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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Maybe I'm dumb...

Posted on February 27, 2010 at 8:19 PM

I get being snarky. My personality has often been described as equal bits sarcastic, caustic, and brutally honest, so I get being snarky. What I can't take is a reviewer saying something that he doesn't mean in an effort to try and come off as hip or cool. Another Website recently published a battle of four low-priced A/V receivers, and the comment that raised my hackles was right in his opening paragraph. "But you don't want to spend more than $600 on the thing that ties it together. Cuz you're smart."

Now, I get not spending more than $600 for a lot of don't have more, you're building a small system, it's for a secondary area, you don't require more than what a $600 receiver offers, etc. Those are all good reasons. But none of them have anything to do with being "smart."

The other thing that gripes me is that this "reviewer" describes himself as "a veteran home-theater enthusiast, tech writer and all-around audio fanatic. He is currently...on a never-ending quest to build the ultimate sound system, wallet be damned." So, this guy wouldn't -- and doesn't according to his cited review system -- own a $600 receiver, but he wants you, the reader, to feel that buying anything more is, well, dumb.

I thought I'd list some other things that probably aren't smart either. Like enjoying a spectacular meal at a Thomas Keller restaurant when the same money can buy like 300 double-cheeseburgers. Or instead of savoring a $100 bottle of boutique Cabernet, picking up 5 cases of Bud Light. Or feeling the pride of ownership of a handmade wristwatch instead of checking the time on your cell phone. If you can afford the luxury, why not? Just because something is expensive, doesn't make buying it a dumb move.

I recently upgraded from a $2200 receiver to a $5000 separates system. Not only can I totally hear the difference, so can my wife. Am I dumb for spending more than $600? Every time I sit down to enjoy some music or a movie, it sure doesn't feel like it.

Soap box over.

Categories: Rants, Reviews, Feb 2010

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Reply Ad
12:06 AM on March 1, 2010 
You, sarcastic? I would never lable you as that...
Reply Rob Medich
5:54 PM on March 18, 2010 
And yet, I've never been invited over to listen...