Enjoying the benefits of hindsight…

Enjoying the benefits of hindsight…

As audiophiles, it is amazing just how central reviews have become to our existence. If we’re not reading them then we’re waiting for them, eager in either case for the informed judgement, the in-depth critique, the relative ranking of each new product – yes, even the ones we can’t afford or have no interest in buying. Like any other hobby or interest, the specialist press is a chance to “practice by proxy”, to experience cars we’ll never drive, or amplifiers and speakers or cables we’ll never own….

So it’s something of a surprise that we expend so little energy on or take so little interest in the people and process that generate those reviews. In fact, the most important single piece of information on any review is the source: who wrote it and whom they wrote it for. Only that affords the reader the necessary context, the background information, the “who” that goes with the “what” that’s being said. Now throw in an almost insatiable appetite, from readers and magazines alike, for the latest, greatest thing and we have a high-end audio world in which longevity is a ridiculously undervalued commodity, so often spurned in the search for the new and exciting. How many reviews gush about products that disappear as suddenly as they appear, praise loudspeakers we never get to hear, or cover products that never see the light of day? No wonder it’s hard to get a sense of who is who and what is what.

Faced with limited activity and increased time on our hands, reading and catching up on hobbies and interests is an obvious activity, but one that can quickly become aimless. In an attempt to offer a little structure to your audio ‘homework’, we thought it might be both entertaining and educational to look at the different approach and conclusions adopted by different writers and magazines to the same product. At Crystal Cable, our products and their development is technology rather than market driven. That gives them a longer shelf life (and greater novelty) than the majority of products out there – meaning that many of them have been separately reviewed by many of the world’s leading reviewers. Now add in a small selection of ‘think-pieces’ or features and translations of reviews not originally available in English and it creates a fascinating opportunity to compare and contrast…

Finally, all of the products we’re featuring are still in production, meaning that you too have had (or will have) the opportunity to hear them and assess them for yourselves. So now, with the benefits of hindsight and the 20/20 vision it provides, as well as the broader context of audio developments in general, you can consider different reviewers, their approaches and their conclusions. Each set of product reviews creates a fascinating microcosm and the opportunity to learn about more than just the DUT*.

*DUT – Device Under Test

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