New Stereophile Editor goes to "Re-education Camp" - from DeVore to an old Revel model. Why? And Why 10 year old Revel vs. something else "Accurate"?

caesar

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2010
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#1
The new Stereophile Editor Jim Austin recently stepped away from his DeVore speakers to review a 10-year old (or more) Revel Ultimate 2 speakers?

Why is he re-educating himself? Is it part of his job to know what's "accurate"?

Why not assign that work to others?

And what is wrong with DeVore? DeVore with Wavac sounded awesome at the recent Axpona. Personally, I would take nails under my fingernails rather than listen to "accurate" gear.

And why choose Revel? Especially a 10 year old plus design? The TAS guys have longed claimed that Magico is the most accurate speaker. Why not Magico or something else considered "accurate"?
 

caesar

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May 31, 2010
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#6
Hi Kal,
Thanks for chiming in. First of all, I am big believer in freedom and individual choice, so he can do whatever he wants. And Stereophile is a private company, so wherever they want to take their brand is their business.

Yet with so many loser "audio journalists" out there that are just cheer leaders for the brands they like, Stereophile stands apart as a leader in the industry. So I am confused by the motivation and the strategy of this Revel thing.

In the end, high end audio is a subjective hobby. Individuals can choose to retrain their tastes, but the "accuracy" segment (whatever "accuracy" is) is just a small niche. Most hobbyists will pick what ever gear they imagine to be "real" or whatever sound gives them the most pleasure, or if they are confused, they will jump on the bandwagon and pick the most popular brands, such as Wislon.

A scary parallel comes from TAS. The TAS guys who took power from Harry Pearson changed their brand promise from covering "real" sounding gear, per Harry Pearson's taste, such as the open-sounding and musical brands like Magnepan, Nola, and Scaena to what the take-over TAS reviewers enjoy, like "transparency to source"/ frequently analytical brands like Magico and "as you like it"/ colored gear like Wilson (using TAS definitions).

TAS got very nice pictures of Magico and Soulution these days, so the TAS owner makes money, and the TAS reviewers get to review the gear they like/ imagine as "real" - for very long periods of time. But it has been a travesty and confusing mess for people who actually want to buy gear but don't want to accrue high search costs, or waste their time and money.

So I am wondering about this fascination with accuracy by the new Stereophile boss. DeVores are amazing!!! Why not delegate the reviews of "accurate" gear to others who enjoy that type of stuff? Or will the Stereophile brand promise change?
 
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Kal Rubinson

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#7
Yet with so many loser "audio journalists" out there that are just cheer leaders for the brands they like, Stereophile stands apart as a leader in the industry. So I am confused by the motivation and the strategy of this Revel thing.
I am not sure if you can interpret this particular review/follow-up as a statement of strategy but, if so, I would welcome it. IMHO, accuracy is the ideal we should be pursuing but I find it difficult to respond to most of your points because you seem to use the term "accuracy" more loosely and variously than I would.

That said, I see a wide range of tastes and perspectives among the many Stereophile reviewers such that it is often possible to know who wrote an article based on the opinions expressed and how they are expressed. Within that range, there are some of us who value the ideal of accuracy while trying to graciously accept that other writers and readers have different and valid tastes and goals. In that, I do not see any promise of change in the Stereophile brand.

(I will not comment on anything regarding TAS as I have not read it in years.)
 
Likes: Mark Seaton

Kal Rubinson

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May 5, 2010
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#8
Why not delegate the reviews of "accurate" gear to others who enjoy that type of stuff?
I have to respond to this question but asking another: Isn't that exactly what Stereophile does and for which it is often criticized?;)
 

caesar

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May 31, 2010
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#9
Hi Kal,

Sincerely appreciate the replies. First, regarding accuracy...I'm not sure what "accuracy" is. In my experience , every time people have claimed "accuracy" or "transparency to source", whether most Magico models or Berkeley Reference DAC or Mark Levinson or most Wilsons, it has sounded severely sterile. In fact, I believe that the "accurate" gear should come with a phone number to the suicide hotline.

Try playing Little Milton "Blues is Alright" on a "high fidelity" speaker such as magico, wilson, etc., and it's sounds like a friggin abortion. Play it on a $999 Zu Omen Dirty Weekend - with a SET amp, and one connects with all the emotion and soul Little Milton put into the recording. A $999 speaker that has "transparency to emotion" and destroys "high fidelity" speakers that cost 6 figures. Amazing!

Anyways, as I see the situation, we have a small number of "audio journalists" interested in high-efficiency gear, such as DeVore, and we may be losing one. Our minority is getting even smaller. Virtually everyone at Stereophile is already on the Wilson bandwagon. I guess the silver lining here is that he didn't go a Wilson re-education camp. :)

Is there any way you can get Jim Austin to join this forum and explain his strategy and motivations? This isn't about "gotcha", or discrediting him, or "destroying"him. WBF is a special place that brings together the most successful, intelligent, and passionate audio fans. John Atkinson, I believe, posted a few times here.

