Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Melak, Nov 4, 2003.
What Hi-Fi? - It's a good question, don't you think?
This mag is a joke. Agree?
Another topic that's all about opinions, at the end of the day it has the largest circulation of all mags of it's type (If I'm not mistaken), if you were to ask any company in the hi-fi trade the question "If you could only advertise your company in one magazine, which one would it be"?, and I'll bet 9/10 will say What Hi-Fi?
At the end of the day if you don't like it, don't read it! What's the point in coming on here and slagging it off? Don't see the point!
Melak....as has already been pointed out by another new member,this all comes down to personal opinions,and unless you have some constructive criticism of the publication concerned,don't bother posting comments like that.
Without wishing to annoy the mods a few things on hi-fi mags.............
What hi-fi was known amongst the guys I knew in the audio trade as the "sun readers hi-fi mag". No offense to Sun readers, but you get the drift. The reason? Take a close look at it's reviewing system. Very little, to no lab testing, dubious listening test procedures, sweeping statements about kit from isolated listening tests, and so on................
However, in fairness to What hi-fi it isn't meant to be in depth. They also, like all hi-fi mags, although a little less clearly, point out that reviews are no substitute for your own listening tests at a good dealer.
Add to that, very few hi-fi mags are recommended (in private) by dealers and their staff. Hi-fi choice is ok(ish) Audio review passable. But why you ask? For one, all of them are subjective, and two, i've heard too many uncomfortable rumours from reliable sources to be happy about any of them. Bearing in mind the forum guide rules i cannot say any more!!
Just take what you read fairly lightly and test for yourself at a good dealership!!! It's the only way to be sure................
I will give just one comment which i feel underlines what people are saying, i won't mention any names as i don't believe that is fair, but i was talking to a rep of a big manufacturer, who recently said "we have employed a great marketing manager, so you should start to see some great reviews in the mags", this did make me pause for a second and think, isn't it the technology of the product that makes the review not the marketing, but i must be mistaken.
I believe this point alone does go some way to showing that the reviews are not always based upon the product, but thats just my opinion as i have been surprised in the past on what i felt and what the general public felt was a fantastic kit, but then again this also reiterates that the mag's are only passing on their opinion, I feel that sometimes the mags opinions are taken as gospel, would be nice to read a mag which just gave pro's and cons, not star rated, as it seems if a product doesn't have 5 stars it's not worth buying.
Ditto, far too many times. Out of respect to the forum I won't name, names, either, but the "heavyweights" reps often boasted that they *ahem* "wined and dined" expecting to get good reviews and, hey presto, they did! Afterwards It was embarrasing being faced with customers clutching reviews in their hands, knowing full well what had gone down! It wasn't so bad if a product was good enough anyway, but sometimes................
What was more worrying in some ways was the stories of reviewers cock-ups (and worse) during product reviewing sessions!
And these guys are professionals. Jeez!!!
I think the thread title should be altered to read 'What's Hi-Fi?', just my suggestion .
What Hi-Fi certainately has it's niggles. These ridiculous 'Ultimate Guides' which are carelessley composed, and are nothing more than a compendium of shortened reviews already written about all the products featured; although I guess the intention isn't for people who've already read every review in every magazine to buy them...
Much of the review 'style' is also occasionally questionable, and I agree with what's already been said about the absence of Lab Testing figures.
The magazine also appears quite happy to withold certain aspects of information about products. For example, writing that the Denon AVR3803 delivers 150 Watts into 7 channels into 8 Ohm Loads, when infact it delivers 50 watts into 5 channels into 8 ohm loads. Also writing about how great their Product-Of-The-Year NEC Projector is, yet suspiciously failing to mention that it has a 4:3 panel...
For all this, I continue to buy the magazine. Why? Because without it I'd be much less aware of what's available, and not all of the reviews are bad.
Fair comment, and all i would add is you can get better reviews, and more accurate ones elsewhere so get other mags besides. Even the editorials and "news flashes" in Grot hi-fi are poor. As a "first dip in" it's fine but anyone looking to buy hi-fi on the basis of "What Hi-Fi" reviews alone is asking for trouble.
Use it only like you would "Computer Shopper". An easy read, skin deep reviews for a quick insight no more, loads of adverts to point you towards what's current, and really not much use for anything else. A good loo read in other words!!
