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The Absolute Sound Or Stereophile? Which is your favorite?

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For classical RCA and Mercury Living Stereo & Presence, John Marks not only did an issue but many issues, on a monthly basis for TAS. I think it (the lengthy series) was called Marks Barks. Sometime I am interested in finding out what is the best (non classical)sounding recording of something. Steve Hoffman forums is what many people go to for that, but it seems that no one can agree on anything there on recordings, and you end up being more confused as to which one to get than you were at square one. That along with Audio Karam, is a very political forum, with among others, an in house "technical" guru who claims cable differences are imaginary, despite pretty much every respected designer, reviewer and audio store owner knowing otherwise (and obviously), along with millions of audiophiles with "ears.". Along with their related Audio Karma forum, it is like a turf gang and if the moderators decide they don't like someone they will readily let other forum members literally harass & bash them to smithereens in public, until the poor newcomer says something back to defend themselves, and then they kick them off and ban them over it. Those two forums are true insane asylums and like a corrupt third world country, where "its who you know", rather than any fairness at all, with the fox (moderators) guarding the hen house. The internet and other forums are chalk full of horror stories about those 2 forums. Cable companies and high end audio ought to band together and file a class action lawsuit for damages against both their forums, for using forum gurus masquerading as experts to persuade the public and attempt to further the belief that cables are snake oil, when they are not & could be proven with a demonstration in a court room. Also their conspiratorial politics to make cables seem like snake oil (which the high end supports and vouches for there being real differences in quality) also makes high end audio look really bad to many people over their shenanigans. 


 I think in general though people who like cars read car magazines, people who are into audio are attracted to reading audio magazines. If you are into any particular kind of music, chances are there is a magazine devoted to it. With classical music,  Gramophone and the BBC Music magazine which gives you a free CD in each issue are the ones I used to get.

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3 hours ago, Digi&Analog Fan said:

For classical RCA and Mercury Living Stereo & Presence, John Marks not only did an issue but many issues, on a monthly basis for TAS. I think it (the lengthy series) was called Marks Barks.

I think you mean "Sid Marks". I agree, his column was great.

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I liked TAS when it was a hobbyists publication in the 80's, still have the quarterly issues. But in the 90's it became more commercial and by 2000

it became little more than a high end version of Stereo Review. So  I rarely read its articles but occasionally look at the buying guides when trying to research

gear. Stereophile is a bit more interesting, usually some helpful comparisons but the online site seems to do regular republishing of archived reviews.


The Daily Audiophile page collates latest articles from the more popular audiophile sites, perusing those links is part of my daily regimen.




Often I find useful information not in the review of the equipment but in the reviewers choice and sidebar praise of the equipment used for the review.

Positive Feedback's recent review of the D.BOB used/praised a 12W class A amp called the Valvet 2SE which led me to their review... was considering

a Pass XA25 but really want a class A amp that runs cooler. Hopefully it will get other reviews sometime soon.




Audio system

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On 5/28/2020 at 2:34 AM, Teresa said:


Neither and I'll explain.


In the 1970’s I subscribed to High Fidelity magazine for R.D.Darrell’s column “The Tape Deck" for reviews of new prerecorded reel-to-reel tapes and later audiophile cassettes when I got a Nakamichi cassette deck. I also found Fanfare magazine helpful as it had tons of record reviews. I used to also read Wayne Green’s CD Review.


I found early 1970’s TAS (The Absolute Sound) to have many good LP reviews, including audiophile LPs and especially Harry Pearson's Super Disc Lists. They even had an issue dedicated to RCA Living Stereo and another one dedicated to Mercury Living Presence.


A few years ago I had a one year subscription to the newer versions of both TAS and Stereophile, and was unhappy with their music reviews so I didn’t renew.


I like to read about news, new technologies and most of all reviews of audiophile recordings of unknown (to me) composers and artists but I don’t like to read equipment reviews at all.


Before music was on the internet I had to depend on reviews of music or performers I’ve never heard. Now I can sample music before I buy so I don’t depend on record reviews very much.

I agree with you, I was interested in finding new music first, then report of new developments and technical background. I always appreciated measurements because the subjective opions of reviewers are theirs and not mine in general

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I liked the High Fidelity music reviews also. However, for a while they must not have really taken rock music seriously. For a while they classified classical music under the bold type category "SERIOUS" and rock under "LIGHT." Someone in the N.Y.Times made the praising remark that the Beatles were at least as melodic as Schubert. A classical reviewer for the magazine commented about seeing it, "after a week in a straightjacket they let me out." 

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