How to Qualify for the Core Team

I just want to point out that there might be some people that are completely settled in their headphones and are maybe coming here to focus their time and contributions in source gear (DACs, amps, etc.). Maybe that first point could be changed to be more general to allow for a complete review of ANY headphone related gear.

Similarly, I’m wondering if this second point about a percentage based requirement might get tricky if/when this forum grows to a large size. Particularly, I could see this unintentionally favoring certain people over others. For instance, it is already clear that headphone focused threads far outnumber source gear threads by like a 10x factor. Again, if a member here is settled in headphones and isn’t looking for upgrades, but instead has a lot of DAC and amp experience and focuses their contributions and time spent here in those threads, the 25% of ALL topics requirement could make that more challenging for that user. So let’s say in a 100 day period 1000 topics get created, and only 100 of those are source gear related, that user would have to find 150 additional non-source gear threads (and seemingly uninteresting to that user) in order to meet the qualifications.

And I don’t think this potential issue is just related to users focused on source gear. I know from my time on head-fi, SBAF, and reddit, that there is a ton of variety of threads that get generated daily and a lot of it might not interest me just because it might have to do with gear that I am not really thinking about like IEMs, budget headphones, vinyl, etc. So even though I might not visit a large proportion of the threads available on those other forums, I still spend just as much time and contribute on very specific ones than most users. So it would be nice to find a way of adjusting this requirement such that it encourages core team members to be very active overall, but also allow for people that might have a more narrow interest in a subset of topics.


Good points.

When I wrote “headphone review” I didn’t intend to limit it to headphones… Just reflexive word-choice. I’ll fix that right away.

As far as number of posts read, you’re right. I don’t want to force the drudgery of having to keep up with topics you aren’t interested in. Would you suggest lowering the threshold or using a different metric altogether?


It’s harder to define, but quality commenting. Someone whose name you read, and then you read the post because at least every 10 posts or so, something they say resonates and makes you say HMMM… I’ve got to do|try|test|see|hear|experience that.

I like to gadfly and tease on many of my posts - those don’t count. If I can do or upload something funny, that doesn’t count either. But I also like to contribute every once in a while, something that someone else might find worthwhile.

BTW, it would not be a good idea to have a “class clown” badge.


It seems there are 2 components of participation you are trying to encourage.

This point would be to encourage consistency in coming to the forums, but it doesn’t have a time component built-in so a person could simply login every other day and never participate.

This point seems to be an accountability check to make sure the user is actually spending a sufficient quantity of time reading through the forums. I’m not entirely sure how your data tracker works for each user, but it seems to log the amount of time a user has spent in the forums? If that is the case, maybe you could just set a minimum amount of time logged within the 100 day period? Presumably that would achieve the same goal as setting a “threads viewed” requirement? Both would ensure the user is spending enough time in the forums to be a core member, but the time requirement method would allow the user to spend that time in whichever threads are most important to him/her.

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Seems I’m a bit late to the party but excellent idea! I like that your encouraging regular participation as a requirement for the Core Team qualifications, a lot of what others have said is 100% relevant

I like the 100 day rolling period moving forward and I will be curious to see how the community here grows with this goal in mind!

As for the threshold, I may change it not to a % of new posts but maybe a metric of time in a variety of topics. I see that for now there’s one main board hopefully moving forward there may be the development of a variety of topic boards with time spent in each being part of the requirements of Core Team.

Either way your starting list of loaners is exciting! As is the arrival of an entirely new community

so how do i get started?

I would also like to take part in the Core Team, once I get some more reviews out, and get to know more of the people on here.

You’ve already started, everything is automatically tracked for you :slight_smile:

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I’m working on changing the requirement to being time-based, but for now, we’re going to reduce the number of topics to 15% based on your feedback. I agree that we don’t want an incentive to spend time in topics you aren’t interested in.

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Does this mean there needs to be one review per every 100 days?

Like a chicken that blows out a double-yoked egg as her final opus, some of us may have only one great review in them.


I suspect that anyone capable of such similes has at least a few more reviews in them!

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One of, and probably the, biggest benefits to being a Core Team member is that you qualify for the Community Preview Program. And one of the requirements for using that is that you post a review of any item of gear you get via that program.

I do know, for sure, that to remain a Core Team member you must maintain “Trust Level 3”, also known as “Regular”. That is automatically handled on a 100-day rolling basis … so active community participation is certainly an on-going requirement.

