I too am fed up with reviews dominated by gear that is way beyond my budget.
I don't know what your budget is, obviously, but perhaps your perception is at odds with the facts. In the current issue there are 27 product reviews. The cheapest is £2.49 and the most expensive is £6200. The average cost of all 27 is £699 (total £18, 892)
However, if you take out the three most expensive products (the Soundcraft desk at £6200, the Inta computer at £2649, and the Ingram preamp at £1522) which are arguably all aspriational products, the average cost of the 24 remaining review products is just £355.
Is that really beyond a realistic budget?
If so, twelve of the 27 reviews are for products that cost £250 or less, balanced against nine that cost more than £500. The production team really do try very hard to balance each issue with a full range of product types spanning a wide range of costs, but perhaps this is an area that should be revisited.
In another thread I suggested that a U87, as good as it is, should be able to be replicated for a fraction of the cost today. Look at what you get in any other industry. Look at the cost of computers 20 years ago compared to what you can get now.
There are many mics on the market now that are as useful in specific situations as a U87 for a fraction of its cost, but even so I don't think your logic holds up to detailed scrutiny.
Virtually every household and every office in every technologically advanced country has several computers. The same can not be said of the U87 which sells in tiny numbers and involves small scale production with several elements requiring highly skilled hand assembly. The components for computers are produced on a vast scale and with extreme automation.
My point is, I believe there is a belief that unless you have a £1000+ mic/other thing, you'll never get the sound of the pros.
We've run several articles in SOS debunking that very myth in the last year or two.
I take on board your comments, though, and thanks for the feedback.
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound