Good audio reviewers and ones to stay far far away from

So I had a suggested video pop up in my Youtube feed.
It was for a smart NAD speaker amp. I thought meh I will have a look. Got a bit in and the guy starts saying how he is using Audioquest nrgx3 cables to make sure the power is good for both of them and the same.
Immediately turned me off and I plan to stay far away from that channel.

Can’t trust a reviewer who thinks 100 dollar AC power cables matter.

So that got me thinking. Who do you fellow forum users have on your no no naughty lists and who are some of your favorite audio reviewers. Youtube or otherwise.

Other than Zeos and DMS. Bad Guy Good Audio https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIw1An1OUp4XIv_h6si2etQ has also been good.
There are some occasional others. But very rare that I will watch/read their stuff.

Let’s come together and share out favorites…and people we wouldn’t trust with a 100 meter pole poke.

I will continually edit this post for the two lists of good and bad. Maybe I will put a mini quote next to each one to describe their style.

EDIT:

Reviewers and their style so far:

Bert Reviews: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKyttd04b4AJxH4slyUuJaA
Review Style: Sesame street style PUPPETS!!, informative, sometimes a dash of history, a sprinkling of comedy, long form (15m+ so far), NEW reviewer with only a few videos out.
Suggested by: @Hyp0xia

Resolve Reviews: https://www.youtube.com/user/GrippeSC2
Review Style: Hands, fixed camera, closeup shots cut in strategically, critical of anything that stands out and is bad, very in depth analysis, long form (15+ minutes), descriptive, very straight with no fussing about. Can be quite bland which depending on the listener/watcher is a good or bad thing.
Suggested by: @abm0

Metal571: https://www.youtube.com/user/metal571
Review Style: His face with his mic shoved in front of it, weird descriptive words sometimes, likes to EQ.
Suggested by: @abm0

Currawong: https://www.youtube.com/user/Currawong
Review Style: informative, a touch slow, hard to categorize as he does things a few different ways. Will have to watch more and update later.
Suggested by: @elira

The No No bad reviewer list (my opinion):

John Darko: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQIcXQ2n0sa-7CD0NtqnrrA
Reason: A 100 dollar AC cable makes his stuff sound better…yeah no definitely not :poop:

Max Settings: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr98MgOIAq7dagJfE4baFBw
Reason: Sounds very full of himself in his videos, complete douche. Is perfectly fine with bringing his personal issues with individuals into videos. Social issues. Spent 1/3rd of his Verum 1 review complaining about how the owner thinks gear should cost what it really costs, not inflated prices. Tells the owner how he should run his company. massive air-quotes Does NOT want to start drama massive air-quotes. Baby boy that only works when you have more than a few million subs.

No Theme Reviews (NTR or Netorare): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZKtvy4dKni9hHQhy5_Z-mA
Reason: Try’s to be that really edgy guy in audio and it is just cringy. His constant tirade against anyone he doesn’t particularly like for one reason or another (DMS and Zeos for the most part). can’t seem to take valid fact based criticism of the things he says and does. Twists reality and facts into whatever he thinks wold be beneficial to him. Especially likes to alter things people say or use them out of context so that he can further whatever agenda he thinks he has.
Ignoring all that, his reviews are very dull and don’t offer much in any category. You can get more info in a 1 minute read than you can from this guy in a 25 minute video.
This is just the tip of the iceberg with NTR. I don’t have all day to list complaints.

Currawong makes good reviews, but sometimes he’s a little boring. Very informative though.

hahaha, $100 power cable.

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My favorite is Bert Reviews. That he has fewer than a thousand subscribers is scandalous.

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aye. just think about all the others out there who are worthy and don’t get the acknowledgement they deserve. my mind is simply blown by the # of people with voices worthy of fandom out there…street urchin’s who just happen to be in the right place at the right time and get a reveal on television. imagine how the # of those that don’t get that chance is likely exponential! :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Hmm, I see the potential for toxicity here…tread carefully everyone XD

I will say this about people recommending special cables: I think a lot of it can be done for much cheaper without a perceptible difference in audio quality (aka snake oil). But, I could see someone with money to burn with no other obvious upgrade paths already at the extreme high-end with dedicated listening rooms, power regeneration, and other stuff most of us consider nutty wanting to do so for that last ten-to-the-negative-thousand of a percent level of confidence in their system, then I see no reason to stop them from doing so.

