Harmony Central User Reviews flaking out again

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by StompBoxBlues, Jan 12, 2006.


  1. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Not going to make a big deal out of this. I already know some folks thing the User reviews are useless..."pimply teens, all jawing about crap gear" etc. But I know it as a very useful resource. Especially in that on certain gear enough messages about quality control issues, that are very helpful.


    Anyway. I wrote a few reviews, one on the MI-Audio Blues Pro, and it was actually very positive, not gushy though, with concrete references to how it sounds, how it is to use, etc. That was over 14 days ago, and no updates at all on the effects database. Latest review is from december.

    One snuck in just the other day, but is from over two weeks ago.

    What is going on with these putzes? They really are messing up a valuable resource.

    That's all...just ranting.
     
  2. David-R

    David-R Supporting Member

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    Like you, I've found the HC reviews to be a valuable resource. You just have to pick through them carefully for the nuggets of wisdom.
     
  3. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Agree...the only thing is, they don't seem to be updating them anymore.
    Used to be they updated every day...I know because I got addicted to swinging by and looking at "Most recent submissions" which fed my GAS no end.

    Really, I found out about some incredible pedals I never would have heard of if I hadn't read there. I can't go through all postings in their archive, but updating it every day was SMART...not too many, not so few it was uninteresting. I did pedals, and amps. Always found something out of the days that was at least interesting, often piqued my interest, and sometimes resulted in a sale for someone.

    They are screwing the pooch, unless this is just a glitch. If it becomes policy to only update once a month...forget it. Same thing with posting...you post a review, you want to see it added within a couple of days anyway.

    I think they don't know quite what a goldmine, what a great goodwill goldmine they are sitting on....which could turn it into a badwill generator.

    Ah well...all I can do is let them know.
    What they do with it is their business. I have a feeling I know where the Coca-Cola exec that suggested "new Coke" ended up though. MC.
     
  4. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Member

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    Who runs Harmony-Central? It's a really valuable database. But it's also a "jungle" of sorts, ofcourse you have to take the reviews with a grain of salt. It's bad if they dont update the reviews that often anymore!

    Fulltone reviews seem to be back though.. I in a way understand why he wanted them gone, 'cause some cleverly posted fake reviews can do much harm. The ones that are written with all capitals and are generally idiotic are not that dangerous IMO.
     
  5. El Jimbo

    El Jimbo Member

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    Yeah, I was just thinking the same about the lack of any updates for ages. It used to be almost every day the recent reviews were updated and nearly the whole lists were newbies.

    I also hope this is a temporary glitch but if it becomes poilicy, then that's just another nail in the coffin of the the new admin...they need to get their acts together. There must be a huge back log of reviews now and most will not be accessible via the 'recent' pages...you'lll just have to come across them when you come across them.:moon
     
  6. kgmessier

    kgmessier Member

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    I find the best reviews to be comparative ones. It's easy to say "this [guitar/amp/pedal] sounds awesome." What I want to hear is how it relates to other similar products or how it sounds when paired with this guitar, that amp or this pedal. These comparative reviews are more valuable to me because then I have some idea of how the item ranks in reference to other known items in the same or similar class.

    I also have to ignore the numerical rankings almost altogether. A truly average item should be ranked "5" or "6," but those are about the rarest ratings of all. Assuming a true bell curve, these should be the most common ratings. I understand there are tons of mass-produced crap that can skew the numbers. Likewise the fact that people are more likely to review a fantastic product versus a ho-hum one will skew the numbers. Please, folks, save 9s and 10s for those real rare finds or stuff that totally blows your hair back.

    - Keith

    P.S. Sorry...my post is a bit off-topic for this thread.
     
  7. tayste_2000

    tayste_2000 Member

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    Maybe Musicians Friends don't like you rating pedals they don't sell ;)
     
  8. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Member

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    kgmessier, I totally agree..
     
