Home  Hi-Fi Audio Reviews  Audiophile Shows Partner Mags  News       


Enjoy the Music.com
Hi-Fi World
September 2011
Can a product be both great and seriously flawed?
Editorial By David Price


Hi-Fi World September 2011  Can a product be both great and seriously flawed? This is a question we've been asking ourselves a lot recently, with a number of really interesting, off-the-wall designs coming through our doors, which sound superb – in a way – and yet have quite obvious downsides too...

There's little doubt in my mind that we're seeing more of this sort of product, not less, of late. Think back to the early nineties, and you had a wash of Sonys, Pioneers, JVCs, Denons, Audiolabs and Arcams which were just plain good, or sometimes very good, and that was it. With very little in the way of fatal foibles, you could say they had ‘no distinguishing marks'. These days we still get such products launched – Aurum's thoroughly likeable A5 amplifier [reviewed on p46] is one such example – but we also get far more designs like Ming Da's MC300 preamp [p12] which are close to being bonkers, sound magnificent and yet are ‘holed below the waterline' for some engineering reason or other.

JoSound's £4,000 JO45/1 loudspeaker [p18] is a perfect case in point. Exquisitely built with excellent quality components and sublime cabinetry, it is a highly lucid music maker – yet fails to match most £300 standmounters in some important respects. How do you assess such a thing? Products like this certainly don't make it easy on poor magazine editors! 

But for every quirky and faintly mad Scandyna MiniPod [p70], we've got a sensible shoes Cambridge Audio 751BD [p22] for you – so it's not like the supply of thoroughly well engineered, capable-across-the-board designs is drying up. The hi-fi world is changing though, as our hobby becomes more rarefied and specialised, and less informed by what's going to shift bucket-loads one Saturday afternoon on a High Street near you...

The good thing is that it's creating a space for interesting and innovative new products – such as Audio Research's PH6 tube/transistor hybrid phono stage [p104] for example – where there frankly wasn't one ten or even five years ago. There's an old Chinese proverb that says it's better to be a dog in peaceful times than a man in chaotic ones, but I kind of like it this way. Hi-fi is getting less prosaic and predictable, not more – who'd have thought it?


David Price, editor


Click here to subscribe to Hi-Fi World














































Quick Links

Premium Audio Review Magazine
High-End Audio Equipment Reviews


Equipment Review Archives
Turntables, Cartridges, Etc
Digital Source
Do It Yourself (DIY)
Cables, Wires, Etc
Loudspeakers/ Monitors
Headphones, IEMs, Tweaks, Etc
Superior Audio Gear Reviews


Our Featured Videos


Show Reports
Montreal Audiofest 2024 Report

Southwest Audio Fest 2024
Florida Intl. Audio Expo 2024
Capital Audiofest 2023 Report
Toronto Audiofest 2023 Report
UK Audio Show 2023 Report
Pacific Audio Fest 2023 Report
T.H.E. Show 2023 Report
HIGH END Munich 2023
Australian Hi-Fi Show 2023 Report
AXPONA 2023 Show Report
...More Show Reports


Cool Free Stuff For You
Tweaks For Your System
Vinyl Logos For LP Lovers
Lust Pages Visual Beauty



Industry & Music News

High-End Premium Audio & Music News


Partner Print Magazines
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
hi-fi+ Magazine
Sound Practices
VALVE Magazine


For The Press & Industry
About Us
Press Releases
Official Site Graphics





Home   |   Hi-Fi Audio Reviews   |   News   |   Press Releases   |   About Us   |   Contact Us


All contents copyright©  1995 - 2024  Enjoy the Music.com®
May not be copied or reproduced without permission.  All rights reserved.