for the CX-7 making the "Recommended Products" list for digital sources in the $2k - 3k range (TAS February/March 2003). I believe the TAS acknowledgement and assessment was spot on:
"The Ayre CX-7 is a minimalist design with great attention lavished on the power supply and analog output circuitry. Highly involving, the Ayre brings an unusual sense of rhythmic rightness to all music, with deep, defined bass and excellent dynamics, three-dimensionality, and tonal accuracy". -- WG
As a very satisfied owner, I might add that the component is easy on the eyes too :-) For those interested, Sue Kraft will review in an upcoming TAS issue. Not sure which. Anyone know?
...for getting very little press but having a huge "cult" following for their terrific gear. OK, go ahead and flame me now for being a self proclaimed cheer leader for Cary CD players. ;-)
Abe I cant figure why Stereophile hasnt reviewed the 306-200. With SO many happy owners posting here regularly and with the money Cary spends advertising every month you would think it would get some press. Stereophile has never reviewed ANY of the Cary digital products.
I don't understand why we haven't seen Stereophile review the Cary CD players. As we all know, they reviewed several Cary tube amps over the years.
Three page review with the usual high quality photos that HiFi+ is famous for. They do point out that this player takes quite a long time to break in, and users should experiment with the way it is supported.
They indicate that the player does have a slightly higher level of internal noise than one may have expected and note that the CDP is "built to a price" - but say so without undue criticism.
I suspect the recommendation better justifies you and your purchasing decisions more than it accurately assigns a quality and value rating to the Ayre component.
You may be correct, but your point is made so boorishly I simpy don't care.
I made my comments with her best interests in mind. It would have been insensitive of me to ignore her post or to join in on the celebration.
Give me rhythm or give me death!
> > I suspect the recommendation better justifies you and your purchasing decisions more than it accurately assigns a quality and value rating to the Ayre component < <
No, Don, if I had wanted to do that, I would have plugged the other equipment I currently own or have owned in the past, which were also recognized:
Products of the year -- Kimber Hero (current equipment) -- finalist as Interconnect of the Year
Recommended products -- Rega 3 turntable (previously owned); Rega 25 turntable (previously owned); Rega RB-300 (previously owned); Linn Sondek LP12 (currently own)
The points of the post:
1. Congrats to one of the good guys that exist in audio, Ayre Acoustics. Excellent manufacturer with great products, and excellent customer service. I appreciate my local dealer introducing me to this line of audio equipment.
2. TAS description of the CX-7 sonic capabilities and build construction were right on target. This is based on being an owner, having had the unit burned in and in my system for some time. I mentioned this in the initial post because I have received several inquiries lately -- by email and posts here -- about the sonics/build quality of the CX-7.
3. Finally, anyone know when the TAS review by Sue Kraft will be published?
Those were the points of my initial post. Now regarding your followup posts: I happen to disagree with you about Recommended Products, at least those coming from TAS. When, I reentered this hobby in the spring of 2000, I found value in the TAS recs to the extent of assisting in building a "short list" of products to investigate and demo. I also built the initial list based on investigation within AA, on other audio boards, etc. This led to discovering a dealer/salesman I trust and enjoy working with, and ultimately demoing equipment in my home based on the audition at the local dealer's salon. Final purchases were made based on the demos that occurred in my home, not any list. But the list got me to the dealer.
I'm curious, Don, why all the fuss?
Exact same thing that happened to me when I raved about Plinius amps !
Keep up the great spirit of this wonderfull passion!
Why is it when someone disagrees with a thread everyone comes out of the woodwork to trash that person. Don T. did not say anything offensive and some of us agree with him. I noticed that you did not reply to his post until you had the backing and support of other inmates. In the last six months you have repeatedly made it clear that you have enjoyed your Ayre CX-7 cd-player and that you are an Ayre fanatic. I think most people are very happy for you. I admire your enthusiasm however, IMHO your cozy exchanges with Mr. Charles Hansen and your constant cheerleading of Ayre is a bit much for some us. Getting back to your initial post; getting a positive review or being put on a magazine's recommended list is not "brillant" and is not that big of an accomplishment nowadays.
