Well, if people are unable to differentiate opinion from fact, then there's not much that can be done about that. I've never seen any review in a reputable magazine start describing their opinion of something as "It's a fact that..." . With that in mind, the impact of what you're saying is, magazines must start every sentence which isn't a fact as "In our opinion", in order to make this clear?
sorry, guess we will have to agree to disagree on this one as I have read different magazines that do present opinion as fact.
I don't see that we have to disagree at all. If I read a review that specifically presented an opinion as a fact, I would also disagree with it (even if I actually agreed with their opinion). My point is, I haven't seen such a review that I can remember (in a reputable magazine / online publication). They may present their opinion in a certain manner e.g. "the sound of (a) was clearly superior to that of (b)", but that doesn't mean they are saying it's a fact, it means they are offering their opinion that sound (a) was clearly superior to that of sound (b).
Which comes back to my point, are you therefore saying that all reviewers should be required to put in "In my opinion" or "In our opinion" in front of every sentence they write in order to point out the obvious?
You probably won't be surprised to see me backing up the prof on this one!
That our reviews are merely our opinions is implicit by the nature of the magazine. And, as prof says, we simply don't have the space to insert "in our opinion" or "we found" etc etc at the start of every sentence. Besides which, that would be incredibly tedious to read.
A word on the Big Question. These are clearly not scientific tests, nor are they meant to be. As has been said in previous posts, they are more the starting off point for discussions on, hopefully, interesting topics. We feel that it's entertaining for the reader to see other opinions in the magazine than just our own.
Of course, the panel is rather thrown in at the deep end, with no experience of our listening rooms, the equipment used, or quite possibly the music listened to. And the testing goes on for only two or three hours. So not long.
Our technical editor Ketan can be quite intimidating, too!
To subject the panel to rigorous scientific conditions on top of all that might make the experience a little more intimidating and rather less enjoyable than it should be.
Also we're not in the business of making people look foolish. The Big Question needs to be an interesting, entertaining day for those people attending, as well as a starting point for discussions. So please don't read into it that we are claiming any of the results as fact.
Indeed, quite often we as a magazine do not concur with the panel's opinion.The copy is, though, as I hope those attending will confirm, a faithful representation of those opinions expressed on the day.
Oh, and (plug, plug) anyone is welcome to attend, be you skeptic, cynic or believer.
Feel free to email me if you'd like to go on the shortlist for the next Big Question we do. I've got no date set yet, but I will get back in contact before I post a general forum free for all.
Jonathan Evans is managing editor of What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision
What, from here?
With these feet?
Please do a Big Question with three women.
Audio Editor, Gramophone
I can think of a couple of reasons.
Hi Jonathan You managed to translate my barely English answers extremely well, they are very true to day and what was said
i really enjoyed the day and have taken a lot away with me in regards to my own system and the quality of what is printed by the magazine, and the brains /eyes and ears behind it so thanks again
The only main benefit i can think of using 3 women would be a nicer photo section for the mag
Meridian G61R, HD621, Bryston 9BSST
Optimised Audio PC - J River / JPlay / Custom Full Linear Power Supply
Panasonic 65VT65, Marantz UD7007, HIFi Racks Podium Reference
Monitor Audio GX100, GXC150, GXFX, BK XLS400 (set with hard knee house curve)
JCAT USB and Sata, Graham Slee Spatia (SC) Graham Slee Lautus Digital / Analogue IC x 9
Dude, women also have opinions these days.
Yeah, dude, don't you know nuffin? Women have had opinions for like, years! Since at least, err, 1996, I think. Pay attention man, they're not just nice to look at anymore and anyone that disagrees with this is a total sexist innit?
No signature worth mentioning...
Anyone applying to be part of TBQ will be equally welcome.
AND don't they have better high frequency hearing than chaps?
Apple Lossless - ATV3 - AVI ADM 40 also ATV3 into AVI ADM 9T [my wife's system]
and Grado SR80i
I really think having 3 women do the test would be an instructive thing.
Apparently women even listen to music and watch TVs sometimes!
Think my comment or choice of words might have taken out of context there - I meant the reason why it would be better, by that any different - I was certainly not implying any worse due to sexuality
i was actually making a joke of my photo -that is what I was getting at.
nothing aimed at the photographer who was excellent - he is only as good as his subject
But they don't seem to care what on for the most part.
I think its an evolutionary thing, like male penguins collecting rocks.
Paul's system thread
(where the photos live) Paul's Flickr page
Our technical editor Ketan can be quite intimidating, too!
So it's just a piece of "puff" then! The problem is that there are doubtless some of your readers who believe what they read and possibly spend a lot of their hard-earned money on that basis. Might I suggest that you owe your readers a bit more than that!
My cynical side says that there is no incentive for the industry (and that includes the magazines) to find definitive answers because they would have less to sell / write about. Maybe I'm being too harsh but ...
PS I'd be happy to take part in a listening test but only if it were scientifically conducted, ie double blind and statistically significant.
I thought it was the 1960's bra's were burnt and women started listening to music and watching tv*
*All compleat cobblers btw
Personally i think that 99.99% of readers that buy the mag understand what its about.
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