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…when it tastes right, smells right, sound right. And yes, it's a scary proposition to rely upon your senses for the correct answer. What if you're wrong? Aren't we are always in admiration of strong individuals that are confident of their decision between right and wrong, better or worse? Even if we don't agree? No one likes to be wrong, ridiculed, made fun of for an opinion that does not match up with "those in the know". And yet, when we do step out of our comfort zones we grow–even when our opinions don't match others. This hesitation to make decisions on our own is what empowers reviewers and review oriented publications. Take movies as for example. Review sites like Rotten Tomatoes helps on multiple levels. At its simplest, we can sort through the dreck so we don't waste our time. But on a higher level many of us feel better when a movie we like gets rave reviews. Others agree with us. On an even higher level we may find hidden gems we once rejected. I remember the first time I watched Christopher Guest's mockumentary Best in Show. I hated it. Thought it was stupid. I hadn't understood it was a satire and took the film at face value. Reading a review changed my perspective and I rewatched it. It went from stupid to brilliant with a different frame of mind - a frame changed by a review. And audio gear isn't much different. Reviews affect us on different levels too: cutting through the chaff, reinforcing our opinions, discovering new wonders to appreciate. Developing your inner reviewer is valuable and tomorrow I want to explain how I evaluate equipment - a subject I have covered before - but tomorrow in new words.
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Paul McGowan

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