Originally Posted by audioguy
Kal is one of my 2 or 3 favorite reviewers in all of audio land (Robert Greene of TAS is another). And I own the 80.2. That said, I have never put any faith in the Recommended lists of these magazines. Unless a reviewer has personally listened to all of the products in a specific category, I have never figured out how they can determine what Class a specific product belongs in.
I have not heard all of the competition but I would think that for the money, the 80.2 is clearly the best product -- maybe even for 2 or 3 times the money.
Just my $.02
In the case of Stereophile, that whole section's rankings are determined only by Kal, since he is the only guy there who listens to Mch. So, he has heard every one of the units in question, often in side-by-side comparisons.
Kal's the top guy in all of audio reviewing today, IMHO. I think there is an intellectual honesty, great knowledge and sophistication about his reviews of all types, not just about Mch or room acoustics gear. That continues to his frequent comments in many forums, and he is the only reviewer who posts to forums such as this and many others. The fact that he "gets" Mch, DSP EQ, etc. for music, where essentially all other reviewers do not, shows me that he is way ahead of the pack in open-mindedness, because that is where the most true-to-life music reproduction is today.
I used to like Greene, and he did an excellent article in TAS about DSP Room EQ several years ago. But, I have recently traded barbs with him in his online forum. He is not into or aware of what is going on in Mch today. He criticizes commercial Mch recordings, but he fails to set up his speakers correctly during playback - go figure. His ideal is the little-used Blumlein-miked, coincident pair stereo, because of its mathematical "perfection". But, he is a classic case of the quest for the perfect being the enemy of the good. I find him out of touch. and highly biased by his academic views and lack of broad experience with commercially available products. But, he has posted some good articles in his blog on acoustic theory and about how we hear in the concert hall. It's where he goes with that to Blumlein stereo above all else that I have a problem with.
OK, there's $0.03 to your $0.02.