> > I'm curious, Don, why all the fuss?
What fuss? My original post seems quite concise and to the point.
"I suspect the recommendation better justifies you and your purchasing decisions more than it accurately assigns a quality and value rating to the Ayre component."
> > 1. Congrats to one of the good guys that exist in audio, Ayre
> > Acoustics. Excellent manufacturer with great products, and
> > excellent customer service. I appreciate my local dealer
> > introducing me to this line of audio equipment.
I'm thankful to several dealers who introduced me to great audio equipment and it seems reasonable to thank them publicly - and even public thanks to equipment manufacturers who deliver products that deliver the musical goods seem appropriate to me.
But to offer congrats based on selection to a recommended components? Seems reasonable from a salesman or marketing perspective but IMO it sounds inappropriate coming from an audiophile.
Can we assume you do not consider Rega, Kimber, Linn good guys? Or how about any other manufactuers of equipment especially those not rewarded by inclusion in some magazines recommended components list? Or how about any other components that recieved recommendations - are these guys less good then Ayre? This is what you seem to be implying now in your attempts to justify your previous "rah rah" about Ayres selection as a TAS recommended component.
> > 2. TAS description of the CX-7 sonic capabilities and build
> > construction were right on target. This is based on being an
> > owner, having had the unit burned in and in my system for some
> > time. I mentioned this in the initial post because I have received
> > several inquiries lately -- by email and posts here -- about the
> > sonics/build quality of the CX-7.
I love it when that happens.
> > 3. Finally, anyone know when the TAS review by Sue Kraft will be
> > published?
> > I happen to disagree with you about Recommended Products, at least
> > those coming from TAS.
You can't deny the following
1.) Any magazine can only audition a small percentage of available equipment at any price point.
2.) All reviews are based on the opinions and preferences of the reviewer.
3.) Recommended components get special consideration from many readers.
4.) A recommended component is not better in all or even most systems than a component that was reviewed yet not recommended.
I'm not sure what it is you disagree with me about as far as recommended components lists go. They clearly give the magazine more power and influence on the manufactures whose equipment they review, they give the manufacturers an oppurtunity to gain a marketing edge and they provide comfort to audiophiles wishing to buy expensive equipment. What don't you agree with me about?
Remember your original post is cheering Ayre's selection into such a list!
what's wrong with sharing ones' excitement for the love of thier gear they have?
> > what's wrong with sharing ones' excitement for the love of thier
> > gear they have?
Nothing but what does this have to do with the original post?
> > Why single her out?
There's nothing more stupid than a recommended components list. Geez I quess some congratulations are in order to the marketing departments or something - but from a music loving audiophile?
Give me rhythm or give me death!
Don, I have made it no secret that I am not an audiophile, rather just someone who loves music (and the equipment it is played through). :-)
Why woud a music lover who claims not to be an audiophile cheer an equipment manufacturers selection onto an audio equipment magazines recommended components list?
Why would someone who claims not to be an audiophile have the moniker "audio girl". Was "music girl" or "musical girl" already taken?
posts by audio girl
rocky road - 15
music lane - 39
classic court - 0
digital asylum - 78
vinyl asylum - 144
general asylum - 87
speaker asylum - 18
Also interesting is how why you are so interested in a particular equipment reviewer. Crap I've been into equipment for years and I still don't have a favorite equipment reviewer much less one that I would look forward to reading a review from as a matter of fact when I occasionally buy a magazine I hardly ever even read the reviews.
You are the almost perfect example of an audiophile - sorry to have to be the one to tell you this.
Our passion is evenly split between the love of music and the love of the equipment reproducing it.
Audio Girl's attitude is the acceptable norm in this hobby. It is
VERY NORMAL for AG to have a certain passion for her Ayre player
just as I have the same for Plinius amps and just as someone else's
passion for a 3 watt SE triode amp etc...
