77 posts / 0 new
Last post
bigfish786's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 days 14 hours ago
Joined: 29/01/2013 - 18:35
Posts: 404
WHFSV Reviews

Something i'd like to see in reviews of products when maybe a star or two have been deducted or denied is a reference to the "sound per pound" analogy that the mag uses. Especially when it comes to higher priced items. Let's just say a 2k CD player gets 3 stars, would that star rating improve if the price dropped? To give an idea of value, when judging it against other products?? It could be a five star product if targeted at a lesser price. I think this could be helpful when looking to demo equipment. 

 

BenLaw's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 14 min ago
Joined: 21/11/2010 - 20:21
Posts: 6326
RE: WHFSV Reviews

The mag can and has added stars when a price has reduced. You seem to be talking about an overall comparative score, which is never going to happen. WHF stars operate broadly as comparisons against similar products at similar price points. WHF will probably tell you they operate even more broadly as a way to help draw up an audition list, to then decide yourself. 

plastic penguin's picture
Offline
Last seen: 16 hours 24 min ago
Joined: 28/04/2008 - 10:56
Posts: 16263
RE: WHFSV Reviews

It's true what Ben has stated, and also, WHFI also state in the mags that any star ratings are purely a guide or a reference. This is so true when WHFI gave Usher S520 3 stars, whereas when I heard them with Arcam they were deeply impressive for the money, amongst others.

Amp; CDP; Turntable; Tuner; Speakers

unsleepable's picture
Offline
Last seen: 17 hours 42 min ago
Joined: 25/12/2013 - 15:10
Posts: 233
RE: WHFSV Reviews

While upgrading my system, I've been surprised to find—and sometimes be annoyed by—the contrainsts that WHF reported in their reviews. While I may not always like the same components they like, and I think that the number of stars that they give to each component is conditioned by how much they like it in the end, I have learnt to take the descriptions given in their reviews more seriously.

Arcam irDac • Arcam FMJ A19 • Arcam FMJ P38 • Kef R100

The_Lhc's picture
Offline
Last seen: 19 hours 11 min ago
Joined: 16/10/2008 - 13:23
Posts: 12882
RE: WHFSV Reviews

unsleepable wrote:
I think that the number of stars that they give to each component is conditioned by how much they like it in the end

Errm, what other reason would they have for awarding a star rating?

davedotco's picture
Online
Last seen: 8 min 48 sec ago
Joined: 24/04/2013 - 10:02
Posts: 3101
RE: WHFSV Reviews

I feel that WHF should drop the star rating system completely.

It is completely misleading and causes confusion among the hard of thinking.

It also virtually forces retailers to stock and sell 5* product, when other product is better in terms of system matching or a customer's actual requirements.

It is a sad fact that people buy 5* product rather than what they actually want and need. Do away with the ratings entirely and let a dealer sell product by demonstration and on it's merit, not it's reviews.

unsleepable's picture
Offline
Last seen: 17 hours 42 min ago
Joined: 25/12/2013 - 15:10
Posts: 233
RE: WHFSV Reviews

The_Lhc wrote:

unsleepable wrote:
I think that the number of stars that they give to each component is conditioned by how much they like it in the end

Errm, what other reason would they have for awarding a star rating?

Well, if WHF was completely subjective, and only about what they reviewer him- or herself liked, it wouldn't be any useful to all of us, would it?

There are many ways that reviews can possibly be conducted. I have worked presenting technology to advisory firms. And some aim at being more objective in their reviews—so even though they don't review all possible technologies, when a particular product is reviewed and receives a bad rating, it's better to stay away from it; and a product with technical impairments would not get a great review.

What I intend to say is that I am not sure that is the case with WHF, so that a product with not such a good review may still be great but simply did not appeal so much to the reviewer, and viceversa. I have found their technical descriptions to be useful to me, though; and accurate in regards to what I have found myself later—even if sometimes I did not completely understand the number of stars awarded. Surely just a matter of tastes, that makes it difficult to be more impartial with Hi-Fi sound.

Arcam irDac • Arcam FMJ A19 • Arcam FMJ P38 • Kef R100

spiny norman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 14/01/2009 - 12:49
Posts: 958
RE: WHFSV Reviews

davedotco wrote:
It also virtually forces retailers to stock and sell 5* product, when other product is better in terms of system matching or a customer's actual requirements.

Poor lambs! Then again, they could always get off their backsides, get out there and demonstrate to customers why they feel the products they stock are better than the ones with the shiny 5* badges on them. You know, like selling and all that.

I'd have a lot more respect for a retailer who got to know me and my system, then said 'Yes, I know that one got five stars, but I think for you and your system this would be a lot better; would you like to have a listen and I'll show you what I mean?', rather than just 'OK here's the box - just pop your card in the machine'

davedotco's picture
Online
Last seen: 8 min 48 sec ago
Joined: 24/04/2013 - 10:02
Posts: 3101
RE: WHFSV Reviews

spiny norman wrote:

davedotco wrote:
It also virtually forces retailers to stock and sell 5* product, when other product is better in terms of system matching or a customer's actual requirements.

Poor lambs! Then again, they could always get off their backsides, get out there and demonstrate to customers why they feel the products they stock are better than the ones with the shiny 5* badges on them. You know, like selling and all that.

Doesn't work, at least not on WHF readers.

