To Jeff Fritz,
I just read your answer on the letter "Magico Unlimited." I have to say that I completely share your thoughts, on all the speakers you mention, and I find it refreshing to see one reviewer who has the courage to state so openly his opinion, both positive and, more important, negative. Even if we may not always agree in the future, I will always respect you as a great reviewer who has the courage to speak his mind, even if it implies criticizing the top product of a very famous manufacturer.
This is invaluable in a "pseudo reviewer world" where all products are "great." Please keep on. I am a big fan.
Thank you for the very kind letter. What I have found is that some reviewers do not tell the whole truth, or are willing to overlook obvious flaws, and there are a number of reasons why this happens: some writers are not confident in their own opinions; some do not wish to offend manufacturers, often fearing they will be blacklisted from getting review samples in the future; others don’t want to offend the readers who they perceive are endeared to a particular brand; some simply don’t have a broad and deep enough knowledge base, including a solid neutral reference, to be able to accurately judge what is good and what is not. Lastly, and I'm sure I'll get hammered for saying this, some reviewers are simply crooked (I've seen this with my own eyes).
I recently read a review in a well-known British publication of an ultra-expensive (six figures) loudspeaker. I was perplexed. The technical measurements were horrendous; I've seen speakers for two grand that measure better. The measurements that were taken we know correlate well with sound quality, and in this case they could describe nothing other than a poorly designed product. The description of the sound, however, was otherworldly, as if there were musicians magically appearing in the listening room. Now, some will say that the measurements were flawed, or don’t really matter, or whatever. I have other ideas about the contradictory result. But regardless, the consumer is the one that loses here. If the measurements are correct, then the product stinks, pure and simply. If the measurements are wrong, then the magazine has no credibility or else why did they publish them?
Forgive me if I seem overly negative on the subject of reviewers. We work very hard at the SoundStage! Network to publish accurate reviews, properly edited, along with, when logistics allow, the best speaker measurements in the industry (see www.speakermeasurements.com). It does not seem that all audio reviewers take the "job" seriously, and some are corrupt, or are incompetent. I know a number of reviewers at other publications besides ours who are very good, but it seems with every passing day they are fewer and farther between. . . . Jeff Fritz