You need to do some catching up..
I'm not complaining about the "normal" excited behavior - I've been there and still am. My question still is why the heck would a music lover or an audiophile care if equipement they like makes it onto a recommended components list or not. It seems like a marketing triumph more than anything else to me or like I said in the original post it spmehow comforts or validates her own decisions.
Give me rhythm or give me death!
" My question still is why the heck would a music lover or an audiophile care if equipement they like makes it onto a recommended components list or not. It seems like a marketing triumph more than anything else to me or like I said in the original post it spmehow comforts or validates her own decisions. "
> > It will be a marketing triumph for the creator but not to the
end user. Wouldn't you feel happier if one of your audio items
got a rave review in a respected magazine ? I would, provided
of course that it warranted this accolade. Wouldn't you feel
more confident that you have made a good choice in buying this
item ? Provided of course it made a nice synergistic addition to
the rest of your set-up. I would. Infact, all of us who care
about our audio systems would be happier in such circumstances < <
I believe AG raved about this player long before it had any reviews
available. So, in essence this proves that AG had made a right decision within her own system needs and that's what mades her
When I first got my Plinius SA-102, I also raved about it in AA,
deservedly so and there were no mag reviews on it then. Sam Tellig
in Stereophile this month echoed my same impressions about this amp
and I trust Sam's tastes and opinions. Next month you'll see this amp
in the Class A category of amps in Recommended Components. Yes this will make very happy because I own this amp and more so I'm a very proud owner. And yes, Plinius will make better sales of this amp
once it's in Recommended Components. Most of all because this amp
really sound great just as the Ayre player does. I haven't heard this
player but I trust AG's opinions based on her many previous posts on
items that I've actually heard.
> > Wouldn't you feel happier if one of your audio items
> > got a rave review in a respected magazine ?
I believe AG raved about this player long before it had any reviews available. So, in essence this proves that AG had made a right decision within her own system needs and that's what mades her happy.
You guys crack me up. Chill pills may be in order ;)
I have had the Ayre CX-7 for a while, and I can safely say that the player is a great value for the money. Even if you pay full retail.
There is nothing wrong with Recommended Component lists as long as people realize that all reviews and recommendations of everyone should be taken with a grain of sailt (even my review at Audiogon of the Ayre).
Audio reviews in magazines can give us some guidance (expecially for those of us who live in remote areas and cannot demo gear. Heck, I live in a place that has audio stores and the closest Ayre dealer that sells a V-5x is over 120 miles away!!!
I would never say that folks should follow reviews as gosphel. There have been several components that I have bought in the past that were reviewed very well by several reviewers that I was very VERY disappointed in. For examply I remember reading a stellar review about the Sim Audio Moon W-5 amp where the reviewer indicated that it was THE solid state amp to have with Maggie 3.6's. I got the amp, and could have not disagreed more (I had 3.6's at the time).
In the opposite case, I have bought gear that was utterly amazing that has gotten next to no press. I picked up a pair of Jena Labs Symphony ICs recently for next to nothing.... These ICs are really qute stellar. They may not represent last word in IC, but they are certainly in the last sentance. I know their are probably better, but at what cost? $2k, $3k, $4k (I got my pair for well under $500 shipped fedex USED).
One thing I would like to state about the Ayre CX-7 is do not make any real judgements to the potential sound of the player until you try some high quality AC cords with it. I'd say with the stock cord you get maybe 60% of the performace of what can be had out of the CX-7.
For the extra 40% of the Ayre performace try:
1 - VD Nite AC cord with SOL (used for $500 or so it is a good deal)
2 - Kimber Palladium PK10: this is a remarkable AC cord that is about as neutral as they get IMHO
3 - Elrod 3 Signature: HOLLY SNICKERDOODLES!!!!! This AC cord is downright SPOOKY good on the Ayre CX-7. Expensive, YES! But sonically, I have not found it's equal. More transparent than the Palladium, but not quite as neutral. The Elrod puts a wonderful sonic signature on the Ayre that is hard to imagine.
