Massdrop: Search Your Feelings

Discussion in 'Random Thoughts' started by HitmanFluffy, Nov 24, 2017.

  1. Vansen

    Vansen Gear Master (retiring)

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  2. Kunlun

    Kunlun cat-alyzes cat-aclysmic cat-erwauling - Friend

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    The HIV positive version of OJneg?

    I kid, I kid.

    If you are actually Oj then welcome back.

    If this conversation leads to even more openness to how things are done on SBAF (already pretty darn open), then it's all to the good.

    And looking at Vansen's post above mine, Massdrop may open up to more loaners for us, which is also very good.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
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  3. OJpos

    OJpos Acquaintance

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    Hey guys I think I figured it out. Next time you read someone's review of some equipment that you might be interested, do not take what they say as prescriptive and wholly authoritative. Use your familiarity with the person's preferences and parse the language for any relevant information that can inform YOUR decision. You will undoubtedly come across opinions on the web that you don't agree with. You may also find outright shills who are attempting to mislead or otherwise fool you. But if you apply the standard set forth above in an iterative fashion (more reviews, more questioning, your own personal experience) you can end up somewhere that just might be closer to the truth.
     
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  4. DigMe

    DigMe Needs a baby bottle

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    This thread has given me a lot to chew on and I have to thank @SteelCannon for raising some of those things. I suspect that if he sits back and honestly considers all the back and forth it has probably given him and everyone else some things to consider as well regardless of where you land on MD.

    Looking back I think that SBAF has been fairly responsible with its MD connection. I don't see where anyone has shilled things that turned out to be crap (though I've only been here less than 2 years) and I do see instances where it was made clear that something is not good. And Vansen has provided a long list of MD products that made it to the loaner list.

    I also noticed independently of others the incredible hype wave ridden by the Jot and the ensuing criticisms that only came later. I hope for the sake of all of our SBAF purchasers that this doesn't become the case with the ZDTj.

    Re: MD driving small business out of business. This has been an objection at every turn for years and years starting with the clever production techniques of Henry Ford and machining in general, later the spread of Wal-mart, then the internet, then amazon and EBay, etc, etc... the truth is that yes, businesses that don't offer some benefit to the customer whether it be excellent service, loyalty to the community, low prices, craftsmanship, convenience cost, or whatever have gone out of business. For every one of those that have gone out of business there are thousands of customers who have benefitted from having greater access than they had before. There are also plenty of small-businesses who have thrived by adapting their model and providing things that the other guys can't such as excellent knowledgeable customer service or quality. I can think of many examples of this and of small businesses that continue to thrive both locally and on the internet because they've adapted to the marketplace. All of this is simply the way of the free market. Love it or leave it. Peace.
     
  5. Stapsy

    Stapsy Friend

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    This x 1000

    These are guys on an audio forum, not your own personal audio guru's. If you really have an issue with something they recommend, then take that into consideration when reading their reviews the next time. Nobody is forcing anybody to buy this stuff.

    We all hear things differently and have different priorities. I guarantee everyone who has been in this hobby has bought things they regret. Use it as a learning experience and try not to make the same mistakes the next time. We have the opportunity to interact with the reviewers and ask questions. Be specific about what you want to know and you will get better recommendations. Learn how to speak the language and you will be better able to make an informed decision.

    The beauty of a forum is that the users have a direct impact on the content. Take advantage of that ability and provide meaningful discussion instead of buying in to the next FOTM.
     
