A "Good" Review

AR-review1.jpegWhen I write the words "a good review" what do you think of? For manufacturers a good review is one that's positive and effusive with praise for their product. Conversely, a "bad review" would be one full of negative comments and opinions about a component's value.

Obviously for a consumer a good review should mean something different. In fact a manufacturer's concept of a bad review may be exactly what some consumers would consider a good review! Seems that consumers and manufacturers are not quite on the same team.

But what, as a reviewer, what do I consider a good or a bad review? I'm glad I asked that question...

For me a good review is one that accurately describes the features and technical advantages of a product, as well as why a manufacturer claims it is superior to its competition. A good review should lay out a reviewer's sonic and ergonomic experience with the product so that the reader can decide whether that product is appropriate for their needs.

Whether a reviewer likes or dislikes a product for their own use is largely irrelevant. I also think that any one reviewer's take on a component's relative value in the marketplace should be discounted as well. Only after several reviews from different sources can you really begin to get a fix on a product's place relative to it's primary competition.

A reviewer's personal opinion of a component's innate sonic goodness is only really useful within the context of their entire signal chain - if you have similar gear, you can expect similar sonic results. If you have different gear a review supplies fuel for some sonic extrapolation, but the accuracy of this depends on the reader's technical skill and their deciphering abilities...

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