“Faithful to the recording”

I despise when reviewers use those words in describing a piece of equipment unless they were, quite literally, at the recording.  Once those words are used, I pretty much stop reading since IMO the reviewer is full of BS.

Your thoughts?

And what key word(s) or phrases cause you to stop reading?



@stuartk  I guess what I typed was inaccurate.  Within the last couple of years I did buy two new pieces, a SA10 and a SLP05, and I did read a couple of reviews for both of them.  However, after my last prescription to Stereophile expired over 20 years ago, I never did re-up it.

Reading reviews of audio equipment reminds me of listening to Chris Collinsworth call a Sunday Night Football Game.  He makes every name that comes out of his mouth sound like a world beater.  I have never read a review that said, "This piece of gear sounds like hammered dog $hit."  It seems as if every piece of gear winds up being written about in glowing orgasmic terms. 

Here are a couple more meaningless pieces of hype: "jaw-dropping", "gobsmacked"

IMO, reproduced music is at best, a close approximation to the "real thing."  To me, the real thing is live music of any genre.

Fortunately, I now have a few friends in the audio industry and know enough trustworthy dealers that I no longer read any reviews from any of the alleged "gurus." I also have learned to stay away from boutique components which often have terrible resale value.



"It seems as if every piece of gear winds up being written about in glowing orgasmic terms." 

In news reporting, it's the depressing stuff that garners attention and thus, brings in ad dollars. In audio, it's the "glowing orgasmic" reviews that bring in the ad dollars. 

Reviews of any individual component, speaker, cable, etc. don't mean much unless they're reviewed in conjunction with what you or I have at home, as a system. And how likely is that ever to occur?  That's why I don't buy based upon what I read, but what I hear!

It appears many people desire a release that is unfettered and most similar to what the artists/engineers heard via the master tapes played over the studio monitors pre-release.  This seems like a valid desire.

How anyone other than the music’s creators can know what the master tapes sounded like is where it seems to be tricky.

Generally I do my best to seek those copies that sound best to my ears, taking the analysis of others as just another source to accumulate something resembling a consensus.

If bass is “flabby” (apparently the antithesis of the oft-used, “tight” descriptor) is such a phenomenon limited to a singular piece of gear?  It seems the perception of “flabby” bass could be a myriad of factors…?

Has anyone ever experienced “flabby” bass?

Would that be the experience one has when riding in a car with someone who plays bass-heavy music at excessive volume?