Robert Learner and the New Review

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by Josh Ray on September 25 '06

I am pleased to welcome Robert Learner to the SonicFlare posse. A few months back we began swapping emails and chatting about everything right and wrong with the hi-fi biz. The biggest problem is, of course, the barriers that keep anyone but the hard core audiophiles from taking part in this industry. Secondly, many traditional reviews leave much to be desired for audiophiles looking to build a system.

As regular readers know, I'm a big believer in the holistic system approach. Review systems and synergy, not just individual components. For people trying to get into the industry, a complete system is a much easier purchase than spending 5 years digging through the muck to find a system that works.

For audiophiles, there is no absolute sound, but a variety of different tastes. Dynamic drivers, Lowthers, eletrostats, horns, SETs, SS, etc. Audiophiles know roughly what they like and the most helpful reviews are those that speak directly to their taste, not just "the best of the best of the best."

Robert and I began working on a plan for a new kind of review that would hopefully be very helpful to both audiophiles and normies alike. Robert would look at a number of different monitors in a quest to put together a killer budget system. No dedicated listening room, this is all about the real world with real prices and real wives and girlfriends who won't put up with black refrigerators in the den.

Out of this little experiment, Robert would be able to give the sonic qualities of one speaker versus another. This isn't about finding the greatest speaker ever, but discovering different tastes. Qualities can, I believe, be written about meaningfully. Which qualities are most important is all up to you and your musical tastes.

For those new to hi-fi, Robert's final system will be a no-brainer purchase. Just like the Neat/Exposure system, you can finally buy a complete rig knowing it'll rock your world.

So please welcome Robert to the 'Flare and check out his bio for more about his personal tastes and visit the Monitor Quest page for all the details on this little adventure.

First up: the Zu Tones!

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