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Hi-Fi+ magazine, I’ve quit my subscription!!

Discussion in 'audio' started by Romeo, Feb 2, 2022.

  1. wylton

    wylton Naim and Mana member

    @Mick P is right. If someone asked me for advice on buying a new hi-fi, knowing I'm a bit of an enthusiast, I wouldn't have a clue, because I'm so out of touch with the modern market. Ask me advice on buying an old CB Naim pre-amp though & I'd be in my element!
  2. Octavian

    Octavian obtuse incompetence and chronic obstreperousness

    Well heeled people and oligharcs do not read hifi magazines. Hifi+ actually is relevant to the masses because the masses like to read about equipment they can never afford.
  3. S-Man

    S-Man Kinkless Tetrode Admirer

    I have never bought an edition of HIfi+. I think I once got a free one at a hifi show. The editions I have seen, right from its early days, have been boring. I am interested in what is inside the boxes and why. Glossy pics of the exterior are so boring, I mean who wants to look at a close up of $64,000 speaker terminals???

    My mate gets HFN and it is pretty much the same albeit with a more WHF style. It's really boring. The reviews are all the same. I have so frequently come to a different conclusion regarding the merit of a piece of kit that it's pointless reading any of them. Only the measurements provide any actual information.
    Same on Stereophile (online), I only look at the intro and features of the products, then straight to the measurements. The review part, when I have bothered to read it, seems irrelevant.

    Strange that I enjoy reading people's reviews on here, but couldn't give a fraction of a frig about the professionals' opinions.
    Cyclopse likes this.
  4. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr neither here nor there

    Choice of reading material, like choice of music, is a matter of taste and personal preference. To say that you don't like publication X because it is boring is fine, because that's your personal taste coming out. For me, a review which consisted of all measurements and no subjective notes would be equally boring. But to imply from that that publication X is of no merit, or worse, is a mistake. There are people out there who read it and enjoy it, for their own reasons. You don't share them, which is fine, but criticising the mag is not.

    It's like me saying 'I find Haydn boring, so Haydn is a crap composer' or 'I don't like Adele's music so Adele is a crap musician'. Oddly, it's a subjective view being used to criticise a magazine for its subjective approach. How weird is that!
  5. S-Man

    S-Man Kinkless Tetrode Admirer

    2+2 = 5 eh Sue?
  6. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr neither here nor there

    Not sure of your point. Your post implicitly criticises the magazine as 'boring'. It may be boring to you, but not to others. So it's subjective, but you've turned it into a value judgement by the whole tenor of your post. So, actually, it's 2+2+n=5, where 'n' is the unspoken subtext.

    And the photography, particularly in the early years, was one of its features. It was art, rather than functional, and if the photographer found an interesting image in the speaker terminals, that's potentially better 'art' and a more interesting image than a routine picture of the speaker as seen from the listening position. But you find it boring. That's fine, but it's like somebody who loves landscapes saying that portraits are all boring.
  7. terrycym

    terrycym pfm Member

    From what I remember about HiFi+, most of the reviews are written by the same guy who's musical tastes is such stuff as Dire Straights etc nothing from this century.
    A three page "review" would be 30% manufacturer supplied photographs, 55% words lifted straight from the manufacturer's web site or promotional material and 15% "review", lots of meaningful phrases which puts the item under "review" in no context. The technical description is from the manufacturer and can't be verified by the reviewer.
    What was the rest of the system?
    Were the other components changed to see how they fitted in with a variety of stuff?
    How did they compare with other kit?

    Some of the pictures were weird. The speakers seemed to be in totally ridiculous locations - usually at 90 degrees to the view of the listener and never with any cables attached.

    When I browse in WH Smith, I see them as a mdern day equivalent to Mad Magazine and a great source of humour.

    Didn't the previous editor ended up leaving and working for Nordost?
  8. S-Man

    S-Man Kinkless Tetrode Admirer

    @Sue I think the more interesting point is why I find mag reviews boring, and I didn't used to?

    To try to understand this I looked at this:

    I really struggled to read this and kept wanting to skip paragraphs. Lots of waxing lyrical but not much else.

    So what is different to an old review (plucked at random)?:

    This has more content IMO. There is an attempt to tie the listening conclusions with the technical results and the whole thing just seems more reasonable and believable. I find it more interesting.
  9. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr neither here nor there

    I'm sorry, but reading this I was instantly reminded of the way my dad used to criticise my taste in music: 'you can't hum the tune', 'you can't hear the words' 'what is this shite', and so on. Rinse and repeat.
  10. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr neither here nor there

    I have to say, I'm the opposite. I found the Royd review extract uninformative. Yes, there might have been an attempt to correlate the measurements to the performance, but the actual descriptive bit about sound quality told me almost nothing. There was no reference to what music was being listened to, or how the observed characteristics showed up in the music and whether they helped or hindered the listening experience.