Electrically, I don’t think there really is a difference and I can’t imagine there would be a perceptible difference. But, if the old guy from PS Audio says he and others can tell a difference, then good for them (and perhaps the IRSV and other extreme high end systems can elucidate such differences). To be fair to Mr. McGowan, he even states that as an engineer it defies his logic too. He does explain briefly the differences in manufacturing of the cores used in cables that may have some differences.

But I do like other segments of the PS Audio YouTube channel.

JV…many years ago I read a review about a sound engineer fellow who did a random blind test (they were blindfolded) on his buddies with the high end gear he had at his disposal. he used coat hanger wire and then supposedly quality cables. none of the guys could tell the difference. sure wish I could find that and bookmark it for times when these kinda arguments come up.

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Do you remember The Amazing James Randi challenging people with the stupidly expensive audio cable in his million dollar challenge? Yeah, I suspect that company pulled the wire from the competition because they knew better than relying on chance.

I do not… :face_with_monocle:

The James Randi Educational Foundation put up a million dollar prize, here is a summary from audioholics:

And here is another post going into details audioholic looked into:

Second is a collaboration using an Ethernet cable’s claims:

Beside Z and DMS I’m subbed to metal571 and Resolve Reviews.


I used to be subbed to clavinetjunkie (now renamed to “oluv’s gadgets”), but after I got a really good BT speaker - that I’m still satisfied with today -, I gradually lost interest in watching more BT speaker reviews. He’s also doing headphones and IEMs these days, but… IDK, I guess I don’t care about any of the models he’s picked to evaluate so far. Plus he’s not really experienced in describing sound in words and covering all important areas, he’s been mostly good at setting up comparative sound demos of 2+ devices. Sure a few times he’s clowned around “proving” that aptX is not worth the hype just because it’s not significantly better than AAC, or that external headphone amps are “not worth it” because he couldn’t tell the difference between some random cheap amp and his iPhone 6, but other than that he knows his stuff, i.e. what sounds good and what doesn’t. And I liked the raw honesty he has in common with Z: if he finds some big-brand device that just performs badly he will say so, and will not hold back on the language - if some Ultimate Ears Boom-boom or Bose or Beats Pill or Sony sounds like crap for how much it costs, he will call it what it is: crap. :slight_smile:

Resolve Reviews is my new favorite reviewer. I love Z and Josh, but Resolve Reviews is exactly the kind of very detailed and highly educated review I’m looking for.

What about a case where the reviewer says he goes into a test expecting NOT to hear a difference and then has to begrudgingly admit that he does?

In general, I agree the power cord and cables “industry” is mostly a ripoff. I’m definitely skeptical of Paul McGowan saying he can hear the difference between USB cables immediately. In the Zero Fidelity video above though, I have to admit I see (hear?) where he’s coming from. I have the Audioquest Jitterbug and was initially basically the same: “you can’t measure the difference, so you can’t hear a difference.” I begrudgingly admit I was wrong. The Jitterbug does change the sound. Now, whether that change is an improvement varies, though. On some headphones/speakers I noticed a tighter image - much like what Zero Fidelity described with that power strip. On other systems it sucks the life out and overall dulls the sound.

But also, I’m definitely in favor of some sort of “reviews of reviewers” resource. Good idea.

There is a difference between what can be proved scientifically to improve or at least alter things (#Tuuuubbbeeessss) for enjoyment. Versus just plain bullshit.

For example, a ground loop isolator is a real thing that can fix real grounding issues. Does absolutely nothing if you your issue is not a grounding issue. But scientifically it does fix grounding problems or at least fixes as much as it can handle. Ground loop isolators can only handle as much power as they are rated for.

Same thing for linear power supplies and power smoothers. They take in erratic AC power and either output as close to smooth AC or output smooth DC to a device.

