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Most idiotic subjective review comments

lc6

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Now this:
"My music room router was a basic [make name], which, when I bought it, cost $39.99. Undoubtedly, its Ethernet ports were sourced and assembled as cheaply as possible. It seemed reasonable that better conductive materials and superior noise isolation might create a better-sounding network interface. How much that would matter, I had no idea. Only by listening would I discover if the ["audiophile-grade" Ethernet switch] and [external power supply for that switch] made a difference significant enough to justify their cost."
"The first thing I heard after I installed the [switch] was that [artist's] voice grew in size. Colors were more vivid. As silence filled spaces between notes, the soundstage seemed to expand in all directions. All that from a simple switch?"
"When I ditched [the switch's] switch-mode wall wart for the [external linear power supply], a touch of brightness I'd been hearing vanished and all the [switch's] positive effects increased. With more silence came more beauty and detail—and with it, more light and spiritual insight."


In this evaluation, the source was a Roon streamer connected via Ethernet over copper/fiber to a DAC. The Roon stream goes over TCP, which is a reliable layer-3 packet-buffered protocol that makes Ethernet layer-1 timing or even occasional bit errors irrelevant. So a super-precise Ethernet transceiver clock or a low-noise linear power supply have no effect on a stream of samples internally presented to the actual digital-to-analog conversion circuit. Unless, of course, the reviewer's DAC has a deficient design.
 
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Galliardist

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It gets especially idiotic in audiophile reviews because sound is so much more ephemeral than our other senses and that widens the gulf between perception and reality.
There are things about audiophile reviews that make them different.

Firstly, there's the substitution of an absolute for a relative reaction. So, what we are reading is a reviewer's response (assuming they are being honest, but that's a whole other question) to the whole package, from what the system looks like, to their previous subjective reactions over a lifetime of listening to equipment, to the promises made, to their internal rationalisations of how things appear to work, to the ergonomics, to personal but unrelated experiences that intervene, to simply being in a situation where the device or accessory under test has to be written about, to maybe a friendship or animosity with the marketing person or designer of the equipment, to...

...but what we think we are reading, until we find out better, is a description of the sound of the item under review, and nothing more.

Even if the review, which has to grab the reader's interest, is full of all those other things, or gives itself away by, say, ascribing a traditional "house sound" to a component when the measurement sidebar suggests the sound should be quite different.

Then there's a further layer of abstraction. Unlike wine or cars, an audio system isn't even the core of the experience. The reviewer is playing music that they already have an emotional response and even attachment to: the audio system is just the carrier. So, there is another layer of confusion. And it gets worse, because the reviewer's poor brain is stuck between a response to what is naturally important here - the nature of the music - and being supposed to respond to something different, changes wrought by components that are supposed to enhance the experience. The new component is supposed to change both things that aren't important to a normal response to the music (things like soundstaging and the odd supposition of different forms of silence between notes) and aspects that are important, like the apparent pulse of what the musicians are playing.

It shpuldn't be a surprise that under that sort of pressure, the brain looks for its interpretation of sound using using other sensory inputs, past experiences and learning more than it does on the auditory nerve sending the" same" signal.

Remember that the subjectivist audience is not that different from the reviewer. They are all human. If the colour of a cable elicits a certain response, say, every user of that component sees that colour when listening sighted. Most of the audience know" that Marantz sounds "warm" and Naim sounds "fast", people my age who read British reviews will "know" that belt drive turntables throw out a wider image, and so on, and so forth. so there's a reasonable chance that some or all of the reviewer's response to a product will be similar to that the product elicits from a reader who is similarly schooled. That applies to all subjectivist reviews, of course.
 

DonR

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Not a review but a "product" description:

1. Ultra-small electronic grounding box, graphene + high energy density semiconductor material to achieve the effect beyond the traditional box.

2. Uncompromising use of materials, high-reduction laboratory-grade copper lead, WTB silver solder, without any connector transfer, the lowest dyeing.

3. Low-key and luxurious school sound style, without any dyeing, focus on improving the sound quality.

4. This product adopts semiconductor passive design. Because it does not receive electricity, it will only absorb free electrons in the system, purify the power supply, and filter noise. Therefore, it has no negative impact on the device itself, and it will only improve the sound quality. 5. The sound of the wire, the silver wire is better, followed by copper, and then the alloy wire.

Principle of action:

1. It can reduce the static electricity generated by the accumulation of free electrons, so that the equipment casing maintains a stable potential and reduces interference with signals. The sound is more stable and the sound field is more clear.