I’ll let @andrew or @taronlissimore comment on whether posting at least one review in every 100-day period is also a requirement to maintain Core Team membership - or if it is just required in the initial qualifying period. I can see reasonable arguments for either case.


Thanks @Torq!

@Carmantom to answer your question: No you do not need to post a review every 100 days but you do need to keep up your “trust level 3” status which is calculated on a rolling 100-day basis.

However, when you participate in the community preview program (a benefit of being a Core Team member) you are expected to do a write up on the gear you receive for the benefit of the community.

I hope that helps clear things up.


I would really like to met the Lissimore Bro’s.

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This actually doesn’t sound like a very easy goal if you ask me. I certainly wouldn’t find it easy to spend 50 % of the day on here and it just seems like a lot. What I was hoping for was a headphone lending program sinular to the lending library from The Cable Company. You guys have stuff that they don’t carry or never heard of. Yes, I could tie all kinds of money up to buy just to try but then when I go to return its not like you guys can resell the headphones as new anymore. The way this is set up, you got to almost what seems like be on these forums day and night. Plus there’s the fact that even if I agreed to do a review, it would be from a blindness prospective with seveer hearing loss. There’s honestly a lot of headphones that just do not work for me as they can never get loud enough. I see 97 DB and 60 Ohme and i stop right there. I know such a headphone could never get driven to high enough levels for my loss no matter what amp is used. I’ve found also sat fit with universal IEMs is not an easy thing. plus if my dad wasn’t around, who would help me to put the tips on the ear pieces and put the cable on? But this comunity thing seems to be working for yall. but it still leaves the lending out of reach of most people. Its not like there are headphone stores around.

The “Community Preview Program” was significantly revised a while ago, with much lower requirements for participation and a broader array of available gear.

Also, you’re not interpreting the original requirements correctly anyway. You don’t need to be on here for 50% of every day. You just need an average of one visit per day for 50 days out of each 100 (i.e. every other day). Not a post, nor a response, just visiting.

But, again, the requirements were significantly adjusted months ago, as denoted in the above link to the new program.

As it stands, most moderately active members, including those that have joined recently, already meet the basic participation requirements and only need to post impressions of one piece of gear to qualify for the program as-is. It certainly doesn’t require heavy participation much less anything approaching night-and-day activity.

The requirement for a review or impressions (which are not that involved) is so that you’re giving back to the community in exchange for access to the gear. Sending gear around is not free, comes with various risks, and isn’t practical to do without some kind of return - here that’s simply being an active member of the community and posting impressions (which has no direct out of pocket cost).

The idea being that everybody benefits.

In special cases I am sure it’s possible to have the impressions cover non-sound related aspects - or to address them in the context of the case at hand, and focus more on build quality, comfort, convenience, and what did work well for said special case.

Without that, it’d either be necessary to impose a fee to cover shipping, insurance, overhead etc. or the program would rapidly become unsustainable.


So if I wanted to post my opinion of the Sure SE846 VS Fostext TH-600, That would be considered a impression or review?

I suppose my biggest concern is that this would be based on my hearing such as it is, (which is not like most peoples.), and the blindness thing.

For example one thing I would say is that getting those cables on and off is impossible for me, although I can get on and off the sure sleeves.


Pretty much, yes.

Impressions do not have to be particularly involved.

Though it is fair to say that the gear in the top tier is going to warrant more involved impressions than stuff in tier three.

You could either qualify/explain that at the start of your comments - and/or maybe not comment on the qualitative aspects of the sound at all.

If, for example, your primary need is to reach high dB/SPL levels while remaining clear and un-distorted, then you could limit comments on sound to that … and have the remainder of the impressions be on the package, quality, comfort, accessories etc.

That’d be a good example of something to include in non-audible impressions. I know I had a hell of a time with the MMCX connectors on the SE846, but with the BGVP DMG they were easy to get on and off.

Just for reference, to reach the required “Member” trust level for initial preview-program access, you’ve already hit all the requirements except for number of lifetime days visited … visit for two more days and you’ll hit that too. After which, its just a case of posting impressions on something.


Hey, JH. I really LIKE the idea of having a review that very specifically talks about how a particular headphone or combination fits some special need. That could be hearing loss, or perhaps ease of use for someone with motor problems. My Mother isn’t a headphone user, but she has age-related memory loss, and has hearing aids. Forget trying to get her to change batteries, but RED for Right and BLUE for left is way harder for her to remember than an R and L would be. And the manufacturer would do well to make a RED R and a BLUE L.

As long as you explain the issue and how a headphone does or does not help you overcome the problem I think that could be a great review.