Example of a piece o’ crap, useless review

I’ve harped on how crappy and useless many “professional” reviews are because they lack rigor and omit critical information.  This one is from TAS that is a main offender of pumping out shallow/unsupported reviews, but most of the Euro mags among others are guilty of this too IME.  One key giveaway that a review is crap is that after reading it you still have little/no real understanding of what the piece under review actually sounds like or if it’s something you’d like to consider further.  I mean, if a review can’t accomplish those basic elements what use is it?  This review is so shallow it reads like it could’ve been written by someone who never even listened to the review sample and just made it up outta thin air.  In addition to failing on this broad level, here are some other major problems with the review:

- There is no info regarding any shortcomings of this “budget” turntable — everything is positive.  Sounds like it was perfect, ehem.

- There are no comparisons to another product in the same general price category or anything else.

- The reviewer doesn’t even share what equipment is in his reference system so we can at least infer what he may have based his impressions on.

In short, in addition to this review being so bad/useless for all the reasons stated it actually reads more like advertisement for the product than an actual unbiased review.  I can think of nothing worse to say about a review, and sadly many reviews out there are similarly awful for the same reasons.  Sorry for the rant, but especially as a former reviewer this piece of garbage pushed all my buttons and really ticked me off.  What say you?



TAS and Stereophile (to a greater extent) have  been changing their editorial approach in the attempt to attract a younger demographic. Personally, I don't like the writing style of the new crop of journalists. However, at the same time, age is a major existential threat to audio. Just go to any hi-fi show and look at the attendees - predominantly male, over forty and usually a fair bit older than that. The high end depends on people coming from entry/mid level hi-fi, so if younger people are not coming through that is a major concern - and not just for magazine sales.

I agree that this product deserves a better, more comprehensive review and a performance comparison with other TT's in its price range. The review was vague and bordered on a fluff piece, but each reviewer has his own style and ability. TAS has had quite a turnover in its review staff; some you will like, others you will not.

As someone who’s first TAS issue was #4, I am also frustrated by the extremely variable quality of their reviews. Some of the most profound things that a few of their newer reviewers will say is “it made my toe tap.” Ok, at least you didn’t go running from the room. Reviews are more of a description of music played than anything about what the unit sounds like. And lots of inexcusable and amateurish shortcuts- using the pre out jacks of a cheap integrated amp as the sole source of driving a multi thousand dollar amplifier under review is a sorry excuse for reviewing. 

I thought TAS lost their objectiveness with the MQA shilling. It was a sell out. It made me think of Julian Hirsch and his rejection of dynamic measurement (SID and TID).

One final rant- their recommended lists are ridiculous. Very little meat in the categories where most readers are: building sub $40K systems.

Most all reviews are now Infomercials.

@yesiam_a_pirate I actually somewhat disagree with this. There are many publications out there where reviewers are passionate about conveying honest and useful information for readers in their rigorous and thorough reviews. Unfortunately there are also many where profit/attracting eyeballs takes precedence over review quality. The key is to identify the more credible sources/reviewers from the hucksters/posers. Here’s a list off the top of my head, and in no particular order, of publications I read and find provide mostly credible and useful reviews…

- Soundstage, 6 Moons, Part Time Audiophile, Positive Feedback, Enjoy the Music, The Audio Beat, Stereophile