2. It can reduce the static potential energy of electrons.

Instructions:

1. Connect to the case, preferably on the screw. It can change the spatial separation well and the sound is simulated. It is best to use every device in the system. Note: Different screws on the device have different sounds and you can try more.

2. Connect the negative terminal of the speaker terminal of the amplifier output to improve the softness of the sound.

3. One device can use multiple electronic black holes, and the effects can be superimposed.

4. If the case has no conductive place, try to clamp it on the interface.
 

Jagamov

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Not a review but a "product" description:

That has to be one of the more ridiculous things I've ever seen. I laughed out loud at the "Paper Tube" version. Good to know I can make this myself for practically pennies.

Off to the bathroom!
 

DonR

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That has to be one of the more ridiculous things I've ever seen. I laughed out loud at the "Paper Tube" version. Good to know I can make this myself for practically pennies.

Off to the bathroom!
The product in all its glory...


grounding-tube.jpg


Not sure you can make it better for $15. Obviously, the difference to your system WILL NOT be subtle. We are talking night/day differences here, naturally.
 

irontortoise

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Jul 21, 2022
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The product in all its glory...


View attachment 262050

Not sure you can make it better for $15. Obviously, the difference to your system WILL NOT be subtle. We are talking night/day differences here, naturally.
The product in all its glory...


View attachment 262050

Not sure you can make it better for $15. Obviously, the difference to your system WILL NOT be subtle. We are talking night/day differences here, naturally.
Didn’t Wile E. Coyote buy a bunch of those from ACME?
 

DavidMcRoy

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Someone ought to start a thread on ostentatious highend audio product names. Bring out your Grand Master Reference Coherence Statement Confidence speakers.
 

jsrtheta

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Reading this reminded me of the time when Bose sued over a Consumer Reports review of their 901 speaker system haha!


Bose won initially, the judgment was reversed on appeal, and the case made it's way to the Supreme Court, which finally ruled 6-3 in favor of Consumers Union.

It would have been amusing if the courts had actually demoed the speakers so they could experience the effects themselves. They did find that the bit about "wandering" instruments was a disparaging* statement. Apparently these audiophile judges only approve of stable imaging—where's the fun in that? :D

(*The comment about standard speaker systems allowing pinpoint imaging better than the Bose was noted as a criticism of the 901, and since the 'wandering' portion was preceded with the word 'worse,' it was clearly meant to be another, stronger criticism. The judge believed that it was a false statement to say that the sound could 'wander,' .thus he held that it was a false and disparaging statement. Apparently, there had been some testimony about stereo playback commonly having perceptual shifts in location, so the judge either ignored that or thought that the wandering described in Consumer Reports went way beyond the norm, and had to be false. The appeals court found that Bose offered no proof of actual malice, so they reversed the judgment. The Supreme Court affirmed the finding of the Court of Appeals.)


More details here:

Bose sued at the drop of a hat.
 

Ageve

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Jun 13, 2021
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From cable reviews in a Swedish Hifi magazine (Hifi & Musik):

2006:

+ Romantic and beautiful sound
+ Uncomplicated and easily attainable sound
+ A lovely cosy and intimate timbre
+ Loads of air


2001:

The sound is like a fresh breeze; it's alert, open and very engaging.
The music has lovely timing and the timbre of the cable is very neutral.
The bass is both deep and tight, and the midrange is soft and nuanced.

The treble has loads of air, and it feels energetic and extended, and the agile
bass doesn't need to be ashamed of itself either ... Listening to music is very
entertaining thanks to the distinguished openness and the air.

I've never been disappointed by a Monster cable, and this time was no
different. The first thing that struck me was that it felt like the sound was
extended. The soundstage in front of me was growing in height, width and
depth. The bass was deep, distinct and outlined, and the midrange was
very sophisticated, with lovely definition, and it was also rich in nuances ...
Best of all, it was fun listening to music!
 

fpitas

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Jul 7, 2022
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The product in all its glory...


View attachment 262050

Not sure you can make it better for $15. Obviously, the difference to your system WILL NOT be subtle. We are talking night/day differences here, naturally.
Ground...round!
 

Jagamov

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Joined
Jan 29, 2023
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Location
Texas
2001:

The sound is like a fresh breeze; it's alert, open and very engaging.
The music has lovely timing and the timbre of the cable is very neutral.
The bass is both deep and tight, and the midrange is soft and nuanced.

The treble has loads of air, and it feels energetic and extended, and the agile
bass doesn't need to be ashamed of itself either ... Listening to music is very
entertaining thanks to the distinguished openness and the air.

I've never been disappointed by a Monster cable

The lead up really set the stage, and then the reveal truly made me laugh out loud....
 
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