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RE: Stereophile Reaches a New Nadir

>> I'm sure he hears things that very few others do. <<

Possibly, although I've never had anybody listen to my system, and say "I don't get it - it sounds just like every other system I've ever heard".

Instead the invariable reaction is "Wow, that is fabulous! How much does it cost?" Then when they find out, they say "When I win the lottery..."

Like you high-quality audio is not such a priority that many are willing to spend the time and trouble. But that is why magazines even exist. You would be surprised at how many people buy their system by going through a "Recommended Components" issue and buying the lowest priced thing in "Class A" in any given category . After a few years they end up with a complete system made of Stereophile Class A recommended components - with only one problem - the system sounds like crap.

There is a different way to do it. What if Jim Austin were the best listener in the world with the best system on earth, and he actually found that the the $2000 Benchmark DAC really did sound every bit as good as the $7900 (with network input) PS Audio DAC. You could confidently buy that DAC and over time purchase equally great bargains and end up with a stereo that would make amazing sound for at least 20 or 30 years.

But that is not what happens, as the structures of the magazines are inherently broken. At one time this could actually happen, back when JGH ran "Recommended Components" by himself. You could pretty much buy almost anything from any class - even mixing and matching them and get great sound at any budget.

For example, Altec Voice of the Theaters were Class A and Dynaco A-25's were Class D. Similarly Class D might include a Dyna PAS-3x and a Stereo 70, while Class A might include a Marantz 7 and 8B. Getting all Class A would sound amazing, while getting all Class D would make all but the pickiest happy. At any given point, one could move up to Class A in any category and improve the system. And that is how "Recommended Components" should work. If a speaker only sounds good with certain amps, one of the two is crap and should not be recommended. Just my opinion - YMMV.

I don't believe is system matching. If something is good, it's good. If it only sounds good under certain conditions, it is not good - it is incorrect.


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