conspiracy between audio companies and magazines?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Nathan Cook, May 2, 2002.

  1. Nathan Cook

    Nathan Cook Agent

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    i have an idea, many companies gain reputation through magazine reviews. i wouldnt be suprised if particular audio companies pay big bucks to certain audio magazines to give favorable reviews of their product. the reason i think this is because now and than i will read a review of a product that is overly positive, with little to no negatives writin about the product. what do you guys think?
     
  2. Mike Veroukis

    Mike Veroukis Second Unit

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    I think you're not the first to come to this conclusion. [​IMG]
    - Mike
     
  3. henning hoffmann

    henning hoffmann Stunt Coordinator

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    That is debatable. But what is not debatable is the fact that some magazines only review components that the manufacturer sends them. In a letter to the editor in SGHT magazine, someone complained that SGHT never reviews Nakamichi components. The reply was that Nakamichi doesn't send SGHT components! That's pretty pitiful. If SGHT can't get a free sample, they should go to a local store and borrow one.

    henning
     
  4. ling_w

    ling_w Second Unit

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    These rags are not Consumer Report, they don't view it as a civic duty to report on every popular model.

    I can't comment as much on SGHT, since that is a rag half way down the tube (S&V being literally in the gutter.) But the audio only rags reviews many esoteric brand that might not have a dealer down the street.

    You have a few types or negative reviews reviews, one that gets a bad review and never advertise or submit another unit for review again. Another in which it gets a not so stellar review, but updated sample(s) keeps getting shipped in order to get the outcome just right.

    I think it is S&V's policy to not report on negative reviews, must be a carryover from infamous sewer rag Stereo Review.
     
  5. Camp

    Camp Cinematographer

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    SGHT is funny because they never fail to run a major review 2 pages away from a paid advertisement for the same product.

     
  6. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Supporting Actor

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  7. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Man, I get really sick and tired of people ragging on S&V. [​IMG]
    They trashed the Marantz receiver. They also trashed a Sony receiver in the Jan (I think) issue because it was underpowered. They trashed a Rotel receiver in a later issue because of noise. They trashed the Sherwood receiver in a recent issue too because the bass management doesn't work right.
    Geez. You have to compare reviews between similar products and then look at what their negative comments are to judge the importance of those negative comments.
    A "positive" review is definately better than a "less positive" review.
    Now, they will never ever come right out and say a component sucks, but they certainly will put in the review any problems they find with it.
    And, has anyone caught the trend in their SACD/DVD-A equipment testing, that the best resolution they are getting is only around 18 bits? So much for 24 bit sound. That's the current reality. Gee, haven't seen any other mag report on that...
     
  8. Andrew_Ballew

    Andrew_Ballew Second Unit

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    The only HT magazine I find to be out of touch is Sound and Vision. But sometimes they have some really good and informative reviews. Also-Sound and Vision is really good if you like to lust over pictures of gear- haha.
    Home Theater and SGHT are not really that bad, with Home Theater IMO being the better of the two.
    One that I am not really sure about, though, is Widescreen Review. A lot of people seem to like that one, and in general I like it too- it is very, very informative, especially about HDTV and D-theater. But what I do not care so much for are their DVD reviews. They seem to follow a script, especially Perry Sun when it comes to soundtrack comparisons between Dolby Digital and DTS. DTS will almost always win, and I can almost quote his reasons- better surround envelopment and greater sense of low end prescence. Its like a broken record! No- not every DTS track out there is better than DD, and certainly not every time for the same reasons! Come on! And the inconisistency with the reviews on picture quality drive me nuts. I can see horrendous edge enhancement in a flick, and the review states that it was minor, or not noticed, or something to the sort. Also- a DVD can get a glowing review- excellent blacks, color, picture detail, etc. etc, but the overall rating will be something like a 3.5!!
    Anyhow- when I began this post I had no intentions of venting about Widescreen Review.
    But hey- if you really want great, information reviews of equipment, you could always just drop by audioreview.com- haha. [​IMG]
    cheers
    Andrew B.
     
  9. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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    Yeah, magazines will rarely outright trash a product. They can't afford to piss off their main source of revenue. You do have to be familiar with a reviewer's style to determine whether it's truly a positive review or not. In other words, how enthusiastic was the reviewer compared to previous reviews of similar products. Honestly though, between trashing a product (and possibly putting a manufacturer out of business) vs not publishing a bad review, the first would be irresponsible journalism, the second would be irresponsible to the consumer. The middle ground, publishing a tepid review, is a reasonable compromise.
     
  10. Steve K.H.

    Steve K.H. Supporting Actor

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    It's difficult to trash the hand that feeds you... many turn here for unbiased reviews.

    The problem is 95% of the people who lay down a chunk of change want to dampen their purchase hangover, and ultimately will heap praises on their choice.

    How often do we see someone come on here and say...

    I just bought my *insert name brand and model here* and it is a POS.

    ...?

    Invariably, I don't give any weight to reviews on the upside to a purchase made, only the points in comparison to those previously considered or owned.

    $/50
     
  11. MatthewJ S

    MatthewJ S Supporting Actor

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    While I agree with much of what is said here, the "marketing" of products to reviewers is prevalent everywhere...on-line forum hosters are given equipment to "test" with the option of buying at a lower cost, beta-testers are choosen from "friendly" reviewers, sites often pay their staffs with advertising revenue, e-tailers pay people to do a review and provide a link to their site, manufacturers pay e-marketing companies to pose as private citizen posters and post favorable reviews for that "un-solicited" endorsement, and salespeople at retail chains are given deep discounts on gear to ensure that they'll "appreciate" how good it is .....so why pick on the mags?
     
