Hi Dave:

First of all, yes it's now fixed and thanks!

I should have added to my previous post, I don't have as much of a beef with the subjective 
reviewers if they back up their aural impressions with some detailed technical knowledge. Gordon 
Holt, the guy who invented this kind of equipment reviewing, was able to do that. Most of these guys 
today just parrot the marketing language from the companies. It's always educational to have open 
the web page of the manufacturer when reading these reviews, you sometimes see text lifted right out 
of the marketing blurbs, especially regarding what sorts of a allegedly "special" parts are used.

It's surprising to me, at this late date, that there aren't agreed-upon parameters to watch when 
reviewing specific pieces of home-listening equipment. For instance, with turntables, that "black 
background" term I hear bandied about really means low rumble and a tonearm that doesn't resonate, 
so test for rumble and tonearm resonances. With digital gear, that "cold" or "brittle" quality is 
usually related to jitter or a junky analog stage after the DAC getting overloaded by digital zero, 
so test for that. It can also be related to the DAC's brick-wall filtering, which can also be tested 
for ringing and other distortions. With amplifiers, almost all audible problems have to do with 
cross-over distortion, bad gain structuring or a power supply that can't give the current when it's 
needed. With tube amplifiers, you want to look closely at phase shifting in the transformers, 
harmonics (whether euphonic or not) and power supply ability to provide peak power without 
"sagging." Speakers are a whole other matter. Phono cartridges are another matter but are more 
testable than speakers (such things as compliance when mounted properly on a given tonearm, 
adherance to the RIAA curve with a given preamp, ability to track and reproduce both wide and deep 
(loud) grooves and high and tight (soft) grooves, etc). With speakers, I'd argue that there is no 
review that is useful to anyone because how any speaker will behave in a given room with a given 
amplifier, and how it's placed and aimed, is something only tested by one's self in one's own 
listening room. Headphones are also something very hard to quantify in words.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dave Cawley" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, October 11, 2013 7:04 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] a prime case of why subjective reviews of audio gear are USELESS

> From:  Dave Cawley
> Dartmouth  United Kingdom
> Hi Tom
> Rely to fixed (again), although it is really a server issue............
> I agree with all you say, especially the midnight part !  However some magazines do no testing at 
> all.  Image a car magazine not testing 0-60 and top speed ?
> Dave