan.

Jodet
24-06-12, 10:47 AM
Just a reminder that it was Ken Kessler who started the whole 'anacrophile' thing in Hi Fi News...that has been hughly influential. And. for example, just look at his article recently on the history of SME..even the factory think that pretty definitive.You don't have to like KK (I don't) to see that he has made rather more valuable contributions than some of the flat earthers who inhabit these threads.....

+ 1

Jodet
24-06-12, 10:52 AM
Just remembered my favorite KK quote:

'I'd rather listen to Sam & Dave over the phone than Dire Straights live'.

sergeauckland
24-06-12, 11:45 AM
I understand your viewpoint, but it ignores the basic fact tht hifi magazines are there to support the 'hifi industry' (as they see it), and the SBT is a consumer good, not a piece of hifi sold in hifi shops. I agree it's a shortsighted worldview.

Whilst I take your point, how does an SBT differ from the Linn box or aim box or Musical Fideity Box other than price? With the exception of a few functions, the basic purpose of these boxes is the same, so why the rather large price difference and the rather greater prominence of Linn and Naim rather than Logitech? Linn and Naim are HiFi brands and advertise in HiFi magazines. Logitech is an IT brand and doesn't.

Any other correlation?

S.

sergeauckland
24-06-12, 11:50 AM
Hands up anybody who's gone to a dealer, sat through a dem on a product, then gone online to see if they can get it cheaper, or secondhand?

That's why dealers are stocking less and less product. We get what we deserve.

To me that's completely immoral. If I wanted the cheapest price, and I usually do, then I wouldn't dream of asking for a demo. Just unacceptable.

I know it will never fly, but I'm in favour of Dealers charging for demos, refnded against a purchase. Some years ago, I was looking for a new kitchen and I paid IMF 50 for a quote, refundable against a purchase. I didn't buy from them as they didn't do what I wanted, but competely agreed with their point of view.

S.

dave
24-06-12, 12:46 PM
To me that's completely immoral. If I wanted the cheapest price, and I usually do, then I wouldn't dream of asking for a demo. Just unacceptable.


S.

Seconded...I caught my wife doing this once and she stopped it immediately once I explained how she'd essentially stolen someone's paycheck.

Sue Pertwee-Tyr
24-06-12, 01:44 PM
Completely with you on this one, guys.

Sadly, I suspect we are in a minority and how we behave doesn't change the current economics of being a hifi dealer.

dave
24-06-12, 01:49 PM
Cheers Steve,

The best we can do is bring it to everyone's attention...if it opens one person's eyes it was worth it.

Glad I'm out of the sales field....

regards,

dave

sq225917
24-06-12, 02:06 PM
Serge, no that's it entirely, it's a marketing distinction for the manufacturers. There's no functional difference between them - but it sure exists in the minds of Hifi retailers who cannot get an account to stock the SBT and the magazines that those retailers advertise in.

Robert
24-06-12, 02:17 PM
Whilst I take your point, how does an SBT differ from the Linn box or aim box or Musical Fideity Box other than price? With the exception of a few functions, the basic purpose of these boxes is the same, so why the rather large price difference and the rather greater prominence of Linn and Naim rather than Logitech? Linn and Naim are HiFi brands and advertise in HiFi magazines. Logitech is an IT brand and doesn't.

Any other correlation?

S.

I'd be interested to see the numbers for audiophiles using a solution such as SBT or Apple AE relative to say a high end streamer from Linn, Cyrus, Naim or whoever. If what we read in recent months is any indication I think the numbers would be fairly close. That's important IMO as it shows that some of the old prejudices and dare I say snobbery is breaking down.

I'm not saying we want to lower the quality bar, but encouraging people to look rather further than the usual handful of audiophile solutions has to be a good thing.

We're certainly seeing it with loudspeakers in recent years too, with more people prepared to investigate active Pro audio solutions alongside the traditional domestic offerings.

AndyU
24-06-12, 03:12 PM
Whilst I take your point, how does an SBT differ from the Linn box or aim box or Musical Fideity Box other than price? With the exception of a few functions, the basic purpose of these boxes is the same, so why the rather large price difference and the rather greater prominence of Linn and Naim rather than Logitech? Linn and Naim are HiFi brands and advertise in HiFi magazines. Logitech is an IT brand and doesn't.

Any other correlation?

S.

The Logitech Transporter is/was hundreds of pounds more than Linn's entry level DS.

sq225917
24-06-12, 04:25 PM
And Linns top end product was thousands of pounds more than Logitech's entry product. What point were you trying to make?

AndyU
24-06-12, 04:43 PM
.. You can't argue as serge seemed to be doing that the SBT is cheaper than the Linn/Musical Fidelity stuff because Linn and MF are hifi brands and Logitech is an IT brand. Logitech make a streamer that sells for way over a thousand pounds - comfortably more than some Linn and most MF comparable boxes.

James
24-06-12, 05:39 PM
To me that's completely immoral. If I wanted the cheapest price, and I usually do, then I wouldn't dream of asking for a demo. Just unacceptable.
Does this explain why you're more interested in objective specifications rather than subjective performance?

;)

Robert
24-06-12, 06:28 PM
Does this explain why you're more interested in objective specifications rather than subjective performance?

;)

He understands the relevance of key audio specifications to sound quality, which makes a demo unnecessary in most cases.

The performance of an amplifier or dac can be determined solely by the numbers.
Just circuits in a box which obey known rules.


