What's Best Forum

Anyone have opinions on this site? Very interesting posters and really cool high-end stuff but it’s odd because they almost universally seem to dislike the more mainstream high-end you read about other places. Most posters are really down on Esoteric, Berkeley, EMM Labs, PS Audio, DCS, etc. especially the digital gear which are the forums I’ve been reading. I know opinions are just that, opinions but I just found it odd that they seem down on gear that has been favorably reviewed elsewhere.

Hot brands there are Lampizator, Aries Cerat, Wadax,TotalDac, Trinity, etc. that look amazing cool and are getting great press but are very niche. I can’t remember which brand it was the manufacturers rep noted that they currently had 50 of their flagship DAC in the U.S.

Just curious if anyone had an opinion. @Brodric ?

In the past we have had a couple of members here who routinely referred to the What’s Best forum and to equipment discussed there, particularly the Lampizator DAC.

My impression is the members there are delighted to reject mainstream audiophile brands and enjoy being contrarian.

Us contrarian???

WBF serves a role in the grander scheme of things. Any channel where end-users write about their experiences with the products they own - good, bad or indifferent - can be worthwhile for readers trying to find their own place and make their own decisions. I place more weight of credibility and relevance on what owners write than what journalist reviewers write. Although in journalist reviews, where they sometimes have access to lab testing of the gear (eg JA), carries a lot of weight with me as well. WBF doesn’t get a lot of traffic compared to some other channels, so you need to keep that in mind as well (eg the Esoteric thread has had no new topics started this year at all, let alone any recent posts in any topic).


There are lots of brands and lots of choices. The good brands ultimately survive the test of time. There are niche markets and loyal followings, but the brands that perform well at their respective price point are the ones you see for a long time.


I think what happens with forums is you have a handful of people who post all the time and their opinions tend the steer the site in a certain direction. WBF is the same as this site and others. My suggestion is use sites like these as a way to find out about new/different gear. New updates, etc. But you have to decide what what works for you. If a review by someone on a forum works for you great, if it doesn’t great. I think at the end of the day people want you to like what they own. I’m sure most of the people who posts about those hot brands are owners of those brands. Nobody wants to make a “bad” decision.

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We shroud be paying close, explicit attention to the What’s Best Forum. After all it is, as they proclaim, “The Best High End Audio Forum on the planet!”

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I think you you are right about some participants using this forum to justify their decisions. However, that’s not how I would characterize a good percentage of things that I read on this forum. I see people who are looking to improve their systems in every imaginable way and are actively seeking information that would allow them to understand how they might go about making these improvements.


I agree. End user reviews carry more weight for me as well and those posters seem very knowledgeable. I was just surprised how all of the brands I’m considering for my next DAC (PS TSS, EMM Labs, Berkeley, Esoteric) that are well regarded were dismissed, and how those niche European brands were beloved. Now most of those Euro brands have very good show reports as well. I’m not saying they’re not good, I’m just not used to people turning up their noses at EMM Labs, for example. Ed makes some nice stuff and he is well-regarded in the industry. They do seem to have a strong bias toward R2R Dacs, so maybe that’s part of it.

Personal end user reviews are typically the best reviews for any given product,but just as the mainstream rags have their own agendas…so do end user reviews imho. The rags review for advertising profit (wow!..who knew?) whereas the general consumer reviews mainly to validate his or her purchase decision.No one wants to admit to spending big dollars on something and then go ahead and say the product is just ho-hum.
Of course there are exceptions with some honest reviews out there for sure… but validating a purchase decision seems to be the overriding concern for most (but not all) online review clubs… 2 cents added!

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