I can assure you that he will be treated with ultimate respect, as every human being should be treated. (If there are rude jerks here, the moderators will do their job.)

If he just ignores this and doesn't tell his story, people will just tell the story for him. So it will be a great benefit to both him and Stereophile to join the conversation with the audio fans.

Have a great weekend!
 

Kal Rubinson

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#10
Anyways, as I see the situation, we have a small number of "audio journalists" interested in high-efficiency gear, such as DeVore, and we may be losing one. Our minority is getting even smaller. Virtually everyone at Stereophile is already on the Wilson bandwagon. I guess the silver lining here is that he didn't go a Wilson re-education camp. :)
I am not on the Wilson bandwagon but I am definitely not on your side either. I suggest that you invite Jim to comment on this forum by posting on Stereophile's forum. It's not as busy as this one, so it will get noticed.
 

cjfrbw

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Apr 20, 2010
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#11
"In fact, I believe that the "accurate" gear should come with a phone number to the suicide hotline."

Hey, Jim, why don't you come on over to WBF and get caught in some audiophile crossfire for a while? It'll hurt us more than it hurts you, but maybe not.
 

BlueFox

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Nov 8, 2013
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#12
It makes no sense to not like ‘accurate’ gear, but prefer gear that distorts. Oh well, just shows people are different. However, disparaging those who prefer one or the other is both immature, and irrelevant.
 

caesar

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May 31, 2010
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#13
"In fact, I believe that the "accurate" gear should come with a phone number to the suicide hotline."

Hey, Jim, why don't you come on over to WBF and get caught in some audiophile crossfire for a while? It'll hurt us more than it hurts you, but maybe not.
HI Cjfrbw,
Kal and I are coming at this from completely different tastes and we are not disrespectful to each other one bit. Being rude to another human being is a choice.
 

caesar

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May 31, 2010
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#14
It makes no sense to not like ‘accurate’ gear, but prefer gear that distorts. Oh well, just shows people are different. However, disparaging those who prefer one or the other is both immature, and irrelevant.
As Kal mentioned, there is apparently only one or two brands like Revel that are truly "accurate". Any claims that any brand other than revel is accurate are just excellent marketing and b.s.

After all, we haven't seen any hardcore measurement guys switch to magico or anything else claimed to be "transparency to source". Everyone is listening to colored and distorted gear. Everything has some kind of sonic signature. Some sonic signatures happen to be more popular than others just like Coke may be more popular than RC Cola. But only some are fooled that it is truly "accurate" or "transparency to source". TAS guys are great marketers for the brands and types of sound they like, as I have always said.

I happen to hate that stuff, but people are thankfully free to choose whatever they want. The biggest problem I have with it is when people call it "BEST" instead of comparing and illuminating the tradeoffs. When some of the despicable "audio journalists" exaggerate and sensationalize without comparing, while calling the gear they don't like "colored", it is misleading and wastes people's time.
 

caesar

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2010
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#15
I am not on the Wilson bandwagon but I am definitely not on your side either. I suggest that you invite Jim to comment on this forum by posting on Stereophile's forum. It's not as busy as this one, so it will get noticed.
Thanks, Kal. Will tty to find sometime to do that. Either way, it's PR 101 for him to get ahead of the story.

Cheers
 

Kal Rubinson

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May 5, 2010
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#16
As Kal mentioned, there is apparently only one or two brands like Revel that are truly "accurate".
I do not recall saying that.
Thanks, Kal. Will tty to find sometime to do that. Either way, it's PR 101 for him to get ahead of the story.
What story?
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
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#18
I have not followed closely Jim Austin's equipments reviews over the years, but I have always enjoyed his columns. I have always thought that Jim is a wonderful writer.

I think Jim's recent review of the Pass Labs X-22 preamplifier is thoughtful and very well-written. I think Stereophile is in very good hands.
 

Al M.

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Sep 10, 2013
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#19
Hi Kal,

Sincerely appreciate the replies. First, regarding accuracy...I'm not sure what "accuracy" is. In my experience , every time people have claimed "accuracy" or "transparency to source", whether most Magico models or Berkeley Reference DAC or Mark Levinson or most Wilsons, it has sounded severely sterile. In fact, I believe that the "accurate" gear should come with a phone number to the suicide hotline.

Try playing Little Milton "Blues is Alright" on a "high fidelity" speaker such as magico, wilson, etc., and it's sounds like a friggin abortion.
Sorry, Caesar, if you think Magico is sterile you are clueless. Absolutely clueless.

Or are you just trying to provoke?
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
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#20
Sorry, Caesar, if you think Magico is sterile you are clueless. Absolutely clueless.

Or are you just trying to provoke?
Seems to be working
 

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