Logitech make a streamer that sells for way over a thousand pounds - comfortably more than some Linn and most MF comparable boxes.

Been out of production for a while. Poor seller and not very popular so I don't think it broke through the barrier. Superfi ended up flogging them cheap to clear.
Certainly nobody seems to talk about them.
The badge certainly won't have helped it in the audiophile market and it was too expensive for a relatively feature poor unit in the wider market.

Something else to consider is that the Logitech bought Slim, and that Slim were a little more audio focused and that's why you got the Transporter in the first place.
Logitech certainly wouldn't have built it, and you won't see them introduce an audiophile version of the SBT selling for a lot more.

timhum
25-06-12, 12:31 AM
I have not followed all this thread but wish to add a couple of points about Hi-Fi retail. No names to protect the guilty.
I have been following the progress of a mate who has just started in a Hi-Fi shop. He is on 4 per hour + commission. It is legal to do this because the pay is automatically bumped up to the National Minimum Wage should the commission not increase the wage packet to that level. Of course, if this happens, the worker is made to feel not too secure in his job!
Customers come in and ask for a demonstration, ask a thousand questions, usually exposing their ignorance of anything more complicated than an electric toothbrush, stay an hour and ask for a discount at the end of the wearying rigmarole. The commission is the only way to bump up the very low wages and if discount is offered, the commission suffers first of course so it is unlikely that will happen.
Of course the sales assistant can see this senario unfolding from the outset but has to see it through, it is the job. No wonder sometimes sales assistants take the p**s and try to add cables, stands, usless accessories etc. They are only human.
Some people have a culture of never paying the marked price. Again, he sees that in them from the outset, he also spots customers with money in their pocket, the need to be advised well and who want to walk out of the shop with something they are happy with, this also happens and keeps him relatively sane.
It has changed my outlook on these guys who must hear "it is cheaper on the internet" and "whats your best price", "can you throw the speakers in for free" many times a day. He has risen to the bait a few times and responded with "try that at Tescos" but recently has gained much satisfaction in turning the situation around and making a sale where all the purchaser wanted to do was make a deal. He keeps his commission, the purchaser wonders what has hit him and the smile is on the face of the tiger as the limerick goes.
Personally, I have found myself tipping more generously, being even more respectful and conversational as a customer and as long as the sales assistant knows his stuff and does not BS me, happy to be a customer.

sq225917
25-06-12, 12:52 AM
I'd go along with Rob's statement, Logitech aren't a hifi company, Slim devices were on the cusp. But that has nothing to do with the price of the SBT, mass production and volume sales is what controls the cost of the SBT, that the Transporter was more expensive is neither here nor there, neither of the products were sold through hifi retailers and as such broadly outside the scope of most 'retarded' hifi magazines.

sergeauckland
25-06-12, 02:11 AM
I'd go along with Rob's statement, Logitech aren't a hifi company, Slim devices were on the cusp. But that has nothing to do with the price of the SBT, mass production and volume sales is what controls the cost of the SBT, that the Transporter was more expensive is neither here nor there, neither of the products were sold through hifi retailers and as such broadly outside the scope of most 'retarded' hifi magazines.

Interesting. So what is a HiFi company? Someone who makes something no better than the non HiFi company but charges the audiophile premium?

S

Barrymagrec
25-06-12, 02:17 AM
Garrard weren`t a Hi Fi company in the fifties and sixties, most of their output was cheap autochangers - but they also made the 301 / 401....

Robert
25-06-12, 02:58 AM
Interesting. So what is a HiFi company? Someone who makes something no better than the non HiFi company but charges the audiophile premium?

S

I would say there are two things that differentiate a hi-fi company from a general audio/AV/gadget/computer company.

The first is the target audience.
Hi-Fi companies will be targeting a small niche, and a very small niche indeed in the case of the more esoteric companies.

The second is product focus.
Products designed for the reproduction of music are the main focus and production. This blurs with the larger Japanese companies in particular but they will often have clear divisions within the company, so for example Sony with the Esprit and ES divisions.

This doesn't mean that a company in the first category cannot produce something truly excellent in terms of audio performance - the SBT is a clear example taking onboard the Slim/Logitech issue above.
The outputs of many PC sound cards are also extremely good and comparable to many audiophile branded dacs. So with performance it usually pays to park any preconceived ideas about these things at the door.

Where is gets interesting is that I think the lines are blurring with each year.
Cambridge Audio are a good example who've built their reputation supplying good audio to audiophiles at low cost, but they've been progressively widening their market with the addition of kit designed to appeal across a much broader market.
Arcam show signs of doing the same with products designed for iPods, iPads, and such like. Of course it permeates up into the 'premium' brands too but you'll see this blurring of the line far more at the budget end of the market.

337alant
25-06-12, 04:08 AM
Interesting. So what is a HiFi company? Someone who makes something no better than the non HiFi company but charges the audiophile premium?

S
I think you may have just hit the nail on the head there serge;)

DACs for me are way over priced for what is in the box, these compaies are only taking a stock type of DAC layout say a WM8741 and putting it in a box with a power supply if you are lucky, a wallwart if you are not and charging mega bucks my Young Dac is a prime example of that.
Have a look at this DAC and tell me how much a HIFI company would charge if they made them with a nice dual supply like this one has ?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/120870273244?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649
Wait till ASUS start making HIFI products my Xonar HDAV 1.3 sound card has 7 burr brown dacs and this cost 100 quid.
Rant over :D
Alan