by Anthony Kershaw
I’ve read more than a few blog posts this weekend touting the venerable Stereophile Buyers Guide. For sure, a compact, useful resource encapsulating the magazine’s writers’ choices for quality components. I love magazines like this and pour over them endlessly. But never once, not once have I used a review in Stereophile, The Absolute Sound, or, in Audiophilia for that matter (other than my own! Duh!), as anything but a guide and an audio gear carrot. Listen for yourselves. It’s the *only* answer when investing in high end gear. Is it from a reputable company that will support it when it needs repairs (it will), do you like the sound (double duh!), does it work in your room, are your ancillaries up to the job, is the system synergy right, and is it within your budget (oh, the stories of buyer’s remorse that I hear)? This is where your trusted local dealer is invaluable.
The Internet, blogs, e magazines like ours, and the aforementioned two great audiophile print mags, are nothing but other folks’ ideas about what they like, how they listen, and to what type of music. Each person’s views on audio equipment is as singular as their personalities. Roy Harris tells me all the time, ‘put five audiophiles in one room and you’ll get six opinions!’
As such, enjoy the new Buyer’s Guide. I will. But use it as a starting point. You have the audio world at your cursor. Research, choose, listen. Then listen again. And remember that this avocation of ours is fun. Fun, damnit!