I think you'll see a post on this forum which has been written following someone buying blind and then finding that after a few minutes the system sounds too bright.
It's all about choosing kit that works together, where the overall sound is better than the constituent parts IMO. The only way you can ensure this is by listening to the separates together if at all possible.
A review can help to support that, or can help you to build a shortlist. A poor review will mean that the product in question makes far less shortlists, and almost certainly ensures that any blind purchase of that particular product is minimal.
Unison Research CDE, Leema Tucana 2, Kudos C2 and some cables.
professor hat - for the record- i did not imply that anyone was corrupt, not remotely, in any way!!! ....in fact i have praised this mag, its the leader in its segment, and has been for some time......
surely its ok for readers to put forward ideas that would 'improve' their (and others by the sounds of it) its great to read (from clare) that you will be incorporating readers views for those who want to use a ratings based guide to buying their components, for others only roadtesting themselves will do, and hopefuly retailers wont just stock 5 star products at the expense of lesser known or un-reviewed products, andrew you made a good point there on retailers 'selling skills'.
Sorry, but exactly how is
Consulting Editor, What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision/whathifi.com Audio Editor, Gramophone
Of course we welcome all feedback - and use it often to make the mag and website more relevant. Take our TV tests, which now - as a direct result of feedback from these Forums - include annotated pictures of the sets' remote controls.
However - as Andrew points out - feedback is one thing, groundless accusations are another!
Group PR Manager - Computers Unlimited;
Former Group Editor of What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision and Whathifi.com
Quality will always shine through. I bought the Creek Evo amp from Superfi before Christmas for £350 (the silver one was £299!). It received four stars from WHF but it's absolutely superb and listed as £495 in the mag. After Christmas Superfi increased it's price to £425 and now it's back to £495. If the four stars affected it's ability to sell (especially in the current climate), surely they would not have brought the price back up?
Screen - Samsung UE46D8000. Sources - Dell Zino HD 410; Sky HD; Sony BDP S550; Wyred 4 Sound DAC1. Amps - Yamaha RX-A3010; SimAudio Moon I-3 RS. Speakers - Vienna Acoustics Mozart Grand; Vienna Acoustics Waltz Grand centre; Proficient Audio W690 rears; Monitor Audio RSW12. Cables - Van Damme Blue 4mm speaker cable; Townsend DCT300 and Atlas Voyager interconnects; Van den Hul Optocoupler.
I don't think the problem is with a 4 star rated product.
However a 2 star rater wouldn't get a look in.
I agree and neither should it! I can't imagine any product getting two stars and being any good.
Maybe ratings need to be split up into quality and value. The Creek mentioned above - "fantastic sound, bit dear - listen to it, see if it's worth the money to you". All the mags in the other consumer areas I know anything about do that......
And another thing, isn't it a b-gger when your five star product becomes a four star one (640c v2)?
Cambridge Audio StreamMagic 6 | 751BD | 651A | PMC DB1i | A secret shiny box | Sonos Play:3
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Every single issue - in both our Best Buys spread, and test openers - we take this kind of approach to four-star products:
"Four star products may not have the all-round ability of the best, but they're still superior products and could be better for your system".
You'll also noticed highly positive comments for four-star rated kit in the Buyer's Guide - for example that Creek, which reads: "Smart with precise, detailed delivery with teamed with the EVO amplifier". There you have it - review and system-matching advice in one line....
Clare has explained before the reason for not doing that. I have to agree that if WHF reviewed products an awarded budget components 1 or 2 stars, there would be a slump in would be Hifi enthusiasts. Many would look and see that they couldn't afford any more than a 3 star product and think, I will not bother then.
Yep, but all our reviews are done on a performance-per-pound basis - if there's something better for the money, we'll tell you.
The fact that Cambridge Audio already has V3 kit in the pipeline means they know they can do better compared to the competition, too
And if they go down the 740c/840c route and add a digital in, we can stop all the "best DAC for my squeezebox?" threads! Maybe you could stick a word in............
Hiya Clare,how are you?Why not tell us about your system,most of us do?
It's all been available on this thread for some time - though i've since upgraded the turntable to a Roksan Radiius 5...
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