expert advice

The Sound On Sound Magazine Awards for 2014; What Nonsense

While this a reputable magazine, they are dependent on sponsors.
According to their webpage they close the nominees and readers vote.
There are numerous problems with this. The nominees are choosen simply based on who runs ads in their publication and then readers with limited experience vote for the equipment or applications they own. There is nothing vaguely objective about these results. Popularity does not mean best.
Here’s an example. A german company Mindprint made an audio interface the T.R.I.O. which for a Mac Deskpro was an awesome plug and play no latency interface. When the Apogee Duet came out there were so many positive reviews for it that I thought I would replace the Mindprint T.R.I.O. with the Apogee.
I ordered the Apogee which was $499 at the time; I had previously paid $399 for the Mindprint. When the Apoggee arrived, I plugged it in and was blown away. BY HOW MUCH BETTER THE MINDPRINT WAS! In every way the Mindprint T.R.I.O. (red edition) blew away the Apogee Duet. Better sound quality , far easier to use. The Mindprint never caught on and failed in this country, simply due to poor marketing, depute having a superior product.
But back to Sound On Sound Awards: in so many of these categories there is no best only individual preferences. For example they name Best Microphone: AKG C414 XLS…nonsense. In a high end studio, the AKG 414 would only be brought for vocals after many more vocal mics had been tried; especially the Neumann U87 or various vintage mics. If you read the Gearslutz forum on such topics , you will find so many different opinions on all these items. You are going to need  do more in depth research and find suppliers who will allow you demo equipment. In my quest for a perfect vocal mic for myself, I bought several on ebay and sold off the ones that didn’t work for me.
And as regarding the AKG 414 I owned that mic for many years and never cared for it. I much preferred the Neumann U87 and U47 (too delicate to keep) and even the M Audio Sputnik (incredible value.)
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