The pros and cons of manufacturer/dealer/designer participation

andromedaaudio

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See in high end audio its as mike lavigne stated once.
The best way to make small fortune is to start with a large one lol
That is certainly true! Once at an audio show in New York City, I sat at dinner between the senior editor of a major magazine and a distributor run by a millionaire. The conversation between them was in one breath about 2-page color advertising and equipment to be submitted for review.

I've found that about the only way around this issue is to vet organizations and reviewers prior to submissions for review. But I have no idea how a consumer would wade through the muck; about the only indicator that you can look for IMO is negative reviews, but nothing is guaranteed in this world.
My expirience is read between the lines and go through lots of second hand gear before you find a brand you like
 

andromedaaudio

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The amplifier brand i like (i havent heard everything off course)
Has never been reviewed by a Dutch magazine as there is no official importer
 

andromedaaudio

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Peter i might have been to quick with giving you a pass, lol.
I read in the thread with madfloyd s system that replacing the CAT legend pre with the dart pre sounded like a veil was lifted??
Sounds a bit far fetched to me , that someone Prefers the other okay fair enough.
 

ddk

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May 19, 2013
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Ethics in journalism is well-known to not have a connection between the advertising and the editorial. I don't think you are suggesting otherwise, but from the tone of your post I felt I should clarify. Further: proper ethics will not allow a personal grudge or the like into the picture. The reporter's job is to be neutral. In these days of Fake News its painful to have to point this out- I'm not using my own made up idea of what is ethical.

However I do take your point about not denigrating that manufacturer's speaker to his face. FWIW I don't think he was there to see me in particular- when I first heard from him, he was already in town after making some visits in Chicago. I know he planned a stop at ARC as well. I had the impression at the time that the trip itself would tell him all he needed to know. Sorry I did not make that clear earlier. Its hard to put some of these things in a nutshell...
Hi Ralph,
I have a problem with the word ethics in this context and how we each see it applied. I've been in high end luxury products and manufacturing for nearly my entire working life and the relationships between reviewers/reporters, publications, brand owners, wholesalers, retailers, manufacturers and consumers are exactly the same in every industry. It's generally a symbiotic business relationship. By definition reviewing or reporting about a luxury product is about personal preferences and/or financial arrangements and favors, this is the real world. It's also a form of advertising. Sure occasional technical mistakes happen but so what when the entire reviewing process is fraught with them. I'm fine with most reviewers and I have no problems with publications wanting some kind of compensations for a review, it's business. What I find unethical is someone like HP who took advantage of his position to the hilt and pretended to be impartial when he wasn't. Ignorance is one thing, malice is altogether a very different thing.

david
 

andromedaaudio

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Ralph’s report of this event is accurate in all respects.
Wow really,
Yes I know the story there as well Flemming told me.I agree that was a total disgrace and a blot on the Reviewer ethics code :(
-if there is such a thing!
Interestingly another Industry heavyweight told me the went to the said Reviewers NY Loft and remarked his setup was the worst sounding he'd ever heard-Ha!:rolleyes:.

BruceD

Now i understand why the high end manufacturer budget is about 50% for productquality 50% for advertizing , lol
 

Atmasphere

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Hi Ralph,
Ignorance is one thing, malice is altogether a very different thing.

david

I agree completely. So- is a bad review one that is given because there is no advertising going into the magazine ethical?

I once had a nice review from an online magazine on our MP-3 preamp. It was a nice review. But then the same reviewer (which might be a bit of stretch using that word) decided to review one of our M-60 amplifiers. But instead of getting it from us, he bought it used. The amp he bought was built from a kit, and pretty much a rat's nest inside. But it got reviewed as if it was factory-built by us. When I called him on it, he went and changed the MP-3 review from a good one to a bad one and that is how it sits on his site to this day. But I regard that as malice, and certainly unethical.
Wow really,
Yes, really.
 

ddk

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I agree completely. So- is a bad review one that is given because there is no advertising going into the magazine ethical?

I once had a nice review from an online magazine on our MP-3 preamp. It was a nice review. But then the same reviewer (which might be a bit of stretch using that word) decided to review one of our M-60 amplifiers. But instead of getting it from us, he bought it used. The amp he bought was built from a kit, and pretty much a rat's nest inside. But it got reviewed as if it was factory-built by us. When I called him on it, he went and changed the MP-3 review from a good one to a bad one and that is how it sits on his site to this day. But I regard that as malice, and certainly unethical.

I agree with you on this it's clearly malice and unethical. Personally I never had such experiences.
david
 

Ron Resnick

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I agree completely. So- is a bad review one that is given because there is no advertising going into the magazine ethical?