I get more performace out of the Ayre plugging it into a PS Audio P300 with the P300 plugged into the wall with a Palladium AC cord. Those that knock the P300 have not tried it plugged into the wall using a seriously high quality AC cord. Who would be insane enough to plug the P300 in using an AC cord that retails for more than the P300? That would be ME.
I do not normally post here (see my writings at Audiogon), but I do enjoy reading posts at AA.
"There's nothing more stupid than a recommended components list".
Hey Don - try looking in the mirror!
He can't resist popping up with his sanctimonious preachings every now and again like a record that's stuck, as if the very idea that someone might be happy with a certain component causes ripples in his world order.
Audio Girl has an Ayre piece of kit and posts a positive, cheerful message that's no harm to anyone, so Don T feels it's his duty to slap her down for some reason.
Whether you agree with recommended component lists or not, Don T's manner is designed to get the type of response I've duly obliged him with, but no doubt he'll return my insults and claim he's the victim of unsolicited abuse.
I've got a lot of respect for Audio Girls equipment and am happy that she is happy with her gear. Fact of the matter is though if you read her original post she is congratulating Ayre for getting some of it's gear on the recommended components list. I don't see any relevance at all to a piece of gear being on someones recommended component list other than it's a marketing triumph for the manufacturer. Why a music loving audiophile would give a damn is beyond me other than the fact that they may derive some comfort or validation in the selection they have made from the component being recommended.
An audiophile could very easily be swayed into purchasing such recommended components instead of searching out the most synergistic match for his system. These lists are a marketing ploy for the manufacturers, a power tool for the magazines and a crutch for audiophiles. How, any magazine that claims to be for audiophiles or about audiophiles, that maintains a recommended components list, can have any credibility among audiophiles is beyond me. These lists reduce the importance of synergistic system building and help guarantee future component sales by helping audiophiles chose good equipment without helping them build matching systems. It's no wonder audiophiles always want to spend more.
Rah rah for Ayre getting a component on a recommended components list! Please give me a break.
Recommended lists may not meet someone's anal sense of integrity, but if someone believes in a manufacturer, and would like to see them continue in business in order to continue to produce high quality components, then it would be natural for them to celebrate their inclusion on a Recommended Components list, precisely because such lists are helpful from a marketing perspective. In other words, it enhances Ayre's business prospects, and I think it is natural and healthy for AG to celebrate that, given her positive experience with their equipment.
How about simply someones sense of integrity?
> > but if someone believes in a manufacturer,
Hallaluah Hallaluah I believe!
As if enjoying the fruits of a companies labours isn't enough. You are claiming it's healthy and natural to become an arm of the marketing department and to share in the emotional trauma of the corporate ups and downs.
So clearly by your logic it would be natural and healthy for AG to be saddened and depressed if Ayre would have gotten a poor review and disappointed if they had not gotten a recommendation.
My argument is the same regardless of the outcome of the review - your logic only holds because you are sympathetic with AGs false sense of exhilaration. If the review had been negative and I was making the same argument you would agree with me.
...to try to take some of the passion out of the debate. My wife and I enjoy small, local restaurants. Our opinions are formed solely on the basis of our experience at these restaurants -- our enjoyment of the food, the quality of the service, the decor, lighting, etc. Unfortunately, no matter how loyal we are as customers, our patronage will simply not sustain a restaurant; the restaurant needs other customers to survive. Now, we will tell our friends about our experience, but again, our small network (call it an asylum, if you will) will still not sustain the restaurant. However, when the local paper reviews the restaurant positively (reflecting our experience), that has an important effect, and I am happy, both for the restaurant, with whom I have developed a relationship, and for myself, because it is more likely now that I will be able to continue to enjoy a place I value. Conversely, if the restaurant receives a poor review (with which I disagree), I am saddened, both for the restaurant and myself (for the same reasons as cited above). My involvement in the "emotional traumas" of this restaurant do not make me part of their marketing department; that's just silly (no offense intended).
