Stereophile and TAS have lapsed

Discussion in 'The Magazine Forum' started by Mamrak1, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. Mamrak1

    Mamrak1 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
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    Two events happened at the same time for me. I completely overhauled my audio system this past year. At the same time the renewal dates for Stereophile and TAS occurred. Dropping TAS was a no brainer. I haven’t agreed with their editorial staff in a long time. As far as Stereophile goes, I noticed I hadn’t got an issue in some time. I called and was told my subscription had run out. Would I like to renew? I said thanks but no thanks.

    I can truthfully say I don’t miss either magazine. I had a few old Stereophile around from the late nineties. The latest Stereophile issues are half the pages. I look through it once and then toss it in the garbage. There isn’t enough to hold my interest these days. TAS has been a joke for some years. Besides, I can find what I need from the Internet.
     

     

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  2. Old Guy8

    Old Guy8 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I take Stereophile. A lot of it is too up market for my interest. Yes, all print mags can be replace by net articles. I take it partly to help it survive.

    The Stereophile annual best gear listing aren't of much value to me with prices north of $10k. If they picked some arbitrary price tier maximums, like Best Floorstanding Speakers under $3k, and gave awards.

    The gear manufacturers are just trying to survive in a dwindling market where average age of buyers might be Baby Boomers. They see larger profits from small lots of ultra high price gear as thier best bet.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2018
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  3. SiliconTi

    SiliconTi AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I still have Stereophile. Most of it is too spendy for me new, but used can be good deals. They also cover a fair amount of affordable stuff. I like the writing too.
     
  4. Wolverine

    Wolverine AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
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    I have got hand me down copies of both magazines from a great fellow AK'er over the years. I was reading a copy of TAS while waiting for my wife during a RX appointment. The language used in audio reviews has been getting almost unintelligible for a couple years now but when I heard the reviewer discuss whether a amp was "wet" or "dry" it was about all I could take.

    Both magazines have been accused of reviewing gear that only the "1%" can afford and with that the lament that a dearth of affordable quality gear (a debatable topic IMO) is hurting the growth of this hobby. I would argue that the impenetrable language used by many reviews in these magazines plays a part. Imagine a new comer to the hobby picking one of these magazines up to try and educate themselves or select gear and trying to decide if a "wet" or "dry" amp is a good thing or a bad thing.
     
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  5. W9TR

    W9TR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    612
    Location:
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    I subscribe to Stereophile because they are one of the few magazines that publish independent measurements along with subjective reviews. They also recently profiled their reviewer's systems and rooms so I can get an idea of the environment that is being used to make the subjective evaluations. I find the speaker measurements especially helpful and have used them to inform purchases I've made.

    I've bought some gear based on their recommendations, most recently the Benchmark DAC3 HGC, and have been very happy with these purchases.

    I've got a decent system and their reviews of $130,000 speakers and $33,000 phono preamps are over-the-top and will always be aspirational for me. But still interesting to read because the technology developed for many of these flagship products trickles down into gear that I can actually afford to buy.

    Tom
     
  6. ehoove

    ehoove Old & New - Carpe Diem Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

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    I have to say I recently left all my magazine subscription run out. Just got the $9.95/yr. offer from Stereophile and will probably renew at that price. However I really dislike when they all take a shot across your bow at $30 and up a year when your subscription runs out. TAS and Automobile will not be renewed.
    Regards,
    Jim
     
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  7. DC

    DC "Manhattan Boy" Subscriber

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    I subscribe to and enjoy both - informative and entertaining. I usually wait for the low-ball, multi-year renew price.
     
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  8. cason

    cason AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    1,499
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    I have subscribed to Stereophile for a number of years, but will not renew when my subscription expires. It’s just gotten too far outside my reality.
     
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  9. Route 66

    Route 66 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
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    Every month or so I head over to my local Barns and Noble store to buy myself a drink in their cafe and to read the latest issues of TAS and Stereophile.

    Most of the equipment they review is way out of my price range, but It's nice to see how the other half lives once in a while.
     
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  10. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier Subscriber

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    I dropped Stereophile decades ago. Can't remember why, but I wasn't really tempted to renew at the time. Nowadays, it is easier to hit Google to research a product. If a Stereophile reviewer I trust writes the review and it's favorable, chances are I will like the component myself.

    I was a subscriber back when their magazine was printed in the smaller "tabloid" size, and made the transition to full size. Corey Greenberg was brought onto the editorial staff when I was a subscriber; I realize that dates me. :D
     
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  11. TimF

    TimF Super Member

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    I haven’t had a magazine sub for a number of years, and rarely miss it. My lack of interest in them probably really waned once Art Dudley’s Listener magazine went away. I always liked his point of view overall, still do, to me, he just made it all fun, not this boring, crusty, stodgy crap. Music is fun, should be enjoyed on wharptever you have to play it on, even a damn clock radio! IMO of course....
     

     

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  12. Mamrak1

    Mamrak1 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I wonder whether TAS even bothers to check their subscription rates. I get paper mail wanting me to renew. Those letters are twice the rates that show up in the magazine itself. Even the $19.95 in the magazine is more than I want to pay.
     
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  13. slovell

    slovell Active Member

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    Stereophile should change its name to Stereophool.
     
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  14. Audioraven

    Audioraven Active Member

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    Art Dudley currently writes for Stereophile.
     
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  15. DC

    DC "Manhattan Boy" Subscriber

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    Why?
     
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  16. TimF

    TimF Super Member

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    Yes, I realize this and have followed his writings ever since he moved to Stereophile. While he is still the “same” Art, I think as a whole, I just enjoyed his magazine a great deal more. Things seemed a bit lighter, less stuffy, more fun. It should be fun. It should be enjoyable. Maybe we just take ourselves and our little hobby too seriously at times, who knows?
     

     

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  17. wushuliu

    wushuliu AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Why subscribe to these mags when we have internet and social media tribes that mainline whatever it is we want to hear? Why be frustrated by commercial and advertising interests that go against one's audiophile values when there are forums and websites where people will tell us that we're right, whatever it is. How can any print publication compete against that?

    I'm still waiting for someone to do a Measurements Magazine, where you just see a measurement and the only caption is 'look at that, it sounds terrible!'. Oh, well I guess there's ASR for that...
     
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  18. W9TR

    W9TR Well-Known Member

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    Why indeed? We love our echo chambers where everyone loves what they already have. Just ask 'em, they'll tell you!
     
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  19. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier Subscriber

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    Truth! There's another forum that leans similarly, but are more into home theater. I've always said--listen with your EARS, not your SPEC SHEETS. ;)
     
  20. Nat

    Nat Lunatic Member

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    13,134
    Stereophile used to be a lot of fun, as were Audio, Stereo Review, and High Fidelity, though they minced their words more. Even TAS was fun during its first year or two. But that was back when audio was fun, when it was still something of a hobby, and when it was obvious that not everything was known so there was always the possibility of something genuinely new that even someone in their basement might discover. And it was back when music was largely a social experience.
    Now there doesn't isn't so much fun. Everything is much more expensive unless its computer based, which usually means it doesn't sound all that great (there are exceptions, but expensive ones), and it is consumed largely through headphones. And most products are much more generic and disposable.
    So no wonder magazines dedicated to new equipment struggle. There just isn't a business model that works in the internet/download world, though perhaps the lifestyle accessory market might let them hang on, but of course, that market is staggeringly expensive, and only fitfully actually has anything to do with reproducing actual music in high fidelity.
    Sadly, I think AK, Vinyl Engine, and various other sites are probably our time's equivalent to the old magazines.
     
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