I once had a nice review from an online magazine on our MP-3 preamp. It was a nice review. But then the same reviewer (which might be a bit of stretch using that word) decided to review one of our M-60 amplifiers. But instead of getting it from us, he bought it used. The amp he bought was built from a kit, and pretty much a rat's nest inside. But it got reviewed as if it was factory-built by us. When I called him on it, he went and changed the MP-3 review from a good one to a bad one and that is how it sits on his site to this day. But I regard that as malice, and certainly unethical.

Yes, really.

That is a horrible story, Ralph. For any real reviewer I would think it would be inherently unfair to review a product that did not come directly from the factory, or an authorized representative of the factory.

I used to build amateur radio components from Heathkits. I would not trust an amplifier I built myself!
 

tima

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That is a horrible story, Ralph. For any real reviewer I would think it would be inherently unfair to review a product that did not come directly from the factory, or an authorized representative of the factory.

Of course it's unfair.

Like I've said Ron, anyone with a domain name and a HTML editor can call themselves a reviewer. If Ralph's story is about the person/Web site that I think it is, Ralph is not the only manufacturer burned by him. Reviewers need editors - it doesn't work when one is both. Sigh... Then you see reference to such spread in forums: "You like that product? Well what about this..." with a link to the so-called review. Takes so much of the manufacturer's time to correct or recover from, and then there's the inevitable aspersion put on the manufacturer "oh you just didn't like getting a bad review." I don't know if manufacturers have a behind-the-scenes "blacklist" or some other way that word gets around. And given the litigious environment, I don't know what the answer is.
 

Ron Resnick

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Of course it's unfair.

Like I've said Ron, anyone with a domain name and a HTML editor can call themselves a reviewer. If Ralph's story is about the person/Web site that I think it is, Ralph is not the only manufacturer burned by him. Reviewers need editors - it doesn't work when one is both. Sigh... Then you see reference to such spread in forums: "You like that product? Well what about this..." with a link to the so-called review. Takes so much of the manufacturer's time to correct or recover from, and then there's the inevitable aspersion put on the manufacturer "oh you just didn't like getting a bad review." I don't know if manufacturers have a behind-the-scenes "blacklist" or some other way that word gets around. And given the litigious environment, I don't know what the answer is.

This is no different than how every actor can call himself a national security policy expert. When the cost of communication is zero, the volume of communication becomes infinite. The Internet gives everyone the potential to have a platform.

The answer is simply for people to possess a modicum of intelligence and common sense and realize that the subjective opinion of some random person with no no experience and no credentials should not be viewed as material or decisional information.
 

Atmasphere

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Of course it's unfair.

Like I've said Ron, anyone with a domain name and a HTML editor can call themselves a reviewer. If Ralph's story is about the person/Web site that I think it is, Ralph is not the only manufacturer burned by him. Reviewers need editors - it doesn't work when one is both. Sigh... Then you see reference to such spread in forums: "You like that product? Well what about this..." with a link to the so-called review. Takes so much of the manufacturer's time to correct or recover from, and then there's the inevitable aspersion put on the manufacturer "oh you just didn't like getting a bad review." I don't know if manufacturers have a behind-the-scenes "blacklist" or some other way that word gets around. And given the litigious environment, I don't know what the answer is.
I've really thought about calling him out- in fact he was called out on this incident on Audioasylum years ago when this happened. That resulted in him not being on that site for some years, although I've noticed recently that he's back. What I've not been able to sort out is whether to name names or not, like the name of that guy that trashed Gryphon. The problem is that if I do so am I any different from them? Being the Internet and all. So as a result there has only been innuendo on my part...
 

tima

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This is no different than how every actor can call himself a national security policy expert. When the cost of communication is zero, the volume of communication becomes infinite. The Internet gives everyone the potential to have a platform.

The answer is simply for people to possess a modicum of intelligence and common sense and realize that the subjective opinion of some random person with no no experience and no credentials should not be viewed as material or decisional information.

I agree about having intelligence and common sense. Still it's amazing how naive are some audiophiles.

But the scenarios are different. There are 3 parties involved in each. It is unclear about damages to listeners from uninformed comments about national security. Damages to a manufacturer by a malicious reviewer can be very real.
 

PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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If it were easy we would all be at it for five years and then be very satisfied music listeners. Instead many of us struggle for years and years making progress and mistakes. I thought I was once satisfied, and in some sense I am, but I continue to search. Perhaps intelligence and common sense or not so easy to come by.