Given the wide diversity of subjective preferences and varying levels of sophistication among consumers one can't rely on subjective reviews for anything more than general information.
Why do you think Bob's Big Boy and Denny's have been so successful? Restaurant chains such as Claim Jumper, Joe's Crap Shack, Macaroni Grill, etc may appear to be a cut above in a generic comparison but I would contend they too rely way to much on generic appeal.
Any truly good restaurant, as well as truly good equipment manufacturers are going to appeal to more sophisticated and particular consumers. It's more likely that these types of places are going to recieve a less overwhelmingly good review than a more generic or less tasty provider.
It's common for me to hear stereo equipment or dine in restaurants that I know are truly good yet not like the restaurant or the system. What I am looking for is specific tastes and flavours (in hifi and food) that appeal to my particular preferences.
More generic and bland restaurants and hifi equipment get good reviews than tasty and expressive restaurants and hifi equipment. It is the intention of most magazines and guides to appeal to the widest segment of readers and as such generical goodness always wins over subjectively goodness.
It makes no difference to me at all if anyone shares my preferences - the fact that there are providers both of dining experiences and hifi equipment that appeal to my tastes is enough validation for me. If anything I am more attracted to companies and restaurants that build their reputations by word of mouth instead of marketing and advertising - and I am always worried when a place/thing I like gets a lot of attention because the subtleties that appeal to more can be lost either in attempting to live up to some new found credibility or in attempts to reach a wider audience or simply provide the same product to a greater number of people.
For me I honestly think the state of the provider has a lot to do with satisfying my preferences, yes I do admit that I am anal and particular when it comes to the equipment I buy and to the restuarants I chose dine in. So in general I would prefer no review and no recommendation for something I enjoy - as I would rather see it simply fold and go away than morph into something I like less because of increasing public attention. Sure it's disappointing to lose things we appreciate - but there is more than one way to lose things.
Truthfully I don't like recommending my favorite components or my favorite restaurants because I realize the subjectiveness of their appeal - I have a tendency not to recommend audio equipment and my recommedations to others for restaurants are always tempered and many times I recommend the generics.
I respect your position. It takes courage to live in the world as you would like it to be; my world has more shades of gray. I don't think, for example, that marketing is evil, any more than finance, operations, software development, or any other part of a business is, by definition, good or evil. To me, that oversimplifies things, and in some ways allows individuals to evade responsibility for ethical behavior (as a marketing person, a finance person, etc.).
But back to the issue at hand: In my view, others' perspectives (re equipment, recommended lists, restaurants, etc.) are no less valid than yours. I don't think it's healthy to "slash and burn" when somebody else's perspective is expressed -- Audio Girl's, in this case. I don't think it's productive to try to impose your world view on others.
So, to try to tie all this together, for those people like me who see shades of gray, there are more and less "ethical" ways of constructing Recommended Components lists. I define "ethical" in this case as a reviewer honestly reflecting his or her opinion in an attempt to help consumers choose their equipment. Hopefully, we can all find reviewers whose opinions we trust, and I certainly wouldn't begrudge somebody's celebration at having discovered a review(er) that shares his or her values.
> > I respect your position.
> > It takes courage to live in the world as you would like it to be;
> > my world has more shades of gray. I don't think, for example, that
> > marketing is evil, any more than finance, operations, software
> > development, or any other part of a business is, by definition,
> > good or evil. To me, that oversimplifies things, and in some ways
> > allows individuals to evade responsibility for ethical behavior
> > (as a marketing person, a finance person, etc.).
No one said anything about good or evil - we are talking about our ability to make our own choices and minimizing the influence of outside sources in our decision making. It's the responsibility of marketing to market, sales to sell, and magazines to promote themselves to the greatest number of readers - and there is nothing wrong with any of this.
