No Soulution gear. Come to think of it, I haven't seen any Soulution ads in Stereophile either. Mar 4, 2, 2, the Upper Midwest. Reactions: carl13 and Gregadd. Kal Rubinson Well-Known Member.
Reactions: KeithR and carl May 31, 3, Reactions: rubinken and Ovenmitt. LL21 Well-Known Member. Dec 26, 12, 1, I have an alternate theory on Soulution and Stereophile. A while back, Fremer, who is a Wilson loving reviewer, found Soulution too sterile for his taste.
And majority of Stereophile reviewers are Wilson lovers. When no one publicly complained, it went all the way up to by Meanwhile, the manufacturers were also very happy. Many more of them could now claim that their components were in Class A; adding "prestige" even to their less ambitious models. Plus, advertising, in the magazine that gave them this new found "status", was now of triple benefit to them:.
There was the increased readership from newly committed subscribers, and 2. It augmented, and reminded these readers of, their newly elevated status in the RCL, and 3. It also insured that Stereophile would be profitable and regularly publishing their now valuable RCL.
These happy manufacturers all had their own large stake in the continuing existence of Stereophile. The large increase in advertising rates were no hindrance to most of them, since their customers Stereophile's subscribers paid for all their advertising costs within the manufacturers' continually rising prices and markups, which their new "friend', Stereophile, never questioned or criticized.
It wasn't surprising that the manufacturers began virtually begging the magazine to "review" their components. Why not, with no downside? A negative review was as rare as an act of kindness from Saddam Hussein, and joining the RCL was almost a certainty. So John Atkinson, acutely aware of the basic insecurities and the desperate need for "certainty" of most audiophiles, used these human weaknesses to his financial advantage.
He enabled an increasing number of his readers to feel temporarily safe and secure with their increasingly expensive purchases, and he was rewarded for this by a growing number of subscriptions, advertisers and higher advertising rates. Of course, these growing numbers had to eventually peak, and they did so by the mid s. Then the numbers started to decline. What caused this to happen, after all the previous "success"?
Eventually, joining the RCL meant virtually nothing: "the wine had slowly been turned into water". Almost every component 60 in a row eventually received a "rave" and made the RCL. One "Class A" component was now indistinguishable from the dozens of others within the same category. There was less and less incentive for advertising a component that was no longer "exclusive" or "special". With fewer advertisements, there were fewer "reviews", resulting in a much smaller magazine.
Everything had become "special", making nothing "special". The more perceptive readers became increasingly bored with the predictability of the "reviews" and with the magazine.
Worse, the equipment they had previously purchased, based on the former "raves", rarely performed up to high standards that were described in such glowing terms. That took care of much of the remaining credibility within the magazine. Shortly after the decline began, in , Archibald and Atkinson wisely sold out their respective shares to a large magazine conglomerate. The "mastermind" of the climb, John Atkinson, stayed along as Editor.
This is still Stereophile's present status; nothing has changed. The "RCL Strategy" remains to this day. It can never be used again to "pump" the readership, but maybe it will help to retain the current subscribers, or reduce the bleeding of the remainder of the readers.
For some supporting details, which will confirm everything written above, let's look at the historical record There are still dozens as this is written. Only someone who is intellectually dishonest, in every sense of that expression, can claim there are 46 "best" of anything.
Do you know anyone with 46 "best friends"? All the other Class A component categories have had similar, totally implausible expansions. In all human history, and in all human cultures, it has been philosophically impossible to be better than the best, except in Stereophile.
It's not even a rare occurrence. Gordon Holt, from all the way to the middle s, the highest number of amplifiers in Class A was 4. The lowest number of amplifiers in Class A was 1. Holt kept only that one single amplifier in Class A even after it was discontinued. Holt refused to place even one unworthy component into Class A, because he understood and respected the true meaning of the word "best". Now compare Holt's intellectual integrity to that displayed by John Atkinson. The above strategy was able to take a company that was purchased for thousands , and allow it to sell for millions.
Further, there is no question that John Atkinson is a very smart business man and nothing I know that he did was illegal. However, there is something else that must also be said of him. John Atkinson turned the Stereophile Recommended Component List, along with all the "reviews" that the RCL are based on, into a total sham and a fraud.
