Audio Asylum Thread Printer
Get a view of an entire thread on one page
|For Sale Ads|
To JA; I have tried to find some backstory on the ARC-Stereophile fracas-for lack of a better term-that lasted, what-almost ten years?-following Mike Fremer's review of the then-$14,000/pair ARC VTM150's. The review is commendably posted on your website, but nothing in the way of a manufacturer response. Yes, I notice that none of the archived reviews include manufacturer responses. IIRC, ARC never formally responds and did not to that review. Hasn't enough time passed to tell the untold particulars? I would love to know if it was William Zane Johnson himself that picked up the phone and vented in purple prose or if someone down the corporate ladder simply communicated that ARC would no longer advertise and submit equipment for review and I would love to know exactly what they found to be so unfair about Mikey's review. Mikey alluded to the rift when he started his glowing review of the Ref 6, but the details remain untold. Can't it be laughed about and told by now? I am an unabashed ARC fan and own ARC gear. Please give me somethin'.
...back in about 1995 I wrote a review of LS-2B MkII I purchased because Johnson refused to loan equipment to TAS and discussed the situation.
It had happened before in the 1970s when ARC went solid state and HP didn't like the results.
Ironically, I would say it was TAS that made ARC famous.
"Ironically, I would say it was TAS that made ARC famous"
HP gave a helping hand to Conrad Johnson also. The C-J boys once took an issue with a Motif project and pulled ads.
"...back in about 1995 I wrote a review of LS-2B MkII I purchased because Johnson refused to loan equipment to TAS and discussed the situation."
I guess that explains why ARC refused to sell me a preamp, even at retail from one of their dealers. I had no history with them at all at the time, except I was writing for TAS. Thanks, Mike :-)
"It had happened before in the 1970s when ARC went solid state and HP didn't like the results."
And I remember--particularly since I worked at Garland at the time--JGH in Stereophile wasn't quite sure what to make of the D-100.
> I remember--particularly since I worked at Garland at the time--JGH
> in Stereophile wasn't quite sure what to make of the D-100.
You can find Gordon's review at the link below.
> I have tried to find some backstory on the ARC-Stereophile fracas-for lack
> of a better term-that lasted, what-almost ten years?-following Mike
> Fremer's review of the then-$14,000/pair ARC VTM150's.
You have me puzzled, as Mikey Fremer didn't review the Audio Research
VTM150. He did review the VTM-200 - see link below - in 2001. I don't
remember a fracas, though I think the late Bill Johnson wasn't happy with
> The review is commendably posted on your website, but nothing in the way
> of a manufacturer response. Yes, I notice that none of the archived reviews
> include manufacturer responses.
I tend to post the manufacturer's comment only when the review is negative.
Yes I meant the VTM200. With respect, it seems you are remaining a tad mum. Did you have any idea ARC would take so long to forgive the magazine? How is it that Mikey, who was not much of a tube guy at the time, got assigned the review?
Did that play a role in ARC's dissatisfaction? Were efforts made to smooth things over? And most of all, why couldn't ARC accept the simple truth that from time to time they have launched a dud? I recall a VT100 that received a rave review in Stereophile a year or two before the VTM200 review that an awful lot of consumers could not get to sound good in their system. And with apologies for so much drivel on my part, but is it possible, even likely, that there was an unfortunate convergence of audiophiles returning to tubes-much like the recent return to vinyl-without adequate experience as to optimum set-up and matching of components-again as with vinyl?
> Yes I meant the VTM200. With respect, it seems you are remaining a tad mum.
I thought responding to you promptly on a weekend revealed my willingness
not to remain "mum."
Looking at the list of Audio Research products we reviewed, the next one
following Michael Fremer's review of the VTM200 in January 2001, was Robert
Deutsch on the VS110 power amplifier and SP16L preamplifier in August 2003.
The gap was thus 2 1/2 years, not the 10 years you mentioned in your original
Just to dot the Ts and cross the Is, I have added the Manufacturer's
Comment to the Web reprint of our Audio Research VTM200 review.
John-like many others I'm sure, I feel that your regular participation in this forum "makes" the forum. But I suspect the story I seek is one I would only hear from a select handful of industry insiders in private or over a pint or three. The topic of negative reviews and advertising is so well-worn as to be tiresome. But as an avid reader of your magazine since the Larry Archibald days, I recall this incident as being relatively epic despite the various mistakes that you have [duly] corrected. We all know that outside of your measurements of digital and tubed pieces, most reviews are positive or glowing for multiple well-grounded reasons. In the context of the rare negative subjective listening impression, It is one thing to provide a negative review of a relatively unknown manufacturer's product that is not advertised and another to be critical of a product from arguably the world's most vaunted manufacturer that has regularly advertised. I have zero doubt there is a lot more to this story that would be interesting to us peons
"It has often been our own experience that when a new component of higher resolution is inserted into an existing audio chain, the "cleaner window" is itself blamed for pre-existing limitations the new component is in fact revealing."
That's exactly what I would have said! ;-)
Post a Message!
This post is made possible by the generous support of people like you and our sponsors: