Best Objective Audio Magazine

Discussion in 'The Magazine Forum' started by TerryS, Oct 26, 2017.

  1. TerryS

    TerryS AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I hope this isn't violating any of the forum rules to ask this question, but I'm looking for a different audio magazine to subscribe to, and I'm hoping you guys can give me some suggestions.
    I subscribed to The Absolute Sound for a year, but frankly I find it a little too subjective for my tastes. (That's an ironic statement isn't it?).
    I'm looking for something that looks into the performance aspect of the equipment it reviews instead of just a bunch of flowery adjectives. I still like hearing the reviewers opinions on the sound of course, but a little more substance would be nice, if not some actual measurements.
    TAS advocates some (in my opinion) pretty questionable products, and I'm looking for something a bit more 'down to earth'.

    Thanks,
    Terry
     

     

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  2. Celt

    Celt Peanut Head Staff Member Super Mod

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    I subscribe to TAS and Stereophile. TAS is a bit to snooty for my tastes...and Stereophile just panders to their advertisers.
    May have to go to the UK to find one that is truly unbiased and grounded enough to cover the working man's pocketbook.
     
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  3. TerryS

    TerryS AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Hi Fi News and Record Review?
    70 pounds ($92.5). Delivered to the States. Is it that good?
     
  4. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    FWIW -- I (still) don't have a strong opinion one way or t'other re:TAS. As far as Stereophile goes, I guess they pander to their advertisers in the sense that those are the products they review -- but their reviews (i..e, the "left-brained" side of their reviews, JA's technical testing sidebars) are actually pretty thorough. More thorough, I'd opine, than Julian Hirsch's "Of all the amplifiers I've ever tested, this is surely one of them" tomes in Stereo Review or the "Yup, it's a piece of stereo equipment" reviews of High Fidelity by the time I was reading it.

    Of the golden years, I'd opine that Audio was the sine qua non. (and, yup, I am fully aware this is off-topic, but still wanted to share that perspective).
    Check out some back issues at: http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Audio-Magazine.htm
    (they've even got the last issue up there now: http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-Audio/00s/Audio-2000-02-03.pdf :()

    Now, back -- sort of! -- on topic.

    Listener was great -- but I doubt we'd get Art Dudley to strike out on his own again.
    [​IMG]
    Art's colleague in the photo above, it is worth noting, is an AK member :)

    Speaking of AK members...
    Maybe... maybe... we could get AK member Joe Rosen to resurrect Positive Feedback?!?! :)
     
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  5. Celt

    Celt Peanut Head Staff Member Super Mod

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    Not in my book. I paid only $12 for $tereophool and $16 for TAS for a year subs.
     
  6. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    You need to wait at least another month after your subscription expires before you re-up, at least for Stereophile. For ca. a decade now, I've paid $7.99 a year or less, at the "price" of missing one or two issues between subscriptions. :)
     

     

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  7. Celt

    Celt Peanut Head Staff Member Super Mod

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    But then I would miss out on two month's worth of snootiness... :p
     
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  8. Poinzy

    Poinzy Super Member

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    I haven't found an American offering that gives truly objective audio gear reviews. I subscribe to the Boston Audio Society newsletter, but that's more about theory than it is about the latest products.
     
  9. bimasta

    bimasta Super Member

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    2,284
    Terry, you'd have to go back to the 1980s–mid-90s to find such a magazine.
     
  10. nj pheonix

    nj pheonix AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I'm no expert.
    OTOH,
    If they take ad money (in fairness I don't know how they couldn't. Not a big enough market to operate like consumers report)
    You have to be a little suspect.
    What's the old expression?
    " Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see"
    (Which begs to wonder which half:idea:)?
     
  11. osageaudio

    osageaudio Active Member

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    Just checking in with some facts. It seems like some people don't know or they're ignoring them. In the case of Stereophile, about 40% of the advertising revenue comes from online hi-fi retailers; the same ones that most people on this forum buy from. The run general ads and don't ask Stereophile to review anything because they don't manufacture or distribute the products. They aren't in a position to ask for a review, but they have the money to pay for advertising.

    Most of the products reviewed in Stereophile over the past twenty years or so are built by one or few man operations that don't have the money to pay the prices that Stereophile charges for advertising. I have their price list and I know what they charge. A full page ad in one issue costs as much as many of the small manufacturers make in a year. That's why you frequently see ads from Yamaha, Focal, Sony, and companies like that in the hi-fi magazines.

    Keep in mind as well that the hi-fi magazines are just like car and food magazines. They are intended for entertainment and leisure time reading. They are not scientific or technical journals. What they are good for is a reference to learn what is on the market and where to find it so you can go look and listen and buy if you like it.

    So maybe the fixation with these magazines is a waste of time to begin with. Try taking the for what their intended purpose is and go on with life. That would be the adult thing to do.

    Happy listening.
     

     

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  12. nailer

    nailer audionerd Subscriber

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    Audio and Stereo Review?
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
  13. bimasta

    bimasta Super Member

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    Nailer, I was UK and Cape Town based back then. HiFiNews and RecordReview was the best for me.
     
  14. nailer

    nailer audionerd Subscriber

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    We got that here and it was a good one. A buddy bought it regularly and a few of us pirated it. What's your impression of it now?
     
  15. bimasta

    bimasta Super Member

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    2,284
    I only peruse it at the newsstand. Way too expensive. It ain't what it was but still seems better than US counterparts. It's harder these days, there's probably 500% more kinds of gear to cover, with wire and plugs becoming "components".

    Also, I don't buy gear anymore, so keeping up with current products is irrelevant to me. But HFN-RR still seem to include far more technical info, and much less of the current "Wow! Blew me away!!!" school of American "criticism". I've read reviews in recent TAS issues whose sole purpose was to exhaust the Thesaurus of superlative adjectives.

    If you remember TAS in the early days, it's sad. Whether you agreed with it, or hurled it across the room with a curse that made the kids cry, it took it's job seriously, honestly, and in depth.
     
  16. bimasta

    bimasta Super Member

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    Thanks Osage. I look forward to your next unsolicited instructions on how to be an adult...
     
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  17. dcmfan

    dcmfan AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    The digital subscription which gives access to back issues via digital archives is $ 45 USD.
     
  18. Bubbamike

    Bubbamike Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe there is such a thing anymore. Stereophile does have measurements as does HiFiNews but the mags themselves are all subjective. And sometimes even those with measurements will not be consistent in what the measure making comparisons difficult.
     
  19. osageaudio

    osageaudio Active Member

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    243
    Hello Bimasta,

    No, I should thank you for helping my granddaughter with her thesis on internet forum behavior. You provided a classic example.

    Happy listening.
     
  20. TerryS

    TerryS AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I was afraid the responses would be pretty much what you guys are telling me. I may try one or two more and see if I like them more than TAS. I actually enjoy looking at all the fancy ads, but I'd also like to see some substance. I prefer the nice glossy paper of a good magazine. I don't like the online format nearly as much.
    Even if a magazine can't afford to do in-depth measurements (I can see how that could get pretty costly), I'd like to see pictures of the insides of the equipment.
    Terry
     

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