> > But back to the issue at hand: In my view, others' perspectives
> > (re equipment, recommended lists, restaurants, etc.) are no less
> > valid than yours.
I never said otherwise.
> > I don't think it's healthy to "slash and burn" when somebody
> > else's perspective is expressed -- Audio Girl's, in this case.
So in your world you consider it slashing and burning when a difference of opinion is made or an attempt to clarify a post is initiated?
> > I don't think it's productive to try to impose your world view on
> > others.
I come hear to become enlightened by the opinions of others in order to further refine my own perspective. It's got nothing to do with imposing my view on others. If someone doesn't want to talk about their opinion then surely they shouldn't be participating in a web forum such as this one.
> > So, to try to tie all this together, for those people like me who
> > see shades of gray, there are more and less "ethical" ways of
> > constructing Recommended Components lists.
If a magazine had a clearly stated subjective perspective and set of subjective preferences I might agree.
> > I define "ethical" in this case as a reviewer honestly reflecting
> > his or her opinion in an attempt to help consumers choose their
> > equipment.
The problem as I see it is that most equipment is very good but just because it is good doesn't mean a majority of listeners will like it. Components that are recommended simply meet the reviewers subjective preferences more so than equipment that is not recommended. Just for clarification - I've got no problem with the reviews or the reviewers, it's the recommended lists that I question. Honestly I don't believe most people who read the recommended components list are sophisticated enough to understand their own bias' much less a reviewers - and I think magazine reviewers and editors know this yet continue to publish the lists in order to increase magazine sales. Again not to mention the selection of components for review.
> > Hopefully, we can all find reviewers whose opinions we trust, and
> > I certainly wouldn't begrudge somebody's celebration at having
> > discovered a review(er) that shares his or her values.
I don't disagree with this at all - but this is not what Audio Girl was celebrating in the original post.
It may simply be a matter of style. Your original follow-up to AG's post seemed condescending. As a result, I think AG felt attacked. You may not have intended it that way, but I would think that the fact that she was not alone might give you cause for reflection. Upon occasion, this style (and some of your arguments) seem to belie your assertion that you use the forum to refine your own perspective. In other words, it can come across as your using the forum as a forum (pun intended) for your views, as opposed to a free exchange of ideas. Another approach might have been either to ignore AG's original post if you saw no value in it, or at least not to imply that she had self-serving motives for the post.
There's a restaurant chain called Joe's Crap Shack?
I have to agree.
Recomended lists are great for marketing, but do little good for customers. IMO,
they may do more harm than good. This is one of the reaso0ns I stopped reading the audio rags years ago. Highly recomended? Hmmm.
If I understand it correctly, the Philips SACD 1000 was highly recomended. What a joke(it is an OK DVD player though).
As for chris's complaints, I find Don T's posts to usually be right on the money. There is so much that is wrong with "high end" audio, that I find most "high end" gear completely amusical.
So all equipment offers the same sound and build quality at a given price point?
That's remarkable; all those manufacturers using different methodology, different designers and different components and all are in effect equal by your logic - not one can be recommended above another when taken in isolation?
I doubt that any magazine will claim their list applies to the specific system of one listener, and one look at my system shows how much notice I take of lists, but every music enthusiast I know has his own mental list of recommended components based on personal experience although system synergy is the most important consideration.
Don's perfectly entitled to his opinions and in essence I'd agree with him 90% in this instance, but the condescending manner he uses towards others who have probably at least as much experience as he does gets my goat at times.
> > > So all equipment offers the same sound and build quality at a given price point? < < <
If Don stated that, I sure missed it. I didn't take his post as saying that at all.
> > > I doubt that any magazine will claim their list applies to the specific system of one listener < < <
Yes, thats the weasel words, but we both know that there are alot of *ahem* audiophiles that take those lists very seriously. Why do you think they come out when they do? It tends to be just before the big shopping seasons. Coincedence?
> > > but the condescending manner he uses towards others who have probably at least as much experience as he does gets my goat at times. < < <
Perhaps, but you've been known to be less than humble at times too.
