The New Non-Review Review

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The other day I googled an audio product I needed to do some research on and found, much to my surprise, over a ½ dozen "reviews" had already been posted about it, so I checked 'em out.

What a big disappointment they were. The first three were basically the manufacturer's initial introductory sales-sheets printed verbatum, reformatted into whatever graphic look that particular site favored. The last three were even less relevant, with only the first paragraph of the original PR release quoted. I don't consider ANY of those real reviews, hence the non-review moniker.

A review, by definition, needs to contain an opinion to be a legitimate review.

I've also seen some Internet publications that are long on sizzle, but short on steak. I don't need to read through a rewrite of a component's basic operating instructions any more than I need a laundry list of parts. What I do want to know is how a unit stacks up against other similarly priced or similarly functioned components. And THAT is the sort of information that actually requires that a reviewer do some original work. That is the signal that is buried by the noise of unoriginal copy reposted and reformatted ad infinitum.

Don't misunderstand me, I love to read well-written descriptions by passionate audiophiles' of their journeys to the outskirts of sonic satori. Unfortunately few audio writers have the literary chops to make their listening descriptions anything more than run-on sentences full of lugubrious prose.

So what's my point? I'm just tired of copy-and-paste jobs passing themselves off as journalism. I'm also tired of sites that add nothing to the conversation because they have no opinions. Without opinions we might as well be back in that mythical time and place when all audio gear sounded the same...

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