Best HiFi Magazine?
April 25, 2006 6:37 PM   Subscribe

What are the best hi fi magazine(s) for someone like me?

I love music, but I'm somewhat a speaker/hifi novice. I don't want to build my own speakers, I'd just like to be competent to purchase a decent pair at my local audio store. Paradigm? Monitor? etc.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket to Technology (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Ummm, then you don't want the rags. Stereophile and TAS are basically both out to shill for the manufacturers. Their so-called "brick wall" between their advertising and review departments is a joke.

Unfortunately, the online review sites are mostly from people who don't know what they're talking about. Which doesn't leave you much.

You're best-off finding a local audiophileto guide you through the process, IMHO.
posted by NucleophilicAttack at 6:51 PM on April 25, 2006


There's this.

Also, be sure to also consider companies that sell their products direct (I've recommended Axiom here before), rather than through high-margin dealers.
posted by kickingtheground at 7:27 PM on April 25, 2006


The Absolute Sound probably was the real deal at one time.. But then, rumor has it that at one time they didn't accept adds at all.

I worked at an amplifier company for a couple of years, and my coworkers had a lot of knowledge to share. Now that I have been out of there for six years, what I learned is getting pretty stale.
posted by Chuckles at 8:26 PM on April 25, 2006


Sensible Sound
posted by hortense at 9:08 PM on April 25, 2006


I don't know hortense, this one seems... Unlikely...

posted by Chuckles at 9:19 PM on April 25, 2006


I love how open they are on their advertising page though!
posted by Chuckles at 9:22 PM on April 25, 2006


Stereophile has the most thorough reviews and they can most likely be found in your local library and have some reviews online. In addition to the sites linked above, other good reviewers include:

TNT Audio
Audiophilia
Enjoy the Music
6 Moons
Positive Feedback
posted by caddis at 9:54 PM on April 25, 2006


Paradigm? Monitor? etc. check out these babies
posted by hortense at 10:05 PM on April 25, 2006


Ummm, then you don't want the rags. Stereophile and TAS are basically both out to shill for the manufacturers. Their so-called "brick wall" between their advertising and review departments is a joke.

Unfortunately, the online review sites are mostly from people who don't know what they're talking about. Which doesn't leave you much.


Sad but true. I've run into the same problem, and don't have a good answer; when it comes to hi-fi information, there's mostly a lot of crap out there.
posted by musicinmybrain at 5:04 AM on April 26, 2006


If you want non-ad-cluttered info from people who might be reliable or might be audiophile kooks -- that is, the same as the magazines except without the ad problem -- look no further than Usenet. While rec.audio.opinion is a bit of a wasteland (it was created to keep the endless flamewars out of the more productive groups), both rec.audio.high-end and rec.audio.tech might be helpful.

There are undoubtedly similar web forums out there too, but I don't know where they are. The people at Hydrogen Audio might, though -- there's a lot of digital-audiophiles kicking around there.
posted by mendel at 6:48 AM on April 26, 2006


The one forum where people seem to have pretty good heads on their shoulders is AudioAsylum.

Madisound's boards are good for DIYers, but OP's not interested in that part.

Even then though, lurking, learning, listening for oneself, and listening A LOT, is the only real way to get reliable information. *Everyone*, myself included, will always have intrinsic biases, which may not suit the musical styles or other preferences of the OP.
posted by NucleophilicAttack at 7:34 AM on April 26, 2006


I'm partial to Audioholics.
posted by pmbuko at 7:37 AM on April 26, 2006


A lot of kit from the other side of the pond isn't available in the US, or sells at a premium, but as far as print mags go, What Hi-Fi? generally takes a sensible approach to price-points, with pointers for the Richer Sounds customer base as well as the tea-and-listening-room set. Not many reviews online (they want to sell magazines) but the tips for budgeting, buying and setting up a system are well worth a look.
posted by holgate at 7:51 AM on April 26, 2006


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