Written by 4:18 am News

Audiophiles Love Lists

Riddle me this…why do Audiophiles love “Best” lists? Steven Stone looks at the concept of “Best of Show” and explains why it matters…


Recently Joey Weiss posted in HP’s new website about the 2012 RMAF. Instead of doing the usual “Best Sound” thing Weiss wrote, “Never will you see a reviewer in this publication proclaim a system, room, or component the “best” in show…all rooms at a hotel-based audio show are flawed from the outset.  Likewise, the “best” as a distinction, is a ridiculous claim.”

Wow. I wonder if Weiss ever read TAS, the old TAS? the one with tiny type? It was, during HP’s tenure as chief bottle-washer, ALL about “best.” So for a writer on his new site to proclaim that concept to be “ridiculous” is an amusing turnabout. And I must also disagree with Weiss’ “All rooms are flawed so why bother?” attitude toward the sound at RMAF.

Granted, a vast majority of all the hotel rooms used for all the shows I’ve ever attended during 30+ years in the biz have sucked. But having to work with a difficult room is part of the audio show game. Can you, Mr. or Mrs. Manufacturer, make it so this room doesn’t sound like dog droppings? If you can make your room sound at least decent, there’s a possibility you have the technical skills to be able to deal with your customers’ room’s sonic problems. Audio shows are show and tell, pure and simple. The successful audio firms are very talented when it comes to show and tell. They do it well. And as a journalist, my job is to tell, after they show…

I’ve done a “Best Sound” show report for every audio show I’ve attended as far back as I can remember. Editors demand one. Manufacturers seem to enjoy the praise and additional eyeball time, and audiophiles, like most humans love lists, rankings, comparisons, and almost anything else that involves competition. So instead of watching gladiators bleed out into the sand, modern-day audiophiles have “Which room sounds best?” to satiate our blood lust. 

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