When 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