$4500 amp beat out the Tenor OTL in the latest TAS

You read that right! In the Feb/March edition of TAS, HP declares that the ASL (antique sound lab)Hurricanes at $4500 are the best amps he has EVER heard at any price. In another section of the same issue, the hurricane won tube amp of the year while the Tenor 75 watter was the runner-up.
Fremer did a nice job on the JC-1 review....The amps are the best we can do in a machine made very powerful amplifier. Having these made by machine in Taiwan makes for an amplifier that is about 1/3 the cost of what it would be to build these here by hand. I voiced the JC-1s just a touch sweet at full break-in/warm-up and glad Michael picked up on this as I figured they would work better in most systems that way...I used the Vampire CCC input wiring to sweeten the sound over deadly accurate 99.9999 silver I use in other CTC/DDR products....We at CTC could do a better amplifier, but the cost would escalate and few would be able to afford it...In the real world the JC-1 is a nice accomplishment.....It isn't perfect as nothing is, but it is a honey of an amplifier that will drive virtually anything within reason.....Back to the Tenor, I haven't seen the article yet, but don't agree with the bottom line at all as used within parameters spelled out by Tenor (speakers requiring low current), it should eat anything using an output transformer.....
Kana813, I am often skeptical about reviewers' abilities to hear and describe in worthwhile ways, and am as critical as anyone of Stereophile's overall failure to live up to its potential as an enthusiast publication - a distinguishing trait matched only by its wildly disproportionate influence in the market. And neither to I share Onhwy61's optimism about the preponderance of 'rave' reviews.

But I am sick and tired of hearing the conspiracy theory that reviews are written for advertising dollars. Do I think the reviewers and the industry are too close? Without a doubt, and it negatively influences the quality of criticism. I even believe that there begins to be something like a quid pro quo as it regards reviewer access to gear over time. But it has never been shown that there is a quid pro quo when it comes to advertising expenditure, and it makes no sense that there would be. Why would any manufacturer who can afford it not advertise in Stereophile, no matter what the review said? These allegations are always - as in your case - offered up without a shred of proof. The suggestion that postive reviews are prearranged in exchange for ad purchases has never been substantiated in the slightest, yet many readers apparently take it for gospel. There are real reasons having to do with the mag's editorial direction that have a great deal to do with this situation, and their refusal to reform their reviewing practices and ratings system is a concern for impartial readers, but I don't believe they are financially corrupt in the manner you imply.

Besides which, regarding the Parasound JC 1 review, whatever credence you choose to give or not give to his conclusions, I think anyone who's read Fremer's writing for any length of time could never seriously accuse him of being in anyone's pocket or biting his tongue. He has zigged and zagged a bit over the years in the big picture, but in a natural way that just suggests a guy gaining experience and changing his preconceptions and priorities to some extent as he goes. I think he's basically honest, and a decently communicative writer (and even more entertaining). As far as Atkinson goes, yes, he's too swayed by his measurements, but at least his measurements are undoubtedly real, for whatever that's worth. He simply can't be in the lab faking it for ad dollars. Baseless accusations like yours are easy to make if you don't have to give any evidence. It might be fun to lob bombs from a safe distance, but it doesn't make a person wise or iconoclastic, just irresponsible and cowardly. Show me some proof, and I'll be more than willing to jump on the bandwagon, but 'til then I'll use my own good judgement and common sense.
Why such negativity? The market for statement audiophile products is overflowing. The last 2-3 years have seen an abundance of truly great products come to the market. Some of them are extremely expensive and may represent a poor dollar investment, but others are somewhat reasonably prices, at least by audiophile standards. There's a certain level of hyperbole to call a product "the best", but the mags would be disingenuous if they didn't give these products raves. For instance, if we just limit the discussion to speakers, could someone please point out from the following list which product didn't deserve its rave review:

Avalon Eidolon
Avantgarde Trio
B&W Signature 800
Coincident Total Eclipse
Dynaudio Evidence
Dynaudio Temptation
Harbeth 40
Kharma Reference 3.2
Magenpan 20.1
M-L Prodigy
Quad 988
Revel Studio
Wilson Sophia
Wilson Watt/Puppy 7
Wilson MAXX
Vandersteen 5

If my memory serves me correctly, each of the above products recently got a rave from one of the major mags. Over a three year period it works out to a rave every two/three issues. I believe the situation is similar with electronics.

As Carly S. once sang, "These are the good old days."
Zaikesman- Glad you believe in Stereophile and it's reviewers. I'm not a subscriber anymore, I haven't read the JC-1 review. I hope Halo & Mr.Crump make lots of money.

October 2002 was my last issue...you know the one where they proclaimed the $25K Halcro DM58 is "The best ampilfier ever!"

In that issue, both it and the $1.7K PS Audio HCA-2 are rated Class A. If the Halcro DM58 is "The best ampilfier ever," shouldn't it be A+? And how does it compare to the JC-1s, is it worth the $19K difference in price, will it turn my listening room into the Village Vanguard?

They're the cowards Zaikesman, because they don't want to offend advertisers. It's not a question of postive reviews being exchanged for ad purchases, everything new sounds great. And please remember Fremer's reviewing career started under HP, that how he learned to play the game.

My point was and is, the marketplace information on Audiogon is more valuable and it's free.