I now take all reviews, amateur and professional, with a grain of salt. And I certainly don’t take things as seriously as I once did. It is the relaxation and friendships I value most now in this hobby.
 

tima

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I've really thought about calling him out- in fact he was called out on this incident on Audioasylum years ago when this happened. That resulted in him not being on that site for some years, although I've noticed recently that he's back. What I've not been able to sort out is whether to name names or not, like the name of that guy that trashed Gryphon. The problem is that if I do so am I any different from them? Being the Internet and all. So as a result there has only been innuendo on my part...

I see a difference between defending the reputation of yourself and your business on the one hand and a malicious review on the other, but I understand where you're coming from. Again, the cost of dealing with this. The incident is back far enough in time that calling him out in public may not result in much effect without sounding like sour grapes or drawing attention to something unseemly. Imo, what should happen is people should stop sending him product. Then if he buys stuff on his own, make clear what he did. I don't know that there is a good solution.
 

spiritofmusic

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Peter, there are a couple of reviewers who seem spot on w their observations and use language that really speaks to me, Wojech Pacula being one.

It's guys like Roy Gregory who use poetic prose and flowery exposition to pretty much say the same things in kinda the same way about everything. I can't say I've ever found his reviews the least bit interesting. Do I even trust what he says?...
Alan Sircom triangulates so much he says even less. I get not wanting to criticise, but every component he reviews cant be a mix of well known presentations A, B and C (*insert yr brands of choice).

No, user feedback on enthusiast forums is more my go-to now. It's been a reason why I wanted to spread the good news I got on Entreq, Sablon, Stacore, Revopods. If I go down a modest streamer/dac route, it'll be feedback off Audiophile Style, Darko Audio, Super Best Audio Friends etc, that will inform me. Of course w the caveat of buyer beware (review reader beware, more like).
 
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tima

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It's guys like Roy Gregory who use poetic prose and flowery exposition to pretty much say the same things in kinda the same way about everything. I can't say I've ever found his reviews the least bit interesting.

Roy Gregory is, imo, a very astute listener and his reviews are among the very best. But his reviews aren't ones to skim; they do take careful reading. Martin Collums is another good one.
 
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spiritofmusic

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Tim, I really do struggle w Roy's prose. I guess I'm not a fan of some of his system mainstays, so I'm not sure if his opinions on gear would chime w mine. Can't argue w his attention to detail, as his AE visit/report demonstrated.

I'm just about to tuck into his Audiobeat review on Crystal Cables' $50k spkr wire, $20k interconnects and $10k pwr cbls. Maybe his reviewing skills will win me over on these.
 
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bonzo75

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Tim, I really do struggle w Roy's prose. I guess I'm not a fan of some of his system mainstays, so I'm not sure if his opinions on gear would chime w mine. Can't argue w his attention to detail, as his AE visit/report demonstrated.

His reviews are sometimes downright wrong, done for the sake of writing rather than actually saying what he is hearing. I was shocked how he couldn't hear how bad the coup darchet recordings were compared to the ERC. Possibly he was pissed he didn't get a copy while the stereophile guys did. I have bought his LPs which he uses for checking phono EQ curves on, and tried them on Allnic and EMT. Doesn't do anything much, he keeps yakking about it. Even components he has reviewed which I like, such as Logans, Berning quadratures, neodio origine, I can't really relate to what he is writing about. His old review of the blue jem pearl wiping the floor with the Rockport is a joke too from what I understand
 

spiritofmusic

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Just read the RGregory review of eye wateringly priced Crystal Cables loom on Audiobeat. The usual platitudes, and justification for the exhorbitant pricing. Is this stuff he knows about, or fed to him by the manufacturer?

Re any negative comments, you have to read carefully. But it's there. And indeed at the pricing this loom demands, it's crazy he doesn't highlight the negatives more.

I find in all such reviews, the drawbacks are hidden and buried deep in the prose, and often immediately caveated against the positives.

I guess maybe this is as far as Roy will "allow" himself to be wideranging in his opinions.
 

bonzo75

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Just read the RGregory review of eye wateringly priced Crystal Cables loom on Audiobeat. The usual platitudes, and justification for the exhorbitant pricing. Is this stuff he knows about, or fed to him by the manufacturer?

Re any negative comments, you have to read carefully. But it's there. And indeed at the pricing this loom demands, it's crazy he doesn't highlight the negatives more.

I find in all such reviews, the drawbacks are hidden and buried deep in the prose, and often immediately caveated against the positives.

I guess maybe this is as far as Roy will "allow" himself to be wideranging in his opinions.

He also helped popularize the silliness behind putting everything on stillpoints and nordost Odin. That said crystal cable top of the line speaker cable is excellent if someone is a cables philiac
 

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