  6. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    1. This is something that we will have get used to since SBAF is 10x the size of Changstar and only 10x smaller than HF.
    2. To some extent, you are overgeneralizing. In the case of the Jotunheim (amp that I still like), I did wish I had been more vocal, like hit people over the head with a hammer, in describing its shortcomings from the beginning. Also, I'd argue that the luster of Jotunheim has largely subsided now because of the introduction of the Magni 3. Regardless, the self correction mechanisms inherent in SBAF kicked in very quickly - in matter of days - and people didn't even notice that I drew one of those Satanic heptagon diagrams comparing specific sonic aspects along with tonal balance and soundstage notes comparing all Schiit amps. That people did not want to listen or more closely pay attention to very detailed data wasn't my fault.
    3. I can cite other recently reviewed products that didn't follow this hype pattern:
      1. DOA (PS Audio Sprout 2, AG-D NFB-1, S19)
      2. Very positive / stable but conditionally recommended (MCTH, HP-3, Lynx)
      3. Very high-value / stable (Magni 3, SDAC, HD6XX, Eitr, Vidar)
      4. Quickly de-hyped or put in another context (PP-8, HD660S, Mutec, AHB2, Vega)
      5. Took time to establish / upward (Atticus, Code-X)
      6. Good but no one gave shit from the start / downward slide (Massdrop PLUS, Jupiter)
      7. Hyped / remained hyped (Andromeda)
    4. In the case of the ZDTJr, I'd argue that this is more case of it taking time to establish / version 2 improvement. rather than "hype spike". The NBM v1 was put on the high value list (recommended tube and HD800 amps) how long ago? @Hands liked NBM v1 more than me. NBM v2 / ZDTJr is cleaner sounding, less warmbutt, less hazy, so now I'm far more on board than I was with the v1. Devil is always in the details.
    What you are suggesting is that we cannot be excited for products or must be perfectly correct from the start. This is unreasonable, and it is also impossible. I'd say our track record is pretty good when we more closely analyze the data rather than cherry pick instances to reinforce the "sky is falling with SBAF" narrative. Can we improve? Most certainly yes. I already have one idea: a reviewer disclosure form (just a few questions) that should be attached to each review.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
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  7. k4rstar

    k4rstar On a journey... somewhere

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    Fair enough, some of it can certainly be attributed to growing pains and the mass migration of users from less scrupulous forums, but that's exactly why we need to have these sort of discussions among the membership to figure shit out; and not just the same prominent 5-10% of the user base lest we fall victim to group-think. I personally really like it when members who are mainly lurkers show up to discussions like these and provide their thoughts, even if they say some asinine shit I don't agree with it's a lot better than reading the same-old from everyone else.

    Of course it's impossible to be 100% correct from the start, but when the same handful of users whose preferences consistently align are the ones giving these sneak peek impressions it seems more likely problem areas with gear be glossed over. This makes it even more important to know your audience and temper expectations accordingly, which leads into your first point about excitement. I myself have failed to hide my own excitement over gear I thought was genuinely good in the past, though thankfully I don't have the same authority or have many people looking up to me.

    If you think you are not responsible for managing the expectations of every Tom, Dick and Harry whose first stop after a product announcement is this forum then I don't blame you, it's totally your prerogative: any unrest and outside perception of collusion with Massdrop/Schiit/Klipsch will just be an unavoidable side effect. How many products are there now where a SBAF thread is one of the top results on a search engine? Or perhaps the only result that has any sort of concrete impressions or reviews?

    Also, if I was over-generalizing then I think you were over-specifying, given that I think several of the products you listed have followed the same pattern, just not with the same magnitude or time scale.
     
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  8. SteelCannon

    SteelCannon Friend

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    I am glad the conversation is continuing.

    I hope for more transparency and discussion going forward as it pertains to our relationship with massdrop, and I believe strides are already being made there. It
    is clear that massdrop expects reviewers to publish as soon as the press release happens which does not occur with schiit or others. That seems like a lot of work. If we are going to be doing stuff like that we could consider coming up with some guidelines for the reviewing process so everyone knows the deal. I think at least one review unit should be a loaner unit and then go back to the original reviewer. Reviews are valuable to us and the forum, but getting our/more hands on products early on is even more valuable.

