Stereophile is lame, irrelevant, and unexciting?

Discussion in 'The Magazine Forum' started by VinylRob, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. DC

    DC "Manhattan Boy" Subscriber

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    Well done, Rob. I thought that article was spot on, and Mr. Dudley continues to be the witty wordsmith whose expository discourse I have come to respect, for all of the right reasons. I wish I had been into this stuff during the 'Listener' years.

    You're a bigger man than me. I wouldn't be the least bit sorry.
     
  2. Billfort

    Billfort Addicted Member

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    It's great to see Dudley still doing his thing after Listener - I loved Listener.

    I let my Stereophile sub lapse years ago as it just didn't seem to have much for me given the audio path I have chosen - with Dudley though, I think I will re-subscribe.
     
  3. VinylRob

    VinylRob Vinylphile

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    Thanx my friend, I'm just trying to enjoy sharing a possibly, less visited point of view around here, but that is the way some of us truly see it and I realize I'm not alone. It is no surprise to anyone who knows me, that I can go on a bit. I suppose what I am really sorry about is less my writing skills and more that we have conflict over an idea, or music... it seems ironic.

    I need a well made Manhattan!

    (so as always) Happy Listening! :beatnik:
     
  4. VinylRob

    VinylRob Vinylphile

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    Me too!

    I'll try not to run down the rest, but to me, Mr. Dudley's 'Listening' is a natural extension or evolution of 'Listener' and every cent worth the entire subscription price. I hope you visit the free archive on line, there are some good reads in there.

    I know this is a bit tangential to suggest a bigger idea within the context of this simple thread, but I would not care to imagine where our little hobby or community would be if all of the past subjective rags never existed. They have all helped form a culture and supported our collective whole and much of it is very supportive and nourishing. Let's not start another book burning.

    Happy Listening!:beatnik:
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2013
  5. Pandovski

    Pandovski Super Member

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    Another interesting read from memory is "Are You a Sharpener or a Leveler?"


     
  6. big2bird

    big2bird Well-Known Member

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    Almost any magazine anymore is ouey gooey over any advertisers product. It's called don't bite the hand that feeds you. Hod Rod Magazine is another example.
    I would also say most online forums are no exception.
     
  7. stonedeaf

    stonedeaf Well-Known Member

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    double guilty: Stereopile and Absolute crazy

    I subscribe to both Stereophile and Absolute Sound. Reason is simply because that's the cheapest way to get the three or four issues a year that will have something that interests me . The main value of these mags for me over the years has been the occasional high value component that impresses these folks and ( in the case of AS - music reviews) - that's how I ended up with a Benchmark DAC-1 and the extremely impressive Ortofon 2m Red and blue. No local dealer sells or demonstrates this stuff. Like a lot of you -I scan the prices first : Cables that cost more than my used work truck ? Turntables that cost more than any new truck I've ever owned ? Speakers that cost more than any home I've ever lived in ? IMHO -this stuff is mostly bling. Not worth reading about.Occasionally -someone comes along with a legitimately "new" idea and these mags review it - Stereophile may even run standard tests of this stuff.. Especially recently they have fewer interviews with designers who really open up about what they think is important or novel about their products.
    Want a Real HI-Fi magazine - I drive between 20 and 35 miles each month to find a copy of Hi-Fi News and Record Review - now THAT'S worth reading!
     
  8. Mister Pig

    Mister Pig Pigamus Maximus Subscriber

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    Thought I should chime in here, and offer a bit of discussion on this subject. Now I am not a disinterested party as I bought in on the beta offering of the woody tone arm, and own serial #006. I do understand how the arm sets up and performs, and have my opinions on it. I do also know Pete Riggle, and know a bit of his history, and can comment on it. For what it is worth, Pete was a mechanical engineer for his working life, and builds some analog products in his retirement time....but this is not a person who decided to build a tone arm on a whim. He is a solid engineer, and not an idiot.....so that is something to consider. Now He is also a wood worker, and this tone arm is based on a woodworkers perspective, adn his solutions would be different than a machinist.

    What is also interesting is that a Manufacturers comment was written, but not included with the article. Perhaps it missed a publication deadline? Might it be included in the nest issue? I don't know. But in the case of a review that worked out this way, you would think the magazine would allow for time for a Manufacturers comment to be written and included, as to offer a view of the other side of the coin.

    Another point that is unusual is that this arm has been out for a few years now, and the comments tied to it from audio shows and other events are generally positive, this is the first harsh piece I have ever seen written on it. What is worth considering is that the points that are the negatives seem to be more theoretical in nature than anything else. From what I have heard, I was under the impression that this was supposed to be a multiple cartridge review, and it was stopped well short of that. I wonder if this piece went the way it did due to a conceptual disagreement of how a tone arm should be built and how it functions.

    From my perspective this arm is a synthesis of technology, and not exactly ground breaking. String hearing like the Well Tempered arm...but more complex, twisting of string to provide anti-skate...a variation of tone arm wire leads providing anti-skate in uni-pivot arms, a pin and channel arrangement to provide initial set up of azimuth, a reservoir to hold dampening fluid and a pin/ to rest in it...provides dampening but also stiffens the string bearing much like the WT...and somewhat similar in thought to the Schroeder. The arm is adjustable ini many ways, and that allows for proper set up.

