AUDIO CRITIQUE


A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE ON:

AUDIO REPRODUCTION

THE FINEST RECORDINGS

THE AUDIO INDUSTRY

THE AUDIO PRESS

Introduction

This is a web audio magazine dedicated to the serious reproduction of music in the home. This is, and always will be, a totally non-commercial website, with nothing for sale and no advertising; audio related or otherwise.

Audio Critique is intended to provoke a totally new manner of thinking about our audio world, without the politics and the suppression and censorship of information and opinion found in most print magazines and websites, especially those with advertising. At present there are a variety of critical essays concerned with the high-end audio world; including the various businesses and the so-called "underground press".

THE PERSONAL ESSAYS

Audio Background: Of the author, Arthur Salvatore. I've been involved in audio for more than 45 years, but the essay is very short.

Audio Philosophy: Of the author. This is where my experiences, beliefs and basic outlook are presented in depth and in straight forward terms that even beginners can understand. The reasons for these beliefs are also found here.

My Audio System: Is described in detail here. An audiophile's personal choice of components is always an important aid to discover his or her real tastes and priorities, especially if you had to actually pay for them, as I did.

THE HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE RETAILERS ESSAYS

Audio Retailers: As a retailer for almost 20 years, plus a retail customer before and since then, this essay offers an overview and some practical advise dealing with audio stores and "salons", and making audio purchases in general. I am also critical of how most audio stores have evolved in the last decade or so.

Purchasing Used LP's: This essay offers advice for those readers who are still purchasing Classical Music records. I describe my general experiences with different labels and pressings, but not specific recordings or pressings. I am also extremely critical of many "used record dealers" and "collectors" and the self-serving, ignorant and nonsensical "information" they (have and still) advocate.

THE ESSAYS AND COLUMNS ON THE AUDIO PRESS

The Audio Press: Is an essay that is both very critical and quite lengthy. It is my strong belief that most of the audio magazines, and certainly the most visible and well known, have betrayed their paying readers, and the entire audio world for that matter. My many criticisms go as far as they can without generating a libel case.

Reviewing the 'Reviewers': Is a totally unique collection of essays that is dedicated to taking a second look at some recent audio reviews, both in print and on the Internet, and the behavior of some prominent reviewers and their editors. The purpose of all this:

Are they truly serving the audiophile community, or not?

No one in the entire audio reviewing establishment is too big, or too important, to escape scrutiny here, and all "the names" are named. These include: Michael Fremer, Harry Pearson and John Atkinson.

THE AUDIO AND LP "HALLS OF FAME"

The List of Reference Components: Is very lengthy and exhaustive, covering all the components from the "Golden Age" of the 1950's to the present. This list took several months of research and writing to initially put together and countless hours since then to update.

It is different than any other list ever published, because all the components ever made are eligible. The standards of inclusion are described in detail (for once), and are also much more difficult to satisfy. All the "Reference Components" have short descriptions as to their capabilities, unspoken weaknesses and why they are included.

The Supreme Recordings: This is a list of the finest sounding LPs I have ever heard. There are more than 300 LPs on this list, and each one of them has a description of its sonic attributes, and the alternative pressings and recordings, if applicable. There are hundreds of other records also mentioned in a separate list titled: The Honorable Mentions. They also have many excellent qualities.

Overrated (and overpriced) labels, pressings and records are also finally exposed for what they really are, and in detail. There are also additional essays on famous records and labels, objective LP comparisons, original pressings, reissues and a number of personal anecdotes concerning LPs.

This is a lengthy download and read, more than 150 pages. I intend this to be a true "Reference" of LP excellence for vinyl enthusiasts.

FURTHER: I have chosen the records that are the finest ever made of their type (Orchestra, chamber, jazz, choral, rock, ethnic, opera, most dynamic, piano, etc). Most of these LPs have never received serious recognition from any other source, and even better, some are still available new from the larger record mail-order businesses.

COMPONENT MODIFICATIONS

The Modification File now exists and has basic information, pictures and instructions, but it's still a "work in progress".

The author of all the current essays is Arthur Salvatore.

IN CONCLUSION

I hope that browsing this section first, in depth, will eventually help you in discovering your own general direction in audio and even give you the information, overview and confidence to help you in deciding the type and actual choice of your future audio components and some musical software (LP) selections.

RECENT SMALLER UPDATES

Reference Components, Supreme Recordings, My Audio System etc.

LARGER UPDATES

2010

Lenco L75 Idler-Drive Reference Turntable Essay/Review

WHY "SOUND-FLOOR" IS PREFERABLE TO "NOISE-FLOOR"

Wes Phillips - The "Intrepid" Audio Reviewer

2011

Coincident Statement Line Stage Essay/Review

2012

Class A Phono Stages Essay/Review

Communication Policy

This website reserves the right to post ALL communications sent to it.

Discretion may be used in the following circumstances:

A private individual's privacy, identity and address.

Personal information, from both public and private individuals, that is not relevant to the audio issues discussed on this website.

I respond to almost every e-mail sent to this website, but it may take a while, depending on my available time. The shorter and more precise the e-mail, the quicker it will be answered.

If you have a question, or want personal advice and/or consultation:

Important Notice- As of October 1, 2012, there is a minimum fee of $ 10 for me to answer a simple enquiry, which means any question that I can read, analyze and answer very quickly, without research and too much thought. Anything else will cost more, and I will accordingly provide quotes for approval. PayPal is being used for its convenience, universality and security. If interested, click on "Ask Arthur".

There are two exemptions to the payment fees. 1. Those select readers who have provided an important service (usually information that was posted) to this website over the years. 2. Those situations where I feel that I overlooked something important and/or was obtuse in my post, and thus some necessary clarification is required on my part. That will always be gratis. I don't believe in being unfair or petty, especially to my own readers.

Finally, a veteran reader wrote that I "should also have a link for (generic) donations to keep the website going". I replied that the Donation button can also be used by appreciative readers for that purpose. Needless to say, any unsolicited donation from a generous reader receives my sincerest thanks and gratitude.

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Arthur Salvatore

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