They will think you are trying to con them and the fact that 'unkown' system is better than the one with all the 5* components is some sort of a fix.

They are not confident enough to buy the system that sounds best, they want validation so they buy the one the reviewer (whom they do not know and may never meet) thinks sounds best.

They do not trust the retailer, mostly because he doesn't endorse the highly reviewed product, despite the fact that he makes a better sound so they end up going to a mass market dealer, buy a mediocre system that does not sound very good, blame the cables or the room, even themselves as it can't possibly be the equipment, it's all got great reviews.

There are a few dealers who continue to go their own way, produce great sounding systems and make a living but they are now in the minority and most have abandoned the budget sector altogether.

This is a shame, a lot of budget systems are sold to 'first time buyers' and they are invariably the customers that need expert help the most.

The_Lhc's picture
Offline
Last seen: 19 hours 11 min ago
Joined: 16/10/2008 - 13:23
Posts: 12882
RE: WHFSV Reviews

davedotco wrote:

I feel that WHF should drop the star rating system completely.

It is completely misleading and causes confusion among the hard of thinking.

It also virtually forces retailers to stock and sell 5* product, when other product is better in terms of system matching or a customer's actual requirements.

It is a sad fact that people buy 5* product rather than what they actually want and need. Do away with the ratings entirely and let a dealer sell product by demonstration and on it's merit, not it's reviews.

So you're suggesting the magazine shouldn't publish reviews at all? Why would anyone buy it?

Andy Clough's picture
Offline
Last seen: 23 hours 20 min ago
Joined: 27/04/2004 - 16:13
Posts: 6670
RE: WHFSV Reviews

bigfish786 wrote:

Let's just say a 2k CD player gets 3 stars, would that star rating improve if the price dropped? It could be a five star product if targeted at a lesser price.

Simple answer, yes it could. We have on quite a few occasions re-rated a product's star rating when the price has dropped significantly, taking it into a lower price band.

Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision and whathifi.com

davedotco's picture
Online
Last seen: 8 min 48 sec ago
Joined: 24/04/2013 - 10:02
Posts: 3101
RE: WHFSV Reviews

The_Lhc wrote:

davedotco wrote:

I feel that WHF should drop the star rating system completely.

It is completely misleading and causes confusion among the hard of thinking.

It also virtually forces retailers to stock and sell 5* product, when other product is better in terms of system matching or a customer's actual requirements.

It is a sad fact that people buy 5* product rather than what they actually want and need. Do away with the ratings entirely and let a dealer sell product by demonstration and on it's merit, not it's reviews.

So you're suggesting the magazine shouldn't publish reviews at all? Why would anyone buy it?

No.

I am suggesting that reviews should concentrate on the strengths of a particular product, what it is good at, not so good at and how it reacts in different systems. Ie practical advice on how to get the best from it.

The whole ratings/best buy model is two symplistic and in the end devisive. It does however sell magazines, so despite what I might wish for I am well aware that I am not going to get it.

Really just pointing out the limitations of that style of reportings and lamenting the effect it has on the market place. Just my views of course, now I am not a dealer and do not have to deal with it it does not bother me that much, just an interesting topic of conversation.

AlCB's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 1 day ago
Joined: 25/02/2011 - 11:46
Posts: 10
WHFSV Reviews

Just as a tangent to the main point in this strand, it would also be good if more often we could be told that a product in a lower price range gives those at a higher price point a run for their money. I appreciate that group tests and class leaders against a given price range is invaluable and probably the only way to do it, but wouldn’t it be good if from time to time a class leader at one price point is put into a group test of contenders for the one above (not sure some manufacturers would think so). Whilst lower price products may not score well on build quality, sound quality might be a different kettle of fish in some cases!

JamesMellor's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 44 min ago
Joined: 19/07/2013 - 15:45
Posts: 323
RE: WHFSV Reviews

My two pennies ,

What do the stars really mean ? it's not really a percentage and its not really acurate , lets say a group test of 6 amps , 2 get 5 stars ( one a group winner ) 3 get 4 stars and 1 gets 3 stars .

To my mind the 3 that get 4 stars should really get 3 stars as they represent the average / middle ground , the group winner gets five and the other 5 star get 4 stars , the 3 star gets 2 stars as being below average . Then also award 1 or even 0 for amps below this average rating.

Read the review go listen to the stuff and interpret the comments with your own expreiance  , a subjective review is always usefull as long as you can compare it to your own impressions and experiance .

One thing I did use to like about WHF in the 90's was it was always the same guy/s reviewing the stuff , Hi-Fi Choice I think always used changing panels ( who some how used to agree with me more than WHF ) and HIFi News RR used to qoute the reviewer

James

 

professorhat's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 37 min ago
Joined: 28/12/2007 - 11:34
Posts: 11034
RE: WHFSV Reviews

JamesMellor wrote:

One thing I did use to like about WHF in the 90's was it was always the same guy/s reviewing the stuff

That's the same now - there is a review team who agree as a consensus what the rating should be.

 

The owls are not what they seem...

JamesMellor's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 44 min ago
Joined: 19/07/2013 - 15:45
Posts: 323
RE: WHFSV Reviews

I kinda thought it was still , but I wasn't sure , Thats a good thing to my mind , its a consent across all reviews

James

Pages

Log in or register to post comments