Buying performance, or by the specification?

There’s a lot of discussion on the Forums at the moment about objective and subjective considerations of products, but one thing remains for sure – when it comes to the AV market, specifications sell.

I’ve lost count of the number of threads we’ve had over there about how one product is better than the other because it has this Sharc or that Wolfson or the other Crystal. And of course power figures are also a big selling point, to the extent that most manufacturers employ a spot of creativity to ensure their numbers are bigger than their rivals’.

Then there’s the sheer number of sockets on offer, most of which many users will never ever use, but which are often quoted in the name of 'futureproofing'.

It’s all roughly akin to a bit of badge-snobbery – you may only have the GLX, but I’ve got the CDX – which so often formed the basis of the pecking order among sales forces in the days before company car fleets started to feel the squeeze.

And it seems at least one manufacturer has finally put on paper what we’ve all suspected all along: people buy AV receivers based on the number of badges on the front.

This is Yamaha’s latest US advertising campaign.

Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.