Outside reviewers anyone trust?

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by insidious meme, Sep 21, 2022.

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  1. insidious meme

    insidious meme Ambivalent Kumquat

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    Any other reviewers out there that's out of SBAF orbit that doesn't totally lean in with their biases?

    Bringing this up because there's a lot of stuff out there, and to be honest, SBAF doesn't get into a fraction of it, good bad or ugly.

    Obviously I love what goes on here and subscribe to as little biased reviewing as possible, or at least I know who what your biases are and can adjust accordingly.

    Since this was a profile post, I will screen shot the current responses on the next post.
     
  2. insidious meme

    insidious meme Ambivalent Kumquat

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    Last edited: Sep 21, 2022
  3. Gazny

    Gazny MOT: ETA Audio

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  4. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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  5. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    I remember reading tons on ijoker reviews on HF and his own site. I remember finally hearing an I EM he called “neutral” and it was SO bass shy. And the ones with a bit too much bass I knew those were likely good. So just a way to understand between his preferences (not bias) to mine. That kind of thing is important.

    But now we have Crinacle for IEM’s and I never quite agree 100% with anyone, he’s fairly on the mark. And he does some headphones, he’s also now dabbling in mechanical keyboards, so there is that. (I also enjoyed Crin’s best burger.)

    I know Zack said we all have our biases, and I find that true, but we actually have preferences over bias. And that is very rare. We are marked to be brand loyal, and I admit I do like how some operate and their design philosophies, and root for them to succeed, although I know not all some of those products or for me nor would I ever own.

    All of this is just more evidence of the hole that Tyll left on this community. I am still not sure anyone is up to the task of filling his shoes, myself included.
     
  6. Pancakes

    Pancakes Friend

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    I think Andrew from headphones.com (Resolve) does a good job. I appreciate the generally measured opinions and lack of hype.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 21, 2022
  7. insidious meme

    insidious meme Ambivalent Kumquat

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    I probably shouldn't have used "trust" in the title, seeing memes pop out as if trust is a dirty word, lol. Damn, some of you had some sort of betrayal in your lives.

    But I will check them out to see what they review mostly on things SBAF doesn't review much. Thanks! and keep it coming.
     
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  8. TamHo

    TamHo New

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    I once searched for your reviews on amps after reading yours Asgard1 impression. The amp you called very open sounding and that was what I heard with the Asgard1. there was few reviewer commented on that open sounding except Mike from website headfonia. Then you seemed to like the Mjolnir1 which I was not keen on and that made me a little confused. Now I know that is a normal thing when an amp interacts differently with different headphones.
     
  9. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Ahh... them memes are indeed insidious! :cool:

    This site stuck in my head after checking out some speaker reviews quite a long time ago: No Audiophile. But I don't think he's done any headphones.
     
  10. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    Just to clear this up, Asgard1 is kind of open and deep, but not really airy. It is quite warm and hazy. Mjolnir1 is slicing and dynamic without much harshness - very clean and detailed and very fast. They do bring their own sound, but it is more of what you are going for. Asgard1 is certainly more colored sound.

    And I will also say it is really funny running across my old posts. Sometimes I do read them and think, "do I still agree with my past self?" Most of the time I do, but some other things can shift perspective a little bit.
     
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  11. Gazny

    Gazny MOT: ETA Audio

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    I tend to trust people I disagree most often with, still holds they hear what they hear. And what they enjoy things I don't.
    Probably the best system.
     
  12. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    When someone recommends a headphone based on listening to Shpongle, Massive Attack and a a good selection of Metal/Prog/Jazz I tend to pay attention.

    When a reviewer has some Sphongle or Massive Attack in the test tracks, that says something. At Rock-Grotto there were some interesting people. Solderdude was one of those people who understood the importance of how a headphone driver renders a groove. A groove is not just bass, it is complicated but when it works you cannot sit still. The feet start to move and the head follows. He convinced me of the importance of the HD650/HD600.

    Check out his work. He is still doing his thing.
     
  13. JeremiahS

    JeremiahS Almost "Made"

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    I find Currawong impressions to be pretty useful.
     
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  14. gonz0znog

    gonz0znog New

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    I enjoy Golden Sound and Passion For Audio's takes.
     
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  15. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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    Not really. There seems to be two main camps, broadly falling under objectivist and subjectivist. The objectivist camp may not only rely on measurements, but they rarely communicate enthusiasm or excitement for gear, perhaps afraid to appear too subjective. I don't trust that - go out on a limb and show a little passion every now and then! They also seem rarely to mention timbre, which is one of the most important SQ characteristics for me. Maybe its a little to subjective for them.