    So we both have subjective views which are different. The problem is when those subjective views are allowed to harden into value judgements.
    ssimon likes this.
  11. terrycym

    terrycym pfm Member

  12. S-Man

    S-Man Kinkless Tetrode Admirer

    I don't see a problem here. I have decided that hifi magazines are of no interest to me (even though I'm interested, maybe even obsessed, with hifi). This is based on my opinion of the content.

    I found your analogy with Adele odd.
    I don't particularly like her style of singing and I find her albums very over-produced. Therefore I would not play her stuff on my hifi, however I wouldn't change channel if she came on the car radio. However, I have heard her sing in a more traditional way and it's obvious that she has an amazing voice.

    On the topic of hifi art. I don't care. Hifi should ideally be heard and not seen IMO.
  13. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr neither here nor there

    Let's see if I can express it differently.

    People (not just you) on here have been criticising a magazine, or hifi magazines more generally, on the basis that they don't enjoy them and don't understand why people buy and read them. That is fine, but it often descends into slaggings-off like 'they're just shills', 'they just cut and paste marketing puff pieces', 'they have no technical understanding', 'it's meaningless' etc, which are all very pejorative. It reminds me of people who say 'that Mark Rothko, he just puts black paint on a board with a 6" brush, that's not art, he's a charlatan'. What they mean is 'I don't enjoy this, I don't understand it and I don't think anybody else should, either'. So the Adele/Haydn analogy is about somebody who doesn't relate to a given form of art declaring that it therefore isn't art and is of no merit.
    Whaleblue likes this.
  14. Mr Underhill

    Mr Underhill pfm Member

    Over the years I have bought too many HiFi mags. The high point was HiFi Answers in the early 1980s under Paul Benson.

    More recently I had a HiFi+ subscription, which I cancelled for exactly the same reasons as the OP.

    I enjoyed HiFi World for a couple of years, it had a more eclectic mix of DIY, historic vs modern, using AV processors as pre-amps; I genuinely found the content interesting. I then found that it seemed to drift and less articles and reviews interested me.

    I ended up with HiFi News & RR, mainly due to the music reviews, but I can now pick these up from the web.

    Magazine editors have my sympathy. They need to attract advertising. Companies selling expensive kit may well be willing to shell out the readies more easily.

    On a positive note: I do think the standard of musical reproduction available today for relatively moderate amounts is so much better than when I was a young man. The market for these devices will probably rather get their 'information' from the internet.
  15. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr neither here nor there

    Maybe the question to ask is 'why do people read magazines?'

    My reason is partly to be informed, but mostly to be entertained. For pleasure and leisure I prefer to read a hard copy object than view text on a screen. If I need information, the manufacturer's website will probably provide what I want, or somebody will have done the techy thing somewhere or other. So I read a magazine, whether a car mag, a hifi mag, or a homes and interiors mag, for the writing, the pictures and the entertainment value, and possibly the escapism.

    I think a lot of the attitudes towards the magazines on here derive from the era when hifi magazines were the only publicly-accessible sources of information. Pre-internet, a magazine fulfilled a different role to what it does now. I note that several contributors on here write about pre-internet magazines as though it was a golden age of sorts. There's a bit of rose-tinted specs wearing happening here, I suspect. The world has changed, and magazine publishing has had to change with it because they are no longer the sole source of information.

    So I can understand that, viewed in these terms, writing about exotic, unusual (and invariably expensive) products offers something that a trawl of the internet doesn't. For one thing, the content is curated, so I'll learn about something I might not otherwise have come across. For another, it's entertainment as much as it is information. So the quality of the writing matters at least as much as the information content. YMMV, obvs.
  16. S-Man

    S-Man Kinkless Tetrode Admirer

  17. Paul Mc

    Paul Mc pfm Member

    He's not nice man.
  18. Fretbuzz

    Fretbuzz pfm Member

    My word I thought you were joking (about the product, let alone the price). Unreal.
  19. ssimon

    ssimon pfm Member

    I used to have a subscription to Hi Fi+ about 10 years ago, and liked it. If you are interested in Hi Fi and a possible purchase, you need to know "What's out there".
    Initially I thought the photos were "over the top", but a good photo is better than a boring one.
    I ended my sub when Alan Sircom reviewed Spotify and failed to mention the sound quality. He did say it was a great way to find music you had never heard before, and he was right.
    We used to rely on our favourite DJ on Radio but New Music seems to have migrated to 6Music which is on low fi DAB.
  20. sjs

    sjs Trade: SJS Electroacoustics

    He can now be seen here: and here:

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