  9. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Me too. There are lots of insights to be found. I also find that I love when they compare...not only because of what you mentioned, but also to get a clue if the reviewer is at all like you. If the reviewer talks about a "vibe" for example that you yourself found too thin sounding, and compared it with the vibe being reviewed and said "unlike other vibes, like the X vibe, that sound too thin, this one sounds full and good" it just helps you rate the review.

    Other points mentioned here....HC really needs to get their act together. I am a huge fan of that User Review site, and I am frankly beginning to get a little tired of their meddling, and neglect, and that they don't understand the value of it.

    And I was a HUGE fan of those pages.

    They must have already lost the on-the-fence-about-it folks.
     
  10. teddy boy

    teddy boy Member

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    Absolutely! It really bothers me to read some of that stuff. An ok, product is always atleast 8, even if the reviewer didn't really care for it. All Boss, Danelectro and DOD pedals are getting 10s from teenagers with their first distortion unit. Great!
     
  11. rpavich

    rpavich Member

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    The way I look at the HC reviews is this: I look for a general "tone", or a common thread running through the reviews. When I was buying my first DR Z amp I looked a HC. There were 130 reviews and only 10 were negative; so I surmised that this is an amp that I'm "most likely" going to like. I went and played thru one and liked it. If the HC reviews had said "no good customer service, plays good but broke after 3 weeks and cant get fixed, makes strange rattling noises right out of the box" well, then I'd have passed.

    I understand that the reviews are flakey a good portion of the time, but if EVERY REVIEW says that "the pedal sticks and had to have it serviced" when referring to a George Dennis volume pedal, then chances are that is an issue with the pedal and not sour grapes by the reviewer.

    bob
     
  12. dividedsky

    dividedsky Member

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    Weird...I submitted one on the Morning Dew EQ a couple weeks ago and it was up in 2 days...and it was the first one for the Antelope FX line.
     
  13. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Member

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    I also pay lots of attention what kind of gear the reviewer says he has alongside the reviewed product. If it's all Zoom & Korg and valvestate amps I'm not that interested. One thing that really amazes me is the low quality of peoples amps that review high end Fenders and Gibsons though..
     
  14. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Yeah...exactly. Or even more precisely (cause I know you implied it too) we trust our instincts, so if many messages, over time, and with different writing styles and opinions mention the pedal or amp having problems...look out.

    This happened very recentlry for me, a couple of different pedals actually. There were quite a few problems with switches, and with them "turning on and off without me stepping on the pedal"...a good warning. Doesn't mean I won't buy the pedal even, but it DOES mean I am on the lookout, and may ask the music store, or even email the company "have you fixed that problem and how can I tell if the one I am buying has the fix?"...

    Also one uses ones instinct. You can often tell by writing style where the person is at. Are they descriptive and precise, how much experience, and especially with this kind of pedal, etc. do they have or are they just offering opinions with no backup?

    I think I have spotted a couple of "fake posts" from in some cases the pedal maker themselves, in other cases most likely either a rival OR someone that put it on themselves to trash any pedal that was in competition with their own. These I discount in my mind, ignore. Similarly, when a guy trashes his competitors, often they give themselves away by their expertise in the construction/electronics theory, etc. and sometimes by what they pick on.

    It's not perfect. But it IS like a convention of guitarists, young and old, experienced and beginners, musicians and hacks, and occasional shills. I'd still go to a convention like that to hear the "buzz" on pedals, amps, and equipment I was interested in.

    Just don't put too much stock in it. It is mostly an early-warning system.
     
  15. whitehall

    whitehall Member

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    I find it's useful as far as specs and features on an item. Other than that, mostly rubbish AFAIC.
     
  16. brian marshall

    brian marshall Member

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    i think if you read the reviews rather than look at the raitings they can be very helpful. Seems like most people give a lot of 10's 9's and 1's. I can understand this to a point. You either find something useful or you dont. Some of the reviews of crate amps are hillarious... maybe there's also some entertainment value.
     

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