1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

what hifi? reviews based on ads?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by kiddi, Oct 11, 2003.

  1. kiddi

    kiddi
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I seem to be getting the drift here that What hifi? Magazine awards good reviews to products heavily advertised in their mag and not others, such as HK for example.

    What do you guys think of this? True or not?
     
  2. buns

    buns
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2001
    Messages:
    6,066
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Location:
    Belfast
    Ratings:
    +1
    they give good reviews to what they happen to feel like, they dont seem to be good at recognising what constitutes a better product as opposed to simply a different one
     
  3. liam_b

    liam_b
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    390
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Wilds of north Leicestershire
    Ratings:
    +25
    Oh I think it's worse than that, I suspect that the reason certain companies like B&W and REL never get bad reviews from What Hifi is simply down to the amount of money that those companies spend advertising in What Hifi. Hmm -Allegedly...

    Also has anybody bothered to think about how many people What Hifi employ? How is possible for the small number they employ to receive, open, test and actually listen to all the stuff they claim to have in the reviews every month?

    In any case What Hifi is little more than a huge collection of adverts and price lists, it seems to have very little content, especially given the price they're charging advertisers it should be free to the public, print it on softer paper though please!
     
  4. buns

    buns
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2001
    Messages:
    6,066
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Location:
    Belfast
    Ratings:
    +1
    well i didnt want to say so much as that.... but your sentiment is very much like mine

    ad
     
  5. Gatto

    Gatto
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Reviews aren't that technical neither
     
  6. kiddi

    kiddi
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    can you guys reccomend me a mag then? something that doesn't just cover stuff that only Bill Gates can afford???;)
     
  7. liam_b

    liam_b
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    390
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Wilds of north Leicestershire
    Ratings:
    +25
    kiddi,

    nope won't recommend any of them, I stopped buying hifi/av magazines completely once I realised that I can recognise good sound and pictures when I hear/see them.

    I guess What Hifi's real usefulness for most people is to act as a summary of what's new and available on the high street, just remember that as with almost all consumer magazines it exists only to serve itself - not the readers!
     
  8. buns

    buns
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2001
    Messages:
    6,066
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Location:
    Belfast
    Ratings:
    +1
    do a search for avforums such as this, there are many of them in the UK and beyond..... i (and many others) tend to browse over a bunch of them picking up general opinions which will allow you to figure out what is worth demoing..... this i think is the best way of doing it.

    Ad

    ps. im recommending more than one forum because every forum will be in some sense biased
     
  9. kiddi

    kiddi
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    thanks guys for the tips. I live in Iceland and even though we get most of the products here they usually just sit in a shelf and are not avilable for demoing. If you manage to demo one it's hard to get the salespersons to hook it to the stuff you want to demo it with...
     
  10. NinjaKi11a

    NinjaKi11a
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2003
    Messages:
    314
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Ratings:
    +0
    I'll still stand up in defence of What HiFi (and Richer Sounds). Yeah it's easy to have a pop at these high profile companies, but when it comes down to it the reason that they're successful is because they've simply got an edge over the competition. At the end of the day you just gotta be aware of their faults and not take them as gospel.

    SOrry I'm abit ****** cos of the football...

    For exaaple, I was really impressed by the service I got at Sevenoaks, but at the end of the day, they can't match 'Mr Richer and his bonker's prices' so I'll buy my 565 from the latter. End of.

    'Drown in the Bosphorus!!' How stupid do you feel my friend?
     
  11. RastaCat

    RastaCat
    Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2003
    Messages:
    32
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Ratings:
    +0
    Richer Sounds are selling Meridian now? :eek: ;)
     
  12. mjn

    mjn
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2001
    Messages:
    18,182
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Herts, England
    Ratings:
    +5,183
    er ....Pioneer 565 DVD player
     
  13. pwiles1968

    pwiles1968
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Messages:
    773
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Leicestershire - England
    Ratings:
    +10
    The B&W 705 only got 4 stars in the last edition, I think other companies may be more in favour if there is such a thing.
     
  14. Liam @ Prog AV

    Liam @ Prog AV
    Well-known Member AVForums Sponsor

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2002
    Messages:
    8,498
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Kent
    Ratings:
    +827
    I really don't like the idea of a magazine review heavily influencing my purchasing decision, but, there is always some amount of fact in between all the crap that can come in useful! Some magazines have a good ratio of crap to good stuff, some don't. Industry news, adverts, new technologies etc are all worth buying the mag for, just take product advice with a punch of salt!

    Anyway, in the magazines defence not all manufacturers bother sending in kit to be reviewed in the first place. Take the Panasonic plasma for example - pretty much the best plasma on the market, yet Panasonic are still sending out a 2 year old unit, which still gets beaten by inferior products on the basis that the inferior one had a well laid out remote!!! Then of course other manufacturers will send down something every week just to keep popular with the people around the office in the hope of helping review scores a little...

    On the subject of magazines, while i'm not mentioning any names I have been shocked by some of the recent advice given out in the last months worth of magazines to the extent than one of them had some sort of incorrect advice in every single reply. Plus i'm sure i've had one of them phone me up at the office for an explanation of progressive scan which i've then read word for word in a magazine an issue or two later....

    Rant over.
     
  15. robfitzp

    robfitzp
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Messages:
    1,162
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Bristol
    Ratings:
    +20
    Have to say I think HiFi+ and HiFi News are both pretty good mags, though both tend to focus on stuff I cannot afford....

    What Hifi give a glowing review to whatever is new at the time. Rubbish. All the Home Cinema ones are pretty lousy too.

    Rob.
     
  16. alexs2

    alexs2
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2002
    Messages:
    13,896
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +1,674
    The only magazines I pay much attention to would be HiFi News and Stereophile(admittedly not for the lower end of the market),and because in general their reviewers seem to have a similar view on sound and equipment to what I prefer...as for bias,I hadn't really noticed any in either of those publications,and they seem able to pan products as easily as recommend others,even from the same manufacturer.
     
  17. hornydragon

    hornydragon
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2001
    Messages:
    28,293
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Somewhere near the M4 most of the time......
    Ratings:
    +1,215
    I have heard some stories about the reviews done by mags are linked to ads (would you salte a product that has a £10000 ad campaing with you for 3 months?) and that the reveiw staff dont have a clue their journalists they make money by making ordinary stuff appear good!
    Also heard from a colleauge that they are partial to the odd can of stella and herbal relaxant while reveiwing and even getting the kit coonnected and making a sound/picture is a challenge!
     
  18. ROGER THE LODGER

    ROGER THE LODGER
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2001
    Messages:
    53
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Ratings:
    +4
    Hi all,
    Just like to say that at least most of the above mentioned "hi-fi" mags have given some much appreciated time to review the new keff eggs,unlike HCC which from a mag proclaiming to be the voice of home cinema is a DISGRACE!!!!
    If HCC were in fact a car mag , it would be out of buissness by now,road testing the car months after the vechicle was being driven by the public.
    Regards. roger
     
  19. Dimmy

    Dimmy
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Messages:
    2,399
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    39
    Location:
    England
    Ratings:
    +0
    First things first, I don't ever remember seeing a REL advertisement in my large collection of What Hi-Fi Magazines.

    Didn't it ever occur to you (or anybody else) that REL do so well for themselves because their subwoofers all - on quite a few levels - meet the demands of a majority of market users.

    Hornydragon - that's a bold statement :D
     
  20. Ian J

    Ian J
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Messages:
    25,528
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +4,906
    I have bought and read What Hifi every month for years. They don't claim to be particularly upmarket but they are the first ones to admit that the products that they recommend should form the basis of a review shortlist and that readers shouldn't just buy the kit on their say so.

    Much of their bad press within this forum started when they had the temerity to give the Gallo speakers a poor review and the anti WHF hype has just grown from there.
     
  21. Dimmy

    Dimmy
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Messages:
    2,399
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    39
    Location:
    England
    Ratings:
    +0
    Ian - indeed some of their reviews are questionable (that of the AVR3803 springs to mind). I think it's with products like these that what hi-fi attempt to make 'statements' with their reviews (the statement there being WE WANT BETTER STEREO FROM AV AMPS, which is nonsense). There's also a few recommendations of discontinued products only now sold by richer sounds which are a little suspicious - but I can live with that.

    The last few WHF Issues have been pretty good and I've enjoyed reading them - was interesting to see manufacturers rushing products in for testing in time for the prestigious awards.

    I think WHF have realised the importance their awards & star ratings have on how well products sell. Maybe this's lead to them giving reviews which they hope will improve the market and performance a little (again 3803 springs to mind - Gallo Ball's awful sub for example), but that's pretty innocent & minor compared to the benefits of buying the magazine - keeping up to date on a lot of what's available.
     
  22. Spligsey

    Spligsey
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2003
    Messages:
    2,072
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +137
    We're all clowns though................aint we Andy?


    Spligs
     
  23. Dimmy

    Dimmy
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Messages:
    2,399
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    39
    Location:
    England
    Ratings:
    +0
    Do I detect a hint of resentement there Spligs? :D
     
  24. Spligsey

    Spligsey
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2003
    Messages:
    2,072
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +137
    Just reminiscing...

    Spligs
     
  25. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,914
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +7
    I'm suprised at some of the statements made here. I think a degree of caution should be used when making accusations of a direct nature. However, I guess a forum is a place for opinions. I'm not by the way, involved in any form of hifi journalism.

    I myself, feel that there is a certain smugness in the AV Forums. There are rules here that you must abide by to avoid ridicule.

    For instance:

    You must not think any Sony product is better than the equivalent Denon, Yamaha, Marantz product. Despite owning only one Sony product (TV), I disagree strongly with this, the 1080 reciever being a case in point. A strong product that killed it's competition but rarely got recommended here.

    You must hate the Rel Quake and laugh smugly at those that demoed it and prefered it to the competition. ( I don't own but have demo'd one).

    You must hate WHF even though they have plenty of general reviews of the latest gear, months before other mags get around to them. They never said they were the last word in Hifi.