He sold gullible subscribers and audiophiles an illusion of certainty. Ironically, and tragically, what he sold the readers wasn't even truly his to sell. The entire "illusion" was really founded on the earned integrity of J. Gordon Holt. In short: Stereophile's integrity, in its entirety, was only due to Holt's decades of work.
John Atkinson, simply and shamelessly, financially exploited another man's lifetime of work, courage, sacrifice and achievements. The fact that it was all "legal" is completely irrelevant to the issue. Almost as sad was the utter failure of most Stereophile readers to make the critical distinction between the name of the magazine, and the actual editor. This failure enabled the intellectual fraud. They believed in a total fantasy. Finally, I feel that the remaining readers deserve the pathetic garbage they now receive.
This is the price they are paying for their own laziness and utter lack of critical thinking. A helpful member of Vinyl Asylum posted a revelatory and devastating message on March 28, Message This is the relevant part:. I wrote them a letter on this which was never published. I have checked out the number of reviews in and The smallest number for any "18 straight issues" was The highest was Let's give Stereophile a real "break", and go with "only" 60 the minimum.
So, what are the odds of 60 components, in a row , being honestly "recommended"? That depends on the odds of any single component honestly making the RCL. Accordingly, that would mean that if chosen randomly , the odds of 60 consecutive components being "excellent" would be the number "10" to the power of "60" that is 10 with 60 zeros! That's an impossibly and damningly large number, which ends any doubt. However, let's now assume that the sample of reviewed components was NOT "random".
In short, we're going to give John Atkinson every possible benefit of the doubt. Here are two more "scenarios":. Let's give John Atkinson a second real "break".
We will assume that Atkinson is a true "genius" at "prejudging" components, so only the models with the best chance to make the RCL were reviewed. Thus, only 20 components are still left in the pool, instead of , thus greatly increasing the success rate.
This means that 80 of the initial 90 " non -excellent" audio components are now removed from the pool that's Actually, in "real-life", I know of no audiophile, no matter how experienced, including myself , with this much audio foresight.
Now, what are the odds of honestly flipping a coin "heads" or "tails" 60 times in a row :. More than 1,,,,,, to 1. That's One Quintillion ; or a Billion Billion.
This is also an astronomical number which is beyond any practical use in the human world. In short, it's Impossible , even if Atkinson is a genius, to have 60 consecutive components recommended when the process is honest. Let's give John Atkinson a third real "break". In fact, we're going to go beyond even being "open minded". Let's now assume that Atkinson is even above a genius, and is actually a secret "Superhuman" , with powers of foresight far greater than anyone who has ever lived on this earth like "Clark Kent".
More than 31,, to 1. Accordingly, "the bottom line" concerning the Stereophile RCL is simple, obvious and incontestable :. He is not alone. All the people who contributed to Stereophile, the "reviewers" and the columnists, and all of its "defenders" and "apologists", who are easy to find on websites like Audio Asylum , were and are also part of the sham and are also intellectually dishonest, or even worse.
This is from Page 3 of the April issue of Stereophile:. But as much as I respect these guys, it is not up to them Ultimately, it is my call which class each component falls into.
John Atkinson has never responded directly to this website concerning the various issues brought up within this file. Atkinson did post a number of responses within Audio Asylum in June, I feel that the readers of this website, and audiophiles in general, should be aware of the nature and the details of Atkinson's posts. Below are the relevant posts, without duplication and without editing Atkinson's spelling mistakes. Posted by old geezer on June 22, at General Asylum Salvatore's statistical analysis is based on the fallacious assumption that Stereophile's selection of components for review is based on a representative sampling of all the products that are available.
Salvatore's argment falls flat on its face therefore. His argument is based on a "straw man": arbitrarily make an assumption about our strategy ; show that our practice doesn't conform to that strategy; announce that his case is proved. This is deceptive argument. I make no apology for Mikey's language. I would point out that Mr. Salvatore broke a confidence by posting a not-for-publication e-mail on his site. Ross- " I would like to think that the attention of Stereophile's critics is motivated by a desire to help make the publication a better one Atkinson- "I would like to think you are correct.
Perhaps you are in some cases. But others seem merely to parrot Arthur Salvatore's conspiracy theories". Replying to "Robert H. Personal Note- The use of bold within these posts is mine, for emphasis, which will soon become relevant below. John Atkinson, within those replies, made three accusations in an attempt to discredit me and this website. Accusation Number 1. That I "arbitrarily" used a " deceptive argument " and a " fallacious assumption " which totally ignored Stereophile's efforts to "not be representative when they chose products for review".
