Effect of reviewer's skill level on value of his review

How much does it affect your evaluation of a reviewer's review if you realize that in

  • Not at all

  • A Bit

  • Quite a Bit

  • It renders his review meaningless

  • It depends on the reviewer and other qualities


Results are only viewable after voting.

Leonc

Wild Gear Hearder
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18,170
How much does it affect your evaluation of a reviewer's review if you realize that in your opinion, he can't really play?

Stoopid poll software doesn't let you ask a long enough question...and then doesn't tell you your question is too long; it just lops off what it "doesn't like". Oh well...read the question above.
 

riffmeister

Member
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16,607
I keep it in mind when reading a review. Better players are usually able to determine the limits of what an amp can and cannot do. There is a correlation, but it's not universally true.
 

Flyin' Brian

Silver Supporting Member
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30,130
I honestly pay no attention to gear reviews, whether the person can play or not. One person's killer tone might be my thin and fuzzy. One person's perfect action might be my "Gee this feels like it has spaghetti on it".
 

radcliff

Member
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1,993
The best amp designers cant really play all that well. But for some reason I put more merit in a review by a good player.
 

RyanFromQA

Member
Messages
447
If he's making sounds come out of the gear that are representative of the gear's abilities and are mildly congruent with my own tone sensibilities, I think skill doesn't come into it.

HOWEVER. Less skilled players are typically very timid in their reviews, and use soft pick attack, low volumes (lack of confidence), and talk waaaay too much. Many times an unskilled player is really just a kid who's enamored of Youtube (whammy bar kid), and the video is recorded with the computer mic closer to the player than the amp. That's the thing that puts me off from most reviews, is I hear their pick more than their tone.
 

Mark Robinson

Platinum Supporting Member
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8,590
Context is everything, but all a review EVER does for me is to indicate that I need to find a way to play and listen for myself. I've never yet purchased something that I haven't heard in person, or one of the same thing, not a guitar or amp anyway. Actually not even a stomp box, but that could change. But I'm cheap, and I live in L.A. where if you haven't heard it, it just means you are lazy or don't really want to hear it all that much. How about you Leon?
 

5150user

Member
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1,446
A person's ears have more to do with the value of their opinion regarding tone to me, than their skill level on the instrument. I wish there was some way to interpret what the other person thinks sounds good.

Ex: VH1 sounded absolutely great. LZ1 sounded fantastic. This amp's overdrive when using a Les Paul reminds me of " ".
 

phoenix 7

Member
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25,745
A person's ears have more to do with the value of their opinion regarding tone to me, than their skill level on the instrument.
I think skill level -- great hands -- is largely a result of great ears. You have to know in your "mind's ear" what sounds great in order to make great sounds.

A guy with excellent skills is going to make an amp sound a lot better than a guy with lesser skills. He'll be able to bring out the best in the amp and push it to its limits. So yeah, skill level means a lot to me when evaluating a review.
 

Presc

Member
Messages
1,348
I think it matters a lot. Because getting good tone is just as much in the hands as anything else, you typically do not see below average players with above average tone, no matter what their gear is. In other words, plug a total newbie into a Fuchs, and their skills won't be able to take advantage of what that amp can offer. A better player can more adequately evaluate how an amp responds and feels.

Also...not always, but good players have typically been playing awhile and have had their hands on a bunch of stuff, so they have a more complete frame of reference. Frame of reference is really important IMO.
 

vicdeluca71

Member
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1,502
I don't know if I'm more cynical or enlightened these days cause reviews no matter who does them don't mean jackshit to me.For a review to be relavent it would mean the reviewer an I would have to have exact taste in tone,what are the odds of that?
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
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33,035
If you mean absolute playing skill, not much.
If there is a way to judge the listening skill and experience from the review, then quite a lot. The 2 often coincide. If the reviewer can impart a sense of comparison of use and results that I can identify with, all the better.
I can take a sound guy's word on how amps sound out front even if he can't play.
 