    You must hold Denon products in great reverence even though they are IMHO constantly mediocre and the DVD players seem to casue plenty of problems for forum members (Like Sony players don't). I speak as someone who has a 1603 in my office for Xbox duties. I have heard the 3803 and feel 3 or 4 stars is adequate.

    You must prefer DVD-A to SACD. I guess this is a Sony thing too. I love both and hope they both prosper.

    You must not post things like this or you will be flamed and humiliated by wiser mortals.

    You must not post drunk and should play G.R.I.T intead.

    Night night.
     
  26. hornydragon

    hornydragon
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2001
    Messages:
    28,293
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Somewhere near the M4 most of the time......
    Ratings:
    +1,215
    Stereo Steve everyone is entitled to there opinion and every manufacturer has products that are superb and those that let the side down. Taste Budget and opertunity all contribut to what people buy and reconmend! owning a product is not a reason to reconmend it (you would laugh if you saw my living room) also magazines need to sell copies so we have to except their flaws style etc. I had a long think about what you wrote and i can honestly say that i have seen the 1080 receiver reconmended my members and the 3803 advised agaianst. I think people are happier reconmending things they are familiar with.
    My comments on the thread are all true although i wont reveal my sources on a public forum as that would not be right. As with all advice you need to take it with a pinch of salt. If one item in each range/budget was miles ahead there would be no competition, but just because it has a brand name does not make it any better than the rest! in an ideal world every dealer would stock and demo every availble unit and retail at web prices but in the real world you have to make a choice.

    Personally i would say build a relationship with a local dealer that can supply and maintain your gear and build a relationship with them.

    Or just read every thing you can on a product and hope that it was right.
     
  27. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,914
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +7
    Hey Dragon, I wasn't having a go at you. It's just a bit of pent up frustration at what I see as 'trends' on these forums that kind of winds me up a bit.

    Most of us are limited by cash which is why I have an Aiwa VCR and a Pioneer 656 to go with my Ruark Reference Speakers.

    It just winds me up a little when all the 'experts' on here say 'go demo' but then have a smirk at certain kit that may be entirely suitable to someones ears/ budget. They accuse WHF of over-rating Rel and B&W and yet from reading this you would think that Denon and Yamaha were the last word in AV gear (both fine brands I admit but not the be all and end all).

    I guess I'm tired and emotional and just wanted a rant. IMHO, the guys who are choosing a £150 reciever have just as much right to post as the Tag/Lex/Meridian crew as we have all been there.
     
  28. Dimmy

    Dimmy
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Messages:
    2,399
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    39
    Location:
    England
    Ratings:
    +0
    Steve - interesting rant :D

    There's definitely a sense of smugness on the forums, maybe not for all intensive purposes deliberate, but you'll probably be stoned for saying you're looking to buy a REL Quake.

    Of course it's due smugness that comes as part of knowing more than the next person, it happens in everything, politics, education (teachers thing they're SO...) the list goes on.

    I think it's important to higlight that whilst your post does bring light to a certain mood prominent in many threads on the forums, it doesn't deny that the forums help a lot of people make a lot of informed descisions with equipment purchasing, and that's a good thing - smugness or not.

    Maybe smugness is the reward for helping so many fellow A/V Fanatics out?

    The only debates that occur on the forums are those between people who all know tonnes about everything and already have all the equipment they'll need anyway, no A/V Newbies are hurt in the making of...
     
  29. hornydragon

    hornydragon
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2001
    Messages:
    28,293
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Somewhere near the M4 most of the time......
    Ratings:
    +1,215
    No worries mate the forum regulars i guess could seem a bit smug but then I guess some are i work in the industry and some people i have met have no clue or desire to learn (AV professionals[get paid]I'm yalking about) This is the kingdom of the enthusiast and as such will always on some points be smug!
    I just try help people realise that there is more too this than a Sony DAV system (they are great for those who dont wish for anything more i know people who love them, fair enough! I just want to open peoples eyes and ears if they still want a DAV then fine but dont buy it cause it looks nice in a catalogue!
    PS the pioneer 636 is a great player.
     
  30. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,914
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +7
    Yep, I too agree that there are better alternatives than a DAV but I recall a thread where certain regulars dismissed the Sony 1080 reciever out of hand and I bet none of them had heard it. They assumed that a Yamaha or Denon would be better.

    I have learnt a huge amount from these forums and hopefully have given something back to others.

    I remember recently stating that a mate couldn't tell the Tag dp192 that he raved about apart from my Rotel 1055 reciever. The forum decided he was an idiot (I couldn't tell them apart either). I wonder how many of them could. I'm sure some could, but all of them? Nah.

    It's easy to have golden ears on a forum but rarely are we put to the test.

    And, yes the 656 is a superb palyer for the money which is why I constantly recommend it. It can't do SACD like a Sony 705 though........

    Dimmy, I'm not looking to buy a Quake. I did have a listen to one and thought it was a good little bit of kit (again for the money). I have yet to decide which sub will get my money but it won't be the quake (unless I can find one for £150). Maybe, just maybe, some people would not share my opinion and think it was just right for them. It's all subjective in the end.
     

Share This Page

Loading...