  12. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Supporting Actor

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    The difference that I see between beta-testers and magazine reviewers is that the beta-testers come out and say that they were given the product. When a magazine reviewer says they bought the product, the price they paid is never revealed. So when they say a $10,000 product is a great value, you just don't know if it is a great value for what they paid for it(probably $4,000-$5,000) or if they are referring to the retail price.
     
  13. ling_w

    ling_w Second Unit

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    S&V is a gutter rag because they are operated by a bunch of deaf people running around with scopes and mics. Rarely do they comment about sound, and when they do, it is so general and brief that it is useless. No doubt Julian Hirsch was their mentor.

    The Perfect Vision is probably the best rag out there. They were around when nobody knows what it was about and thought why HP from TAS start a rag about watching TV when he was so involved about stereo.

    Anyway, all AV rags pales in comparision to the better audio only rags when one comes down to sound reproduction.

    Remember perfect sound forever hyped by the mfg and fully embraced by gutter rags like Stereo Review and High Fidelity? Why are they still reviewing CD players, pre/proc, DAC? Their first Sony should have been good enough for them.
     
  14. randy bessinger

    randy bessinger Stunt Coordinator

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    I think Kevin Brown is right. They publish negative facts that they find; whereas, the sujective magazines publish the great things they hear or don't hear. Since what I hear may differ from what they hear, I can't automatically place credence in their opinions. I find all of them fun to read. I remember the audiophile magazines being so negative on the CD and wanting to hear their records on their elitist 45k systems. I thought they must be deaf because the first time I heard a well recorded CD (Michael Hedges Aerial Boundaries), my jaw dropped. It may not have been perfect sound forever, but the emotion of that has never been duplicated in my life.
     
  15. Gifford L

    Gifford L Agent

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    kevin I don't know about the other products but they didn't trash the Newcastle but recommended highly and gave it a good review. The did mention that the bass management for the ANALOG BYPASS inputs (for DVDA and SACD) didn't seem to be working as had been advertised. But they have a few "low points" about everything. Maybe I read it differently but they didn't trash it at all.

    They did trash some Velodyne satellites a few years ago however and "Audio Magazine" gave the all time trashing to the Citation 5.0 preamp with the reviewer closing by saying that he could not recommend it and if they could not give the brand good engineering they should bury the brand which I think they did. It is ironic to note that this most negative of all reviews came in the last issue of the magazine so perhaps they didn't care much.
     
  16. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

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    Randy:

     
  17. randy bessinger

    randy bessinger Stunt Coordinator

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    Would original AR speakers with the original AR turntable and Dynaco amp qualify? I don't know, I never have heard the mega bucks turntables so I would have to say no. But for me that just isn't practical. I will say that I just sold my original Sony CD player that was a second generation player (that is when I had the experience described above). I have bought new players and now have EAD DVD and CAL 2500 DVD players to play CDs. I have never really heard that much difference. I do hear differences when surround is introduced into the equation and I do hear differences in speakers. I just don't get big differences in CD players. Maybe I'm deaf.

    The thing that struck me about my first cd experience was Micheal Hedges guitar (and a great guitar sound it was) coming out of a completely silent background (no hum, scratches or the like) and the dynamic range that I never heard with records. But no I have never heard mega dollar turntables altough I have a Dual turntable that was well rated and the AR turntable I had years ago was supposed to be awesome for the money.
     
  18. randy bessinger

    randy bessinger Stunt Coordinator

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    Oh, and let me add that I have about 1000 records that were basically bought for the music but no audiophile records.
     
  19. Marc Rochkind

    Marc Rochkind Second Unit

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    I used to have a company that produced shrink-wrap software products that were often reviewed in magazines (e.g., PC), and I can explain why an ad often shows up near the review. In our case, when a review of one of our products got scheduled, we got called by an ad rep who told us the issue and asked if we wanted to run an ad. Sometimes we did. So, there was no DIRECT effect on the review, but nonetheless definitely a tie-in between the appearance of the review and the ad.

    Here's another story: We got a product reviewed in a magazine that we had never advertised in, and asked for copies of the very favorable review so we could use them as marketing pieces. We were told that they wouldn't do it, because it would appear that we had paid for the review with our advertising. We got back to them and argued (1) this is impossible, as we had never advertised there, and (2) every OTHER mag let us reprint the reviews. So, the guy rechecked with the editor (or publisher, don't remember) and then came back with a completely different answer: We could reprint the review IF we agreed to start advertising there!

    This whole experience has one long-lasting benefit for me: I have a total understanding of how political campaign donations work.
     
  20. RichardMA

    RichardMA Second Unit

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    Most of these rags are hanging on by a financial thread.

    The internet's immediacy has meant a continued downturn

    in sales of magazines. People who want information,

    uncoloured by the fact those magazines rely on mfg's for

    advertising revenue go to the net and people who have

    already bought the product or have experience with it.

    In all honesty, how often do products "fail" tests those

    magazines do? Why is it the testers in these mags NEVER

    find out about inherent faults in new products, whereas

    the average netposting user does?

    In fact, the credibility of magazines is so low now,

    they don't even care and they let manufacturers reps WRITE

    articles about their own products!
     

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