The Gurus speak!

I would like to extend a special thanks to the professionals who took time to write for free for what they normally get paid. This shows how much they really care about our audio life. Thanks!

John Marks answers professional reviewer questions - John Marks writes "The Fifth Element" for Stereophile and is the proprietor of JMR Records.

Srajan Ebaen answers professional reviewer questions - Srajan Ebaen is the proprietor of on line magazine, thank you!

Ian White answers professional reviewer questions - Ian White is a writer for on-line magazine.

Doug Schneider answers professional reviewer questions - Doug Schneider is a writer for SoundStage! on-line magazine.

Steven R. Rochlin answers professional reviewer questions - Steven R. Rochlin is a writer for on-line magazine.

Mike Kuller answers professional reviewer questions - Mr. Kuller is a reviewer formerly with TAS magazine.

John Kotches answers professional reviewer questions - John Kotches is a reviewer for Widescreen Review on-line magazine.

Rob Doorack answers professional reviewer questions - Rob Doorack is a retired reviewer for the defunct Listener magazine.

Auricle answers professional reviewer questions - Auricle is a (I have no idea, no bio listed.

Questions for the reviewer:
1. Without giving the standard "weakest link" answer, what would you as the most important component?
2. How did you cross over from hobbyist to professional writer?
3. Review superlatives often give the impression of "huge gains". How do you reconcile years of "huge gains" against the "great sound" years ago?
4. Is the sound often simply different and not better?
5. Do you have a clear mental image of great sound or does it require constant renewal? Are you in AB hell?
6. What are your audition strong points and weak points, i.e., what problems do you find most difficult to pick up in listening tests? What do you "hate to admit"?
7. What to you think is that "special something" is that makes some systems sound so good?
8. How much of the process is collaborative versus on your own?
9. The constant evaluations and power listening must be very hard. How do you keep it fresh?
10. What are some of the secret terms you use to lets us know the component really is not as good as it could be?
11. Someone recently said, "All SS amps not driven to clip sound the same". Do all SS amps sound the same at moderate levels?
12. Which components are peaking in the sense that you no longer have to spend a lot to get great sound?
13. When you get cornered at a party, what is the question asked most often?
14. How much should we envy Sea Cliff, really?
15. What is the best listening experience you have ever had (other than live)?
16. Without blaming engineers, where do you think the most loss in sound quality occurs, live to listener?
17. Have you ever been wowed by a $500-$1000 system?
18. How much in analog is really the "Zen of analog" versus true accuracy of reproduction?
19. Will we ever find the Holy Grail in sound reproduction?
20. So, which is it, tubes or SS? 21. What does the future hold for audio?

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Copyright Peter Jay Smith 2005 Return to