    I expect Massdrop to consider the positive and negative criticism and improve. I think community involvement and giving back will take them a lot further than fear of missing out marketing. It would be extremely cool if they helped us plan a meet for example or if they started a thread on here to talk about new products and get our feedback. That would assuage me of many of my concerns.

    Also re md and small businesses. I agree 100% that many people will benefit from lower priced mass produced headphones, amps, keyboards etc. I thought I made that clear. But I don't think the hobbyist will benefit. I could be wrong about that, ultimately it will depend not only on massdrop but us as well. If you want the little guys to stick around and keep on tinkering/innovating, consider supporting them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
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  9. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    This is much more difficult than you realize. I've made attempts to modify my writing style to be less shitty from my early HF or later CS days*, but it seems that unless I use "piece of shit" than people just want to read what they want to read, and ignore what they don't want to read. At some point, I have to up the maturity of level of my writing so I don't have to keep saying shit, warmfag, etc. Seriously, I would hope that statements such "Tendency toward mid forward aggressive" or "HD800, modded or not, will definitely not work" or "I use with Modi Multibit, Gungnir Multibit is too bright" would suffice. Seriously, I'll say stuff like the PX is on seriously screwed up sounding IEM that reminds me of the W3000 headphone, and I that prefer double and triple flange tips; and people still then bitch to be afterwards why so bright with basic silicone tips?

    *The other way around is then people bitch that I shit on everything.
     
  10. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Now as far as me being responsible for managing expectations, I have three responses:
    1. This is why we've closed the doors to SBAF. We need to clean house or train new members in the ways of SBAF.
    2. As I suggested earlier, a disclosure statement or form that goes with every formal review.
    3. LOL. Fuck you. I have kids and family, demanding clients at work, to manage expectations. Why do you insist that I work so hard just so I can have a heart-attack?
     
  11. AMW1011

    AMW1011 Friend

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    How would you even go about this? Not to mention, it's not your responsibility since this isn't superbestaudioadvice. The problem lies in users not managing their own expectations.

    We all need to be better at that and harsher when faced with users/discussions that just provide noise and useless group think. That also doesn't mean derailing threads and childish insults, it means constructively criticizing and looking for a common understanding if possible.
     
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  12. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    After reading most of this thread I agree that:
    A lot here is being said about Massdrop business model, I do not buy business models, I buy products. With one exception only being Apple: I never buy anything from Apple precisely because of their business model.
    My limited experience with Massdrop, and opinions on SBAF regarding some of the drops is positive.
    I bought a few small things, the only drop that involved few hundred dollars was Teac UD-501. Before I joined the drop I asked here and @Marvey said: DO NOT DO IT.
    I did not take it as an encouragement. I did buy Teac anyway, liked it for some time, until I stopped liking it, and then sold it without loosing a penny. The price was so good.
    Two of my friends bought HD6XX, they would never spend in a range of $400 for 650 but they are very happy.
    Sure is good to be skeptical, some of the drops do not make any sense to me but that applies to every business.
    And by the way I am not a big fan of small businesses and audio boutique shops: they are as responsible for driving the prices to the level of insanity as large vendors, or more.
     
  13. ButtUglyJeff

    ButtUglyJeff Stunningly beautiful IRL

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    excellent.jpg

    Seriously @Marvey, let your minions say something is a piece of shit for you. @Hands did a one image review of the S19 and all went well, and you didn't get the blame (unlike the Ember 2)
     
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  14. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    And this is very much part of the problem. Why did the Auteur thread need to get so derailed when a simple query "how much of a discount did you get" to PacoTaco could have done the job? Why did we need to analyze Massdrop vs. Input Club when something like this could have done the job:

    I find it disturbing that Massdrop has been distributing gear to pre-selected individuals on both HF and SBAF for reviews that would timed with the annoucement of the product. While I don't think the reviewers are dishonest, or that these products are not good, these arrangements can be seen as too shilly because other SBAF members don't have the same access. I am concerned that over time SBAF might be seen as too much of a marketing arm of Massdrop.

