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Online Forums Versus Hi-Fi Magazines

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What do you trust more, online forums or hi-fi magazines? Or is the comparison ridiculous as to two items are very different beasts?

What I am trying to get at is when making a buying decision, do you trust a hi-fi magazine review more than the advice you get from your fellow Wammers?

Discuss...
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None they are only opinions trust your own ears and to hell with everyones else.

The golden rule being if it aint broke dont try and fix it. The grass in not always greener.
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Yeah I agree - but what do you feel you pay more attention to when building up a short list of what to listen to? Or maybe you don't behave that way.

I mainly rely on shows and whatever else I get to hear. Or the swap in swap out until you get something you like ebay principle.

I guess the question is - what influences you the most - online forums or the printedmags?
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There are a handful of wammers I know whose opinions I trust and who have similar tastes to mine. I am far more likely to investigate a product they rate highly than something hyped in a magazine. How a lot of kit gets the glowing reviews it does is truly beyond me!
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There are possible commercial reasons in the magazine reviews. In my experience, when having my interest peaked by a mag. review and then gone to have a demo of of said equipment, have been completely underwhelmed. So my vote would go with the Wammers but my final decision would go with my ears.
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Information is power. If you glean some of that information from magazines, be aware that while a mag might say lots of positive things about an item, they can't really say too much negative and so weaknesses might get glossed over. I think that if you do use mags as a source of information you do have to learn to decipher them. The truth is often found in what is [i]not[/i] said.

If you read internet reviews these are very often polarised between lovers and haters. You can only really take an internet review seriously if you know the person writing it. That is quite possible but it takes time and some dedication. And of course they themselves can be influenced by commercial considerations. You never slag kit off unless you a) no longer own it or b) don't have to sell it on to finance your next purchase or balance the books. Thus these tend to be largely positive also, with very few exceptions. Two close to my heart were the very cool response to the Cambridge Audio 840E and W that probably did a lot to shape its popularity (or lack of it) in the UK and Jerry's quite uncharacteristic slaying of the Benchmark DAC in favour another beginning with B which did nothing to harm the Benchie but worked wonders for the reputation of the other by being associated with the Benchmark. Which was precisely what thedistributor wanted.;-)

In short, take any information with a pinch of salt, and be more influenced by the musings of people you know than people you don't. And incidentally, the very things Jerry hated about the Benchmark, I love. Personal taste differs wildly so it all comes down to your ears in the end!:)
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[b]User211 wrote: [/b][quote]What do you trust more, online forums or hi-fi magazines? Or is the comparison ridiculous as to two items are very different beasts?

What I am trying to get at is when making a buying decision, do you trust a hi-fi magazine review more than the advice you get from your fellow Wammers?

Discuss...
[/quote]

The relationship between mag / maker of kit and reviewer is complex and often not what it seems :cool:to trust a word of any of them is something you do at rsik to your wallet.



Where as unless a wammer is selling kit he has nothing to gain from telling you stories about the kit he is using or heard at a show .

You might not agree with a wammers comments, but thye carry more weight with me than mags reviewers or makers :)
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A mag will give you the opinion of the reviewer and may not be as balanced as it could be. As Henry says - something the reviewer hates may be something you like and it'd be a great shame if you didn't listen to something because XYZ Mag Monthly said it was crap.

Forums are imho better. You'll certainly get those that love and those that don't, but you're more likely to get a warts'n'all impression.

One argument in favour of the mags is the apparent ability of reviewers to compare aural memory impressions of kit A with what they hear from kit B. Whether this is valid or not is another matter, but the suggestion is that the reviewer will have heard many more similar items than you or I could possibly hope to. On this forum we disprove that - we've members who've probably heard, and owned, ore kit than most reviewers will ever listen to!
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The skill is to interpret a whole range of opinions, much in the way you mentally try to dial out room problems at a HiFi show. A magazine is trying to improve circulation figures by being an entertaining read as well as being informative and keeping advertisers happy. A glowing review on a forum just means that someone's bought one and is very happy with his purchase (aren't we all?)
I find historical forum opinion which is relative to other items owned is more useful.
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[b]Papa Lazarou wrote: [/b][quote]There are a handful of wammers I know whose opinions I trust and who have similar tastes to mine. I am far more likely to investigate a product they rate highly than something hyped in a magazine. How a lot of kit gets the glowing reviews it does is truly beyond me![/quote]
:^
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Since nowadays audio magazines are no more than disguised propaganda for the manufactures, I think one can only try educate oneself on audio by hunting down for credible (technical) information on the web.
This is, of course, far more easier said than done because the greatest majority of what you read on the web are opinions based on magazine based knowledge (which is nothing more than worthless brainwash).

Cheers,
R
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I think both types often offer too rosy a picture.

Mags tend to gloss over negatives - you have to read quite carefully between the lines to pick up quite subtle hints of shortcomings which can turn out to be very significant. Whereas forum reviews tend to be of our latest pride & joy, full of enthusiasm for the virtues whilst glossing over (or even being unaware of) the not so good features.

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[b]JANDL100 wrote: [/b][quote]I think both types often offer too rosy a picture.

Mags tend to gloss over negatives - you have to read quite carefully between the lines to pick up quite subtle hints of shortcomings which can turn out to be very significant. Whereas forum reviews tend to be of our latest pride & joy, full of enthusiasm for the virtues whilst glossing over (or even being unaware of) the not so good features.

[/quote]

So are you saying your reviews are guilty of that?:D

Come to think of it, I bought a Behringer A500 after listening to you:dunno:But it is a goodie:)

Just gonna give it some Mark & Daniel Saphire's to drive today... 83.5DB. Should warm it up a bit:)
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Both can be useful but you need to treat them with care.

I normally try to find people's views I know and trust (magazines and net) and then use an overall view of a product.

So for magazines I would look out for:

Paul Messenger (naim biased),

Martin Colloms (huge number of products, technically biased andUS flavoured),

Alan Sircom (lots of gear, evenly balanced review but a little to cautious now as an editor),

Harry Pearson and John Atkinson (huge gear experience, US and top high end focused)

A few at Hifi World.

On the net, some sites are just too positive; 6moons, enjoy the musicand some that are the exact oposite 10 audio.

For 'normal' punters you do get more negative views as well as I have just bought and need reassurance type reviews. But there are some whose views are in the ballpark and worth the bother of trying to hear what they are talking.

Generally, pro-reviewers have farmore experience of different types of gear (more than most amateurs), tend to be better writers and give better descriptions of the differences in sound. They tend to be very cautious to not upset editors or advertisors, so know how to encodeperformance issues.

Amateurs tend to be less cautious (withthe ususal fanboy problems) and give unfettered views, can have far better backgroundsin sound (for some it is their jobs) tend to be a bit more sensible (not too much belief in extreme foo) .
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