Audio reviews

I read a couple of the more popular audiophile magazines—paper copy, every month. But I must say that I’m just sick of everything they test being worthy of the most hyperbolic and predictable praise.
Every piece of gear they test is----insert superlatives here. Really, isn’t anything out there not so good?
I mean, grow a pair, guys and gals…
Does anyone have suggestions for where to read serious, critical reviews?


I think you know the answer as to why this occurs. It’s called conflict of interest. There is simply no incentive to publish negative reviews.

Here’s some interesting interviews and discussions with reviewers that I thought were insightful and thought provoking. They discuss reviewing, audio shows, the business from their perspectives, and just general thoughts on being an audiophile.

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Did any of you consider that the print mags have only so much space, and they REALLY don’t want to waste it on mediocre equipment?..whereas…the on-lineists can flap their typing fingers ad nauseum at NO COST to themselves.

Seems to me Atkinson published a note years ago about how they choose equipment to review; wish I could find it.

And Ron, apparently you don’t remember Michael Fremer’s somewhat negative review of the PS Audio BHK amp(s) (note); I believe he didn’t recommend it/them.

Note–I can’t remember if was the stereo or the monos.

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I think Fremer liked the BHK. What he had issue with - if I recall - is the indulgent PS Audio marketing hype that came with it.


I think Paul mentioned himself somewhere that he’s famous for exaggerating…as the first sales man he probably has to, that’s ok.

I think he will be aware that announcing each product as the best of its kind at some point turns its perception and confidence into the opposite of what was intended. This can be especially critical at reviewers who can be their own kind of diva.


Have read that reviewers do review many more pieces than what gets published, not wanting to waste space/time with mediocre gear. Would love to see those lists of ‘not worthy’ stuff.

And of course it’s more than loss of advertising revenue, it’s the loss of free/early access to gear. Wish they’d go out and buy it like we (and Consumer Union) do, but then prices would go up as advertising income would drop. does it right, just borrow from kind hearted folks who voluntarily send pieces in for testing. Most of those subjective reviews are pretty useless, even without all the extraneous verbiage. is one of the better sources for well written reviews, but they only do professional gear.

Bringing up an old topic instead of starting a new one.

Been binge reading turntable and tonearm reviews and got sick of the whole scene. I have a strong suspicion that a number of the reviewers haven’t even used the product, let alone set it up, and the so called review is a pure paper exercise with the manufacturer’s marketing department. The same tired clichees and banalities being sprouted at each review and the same stock photos displayed. Heck, one review by a magazine I used to read and respect long time ago even had a picture of a wrong tonearm in the review.

There is a fairly good review scene happening at the German press. Read a few reviews from the Fidelity Online ( and they were a bit more tolerable. Google translate is of help for those of us whose German is a bit rusty.

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I have collected some nice Youtube channels:
13th Note - YouTube Analog Planet - YouTube Audio Bacon - YouTube Audio Excellence Canada - YouTube Audiophile Heaven - YouTube AVshowreports - YouTube Cruzze Audio Chanel - YouTube Elite Audio - Youtube GoldenSound - YouTube Jay Soulsik - YouTube Jay’s Audio Lab - YouTube John Darko - YouTube OCD HI-Fi Guy - YouTube Real HIFI Help - YouTube Soundnews - YouTube Steve Guttenberg Audiophiliac - YouTube Tarun A British Audiophile - YouTube The Hans Beekhuyzen Channel - YouTube TheAlphaAudio - YouTube Thomas & Stereo - YouTube