SACD review site a go Now, I need your input ...

OK, the market research has been done and I am in the process of choosing a web developer to move this project forward. Besides both user and professional reviews of SACD and DVD-A discs, here are some of the other ideas that we're kicking around.

-- Threaded message board with industry professionals and experts (i.e reps from Chesky, Sony, etc.)

-- Hardware reviews (SACD and DVD-A players) Both professional and user reviews -- moderated, to avoid being another "audioreview".

-- Editorial

-- Industry Updates

-- Links

-- Used disks, trading section

-- Setup and technical information for both new users and experienced hobbyists. This could include sections such as: "room acoustics for multichannel", "migrating an HT system to multichannel SACD or DVD-A", "bass management", etc. Hopefully, we can attract industry experts and expereinced hobbyists to make this section meaningful.

The site will be an augmentation to, and certainly not a replacemet for: this excellent forum and AA. Site will be "non-profit" --i.e. devoid of too many banner ads, etc.

I would now like your input into what YOU think should be in the site. I/we can't really talk about any commercialization, as that would violate AA's guidelines for this forum -- what we are interested in, at this point, is ideas that will help us build a web "community" as opposed to web "site" -- a gathering place for high rez enthusiasts designed to promote the new emerging high-rez technologies, enhance the experinece for those that have taken the plunge, and educate those who are sitting on the fence. --Lorne
Let me say, I think this idea is a superb one. The more we can build a community of interest around the new hi-rez formats, the stronger the possibility becomes that they might survive.
One feature that would be unusual but would certainly generate interest is the periodic soliciting of short technical discussions or articles pertaining to hi-rez from the pro recording and hardware design communities, many of whom I think would be happy to participate because of their own eagerness to launch these formats. Any such discussion could then be thrown open for comments and further discussion by the site members.
There are many topics that would fit this kind of discussion, some of which are currently in a research state at the design level, e.g.:
- how many speakers (7.1??), and how should they be placed, and how does speaker placement for h.t. integrate with the placement ideas that people like David Chesky are experimenting with for multichannel audio
- and what are the ramifications for the rest of your equipment of more channels
- lets discuss recording of multichannel audio & best mic placement, and the effects on sound
- what's going on with all-digital development
- Firewire?
- what's 'wrong' with the idea of universal players, and is there anything prohibiting development of them now that so many D/A ic vendors are developing chips capable of handling both SACD and DVD-A
...for people not (yet) on the SACD bandwagon.
A sort of simple, practical SACD 101: the sound (with analogies: vs vinyl, redbook cd, master tape...), the recording technology, the bandwidth, the "how-to" of choosing a player, the s/w, etc.

Great idea, Lorne!
Yup, and of course the basics of hooking things up. Quite a few people I talk to don't really understand even the basics of hooking up a home theater system, let alone DACs and such. It would also be great if the reviews would rate the musical quality and content, the quality of the recording, and probably the quality in both two and more than two channels. From what I hear, we are going to go through the same period of adjustment that followed the introduction of stereo and CD, where the engineers take some time to learn the tools.

Quit honestly, anything which makes high quality sound like SACD and DVD Audio more mainstream (and likely to survive), is a good thing!
Keep tight control over member postings. Some of the biggest turn offs for A-gon and AA are postings which are not subject related and the flames. A-gon has done a good job of getting rid of the trouble makers who tried to hi-jack the forum and turn into their own little party-don't even give them a chance-give them the boot and you will keep a better audience.
I think the site is a great idea. A lot of people I know are wanting to know if the sound of ALL SACDS are better than say the remastered of MFSL pressings before investing the money in them. The web site could also address new releases in the different formats so we could be aware of what is coming out.
I've got to agree with, keep it tightly controlled. Audiogon has done a wonderful job keeping this a friendly, informative sight. Audio Asylum is a circus. Get rid of the monikers, add the posters e-mail address with their postings, and allow ONLY registured members to post. This may cut back the flames.
Definately control the postings. I don't have that big a problem with Audio Asylum's forums, the ones which really turned me off were AudioReview's. Those are so out of control they're pathetic. One of the reasons I like it here though, is that it's a nice friendly place, sort of like Cheers!
Thanks all, for your input -- I appreciate the support and ideas. And I agree that balancing free expression with the "community" spirit of a forum is not an easy endeavor, requiring a high degree of diplomacy in order to build a constructive web community or portal that doesn't alienate constructive contributors.

My wife moderates a not-for-profit forum for parents of kids with speech problems. I've learned a lot from peering over here shoulder now and then. You'd think that such a forum would be civil and constructive -- but not so. I cannot believe some of the stuff she's forced to "not post".

It's not the heated discussions that are the problems (although they often precipitate problems)-- rather, the problems can be grouped into three constants: irrelevant or off-topic posts, someone trying to sell something or posting with a hidden commercial agenda, and the most common reason: disrespect for others. So I agree, moderation is a necessary evil. (I cannot understand why audioreview does not remove clearly ridiculous ratings that taint an otherwise well regarded product and detract from the overall usefulness of their site).

Although I don't take quite as extreme position as Brianw above, his point of monikers certainly has caused me to rethink my position.

I never really understood monikers -- do they do more harm than good? I'm not sure. On the one hand, they protect privacy and can even be descriptive. But too many people hide behind them and launch attacks from within their "shell". And my own experience is that using your real name builds credibility -- I think it definitely helped me sell more for higher prices on eBay.

What do you think about monikers?
Hello Lorne,

How is your project going?

Kind regards,
Brian Weitzel
Record Research Labs