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#72874 - 12/20/04 07:39 AM Are magazine reviews a joke?
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 11437
Loc: Central NH
I've been wanting to bring up this rant for a few months, and have 15 minutes this morning, so…..

Have all magazine reviews become a joke?

I remember reading Stereo Review 10 years ago, and a review was at least thorough, although at that time as well you would never really read a truly negative review. But it was 4 or 5 pages and got into the nitty-gritty of the item.

Now, it seems to me that every review is a quick once-over joke. With a monitor, they often talk about popping in a couple of DVDs and watching an episode of Everyone Loves Raymond. With a speaker review, same thing: Maybe two CDs and a movie. Worse, reviewers don't even seem to have standard or reference DVD or CD discs. They pop in "Ghost Ship" to talk about the detail in the blacks of a monitor, and the next month pop in "Van Helsing" to talk about the detail in the blacks of a different monitor. With speakers, they are always "popping in" different CDs each month. What ever happened to a reference standard? Find a disc that has good attributes, and stick with it! How do you know if this piece of equipment is as good as others if the source material keeps changing?

Do they ever move speakers around while testing? In an editorial, you're told that speaker placement is very important and moving a speaker just a few inches can make a difference. Then, you read in a review "I placed the speakers where the previous and "resident" set resides". Do you ever read that they spent a day tweaking position to see whether some speakers where "picky" about positioning or if a speaker suddenly blossoms in a different position?

In the past, I had written some reviews for some video production equipment, and had never spent less than a solid week working with a product….sometimes a full month. Maybe I'm reading the wrong magazines, or maybe it's just me, but I really find reviews to be a joke these days…..

Is it just me?

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#72875 - 12/20/04 09:06 AM Re: Are magazine reviews a joke?
twodan19 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 12/20/02
Posts: 625
Loc: Pembroke, Massachusetts
mark, equally frustrating are the reviews on tv for movie releases. how often do you see a rating for two thumbs down? if all are rated as two thumbs up, then they are all equal by default..mediocre(sp), or all fantastic?
worthless reviews
dan

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#72876 - 12/20/04 09:06 AM Re: Are magazine reviews a joke?
bigjohn Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 3016
Loc: San Angelo, TX
In reply to:

I really find reviews to be a joke these days



i quit reading them.

i think its hit or miss.. you can get some good reviews and some bad ones.. i think it really depends on the writer and the magazine. some are just more thorough than others.

a bigger question thats been brought up before is, are the reviews being influenced by the manufactuers that advertise in the magazines? it makes sense.. are you gonna write a bad review about a speaker whos company spends thousands of dollars in your magazine for advertising? i would think it makes it much easier to 'bash' the omes that dont. just my opinion....

bigjohn
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#72877 - 12/20/04 09:43 AM Re: Are magazine reviews a joke?
snakeyes Offline
aficionado

Registered: 07/13/04
Posts: 828
Loc: Newburgh, NY
To add to the manufacturer influence "theory" you wont even see a review of a product in a magazine unless the manufacturer or some subsidary is an advertiser.
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#72878 - 12/20/04 04:51 PM Re: Are magazine reviews a joke?
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16437
Loc: Ben Lomond, California
I love the way the SF Chronicle rates movies:


Excellent


Very Good


Good


Below Average


Don't Bother
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#72879 - 12/20/04 09:56 PM Re: Are magazine reviews a joke?
snakeyes Offline
aficionado

Registered: 07/13/04
Posts: 828
Loc: Newburgh, NY
the review itself is irrelavent but the quality is good it has all the things you long for mark he talks about unpacking setting up instruction manual break in period. i found the review researching subs i know the sub review does not matter to you. i was just so impressed with the detail of the review it made me think of your post.
http://www.avrev.com/equip/outlawlfm1/index.html
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