As an aside the web has been a big help for potential buyers in terms of consumer reviews. These really can be vital in saving you a fortune, as long as you remember everybodys taste in hi-fi is individual. In one area though these are key - Reliability. Reviewers are oblidged not too make too much of this area and are preassured not to do so. So check out those grumbling punters! If there's a lot then take it as red the product is iffy and keep away!!!
I would also say the true test is your own ears of course, but I have to make a slight in defence to the mags. I have used WHF & HFC for years as a buying guide and I have never felt that their reviews were inaccurate. Also the reviewers have listened to more products than any of us so they should be good at identifying good and bad products. I feel the have helped me steer well clear of dodgy sounding products
appreciate what you say dean and don't think your wrong, we have also carefully monitored the mags for years, also agree that reviews are normally spot on, but everynow and then you get a review like the Jamo D7 ultra2 kit, it didn't get a bad review but it didn't get that golden ticket the "*****" which means it won't take off as well as expected, personally I would question anyone to come and listen to them and tell me they are not the most awesome speakers you have ever heard. what i think, and a few other people are saying is that is a shame that now this industry seems to be run by publicity not technical merit.
Sadly i cannot concur with your first statement. Naming no names more than a few poor, and even more, adequate at best, pieces of kit have been given rave reviews for the reasons stated above. One item in fact created a "behind the scenes" scandal over it's reviews, espically after the original reviewer (naming no names!) subsequently 'magicaly' recovered from, *ahem* economic hardship.
You have been lucky. Many (many!) others who's bitter comments fill hi-fi forums haven't.
As for listening bringing greater "insight" that really depends on each reviewer. The revered Mr AG has produced some truly great reviews over the years but even he's done the odd howler as well!!Nobodys perfect! Others have become famous for constant crap reviews. Like the cowboy builder, years of experience still doesn't make them any better!! But as long as they say the right things about the right peoples kit...........................
To wind up. I worked in the trade for a good few years. On top of that some of my peers had 10-15 years experience on me, and not one had a good word to say about the majority of the hi-fi press - bar it shifted some real junk off the shelves for them. Add to that the scathing comments from reps who worked with reviewers and you can see why i have little time for them!
The hi-fi press should be used as a VERY rough guide and no more. Common sense, good investigation on your part and a good dealer are worth ten times more.
Sorry, but that's just the way it is.
I hear what you're saying, and I agree to a large extent. But 'some' dealers are as inaccurate as mags, for example I was told by my dealer that a Marantz PM6010 KI was significantly better than my PM66KI. Having taken it down there my old PM66KI sounded better to me! But I see what you mean, use mags to pick out a short list - the best thing they can do.
Now, that's another topic by itself!! For example my standard CD player, an old Cambridge CD2, is getting very long in the tooth and could do with upgrading. So, I took it along and tested it (at a couple of local dealers) against some newer models at around the same price point (£650). To my surprise, although some of the newer machines offered better bass response and a more natural sound, the CD2 still ate them all for breakfast when it came to vocals, and for midrange response in general!!!
What was sad was that the guy in one of the shops tried to convince me otherwise, and got a little patronizing about it. It annoyed me a little having been a salesman myself, but I (and still do) put it down to enthusiasm for the new products rather than cynicism.
Now, getting back on track, either my ears have got to used to the old CD2 (quite possible!) or CD wise things haven't moved on that much in the last decade. The latter accusation has been levelled by some of my old mates still in the trade, and in fairness by some of the more literate Hi-fi reviewers. Hence Vinyl replay has made an unexpected and quite strong comeback, and the way is open to the new multi channel format providers to stop squabbling and make a bid for the Digital crown.
However, as a last thought, the cynical amongst us will smile wryly at 2 channel CD replay treading water (except at the high end) and remember the market being flooded with totally crap Japanese turntables at the beginning of the Digital era. One wonders, one really does.............
Nice piccys though.
I only ever get what hi-fi when they've got a good subscription offer (free DVD normally). I then cancel at the earliest opportunity (used to be 3 months but the current x-men2 offer is now 6) and wait for the next offer.
I don't really put that much store in the reviews, but it's an easy read and it keeps me abreast of new kit that's being launched.
Separate names with a comma.