Why it is False- John Atkinson uses the singular words "argument" and "assumption". This is false. In reality, I actually eliminated the "random" element in two of the three scenarios. The Indisputable Evidence- Both "Scenario 1" and "Scenario 2" are "not representative" meaning they are non- random.
Even worse, Atkinson's assertion is not only totally false, it is also a Lie. This is incontestable proof that John Atkinson was then fully aware that I had indeed made an exact "argument" that did take into consideration his "not The only difference between us is our wording, he used "not..
John Atkinson's first assertion, which he knew was false , even as he posted it, can then only be described as a lie. Accusation Number 2. That I "broke a confidence" by posting Michael Fremer's private e-mail on this site.
Why it is false- Michael Fremer had already posted the exact same letter to Phonogram an entire day before I posted it on this website. It was impossible, by definition, for a "confidence" to be "broken" after the "victim", himself , posted the same letter to all over the world first. In reality, it was impossible, by definition, for a "confidence" to have even existed in the first place, because Fremer's letter was the initial communication between us.
Fremer didn't even request that his letter remain private because he had obviously already made it public himself. Fremer's posting his letter to Phonogram first is an undisputed historical fact , which is why John Atkinson's assertion is false.
It's almost certainly a lie also, but it is, at the very least, a reckless charge. Even worse are Atkinson's subsequent actions, because Because he then responded to that same letter.
Atkinson didn't even acknowledge this important information which proved that Fremer was both a liar and a hypocrite and that his own accusation was false.
This unquestionably demonstrates John Atkinson's lack of character and integrity. An honest person, with integrity, would have apologized in the same public forum in which he made his false accusation. Atkinson's "reaction", in contrast, was Total Silence. John Atkinson had two options when he was publicly informed in Audio Asylum that Michael Fremer had lied and that he had repeated that same lie.
Option 1- Admit the truth in public, that "Mikey" had lied, and that he was taken in as well, and then apologize. Atkinson's fear of the consequences of "Option 1" was greater than his fear of the consequences of "Option 2". What does that say about Atkinson's character, his lack of courage and his true feelings towards the audiophile community and the members of Audio Asylum? Accusation Number 3. That I believed in and promoted "far-fetched conspiracy theories" concerning Stereophile.
Why it is false- There is not even one mention, or even one claim, of any "conspiracy" within the entire Stereophile File. On the contrary, I used the word "Strategy" , and more than once, which is even the same word Atkinson used himself. That fact makes the assertion false. In fact, Atkinson was responding to that post, which he obviously had to have read. There are no possible excuses. John Atkinson knew his claim was false. He knew he was lying Twice now , let's not forget.
Why did John Atkinson lie about my believing and promoting "conspiracy theories"? Atkinson is now desperate to discredit this website and me personally. He would love audiophiles to believe that I am a person who is prone to believe in anything, no matter how "far-fetched". In short, he wants audiophiles to think that I am "paranoid" or "crazy", and a person to ignore.
John Atkinson chose the most unlikely person to falsely characterize. I don't believe in audio magazine "conspiracies" either, because everything is so obvious.
Look at the pathetic contents of most audio magazines. John Atkinson has ignored this site in the vain hope that it will slowly die from a lack of attention. He had a problem when a thread started in Audio Asylum concerning the "strategy" to "prostitute" his magazine's Recommended Components List. Atkinson had to respond or else it would appear that he concurred with this harsh but accurate and honest assessment.
His apparent expectation was that he could make various false and misleading accusations to refute that assessment, and still avoid being exposed in the process.
John Atkinson not only failed in his pitiful goal, he's now convincingly demonstrated, with his own words , that he is no more than a common opportunist, capable of stating anything, no matter how fraudulent, condescending and destructive, to serve his own needs and interests. If a person is prepared to mislead and even lie when relatively little is at stake, what would that same person do when "real money", thousands and even millions, is at stake?
What I do believe, and have proved beyond all doubt, is that under John Atkinson's direction, Stereophile is now strictly "Commercial" , to the fullest and most negative degree that word can be used. What was once a magazine that was truly reader-oriented, has degenerated into a magazine that can only be described as a pure marketing device, with its only goal now to "sell" the readers something.
That poor, sad and pathetic reality will be John Atkinson's true and lasting audio "legacy". Yet, how can that be when Class A is already 'the best attainable'?..
