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“The Sensible Sound” magazine the ASR forum of pre-internet days?

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jim1274

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Mea Culpa.....it was the Audio Critic. Peter Aczel. Sorry for the mixup. NOT the Skeptic. You can download some issues at the above link.

BTW, I intended no malice in the omni thread. Sorry if it seemed that way.
Oh no—didn’t mean that at all regarding Omni thread. That was just a tongue-in-cheek joking around comment, as it did get heated a bit. Just a shot at levity to lighten things up. Everyone was MORE than considerate and gracious, cutting me extra slack if anything at all.

When you said Aczel I remember it and subscribed. I need to go check, but recall that was a shorted lived publication. I had every T$S ever published and now regret letting them go—could really use now to mount my defense and not misspeak.

I am going to check for comparison reviews in other publications for things bought from T$S only. I THINK I’ll be on solid ground…palms sweating..again..
 
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jim1274

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Well Speaker Builder wasn't really a review magazine, but it was the first audio magazine I subscribed to. They even published a couple of articles I wrote, I think the years were 1986 and 1987.

I don’t recall ever building anything from the magazine, but still interesting and informative. Didn’t have the skill or tools to build speakers until a buddy helped me build the F/C/R much later form a kit I came across looking for a big center channel that were rare then even from the speaker mfgrs Think that was also driven by budget, the closet commercial system costing maybe $15k instead of kit and cabinet materials under $5k for the three matching speakers.
 

Power Pop 23

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I read for years, did Julian ever dislike any equipment that crossed his path ??
Not outright that I can recall. I perceived he chose words carefully - to question the claims of some products without upsetting his publisher. He would note when gear did not measure up to a manufacturer's published specifications and was happy to report when gear exceeded published specifications.
 

Blumlein 88

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How about a column heading from a later Audio Critic:
1704603631552.png
 

Power Pop 23

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Some bits of it here.

I think I subscribed for a couple years when it started. They got my name from being a Stereophile subscriber.
If I remember rightly the publisher was deaf in one ear, yet did do reviews of some gear.

Earlier I read Stereo Review and subbed to Audio magazine. I actually saw TAS in the local library. Some patron gave them a subscription each year. I read it for awhile and subbed to it as well. I wouldn't say it was the print version of ASR. The Audio Skeptic was closer to that.

TAS actually was trying to be like the Sensible Sound early on. It over time became more of a voodoo price equals quality mag. It was the magazine that coined the term High End audio. High End anything actually was derived from them. In the early days nearly all the writers had PhD's in some field, and one was a defense consultant for the gov't. You'd read his reviews and might well seem him interviewed on the evening news.
I recall being surprised when I found out Anthony Cordesman was an analyst on the Middle East for ABC News

 
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How about Floyd Toole on the cover of the Audio Critic for an ASR vibe.

They started in 1977 and were around at least into the early 2000s.

Here is issue #1
Looks like I have another rabbit hole to navigate—Floyd Toole issue you noted first. Don’t think I discovered that until much later, but definitely got it for a while. If I recall correctly, the issues became more irregular towards the end?

It was more similar to T$S than others.

I previously mentioned it on the Omni thread, but again here, didn’t quite realize Floyd Toole’s stature until responding to another thread talking about Human Speakers brand, mentioning the most interesting speaker they sold IMHO was the “Silent Speaker” designed by Winslow Burhoe, who was a major player in design of the Energy 22, so could not resist trying another Burhoe design. Floyd Toole was talked about at bottom of page on Burhoe discussion of the Energy 22 design. That was another speaker that was barely mentioned if at all on the forum, which kinda surprised me.


Is Winslow Burhoe an obscure name here in the forum for some reason? Saw very little when I searched his name on the forum. I thought he was pretty well know guy in speaker design.
 
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Audio magazine was objective. It also had technical articles. My fave by far.
This was probably the worst forum to praise a review magazine that was more subjective reviews than science..I should have known better…

That said, IF I recall correctly, Audio and other mainstream ones noted reviewed more mainstream brands and products, T$S more often finding some lesser known names.

Hope I didn’t dig a hole I can’t crawl out of here..
 
