Manifesto of the Editorial Staff – 1 Part. Reviews up to the present
Reviews up to the present
According the Vintage Hi Fi Review, this text is a manifesto that wants to set the guidelines for the drafting of adequate reviews of Hi Fi….. products and for the comprehension of the characteristics of the ones that have been already done.
Editorial Staff’s Manifesto – Part 1
Reviews up to the present
According the Vintage Hi Fi Review, this text is a manifesto that wants to set the guidelines for the drafting of adequate reviews of Hi Fi products and for the comprehension of the characteristics of the ones that have been already done.
Reviews or tests of Hi Fi components are usually divided into four main parts:
– Description of the product that on trial
– Description of the system where the product is inserted for listening
Let us have a close look at at each part, one by one, trying to focus on the most important and useful aspects to give the essential technical/sonic information in relation to the price of the product. We will leave out the choreographic part of the review because it could interfere in comprehension.
Description of the product
In the first part the reviewer provides a description of the product analysing those technical, aesthetic and operating aspects that he believes are helpful to know the product, so as to start being in tune with it.
Details of the items are described, especially the main aspects regarding the nature of the component, with considerations that reveal the adequate sizing of the parts and their workmanship.
However, it is important to pay attention to those aspects that the writer skipped or pushed into the background. In effect, sometimes, for different reasons, there is a trend towards concealing some defects in the product that could put it in a bad light in the eyes of the enthusiasts. Often they are secondary aspects that do not influence the sound but make the device less fruible.
On the contrary, the case is different when there is no description of the negative aspects which illustrates the less than brilliant sonic or instrumental behaviour. If so, careful listening is necessary before purchase.
The system used for the test
This paragraph deals with the system used for the listening test in which the product on trial will be inserted. In the majority of cases, some reviewers name it; rarely a review is drawn up without the description of the system and the listening room where the test takes place.
It is very important to understand the quality and the system used. We already know well that the final sound of any component is influenced by the sequence where the device is put, and at the same time, that the component itself influences this sequence.
Therefore, it is extremely important to have a precise idea of how the testing system sounds, starting from each of its components, so as to have an exact comprehension of what the reviewer tells us about the performance of the component.
So far, only a few reviewers have given detailed information about their listening system, and above all, about their set up circumstances, since they believe that the system used is the best system available set up in the best way.
In this section the reviewer writes up his sonic considerations on a product talking about the main guidelines and giving all the information recorded during the listening session.
It is always worth being suspicious of evaluations that exalt the component with absolute adjectives. Products that deserve those adjectives are very rare, and anyway, the wise reviewer will have to support the pompous statements with precise arguments. Otherwise, it is advisable to take with great caution the reviewer’s words as the reviewer’s best quality is just balance. A weighted analysis with reasonable statements that takes into consideration both positive and negative aspects (if present) is the sign of a shrewd, professional and truthful review.
At this point an apparently banal consideration must be done: any kind of evaluation made by any reviewer is largely subjective ; for this reason it is strongly influenced by the cultural background, the perceptive ability, the sensitivity and the sonic taste of the reviewer. His evaluations are helpful only to give a track to follow so as to know the component on trial, but they cannot replace a direct listening by the enthusiast that has to make a decision according to his tastes and his sensitivity.
In the conclusions, the reviewer summarizes in a few lines the results obtained by the product on trial, listing its best points and faults. Usually, at the end of this section there is a necessary recapitulatory scheme of the technical characteristics and the price of the item.
Yet, this paragraph is not sufficient to get an exact idea of the object; it is necessary to read the whole review so that the intimateessence of the product on trial can be understood.