“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?




"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?

@stuartk , I've always appreciated the Les McCann lyric, since it fits the audio realm way too well...

There's an upper limit to how many comparisons one can personally experience vs. that of the reviewer who is paid to make such.  One's driven to wonder "Well, is the reference based on the last 'Item X' of a similar component drawn from memory, your personal 'reference system', or an indulgence of contrast to an 'A~B (C through Z)' that makes the rabbit hole turn black hole?"

...and, with the potential of actually seeing pics of the reviewers' 'listening environment' which can range from cluttered to packrat...!

It doesn't surprise that we can be disappointed with our occasional *meh* opinions when the component hits our spaces.  Which range even more broadly...with component selections that reflect the items available in ones' choices of personal computers, cells, dinner, clothing, etc.

I gave up 'chasing' SOTA long ago, due to prices primarily.  That, and the stasis of measured specs.

The latter edges into the realization that ones' personal listening space made as much (if not more) difference(s) in what I heard.

Not to mention my 'onboard equipment' to listen with, the obvious and the muck between them.

'Jaded, faded', I opted to just please myself with what struck my fancy....and made and makes me smile.  Much like what I like to listen to, with it.

Your results Will vary. ;)  Have fun with it.

Enjoy your simulations, J ;)

Oh, and one should keep in mind that the artist(s) first hear their finished product in a studio environ potentially stuffed with such that 'compression' is just one effect that may be in play....

Ever since I saw "Phantom of The Paradise" with Paul Williams as the henchman of the devil in his studio with our tortured hero.....I doubted.

It's just gotten worse in the passage of my time. ;)