When you are looking for a review there is nothing more frustrating than waiting 2 weeks for your back issue to turn up. How about offering reviews for download where you can pay and download straight away?
It's under consideration for the next phase of the development of this site, along with providing the reviews online for viewing there.
Can't tell you much more, other than the fact that the sheer scale of getting all the reviews currently listed in our Buying Guide online - it runs to almost 1500 products and just keeps on growing - means this is going to be a pretty major enterprise around these parts, so it may well take some time.
Consulting Editor, What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision/whathifi.com Audio Editor, Gramophone
It sounds to me like your whole approach is back-to-front. All your reviews and editorial should be in a central repository from which you can publish on-line or in print at the push of button shouldn't the publisher be funding this across their entire range of magazines?
Naim Nait XS,ND5-XS plus Flatcap 2X. PMC TB2+ Speakers, Atlas Hyper Bi-wire cable. Yamaha RXV-657 AV amp and MK Ref 200 sub.
Yes, that's sort of the plan.
Back in the 70s when I was a lad still in school I got interested in hi-fi because I had the good fortune of hearing a good sound system belonging to a friend's dad. I was hooked and wanted to know as much as I could about hi-fi. An advertisement in a daily caught my eye. The paper was publishing a hi-fi annual and I immediately ordered it by mail. One half of the book was devoted to cataloging new hi-fi gear with specifications published. If a novice were to see those data, the person wouldn't know how to read it less make judgment on how good a particular component might perform. Fortunately, the first half of the book is a Guide to Hi-Fi written by John Borwick. That was quite sometime back and I do not know if the author has passed on. In those days, books for dummies have not yet appeared but John Borwick's book could have been titled Hi-Fi Made Simple. Those were the days when hi-fi enthusiast would have a fair understanding of how these components work. I would say a good number of them were electronic hobbyist. There were no pseudoscience then. Today we look at how hi-fi consumers spend on cables and accessories, in some cases, the sum spent on ancillaries is even greater than the actual components that play the music. What idiots. If Mr. Borwick were around, he would put things in its proper perspective. It can not be denied that todays hi-fi periodicals is responsible for this sick fad. It would be better if there were more professionals from the Audio Engineering Society covering this field rather than pseudo-scientists. Todays hi-fi periodicals also need to brush up its act. Take for example, July 2007 issue. It is indeed welcome that the magazine have decided to go back to its root and not pretend that it is also a video magazine.
I think I follow all that, but I wasn't aware WHFSV had ever gone away from its roots, let alone felt a need to return to them. But one of the benefits of the website, especially in the full version we're working on for next year, will be the ability to explain things at much greater length than is possible in the magazine itself.
Bit alarmed that you fall into the use of the objectivist cliche of 'pseudoscience' so easily, but I have to pass one one ancedote from my acquaintance with the 'old school' reviewers. One of the last reviews one such reviewer - not Mr Borwick - wrote for Gramophone after the Haymarket takeover back in 1999 comprised the better part of 1000 words describing the facilities and construction of a CD player, followed by nothing more about the sound of the product than the two sentences I paraphrase below:
"PerformanceIt has long been my contention that all CD players sound very much the same. The product under examination here does nothing to disabuse me of that belief."
And that was the end of the piece.
Quite how that helps anyone choose anything I am not at all sure.
By the way, I have to say that I have a lot of respect for John Borwick's writing on audio, and he also made me feel welcome when I took over as audio editor of Gramophone, at a time when many of the staff were understandably feeling threatened by what seemed like a big company takeover. I was particularly saddened that John decided not to continue writing for Gramophone shortly after the Haymarket purchase. But all that is ancient history now...
Thank you for your resopnse, Andrew. So what you mean to say is WHF is dead and in its wake is another periodical altogether, the likeness in name notwithstanding, that had never departed from its root. Perhaps, I should have mourned at the demise of WHF and boy do I miss it. Why should you be alarmed that I use the term "pseudoscience" so casually. Have you not heard it uttered among audio engineers often enough? It bothers me that non-specialist is adamant that there is directivity characteristics in conductors. That a sophisticated constructed power lead will make a world of difference in hi-fi. And there is that insistence that if the high frequencies circuitry in a crossover is not separated from the low one, deleterious effects from the low frequencies will swarm the high frequencies circuitry resulting in a corruption of the signal. When asked why does this not happen at the amplifier or pre-amp stage; they could not provide a satisfactory answer. So, you see Andrew, do you not agree that it takes an ethical audio engineer to explain to consumers that these assertions are nothing but snake skin oil. And I do believe that hi-fi periodicals have a responsibility to be honest to its customers, its readers, in this regard if it were to be considered a reliable guide.
I think I know of whom you speak about the reviewer who wrote those sentences. He was your predecessor at Gramophone is he not? Frankly, I am surprised he said that. I thought by 1999, CD technology had matured to a stage where there are noticeable differences among different makes. I guess he was one of the old school die-hards that have contempt for things too revolutionary. I am curious as to why Mr. Borwick decided to stop writing for Gramophone after the takeover. Perhaps he thought that Haymarket might bring the video aspect into what was primarily a periodical about the audio arts. Being an audio engineer, he probably thought that Gramophone might morphed into something unrecognizable and that he had no interest in competing with video engineers. Can't blame him. It would be nice though if you could coax him out of retirement to write a few technical articles for the hi-fi section. Even if it were to appear once in a blue moon, it would still be a treat.
So what you mean to say is WHF is dead and in its wake is another periodical altogether, the likeness in name notwithstanding, that had never departed from its root.
No, I meant nothing of the sort.
should you be alarmed that I use the term "pseudoscience" so casually....
it takes an ethical
audio engineer to explain to consumers that these assertions are
nothing but snake skin oil.
And there's another cliche
I know of whom you speak about the reviewer who wrote those sentences.
He was your predecessor at Gramophone is he not?
No, wrong again.
I am curious as to why Mr. Borwick decided to
stop writing for Gramophone after the takeover. Perhaps he thought that
Haymarket might bring the video aspect into what was primarily a
periodical about the audio arts.
Perish the thought - they'll be reviewing DVDs next...
I rest my case.
AFAICR, Gramophone was reviewing operas, etc., on VHS long before it was bought by Haymarket.
A great thread to read...but not to join in
TW Raven AC - Soundsmith SG-410 - MSB 202 - Gershman Acoustics Black Swan - Audioquest K9
I think you just did...
My favourate reviewer are Alan Sircom and you (Oh and Mike Fenech too)........
WHF doesn't tell who is writing the review (used to, a long time ago) so I can't give any credit to anyone in particular but the whole team seem to put enjoyment over technical information which is great, imo.
I've been a subscriber for over 10 years and as such would really appreciate being able to access back issue PDFs for example with a username and password provided to me as such, even if the resulting file cannot be printed or saved, just online would be great
I have to say there are far too many typographical errors in the magasine, and mistakes in the reproduction of the technical specs. In one such case, some years ago, I relied on the tech specs listed, since I was unable to view the product in question, and they were wrong, very wrong, resulting in my disappointment. I was able to return the product, but the experience left a bitter taste in my mouth. I did write to WHF and complain, however I was ignored. As a result I nearly cancelled my subscription - although in the end I didn't.
I still see these errors btw.
It does seem that the art of proof reading has gone out of the window in the printed press.
Is that magasine or magazine?
Andy Clough is Brand Editor of What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision and whathifi.com
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