The alternative would have been to push down the ratings of all real-world turntables and all CD playback systems. A difficult choice between these 2 strategies, but please be assured that there was no pressure from advertisers for me to do this, nor would I have taken any notice of such pressure if it did exist.
My Response to John Atkinson's Explanation. How could Atkinson, who is calling the shots, overlook this? Worse, what does that say about the original "Class A"? Salvatore- So? Like the Rockport, the ARC D was also the best, by far, in its category in Holt's opinion , and also much more expensive than the competition. So what did Holt do in the same situation? Simple, Holt, without hesitation, placed the D in Class A, all by itself , and demoted everything else.
Stereophile Autumn, Winter, Spring etc. Holt, a man of intellectual integrity, respected the actual meaning of the word "best", and couldn't care less that some manufacturers, or readers, were upset at the other amplifiers being "pushed down".
Atkinson- " Salvatore- This "resolute" statement is totally inconsistent with Atkinson's own actions for the last 19 years. In almost every instance, Atkinson has, in stark contrast, made the choice to increase the number of components in Class A. We're supposed to believe this was all done without "taking notice of any pressure"? The Halcro amp was unambiguously declared to be "the best amplifier ever!
However, not even one of the 15 transistor amps already in their "Class A" was eventually "pushed down" because it was sonically inferior. John Atkinson provided a further explanation to this same member four days later. Here are Atkinson's relevant quotes. My usual practice is indeed to bump other products down a class when something like the Rockport enters the list. However, the Rockport is not a regular product. First, it is only made to order.
Second, it is extremely expensive. My Response to Atkinson's Second Explanation. Second, it is extremely expensive Salvatore- This reasoning, and explanation, is completely bogus, because it has one fatal flaw. Stereophile's "Class A" description has always included the phrase "without any practical considerations". Now Atkinson is suddenly claiming that there are some "practical considerations": A. Atkinson- "My usual practice is indeed to bump other products down a class when something like the Rockport enters the list.
Salvatore- This claim is a complete fabrication of reality and history. This lie is the reason why Atkinson did not give even one example of his so-called "usual practice" of "bumping other products down a class" to this member. I'm still amazed at how casual it has become for Atkinson to mislead the members of Audio Asylum , let alone Stereophile's own readers.
If Atkinson's courageous claim was actually true, there wouldn't be 50! I think this is Atkinson's all-time record. I wonder how high that number will have to climb amps!
Their goal succeeded, since there are now more Class A components than at any time in Stereophile's entire existence. Yet, the ASC Subtrap is a nice tweak and it does work. On a tweak scale of one to ten, this one is a solid two. Except for the monolithic looks, I saw and heard no drawbacks to this product. You will have to decide for yourself if the ASC Subtrap is worth it. If you have a mid-bass subwoofer, it certainly is worth it for tweaking audiophiles to experiment by placing it higher.
Many of the categories on our Blue Note scorecard are not applicable in this case. I don't believe that elevation of an actively-powered, solid-state subwoofer dramatically affects Attack, Decay, Inner Resolution, Soundscape or Self-Noise. Experimenting with the Vince Christian e6C system , I did find that locating a subwoofer at the apex of an arch, at the point farthest away from the listener's sweet spot, does indeed improve the horizontal depth of the soundstage. Locating a mid-bass woofer further apart can widen the soundstage.
Raising it off the floor can improve definition and possibly height of the image. But those are tweaks relating to the horizontal position of the subwoofer, not placing it vertically higher, up on a stand.
The ASC subwoofer stand does improve imaging, though the scale of improvement is about average for other tweaks in approximately the same price range: three Blue Notes in the Imaging category. You could make something like this yourself, if you can make fine furniture without emergency room visits. If you do opt for the pre-made solution, rest assured the construction and delivery are first-rate: nothing to worry about.
The simple cloth and wood top Fit and Finish is excellent: no flaws, what you expect for the money. Voice: Fax: Website: www. The magazine was founded in by J. Gordon Holt. As of , the editor was John Atkinson, who joined the magazine in May Stereophile was published in New York by The Enthusiast Network, a publisher of special interest magazines.
Signature phono preamp, recent subjectiveonly review, signature da processor, are you experienced, what i heard, conquers room acoustics, ledr stereophilecom, for save david, p3esr loudspeaker measurements, away on friday, review completo stereophilecom, first article here