    Perhaps the most controversial aspect is the VTAF. Where the arm floats in a bushing and allows for a decoupling of the arm from the table. There is a price to be paid for that in terms of a slight bit of play. Some may object to that in principal, and that certainly makes sense to me. But a lot of people have used the VTAF on Rega arms and report positive results, so perhaps there is something to this idea. the way I see it, the Woody has a great deal of mass over the arm pillar, and it seems very stable to me, so i do not see it as an issue.

    Anyways, the Manufacturer comments are located here. About 2/3 down the page. Some might be interested in what is said.

    http://www.vtaf.com/id83.html

    What I do know is that Pete Riggle is a pretty caring guy, and enthusiastic about his products...believes in them. He is also a very competent engineer, so I think his solutions have more than a little value. I know I enjoy my arm, and have no interest in replacing it. Remember this is a $1600 arm, not a $5,000 Shcroeder of a $10,000 Durand. While $1600 is not a small amount of money, this arm costs a bit more than a tricked out Rega RB 300, and less than a RB 1000. I happen to also enjoy an Eminent Technology II arm, and the current 2.5 versions sells for more than $4K....even a used version of the II is $800 to $1000.

    Perhaps my post is of interest to some people, perhaps not. I just thought to add a bit of a different perspective. Things may not be quite as cut and dried as it appears, and may require viewing from more than one angle.

    Regards
    Mister Pig
     
  9. Bigerik

    Bigerik AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Great stuff, Rob. Nice to see a little passion around these parts again.

    I agree with everything you say about the great Mr Dudley. The thing about Art is that he is actually a musician, and knows what real instruments sound like. He listens to audio from that perspective. Does it sound like, or make him feel like, being at the live performance would. He is also a guy who really understands what PRAT is about, and how so many systems just seem to lose it. Not that he can't be wrong on occasion ( :) ), but I still crack open my old issues of Listener. I've probably learned more about audio from him, and understood more of what *I* want out of audio through his work.

    Thanks again for posting what you did, Rob!
     
  10. a.wayne

    a.wayne Active Member

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    @Mr Pig,

    Products are sometimes reviewed to tear them down as much as lift them up, it all depends on how the piper is being paid ...

    Regards
     
  11. Pandovski

    Pandovski Super Member

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    Is it me or is Stereophile not a big fan of monkey coffin sized speakers? It seems its always either mini monitors or something huge that needs to be craned in the reviewers living room. I remember the Harbeth Super HL5 and Acoustic Research AR 303.

    Any other good monkey coffins Stereophile reviewed?
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2013
  12. Putterman

    Putterman Super Member

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    Hey guy it's called communication. I have original interesting thoughts in my head that I want the world to know about. I need paragraphs or at least some form of spacing so people can understand my thought process and what I'm trying to say.

    For my part I skipped over most of your message and read the responses.
     
  13. Billfort

    Billfort Addicted Member

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    OK, enough with the personal attacks - if you don't approve of the OP's style fine, don't read it, don't post in the thread he started and move on.
     
  14. Pandovski

    Pandovski Super Member

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  15. VinylRob

    VinylRob Vinylphile

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    There seems to be a pervasive thing about advertising, mega expensive gear, and a general mistrust (of, if I have kept count, just about everything) that seems to get in the way of Hifi guys, having a good read about something they're (evidently) passionate about.

    I started this thread to hopefully share thoughts and enjoyment of one Hifi writer, one article at hand, about a simple product that with its foibles, doesn't quite perform... and yet, beyond my limited writing skills put to question, few of our astute community have commented a single note of enjoyment of said article. I wonder if more folks read the actual column, they would not find as some us do, another way to more thoroughly enjoy the their Listening...

    Happy Listening! :beatnik:
     
  16. RamblinE

    RamblinE (╯°□°)╯彡┻━┻ Subscriber

    Art Dudley writes a lot of things in that magazine that people here should like if they just open their minds to him. Like his recent review of the Altec Valencias. As far as advertising goes, we live in this here capitalist society, what the heck do people expect?!

    Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk 4
     
  17. VinylRob

    VinylRob Vinylphile

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    Mr. Pig, Always a pleasure, I so often appreciate your comments and experience as it is unfailingly balanced and well studied, and offers the rest of us a greater working insight. Thank you for once again sharing so much.

    In all fairness, I hope to see manufacturers comments in print by Pete Riggle.

    Happy Listening! :beatnik:
     
  18. Pandovski

    Pandovski Super Member

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    My guess is clear distinction between advertising and journalism.
     
  19. VinylRob

    VinylRob Vinylphile

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    My sentiments precisely, and an excellent example as well.

    Following the money is something we all need to stay conscious of, for even our fair AudioKarma would probably not exist very well without advertising. But for the continual thumping of the one note bass, pounding out the very narrow minded (in my opinion) belief that, everyone else has sold their soul to the devil of the all mighty dollar, and no ideas or personal comments are worth a sh*t because they are all bought and sold, seems a bit simplistic, boring, and inaccurate.

    Again, is this thread just a dumping space for unhappy audiophiles, or could some more of you actually comment on the article? Commenting on my take of the article is optional but, I would welcome it, save sentence structure. :D

    The single fact that many of the nay-sayers to this thread (and Stereophile magazine) have not even read the article and fail to reap the rewards of Art's wordplay and wit. It seriously makes me wonder if they enjoy their Hifi or music at all...

    Happy Listening! :beatnik:
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2013
  20. DC

    DC "Manhattan Boy" Subscriber

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    Or that they didn't even bother to actually read your original posting, but felt compelled to comment on it anyway, makes me wonder if they even bother to actually listen to their music? Or do they just put the CD in the tray and read the liner notes?

    Keep listening, my friend. :music:
     

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