From The New Republic:
The basic premise of One-Man Focus Group is that cultural criticism shouldn’t be the exclusive province of cinema, literature, music, and the like. Given the proper perspective and the presence of a reasonably articulate observer, virtually anything can be subjected to insightful, illuminating critique. Or at least that’s the idea.
That concept is taken to its logical extreme by a new web site called KnobFeel, which takes a unique approach to reviewing hi-fi stereo components. KnobFeel reviews are concerned with only one thing: the physical sensation of turning the knobs on equipment’s console. It’s a brilliantly niche-oriented project, sort of like reviewing a bottle of wine based on its cork.
A typical KnobFeel review consists of a few sentences of text and a short video. The text is full of obscure jargon (“Lovely notched feel to the knob’s rotation, and only very minor axial skew”), which raises as many questions as it answers. Is KnobFeel a straightforward example of geeky obsession? A mocking commentary on the pretentiousness of audio gear reviews? A sort of meta-commentary on the very nature of cultural criticism, with the site’s name adding a dash of sophomoric innuendo?