An AC power cable has rating power standards and shielding standards for a reason. Those standards being rated for the worst case scenario at all times 24/7. If a cable says it can handle the power it can handle it and deliver it no questions asked without flaws.
Let’s not even forget that even if you have have some funky super “special” AC power cable…what about everything before it? What are the wires in your wall made of silver? The cables heading to the power lines? etc.
It is just plain insanity.

The biggest problem with all the snake oil bullshit is not whether rich stupid people want to spend thousands of dollars on cables. Let them do that. It is when companies like that make other people think they need these silly cables that it becomes a problem. Fake info is still fake info and those companies should feel bad that they are trying to confuse people that don’t know better.

Simply put. A good cable is a good cable. A bad cable is a bad cable. The difference is dollars. Not hundreds of dollars or thousands of dollars.

If people think they can hear a difference. Then either they need to double blind test. Or they need to put the cables through testing to see how they are fucking with things in most likely a bad way. If it messes with sounds in a tube way that is a different thing all together. However adding tube sound should be left to tubes. Not shitty expensive cables.

I have to laugh at the presence of Josh and “highly educated” in the same sentence. :slight_smile: He has next to zero technical knowledge and doesn’t even seem interested to get at least a Wikipedia-level education before making advice videos about certain topics (like that speaker placement one he made where he barely even mentioned wall treatment). Add to that his frequent AMA-style videos where he sits around with his coffee mug waiting to get asked questions like he’s some superstar or at least an expert in the field (nope on both counts), and you’ve got someone I prefer to unsub from on YouTube and never support on Patreon. All he’s good for are subjective reviews to add to the general diversity of opinions, and that by itself is not good enough for a sub in my book.

This is a good example of why ground loops or poor ground handling is a thing.
In this case we are talking about a large power strip that most likely has a ground loop isolator built into it. Or potentially has a power rectifier/smoother built in.
The 100 or so dollar power strip would indeed fix a problem that power strips exacerbate. That being poor grounding or very erratic power that could cause issues with some sensitive devices (devices where they didn’t bother to spend the 2-5 dollars it would cost to put in some quality capacitors and rectifiers to smooth incoming power).

The Audioquest jitterbug is a good example of a product that actually does something. BUT only if you have a grounding issue on the USB 5v rail.
TBH though if you are having issues with ground on your computers USB. Then you should actually fix the root of the problem and put in a UPS to act as a rectifier or you should use another form of ground loop isolator on the incoming power to the PC.
The reason I say this is that this could be plaguing other parts of your computer and causing premature failure that a cleaner source would prevent.

I remember this too. Damn that was a long time ago. Maybe more than 2 decades. I remember reading it as a child EDIT: seems I can’t really find anything since before 2008. So either my mind is slipping or there was an older article that that. Probably my mind slipping.
Was a great article.

Have to agree with everything you said. Resolve is where it’s at for me. I hope his channel continues to grow. He deserves it.

This also goes for Zeos as well. You can tell the obvious differences in their VÉRITÉ reviews. Zeos is entertaining but when it comes to facts about gear, I’m going to trust Resolve first.

I’m not a fan of Metal’s personality and weird laugh/chuckle at all.

I agree, and this is essentially my position.

I will generally not question someone’s subjective hearing, so if they think they hear a difference, then I will not care. I will remain skeptical, but I usually am not in the mood to tell them that I think they wasted money unless asked.

What I do not tolerate well is extraordinary claims without extraordinary evidence, or in the case of people who recommend buying snake oil just an anecdote of their very ordinary subjective opinion. I strongly feel that objective evidence in the form of measurement and scientifically valid explanation should be the validation for extraordinary claims.

My position is that people should be personally responsible for their purchases and research into products.

100% agree on all of the above. Snake oil peddlers can get bent.
Thankfully I don’t have any insane people around me that buy stupid expensive cables. But if I did I might butt in a bit and bring some logic. But at the end of the day I wouldn’t tell that person to not spend their money like that.

True. But people shouldn’t have to do research on speaker cables and Ac power cables. That is a bit much. It falls on the manufacturer to prove that they are better in a scientific way. Not the trash that they like to push.