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amps,cabs..opinions...oh really

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by USAJO, Apr 17, 2006.

  1. USAJO


    Apr 13, 2005
    I hope this thread doesn't get deleted or sent elsewhere. The internet is quite a tool for gathering opinions and info. I know I've been influenced greatly by the "threads" in the various forums. I try to follow or research postings by various contibuters and then assign a value to the comments that are posted. I don't always get to "try out" gear I purchase and sometimes trust opinions of those who post that seem to be "credible" or have similar tastes to mine.
    When I have an opinion of a bass, cab or head I would state it knowing that "it's just mine", I don't claim that my opinion has more value than anyone elses. When I read a post stating this or that blows away all others, I pretty much ignore the opinion. I think some take too much interest in trying to convince others they have found "holy grail" and their ego is somehow being stroked when they enlighten the masses. What frustrates me more is when it seems people have an "interest or link" somehow to the product they are hyping.
    Now why in the heck did I type all of this? Just read a post where people were debating "the best" and had to laugh at how serious some people seemed to be.
  2. throw_this_away


    Mar 30, 2006
    I agree 100%.

    You have to watch out when reading the opinions that others have on something. I like to do extensive reading on any big purchase. As I don't live in a big city, it is rare that I get to really do side by side comparisons of products when deciding to buy something. I might be able to try one amp... but not 3 others right next to it. As a result I try to figure out what I want and then I go to forums and review databases like harmony central.

    Here is my advice on the subject of wading through people's opinions/reviews when trying to make a decision on buying a product...

    1. Be wary of the one absolute best and one absolute worst review of any one product. The one shining review might be someone who doesn't know any better (or who is very biased)... and the one bad review might be some poor bitter sap that got a faulty used product or something.

    2. thus... try to get as many different opinions as possible.

    3. Take multiple bad reviews is a warning sign.

    4. Multiple good reviews should make you feel more confident that a product is solid, especially if everyone says something similar.

    5. ... but, watch out for Dogma. If everyone on one forum is saying the same thing about a product (including ones that don't even own, or have not tried the product) go to a different forum for fresh opinions. Forums are often biased by a few very vocal members (plus birds of the feather flock together). Other readers then begin to take and repeat their opinions (valid or not) as gospel even if they have never seen/used the product before. The internet if full of this (why else would so many sane people actually want a Bongo bass?!?!? I kid I kid ;) ).

    4. Always try to find out the "music style" or context of a reviewer. Someone playing rock and someone playing jazz might rate the same product totally different (ex: really high marks for a ric 4003 or a SVT from a rocker, and really low marks from a jazz player). Same goes for guys playing "Madison Square Living room" vs a touring band. If you just plan to twiddle on bass in your bedroom you may not want to listen to the touring guy who is trying to sell you on a 1000W rig.

    5. Don't ignore the reviews of less experienced musicians, as they are fresh and unbiased, but remember that they MAY have less experience and MAY have tried out less gear for comparison. It took me a lot of solid playing before my ear matured such that I could tell the difference between a good and bad amp/strings/bass... and I am still learning.

    6. ...with that in mind, some ears have matured to that point that they can't hear much any more without assistance... don't listen to them (PUN!!! I kid, I kid). They are often the ones that swear by twin SVT 8x10 cabs... they can't hear for a reason :p .

    7. Experienced musicians are a wealth of knowledge and opinion on products (they have probably had the chance to compare and own much gear over the years)... BUT be careful because some can get stuck in their ways, and can be closed minded to change.

    8. Take "fresh reviews" (review of a product posted after less than a month of solid use) with caution. Sometimes a new product (i.e. change) sounds/seems better to a reviewer... but once the novelty wears off they are not as impressed as they were when they first got it. Long-term reviews tend to be more mature and accurate.

    9. The really good and really bad reviews of a product are often by people who either didn't give a product a chance, or loved it cause they were excited to buy a new product (for many of us buying is half the fun).

    10. Opinions are just that... opinions. Everyone likes something different. Worst-case scenario... listen harder to the opinions of people playing the same type of music you will be playing when making a gear decision.

    11. Always try something out before you make a final decision.

    12. Don't say one product is better than another unless you can compare them side-by-side under the same environment.

    13. I give more weight to reviews that actually make direct comparisons between products in their reviews. "This amp has similar mid bite to a SVT..." would be better than "this amp has great sounding mids." The first statement means something and demonstrates that a reviewer probably has more experience with different gear... the second statement is pure opinion (though it could still be valid).

    14. I tend to give more weight to reviewers who own (or have owned) a lot of different gear. "This is the best cab ever" holds more weight in my mind coming from a guy who owns 8 different cabs than someone who got the cab as their first cab ever.

    15. Do everyone a favor and don't state a review of a product as fact if you have never tried the product and are passing on second hand info.
  3. Good Golly Miss Molly!!!!

    This should be a sticky!! What an excellent and insightful post. You verbalized my thoughts in an eloquent way.....Right On.
  4. instigata


    Feb 24, 2006
    New Jersey
    that should be stickied in every forum in here.

  5. +1
    Need anyone say more?
  6. throw_this_away


    Mar 30, 2006

    I guess it all just goes to say that only you the player/buyer can really make a decision on whether or not you like something enough to buy it. Nothing beats trying a product out yourself and making your own decision.

    Still, when taken with a grain of salt, the opinions/experiences of others can help guide you in the right direction when making a purchase. The better educated you are on a product, the better your decision making abilities will be.

    Finally, forums and review databases are equally (if not more) valuable in their ability to introduce you to options/products that you might have never thought to try in the first place (and who knows, you might just prefer that product).
  7. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    +1, Great post, a couple comments...

    Along these lines, I've observed there's a fairly clear "tide" at TB, which you should be aware of for both the information areas as well as the forsale areas. If you can plan accordingly, you'll do well.

    Per a lot of the rest of your excellent post, I would actually never say "one product is better than another" no matter how the comparison is done.

    I carefully avoid words like "better" (or worse, best, worst) unless very well qualified. Better "for me" or "my style of" are great safety catches. If you haven't seen it already, speaking in absolutes... even relative ones... is pretty much guaranteed to cause folks to derail your thread, and at worst, get it closed. With the exposure here at TB, you're just about guaranteed to say something is "better" than some uber-advocate's drop-dead favorite stuff. He's gonna' ignore or miss the obvious, that you're just stating your opinion, and instead read it as you laying down the law, and you (and everyone reading your thread) will get to drink from the firehose. :)
  8. I don't know about the rest of you guys, but pretty much everything I say can be accepted as gospel. Won't bother me a bit.:D

    Really, though, the best advice in that big post was to get time-tempered reviews on things. I'm guilty of Gear Lust; I'll get a new cab or bass or whatever and play it, and it's the greatest piece of technology that's every hit the scene. Ask me two weeks later, or two months later, after the honeymoon, and usually I'm FAR more critical, or at least I have found some shortcomings that may or may not be worth pointing out.
    For example, I'm considering a GK 800rb head, and the reason I'm looking into it is the number of guys that I've talked to that have said "I've had one since the Reagan Administration, and it's never had any issues, and I still love the sound.":D
  9. Get It!
    I've had mine since RR and it still sounds good. Pretty sturdy too. Check out what happened to mine!


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