I find that statement to be very true, I can’t single out a specific audio item without looking at the whole setup to find a resolution for some problems.
I probably shouldn’t tease this one quite so far ahead of me finishing it up - and I’ll be reviewing the units individually from top-to-bottom first, but there will be an all-up comparison/shoot-out between current (i.e. fully up-to-date) copies of the whole Schiit multi-bit DAC line coming soon(ish).
Schiit Pagoda vs Leaning Tower of Schiit - I vote the latter.
@Torq gets all the fun toys
He certainly does. I do envy him having access to all this lovely gear but it must take all his time up. He must work very hard to get all the things done that he does for us as a community. But still, mmmmmm all that lovely gear.
Time is the real killer.
While chatting with Tyll at RMAF/CanJam, he let on that it was very hard to maintain a solid one-full-review-a-week cadence. Which I certainly can’t argue with. And he was publishing his measurements - for the moment I’m just sitting on mine (though that might change here very shortly).
But listening to new gear is a lot of fun.
Well … it is when it sounds decent!
And it’s surprisingly easy to get hold of gear for review/audition (more so as the price goes up - presumably because the manufacturer has more upside from a potential sale). Schiit have been very accommodating in this regard. Though a lot of the gear I just buy because I want it and eventually get around to reviewing it - for example the Yggdrasil in the above shot I bought back when it was released, and then upgraded it as updates became available.
The Community Preview Program here should help with that as well - especially as more people start participating (a couple more are about to get gear here from that in the next few days).
Anyway … back to the time thing … between unpacking, setup, burn-in, photography (and processing the raw images), listening, any comparisons, and, of course, the actual write-ups, it’s quite a few days per item (the listening part is typically at least three days, or at least twenty-four hours total listening time - not including additional time for comparisons).
And sometimes I feel like I spend as much time at Fedex/UPS/USPS as I do at home! Right now my office looks like a Fedex depot, with all the boxes piled up in it!
I hear you, I can only imagine how much time it really does take. You have to have total commitment as well as a passion for what your doing to be able to put in the time and effort that you do. I am sure we all appreciate it. Don’t get me started on delivery companies and of course customs, they are the bane of my life. They’ve had my Focal Clears for over 2 weeks while they decided what to do. In the end of course it meant charging me. But thereyou go. They’re a law unto themselves you have a hell of a job trying to contact them and you can’t directly, just the HM BORDER FORCE Customer care. Mmmm. I will leave it at that. I can only imagine the hell you go through with parcels and deliveries. It drives me nuts. Rant over.
I think a review a week is a good goal to shoot for, but then life happens and well ha! I’ve found working with @Torq and getting tips on reviews has helped me better time manage my approach to reviews. I also try and keep notes in a word document while listening so I can easily format when putting together my final review.
Yea, I have had some challenges trying to review things that people have sent me to measure/write about but it is definitely fun to try something new as long as it makes you smile. Though, writing a review on something that is poorly built or sounds bad is also fun in it’s own way. I am through my backlog of requested review samples now and so I can focus on using my own gear again and after listening to a lot of cheaper, inexpensive IEMs and then going back to my IEMs and Over-Ears, I remember why I like the ones I bought for myself all over again.
Heck, it takes me a good 5 days to get used to something new, and another 5 to listen carefully enough to discern what I do or don’t like about it. Reviewing an item a week seems like madness.
Madness…no this is Schiit! Kicks guy into well!
You need a couple Fulla Schiits in there for good measure.
Now THAT is funny!
So, to be clear, the 3-days of listening time refers specifically to three dedicated days of focused critical/audition-style listening. Which includes adhering to my standard albums and playlists, my check-list, listening notes and nothing else at all going on.
I don’t do it if I’m not well rested, feeling off, not in the mood or there are other factors (e.g. someone pile-driving enourmous pilings for a new pier just across the street).
Invariably that comes after I’ve already been listening to the item in question for 3-4 days before that in non-critical situations and with whatever I’m in the mood to listen to.
And there is pretty much a slew of items in various states of burn-in hanging around in the queue as I have plenty of sources/amps/headphones to facilitate such things.
For me, just discerning like/dislike is pretty quick.
Understanding why can take a good bit longer - especially if it’s something subtle (like listening fatigue issues with DACs).
But the detailed review notes come from systemic, disciplined, listening sessions, which take as long as they take - again typically about 24 hours of listening over a 3 day (or so - 3 days seems to be the minimum).
And then specific unit-to-unit comparisons generally go on top of that.
A lot depends on how much existing familiarity I have with something (e.g. an Yggdrasil or DFR review would skip immediately to the critical/audition listening part, since I’ve owned them for ages and am more than passingly familiar with them).
Travel, other activities (like “Come from Away” at 5th Ave last night), or just not being in the mood (etc.) often result in that nominal review-a-week goal NOT being met.
Wow, I really had no idea that you needed to be as involved when writing one of your reviews. That’s a lot of listening and note taking.
It’s the New Years honours list for you my son.. Arise Sir Torq. (just a bit of fun).
Listening fatigue must take its toll. And what happens when you get a head cold? Or am I being a bit extreme.
Happy Birthday Ryan.
I have a pretty good understanding of how this works for me now…with the most recent DAC/amps I am reviewing/giving thoughts on. Instantly liked the NiBL, instantly disliked the Dragonfly Black.
I will jump on the Haps to the B-day train my man! hope it is an enjoyable one, nice it falls on a weekend…mine this month is mid week…for shame!
Drinks will definitely be had!