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And I thought this would be a little fun light thread, a respite from my brain getting scrambled trying to keep up the Omni thread…

That thread was kinda slowing down, so I thought this would be a good first thread, maybe not even getting any replies…
 

Blumlein 88

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This was probably the worst forum to praise a review magazine that was more subjective reviews than science..I should have known better…

That said, IF I recall correctly, Audio and other mainstream ones noted reviewed more mainstream brands and products, T$S more often finding some lesser known names.

Hope I didn’t dig a hole I can’t crawl out of here..
I don't think many would agree on your take of Audio. At least many of their reviewers were very competent. Richard Heyser I think was a reviewer. They tested mainstream items, but did thorough objective testing as was available at the time. They tested things like cassette decks which always stretched claims and provided real measured results for them. Amps and everything else. Maybe if you read only the last couple of years when they were faltering it seemed different.
 

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This was probably the worst forum to praise a review magazine that was more subjective reviews than science..I should have known better…

That said, IF I recall correctly, Audio and other mainstream ones noted reviewed more mainstream brands and products, T$S more often finding some lesser known names.

Hope I didn’t dig a hole I can’t crawl out of here..
I was just wondering how it compared to ASR. Never heard of TSS, tho. Is there an online archive or anything?
 

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IIRC Winslow Burhoe was the designer of the original EPI/Epicure line of loudspeakers. The EPI 100 was an outstanding bookshelf at an affordable price. The magnificent M1000 (an omnidirectional design ) was one of the best speakers I have ever heard. Much later he was involved in ZVOX.
 

Blumlein 88

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Read Audio's test review of the Oracle turntable.

Or look at some of the others. Oddly one of the more interesting things is seeing the old ads.
 
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I don't think many would agree on your take of Audio. At least many of their reviewers were very competent. Richard Heyser I think was a reviewer. They tested mainstream items, but did thorough objective testing as was available at the time. They tested things like cassette decks which always stretched claims and provided real measured results for them. Amps and everything else. Maybe if you read only the last couple of years when they were faltering it seemed different.

I’m getting in the deep water…again…

I should have been more careful. That said, I found it useful for finding some gear that was more obscure and appeared to offer high value.

Maybe I was just a sucker for the glowing praise. I need to be real careful here or dig a deeper hole..but…

I bought a Superphon preamp (Stan Warren design) in 1984 for $399 and did know of any preamp that sounded better than it for $399. Don’t beat me up too hard for purely subjective assesment…

Stereophile liked it some too


 
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I was just wondering how it compared to ASR. Never heard of TSS, tho. Is there an online archive or anything?
I should have been more careful.

Ok, back then in pre-internet days, T$S was a source for finding gear that was “Sensible” in terms of being “best” at a price point. Now if someone wants the best value, they go to ASR and just search for “best speaker or whatever for X dollars, and least end up with a short list of best candidates to work from. If im buying a given component now, I peruse the forum reviews and user feedback to find the best option, or at least a short list of prospects.
 

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I should have been more careful.

Ok, back then in pre-internet days, T$S was a source for finding gear that was “Sensible” in terms of being “best” at a price point. Now if someone wants the best value, they go to ASR and just search for “best speaker or whatever for X dollars, and least end up with a short list of best candidates to work from. If im buying a given component now, I peruse the forum reviews and user feedback to find the best option, or at least a short list of prospects.
I took quite a few audio magazines back in the early 70s....it doesn't seem to predate that from a brief search....I probably just missed its existence. Didn't need it, tho.
 
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Read Audio's test review of the Oracle turntable.

Or look at some of the others. Oddly one of the more interesting things is seeing the old ads.

Seeing a reference to turntables, am almost afraid to admit to buying a Systemdek IX turntable solely on basis of T$S review, but see that was pretty well received by a number of sources and not all that obscure:


It’s no Linn, but seemed to punch above its weight on the relative value scale. I will say when it was sold after records were completely abandoned here and recall selling for a fair amount more than I paid, and fast with a lot of more inquiries before I could mark the ad as sold.
 
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It’s a good thing I didn’t make the thread “was there any better item X For X dollars in 1984”….
 
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