    Then there's the subjectivist camp for whom everything is emotive and usually overwhelmingly positive. Everything new they come across is TBTSSB (the best thing since sliced bread). They may have the technical vocabulary down enough to lend a little objective gravitas to their reviews, but it usually reads as just being in service of another TBTSSB review. Whether this tendency is based on psychological or more cynical incentives, I don't trust them either. On HF these reviewers give average scores of like 4.5/5, and the reader is left to try to parse the subtext of their reviews to get the real DL.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2023
  16. Woland

    Woland Friend

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    Like many others, I trust Tyll and have him to thank for my DT1350 and Focal Clear.

    Currently active reviewers Currawaong, Goldensound and Passion for Audio are great for impressions, but I don't find any of the reviewers except Resolve show deep technical insight. I want to know why does a piece of equipment sound the way it does, what does it mean to be Class A, balanced, high impedance, heavily damped, driving a heavy or sexy material (beryllium, graphite etc) diaphragm, balanced armature etc? What are the pros and cons?

    It sometimes feels like audio reviewers treat the gear like it is from an ancient or distant civilisation, so we can get impressions of what it does, but only guess why it behaves the way it does. But reviewers could just pick up the phone and ask the design engineers to find out about all the decisions and tradeoffs. One of the reasons many of us are wowed by Schiit is because @schiit volunteers that information in Jason's Schiit Happened chapters.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 15, 2023
  17. caute

    caute Lana Del Gayer than you

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    I feel like all reviewers can be useful, even the non-reviewers like Z Reviews or headfi long form amateur analyses, provided you know what to look for in the deep, deep subtext, namely in what they don't mention about a product, the seemingly off-hand/throwaway remarks they make (more to the heart of how they actually feel about a given piece of gear than the stuff they go on and on about), and if you know their preferences or biases, it's much easier, but boy is it exhausting trying to accurately parse that illegibility and the overt fluff, nonsense/misused technical terms, and sometimes contradictory findings on top of it.

    Especially when reading about a piece of gear that you're trying to research bc you actually want to buy it, I wish impressions even here were sometimes more along the line of, this thing sucks simply because the treble is fucked and there's no fixing it without doing X, Y and Z (which isn't worth the squeeze), instead of prefacing with caveat lectors about synergy and the like, which seem—most likely unintentionally—to soften the issue as well as trying to make the other, lesser positives known that only further cloud the big, glaring problem. But I think out of all the audio sites, SBAF does—by far—the best job of delineating a "line in the sand" as @ChaChaRealSmooth says, wrt to gear.

    Sometimes I feel like people are worried about hurting the feelings of MOTs or smaller companies or being too categorical in general, which I totally get, I do the same thing and feel the same way, but I try to at least put a rec down: would I personally recommend this to a good friend or no?

    And yes, there are a million variables of system synergy, personal preferences, and even physical ear canal differences that can affect aural information, but sometimes—and this is less often with the gear reviewed here (I'm mostly thinking of Reddit)—a component is just shitty no matter what's upstream or downstream of it.

    I am not saying anything about SBAF particularly, just of how frustrating online review anywhere can be. SBAF is a haven for on-the-whole, honest, insightful and intelligent impressions of both mainstream and esoteric gear and that's why I initially gravitated toward it so many years ago. As far as the trust meter goes, the SBAF orbit is the only place I feel comfortable. And then there's the community aspect, which I am in love with, in case you hadn't noticed. Y'all are my people!

    Edit: it's cool if I get some dislikes or disagrees to this, I know I'm dangerously close to a bit of controversy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2023
  18. edd

    edd Almost "Made"

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    @caute a decent amount of impressions come from loaners, and sometimes, some tact is needed.... not to re-open old wounds, but this old thread touched on the topic.
     
  19. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    I think most subjective viewers (myself included) understand that others are going to hear things differently and appreciate things differently. Therefore there is no reason to crap on some other design, unless it is utter crap, which has been done here on SBAF, albeit almost too much to a overboard comedic fault. But my point here is that there is always room for interpretation and what one reviewer hates may just be the cuupa tea someone is looking for. So why alienate your potential audience and the manufacturer. But this is also where if you know the reviewers preferences, then maybe you can make some connections (ie. Zeos loves everything, so I don't know what his preferences are, other than the THX797 amp is the best ever amp of all the amps).

    Speaking of the manufacturer, there is hardly ever just one person behind a product. Somewhere, a group, a company, made the decisions, and multiple decisions leading up to the design and launch of that product. It may not always be the best in the category, but it is something.

    So sometimes yes, it is tact, "I did not like X...I thought this could be improved" vs "this sucks and is garbage." I would rather someone give me the pros and cons rather than just absolutely love or hate something.
     
  20. rfernand

    rfernand Almost "Made"

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    I pay attention to Atkinson and Reichert‘s impressions (and how they write them) over at stereophile.

    And before we start the “what about about MQA”, buy me a beer.
     
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