I guess I'm rather naive. I am amazed that manufacturers actually pay cash for reviews. Why not just buy some ad time ,and do an infomercial?? This was brought to light in a recent "review" on a pair of tekton speakers. It seems losing ethics and morals are the cost of appearing successful. And that goes for both parties involved.
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It’s a people problem, not a reviewer or review problem.
ie, the Harbeth owner backlash.
Or what happened when totem got a not perfect review in stereophile.
Only good reviews are capable of being published. Human thought based on emotional evaluation, in all context, essentially. Even when calm, it’s still there.
If you scrape off the layers of convoluted musing and head scratching and get right down to the root causes (as that is effective and all other musing is not, ie circular)...and it’s difficult to get past this... as it is all we know....but..---we’re still animals.
That fundamentally, our behaviour is still predicated on the invisible (to most) social and mechanical/fleshy bits of a animal of some sort. Logic is a nice concept but the monkey beneath or under the mask still rules the entire process and flow. Few escape it ...and when they do, they are not seen or recognized by the masses.
Due to this package of life, we have a situation where a bad review travels about 10x faster than a good one. And no person or company wants to or will allow their product to be reviewed by any entity, group, or individual who has given out bad reviews. In turn, no magazine, website or blog will want to do bad reviews as it hurts their position tremendously.
So... you all want to know where the lions are in the tall grass so you can avoid death on the way to the shore of the river to get some water in your gut...and you will follow that information to the best of your life ability, as everything counts on it. But being in a good space, is no where near as valuable. We are naturally pessimistic, one might say, underneath it all.
You are wired to seek happiness, etc, but to not be happy about achieving it. It’s what keeps you alive, it is the dominant neurological regime.
Everyone looks out of the fleshy box and any integration with any other person or human sound or so called ’life’... will keep that hypnotic intact, reinforced and owning your world. The fix and problem is inside, the problem is outside and the filter/interpreter of it all...is the ego.... and that’s the scenario you deal with.
The fact that there is no such thing as a negative review is my fault. It’s your fault. Its the fault of the person beside you on the bus, or in the next office or chair, or on the highway next to you.
Our lack of capacity for reason makes it so.
In stereophile, for example, they openly recognize this and go out of their way to tell you that a lack of a review on a product does not mean the product is bad, no, not at all. But that they reasonably can’t do negative reviews and will not publish negative reviews. Their job is to alert you to cool stuff that they think sounds good. The end. They simply cannot cover everything and their space is limited, so good reviews only. You read them to seek that happiness that you cannot achieve due to being wired to not accept it... but are permanently wired to seek.
Cats and and rats and moose and almost any animal you can think of snakes, etc, even fruit flies will seek to take a break from this wiring issue..and will indulge in drugs and alcohol --till the cows come home. Sex and music listening, etc, other ways of achieving the break from the unstoppable Juggernaut that faces off with the immovable object - of the war of wiring in the self. Music listening is you shooting up, doing a few lines, tossing back a few shots... seeing your own child ’be’ etc, etc...
The next problem encountered (and mixed in to the mess) is that human hearing is HIGHLY individualized, and self programmed. We are given an individual neurological and physical package to start, dictated by our genetics and growth environment, and then we build that hearing up ourselves, to the best of our ability.
Which means individual hearing and tastes and micro emphases vary as much as a bell curve IQ chart, with the same depth of meaning. Similarities... but very much individual. Engineering weighting and rigorous numerical/mathematical weighting can, beyond a certain point (a fuzzy edged point) just.. eat worms and die, here, as..no matter what the numbers say - it’s how you feel that is important.
Gordon Holt published plenty of critical reviews--that was the whole raison d'etre of the original Stereophile as an outsider mag--no longer the case. Also: the market is so stuffed with product these days (how many speaker companies are there?, how many cable companies?), that even the slightest coolness in a single review can sink a perfectly good product. So it cuts both ways. There aren't that many really bad products nowadays anyway, just horses for courses. And finally: I read a lot of letters of recommendation for my job. The inflation of hyperbole is totally out of hand. If candidate X is the best thing since sliced bread, then candidate Y has to be better than sliced bread. And so it goes...
Make sense there is a "people problem". After a purchase people may have Choice-supportive bias. Typically buyers pick the best option and after that decision they continue to affirm that decision. I guess in general people do not want to admit they made a mistake, or think they made a mistake.
As stated above people have different preferences. Of the people I know in my immediate audio circle, I cannot think of a duplicate component any of us share. There have been times we have owned vintage gear (Klipsch), but I believe that had more to do with collectibility and owning a piece of history rather than outright sound.
I no longer subscribe to audio magazines. Half of the magazines consist of ads. The other half consists of reviews of the advertised products. Then, when checking out the music the reviewers use to conduct their reviews and finding it drenched in artificial digital reverb, that also adds to the mistrust of the review. I miss J. Gordon Holt.
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