PeeCee

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804
Reviews are nice, but often the amp is listened to by itself. Unless one is buying an amp for bed/living room use only, it really needs to be heard in a band situation.

Depends on what qualifies as "good." Although most people would say that Steve Vai is a better player, I'd rather hear Malcolm Young's opinion about a particular amp and tone.

I'm interested in the opinions of solid players who know good tone and who play well with others. They don't necessarily have to be "great" guitarists.
 

Macaroni

Member
Messages
4,351
I've found that less experienced/skilled players quite often also don't have a good grasp of how to set up and get the most out of gear. Pedals are a good example.

Or they can set it up but they can't squeeze out the full nectar due to playing/technical limitations. I've heard a few mediocre Dumble type amp demos.

I've also heard very good players demo stuff that I'm familiar with, and if I originally had to determine whether to buy that product solely on their demo, I probably wouldn't have.

So it goes both ways, IME.
 

JoeP

Member
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1,783
I tend to listen way more to the guys that use the gear in real world situations, like gigging, instead of being a geek and just obsessing over it because it looks cool and it has gadgets on it..

Some people would buy stuff if it even had the "thing which tells time'' mounted in the chassis..
 

TubeStack

Silver Supporting Member
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10,491
If the guy's not a good player, I don't even listen to the review/sample.

I can't get any of the info I need, if he's not getting the tones out with his fingers - there's nothing worthwhile to hear.
 

Trebor Renkluaf

I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse?
Gold Supporting Member
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13,667
The ones that crack me up are:
Popped into Guitar Center at lunch today and did a thorough evaluation of these 30 guitars... Puhleaze!!! I want a review from somebody who actually uses the equipment on a gig, not some drive-by-shooter in the store or some bedroom wanker.
 

Leonc

Wild Gear Hearder
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
18,170
Generally, the only reason I'll read a review is because I'm interested in the piece of gear...or occasionally, because I know/understand the reviewer and know that I have learned to have faith in his opinion/knowledge. I also know some "reviewers" who are great players...but I don't really share their tastes and thus generally pay little attention to their reviews.

So at one end of the spectrum there's a guy who I know can't play worth a damn (IMO) and he's reviewing some piece of gear that I have no interest in whatsoever. Well of course, I don't read the review; it has no influence at all.

Now suppose there's another cat who I know can really play, and his review raves about some amp that appeals to folks into some kind of music or playing style that is just "not me". I won't read this either; it's irrelevant to me.

If there's a piece of gear that I'm interested in, but all I can find are reviews from people who I know nothing about, then their reviews also aren't all that meaningful to me, but I tend to read a few of them.

Then there is the situation where I'm familiar with the reviewer, do share perhaps some tastes with him...but I know that guy can't really play. If I read a review of him raving about something, I must admit...I tend to discount the review. If it's a piece of gear I'm really interested in, I'll probably try to contact the person and ask them some direct questions about the aspects of it that I'm concerned with. Or look for someone else who owns it who I know can play.

There's another funny situation in which I really don't know the reviewer's playing ability, but I do know the reviewer has some serious knowledge about the gear (like a person with tremendous historical knowledge of some type of gear, often someone who does repairs/mods). And suppose I'm generally interested in some of the same gear...when I read this person's raves or pans, I have to admit I do tend to pay attention.

So the reviewer's skill level definitely has an influence on me...but there are other very important factors as well.
 

trisonic

Member
Messages
13,148
Yes to "read reviews of people that I trust because it has worked out in the past to be correct in my case".
Leon himself is one, LouV is another as is Jack Devine, etc., etc.

Best, Pete.
 

Fuchsaudio

Member
Messages
7,758
Yes, playing skills can glean the a lot out of a given piece (video/audio demos come to mind), but that also has no correlation with whether they can hear worth a damn. I to think psychologically, that seeing someone play the $hit out of almost anything somehow makes someone think the gear was great (or better, anyway), regardless of the part the gear played in what you heard. Just because someone can play, doesn't mean they can hear. There are some great players on Youtube with a prodigious quantity of demos that sound almost the same. :(.
 




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