    The main issues I've had with the "sky-is-falling / why this can't be like CS" crowd is their inability to elucidate their feelings or present their concerns in a cogent manner, much less offer workable solutions.

    SURPRISING REVELATION: I don't read everything on this website, I don't visit ChangChat, I don't know everything that is going on. In fact, it only recently hit me that Massdrop had been going to numerous people to get simultaneous product reviews out on HF and Massdrop to coincide with product announcements. I was so out of it that I was late on the ZDTJr, until I saw @Hands post, and with the MCTH, I didn't even know @MuppetFace had written a review of it on HF until later.

    I don't mind memes to make a succinct point, but all I've seen so far is angry infantile garbage. I'd rather the angry infantile garbage be directed to newly signed up randos who didn't read the warnings or follow instructions, not to the current memberbase (who are not the enemy). I was dead serious when I posted that Darth Vader Search Your Feelings meme. Give these disturbances in the Force some thought and ask yourself the reasons why you are upset. Then write them down as legitimate concerns. If you can, suggest workable solutions. The keyword here is workable.

    Now as far as the glass half-full approach of SBAF vs. the glass half-empty stance of CS (where the badge of "Not Shit" mean the product was really good), it sucks to be you if you don't like it. CS was rapidly heading toward a train-wreck or irrelevance like HC (I have analytics that show this). SBAF at least maintains a balance of dickishness and niceness that people still want to come in.

    P.S. I also don't give a crap if people think SBAF is a bunch of Schiit shills. Their stuff is cheap and ubiquitous enough that most people can get an audition - and not everybody likes everything from them either. I am biased to good gear that is afforable. Sucks to be you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
  15. dmckean44

    dmckean44 In a Sherwood S6040CP relationship

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    I don't really think we're Schiit shills, there's probably more written here about their prodcucts true sonic shortcomings than anywhere else on the web.
     
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  16. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Bingo! And not only that, Friends also have responsibility!

    Do I need to make it clear that for the 173th time, that maybe my writing style has changed, and perhaps the little "hints" that I leave in my reviews and impressions (and seriously, they are not hints because I haven't gone to the extent of using Atkinsonian Britishisms, which really would be hints) should be followed up on and questioned further?

    Everyone has responsibility! Responsibility to follow up on possible negatives, to bring them out to the forefront if one feels that have been glossed over. Responsibility to present concerns in a well written manner. When pressed, I am not going to bullshit you. You may not like the answer, but I am not going to bullshit you. And with certain things, I really can't. The trifecta of FR, CSD, and HD does tell us a lot!

    Responsibility is shared. Fuck you to anyone who wants to lay it all on me.
     
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  17. winders

    winders Mentally ill. Do not engage.

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    I don't care if Marvey gets products for free or pays for them. Either I am going to trust that he is being impartial or I am not. I do trust that he is being impartial. I have no reason to believe he is a shill for anyone. Beyond that, I still take a whole bunch of personal responsibility when I purchase something regardless of what Marvey has to say about it. He is just one data point. Just one opinion. A very solid data point and opinion...but he is just one. If I make decision to buy something, that is on me. It's not Marvey's fault if I don't like it. My ears are not his. I should be basing my decisions on multiple data points. If I do, I have a better chance of making a good decision.
     
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  18. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    And to be brutally honest, I now feel a responsibility to write a book:

    Girls Do Love Geeks
    How to use your awkwardness and geekiness to get girls
    ...and without having to go to China
     
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  19. OJpos

    OJpos Acquaintance

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    True dat! Japan is where I met my waifu anyway!

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. winders

    winders Mentally ill. Do not engage.

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    I was going to try the WE "JW" 2C51 and WE396A tubes anyway. Baldr was the one that got me interested in them in the first place. I had a bunch of friends in the HF Lyr tube rolling thread and I did what any friend would do. I turned them on to a great tube. I don't think I should be vilified for that.
     

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