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Reviewing Styles: Reductionism vs. Gestalt/Global Approach to Reviewing Equipment

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  • Rust
    replied
    "Reductionism" as applies to an equipment review would be the device under tests technical information and bench performance (?). "Global/gestalt" would be the entirety of the performance of the device in its natural habitat, a system or more ideally several disparate systems (?).

    If so as a reader of reviews, a review of purely one style or the other would not provide sufficient insight into a component to base any decision on, such as a decision to purchase or the pursuit of additional information to be applied towards a decision to purchase.

    A description of technical details is expected, a communicative description of the "feel" of a thing is desired.

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  • MylesBAstor
    replied
    Originally posted by Beaur View Post
    In my view reviewing is storytelling. The reviewer should be trying to get the reader to know the subject and become more familiar with it. Good advice to follow;

    http://www.openculture.com/2015/04/k...ort-story.html

    If the reviewer tells a good story I will read (and remember) that review whether or not I intend to consider purchasing the subject of the review.
    Great suggestions.

    The biggest issue I had as an editor is the writer wanting to talk too much about themselves and it would take two pages until they actually got to the product. Get to the review by two paragraphs. The story is the product, not the reviewer.

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  • Beaur
    replied
    In my view reviewing is storytelling. The reviewer should be trying to get the reader to know the subject and become more familiar with it. Good advice to follow;

    http://www.openculture.com/2015/04/k...ort-story.html

    If the reviewer tells a good story I will read (and remember) that review whether or not I intend to consider purchasing the subject of the review.

    Leave a comment:


  • david k
    replied
    Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post

    That's the audio mag that's all 4/C pictures?
    It is, great pictures and the choice of equipment that they reviewed were right up my alley. They always had a great spreads of both modern and vintage gear and specials with entire issue dedicated to a single brand reviewing all their historical and current designs, showing the evolution of the company and its accomplishments over time. I haven't seen that kind of in-depth editorials in any other audio magazines.

    david

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  • MylesBAstor
    replied
    Originally posted by david k View Post
    I never gave personal styles any thought at all, it was all about the content. Of all the audio publications I always liked the Japanese Stereo Sound best, and I can't even read Japanese!

    david
    That's the audio mag that's all 4/C pictures?

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  • david k
    replied
    I never gave personal styles any thought at all, it was all about the content. Of all the audio publications I always liked the Japanese Stereo Sound best, and I can't even read Japanese!

    david

    Leave a comment:


  • JackD201
    replied
    Good writing is good writing in my book but if the approach is too reductive then the piece can get crammed with a lot of context laying. If these contexts happen to be too basic or too advanced that things start flying over my head then tedium sets in. Too global and the reading can be too much to relate to. Getting the right balance must be a pretty tough challenge for all journalists regardless of the subject matter. One reviewer crams so much little details in so many different directions that I just can't finish an article. Not knocking the guy, he gets an A for being thorough but it's just too much sometimes.

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  • Reviewing Styles: Reductionism vs. Gestalt/Global Approach to Reviewing Equipment

    Which type or do you enjoy both styles of reviewing? I usually try and straddle both worlds when reviewing audio products though realistically my reviews do lean to the former school of reviewing. Maybe that's the HP influence on me.

    American reviewers are often associated with a reductionist approach while UK reviewers usually take a more global approach to describing the sound of equipment. Philosophically (and also in biological systems), the argument against the reductionism approach is assuming that if you know the basic building blocks, you can figure out how something works. The argument against the reductionist approach is that systems always have unpredictable synergies going on that aren't always apparent. Of course, we know the famous quote, "the whole is greater than the sum of the parts." And all bets are off anytime you throw the undefinable emotional connection into the equation.

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