The trueth is, that as I see audiophiles go deeper and deeper into the "high end" dogma pit, I tend to get a similar attitude-its hard not to.
and call in the Grouchy Old Men!
If Don - or you - state that one cannot draw up a list of recommended components, what you are implying is that no-one can say one component is better or worse (in isolation) than another.
If audiophiles want to believe these lists are universal and a recommended component MUST sound great in their own system, more fool them - they'll learn the hard way that they have to get off their backsides and spend time auditioning, sometimes with equipment that hasn't made it onto any lists.
Somebody posts a question on this forum asking for recommendations of $500 CD players, your answer would be that despite listening to many CD players in this category, you are unable to give any indication as to which he should at least consider?
Of course you don't know what his system sounds like and what presentaion he prefers, but you wouldn't t least be able to inform him which you personally were impressed by?
I'd be interested to know just how many audiophiles buy equipment during defined shopping seasons by the way; certainly I or my friends never have, and the enquiries about new purchases on the various Asylum forums would seem to indicate this isn't so, although for budget/mid-fi gear there will be plenty of Christmas treats for the family.
Now perhaps you can do a quick search and provide me of instances where I've been condescending towards someone who made a harmless post?
> > If Don - or you - state that one cannot draw up a list of
> > recommended components, what you are implying is that no-one can
> > say one component is better or worse (in isolation) than another.
I question the comprehensiveness (ie. the choice of assement parameters) used during an objective performance evaluation and the subjective priority assigned when deciding between recommending one component over another. So anyone can say one component is better or worse than another (in isolation) but in no way do I consider this any more valid or useful (as a matter of fact it's less so) than comparing components in a particular system. So whether the evaluation is in isolation or in a chosen system the assignment of priorites is up to the listener making the choice not a magazine or a reviewer. There is no such thing as isolation or working in a vacuum.
We won't even go into how the magazine comes into equipment for review - it's not like they take a random sampling or something.
You're right to question the comprehensiveness of any objective performance evaluation, as I personally don't think such a thing exists in audio.
The criteria for selecting components to review is biased towards the major manufacturers in many respects, and in the case of Audio Note I believe it's partly (solely?) down to the number (lack) of dealers/retailers in the US that carry their products; hence the rich get richer and aspiring companies don't get the leg up they might deserve.
When's AN's first SACD player going to hit the stores?
First they've got to buy an SACD player so it is officially theirs, then they've got to find a few stores to throw it at.
Who needs SACD when CD sounds so good!
... there's a reasonable degree of... er... reason in that post.
I think the value of a recommended list is as somewhere to start given the difficulty of searching through everything available especially in the more out of the way places.
I do agree though about the need for synergy.
You must be as sad as me, but I'm avoiding someone - what's your excuse!
Despite the limited value of such recommended lists, they aren't entirely useless and there definately are some components out there that are better than others when taken in isolation.
Of course every component is coloured to some degree and so is system dependent, but only in that it is possible to counter negative colourations to create a more neutral (apparently neutral anyway) presentaion.
In this respect you are right that for a given system, the list of recommended components would differ widely from another system's list, but providing the character of the components that make a magazine's list are clearly stated it should enable someone to at least draw up a short-list of components to audition if they know what presentation would suit their system, though certainly should not determine which one component they should purchase OR make them exclude components that aren't included in the list.
My own system comprises of Audio Note equipment that has never been reviewed in Stereophile for instance (?), EAR amps that are too old to be included (apparently?) and DIY speakers that utilize old Tannoy drivers.
Previously owned equipment that I bought used was very easy to sell because it was highly rated by the various magazines, so in this respect I'm very grateful for recommended/Best Buy labels.
(1) is it available at a nice discount anywhere, and (2) is it
going to sound better that my EAD2000 (as a transport) with
an MF a324 dac? The EAD still sounds great as a standalone cdp too.
Enquiring minds want to know.
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