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Valid points, mostly

The only exception I would take is that somebody that is relatively new to this hobby doesn't know the things that you do. He wouldn't know that "Valin [has] a new reference every month" or that I "don't like Valin" (let alone the reasons for that dislike).

I honestly wish that TAS would be a valid, successful magazine. The US audio scene would be much better off with two credible print magazines. (Think Car & Driver and Road & Track, and how they complement each other.)

If you go back far enough, history has some interesting lessons for us. Two of the mainstays of the current TAS used to write for the original TAS under the editorship of HP (Jonathan Valin and Wayne Garcia). At one point there was a mutiny of sorts, involving Valin, Garcia, and one of HP's erstwhile financial backers. The result was the relatively short-lived "Fi" magazine.

Fi started off with an interesting premise. Half of the book was devoted to coverage of music and the other half was devoted to equipment. As I recall, there was a self-imposed limit of $1000 (retail) per component to keep the magazine relevant to the average newcomer to high-end audio. The financial limit kept being broken until it was discarded altogether.

Instead of focusing on budget gear (as some writers do at Stereophile), all the Fi reviewers wanted to be the next HP and review only the best, cutting edge equipment. Valin was the worst of the bunch in that regard. It wasn't enough to only review the most expensive and obscure equipment*. Before long before he adopted many of HP's writing stylisms, referring to himself in the the third person, using archaic English colloquialisms ("anon", anyone?), et cetera.

Not only was the old TAS a better magazine, the old JV was a better reviewer.

*One advantage of reviewing expensive, obscure equipment is that very few people can ever challenge your opinions They simply have never heard the latest handmade, ridiculously expensive equipment that only has one dealer in the US. It is then easier to be an "authority", your judgements never in question...

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  • Valid points, mostly - Charles Hansen 05:37:11 05/02/12 (1)


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