Who do you trust?

Hi Goners,

In light of recent questions concerning 6 Moons policies...I ask you:
Who or what,if any, magazine or reviewer do you believe is genuine and non influenced in his or her reviews?
The overly clinical and paranoid need not contribute!...:-)
Please answer with details and thanks,
with all details, i trust ones that provide detailed specifications from the beginning to gain my attention of specific equipment. if there only reviews and praises with audiophile vocabulary, i skip and look elsewhere.
6 Moons, stereophile, tas and other journals are completely ignored, because i know that ones who write and publish get paid for that. however, i can use audio magazines to evaulate how good the equipment looks if pictured, but not more and sometimes they may publish parameter info, but ofthen it doesn't go beyond beautiful audiophile phrases.
i trust also catalogues from major pro-audio dealers such as zzounds, sweetwater, musiciansfriend and fullcompas.
I hope that this is not cynical, but I beleve that many reviewers are completely genuine in their reviews. However we are all influenced; I know of no one that is beyond even the most subtle influence.

Unfortunately, I rarely find that reviewers likes and conclusions are consonant with mine, so I read the zines for entertainment not purchasing advice. Which really seems, to me, like a completely legitamate reason to read them.

If you can find a reviewer that hears the way that you do, and recommends products that you are familiar with and that you like, follow that reviewer. It really doesn't matter what their motivation is so long as their recommendations are consistant with the sonic picture that you are trying to paint.

And this is where a good dealer comes in. She can not only give opinions based on your system, but she can also demonstrate components so that you have a better sense if they will work for you.
Well, you know the ads with these nice girls in front of speakers, amps....I was hoping for 20 years that women enter my room and say "wow...you have these speakers/turntable/cables/amps....I want to make love you you...right now...at once...in front of your stereo system....no, don't switch the lights off...."

*sigh*, unfortunately I had to accept the naked truth and mags are made for product placement...probably I can share some information to survive :-)
When they write...
(They mean ...)

In spite of the measurement anomalies, this speaker is clearly a state-of-the-art product.
( It didn't sound broken when we gave it our top rating )

It was definitely borderline Class A.
( It isn't that good, but it's sooo expensive, and they're letting me keep it --- G-d I feel so cheap! )

Better than amps costing three times as much.
( I have no idea what I'm talking about, but I like the amp )

Light years ahead of the competition
( The competition won't give us a review sample )

Despite it's slight problems at the extremes, the products strong point
was it's rendition of the all-important midrange.
( This thing has no bass and treble that actually hurts! )

We hire only the best writers.
( We'll hire any audiophile who recognizes a pencil two out of three tries )

This is an incomplete but promising design from a talented young designer.
( The product sucks but he has some money left in his advertising budget )

This product had me pulling one record after another from my collection.
( I listened to all five of my records )

The images in the soundstage had that elusive and seductive sense of palatable presence.
( I haven't had sex since my wife left me and I'm starting to hallucinate )

This product lacks some of the subtle refinements we've come expect from a designer of this caliber.
( The product stinks but we don't want to piss off this famous manufacturer )

Better than amps costing three times as much
( I have no idea what I'm talking about, but I like the amp )

This preamp is the new reference
( We aint giving it back, and we aint paying' for it either )
How many reviewers try a component in the context of of a desk top system, TV system, main room system, and to be fair, as many type of gear possible to get a decent and synergistic pairing so as to fairly review the component?

(This requires keeping a retinue of equipment handy so as to insure proper matching and not the usual excuse that the reviewer can imagine how it would sound.)

How many reviewers go into great depths as to the design, construction and when possible, the actual employees who build it, along with their philosophy and background?

(This requires more than just rewording ad copy that anyone can suss out since most products reviews hit the world around the same time.)

When a product actually doesn't make the grade, how many reviewers are willing to say so?

Oh yeah, 6moons.

By the way, the OPs criteria for a need for details goes contrary to the admonition of not bordering on paranoia or clinical. How one can do one without the other at least overlapping?

Everyone has an axe to grind so it's going to be interesting, to say the least, to read what unfolds.

All the best,
I don't know if it's a question of trust in the sense of honesty, as opposed to trust in a reviewer's musical taste. In other words, if this person likes it, am I likely to like it.

I have absolutely no informed opinion on Michael Fremer's motives or honesty, but I think I can say that he and I do not hear things the same way. OTOH, I think I am more in line with Sam Tellig's sense of hearing, or whatever's left of it. He was the one who recommended the Opera Callas monitors, which I loved, Harbeth and other stuff I consider musical as opposed to hyper-detailed to a fault.

So I don't really think of who's getting paid or whatever, because we'll never be able to verify this. It's about finding an audio critic, a restaurant critic or a movie critic who's tastes are in line with your own. I think.
Everyone honestly does the job like Michael Fremer, only facts are not that truthful at the end.
Every piece of equipment he describes is super good on magazines but not all is actually is that good at the end no matter how honestly the job was done to describe.
It's not a question of trust or the sense of honesty. It's a BIG BUSINESS.
I never bought anything base on their review, only base on manufactory specification.
You are the only one that you have to convince and trust. If it sounds better to you then that's all that matters.
I take it all with several grains of salt, more even as the price tags go up.
Me, das who!
I heard recently that to get a review published in one of the top mags costs upwards of $10k

For that price they had better say nice things :-)

So how can you trust that?

Ask here first - you'll get opinions fro users :-)

"I trust also catalogues from major pro-audio dealers such as zzounds, sweetwater, musiciansfriend and fullcompas." He DOESN'T trust reviewers that offer their experienced opinions, based on the fact that magazines have advertisers. BUT- he DOES trust the PURVEYORS of equipment, that ONLY print the HYPE that the manufacturers publish. INTERESTING!
Who do you trust?

I trust my own ears.

Reviews help with photos, features, and specs, but the actual review means nothing to me. Some reviewers are worse than others, but all of them are in the business of stimulating audio sales. I don't let salesmen, in stores or in the media, influence my buying decisions.
I don't read the magazines and have not for years. All the equipments I've purchased for the last 10 years has been by either in store audition or loans from friends except my Jolida JD-9a phono pre-amp. I read multiple forum thread regarding it's performance then I searched online reviews. In the past I'veI have spent lots of money on equipment based on text reviewer comments. I have learned that low priced so called GIANT Killers are a waste of money. I buy equipment, for the most part from well respected and established companies.
reason to trust is obvious: most of purchases from there
are returnable/refundable.
I have learned that low priced so called GIANT Killers are a waste of money. I buy equipment, for the most part from well respected and established companies.

I agree, and yes that is the way to go, imo.
I will chime in here-
I trust my own ears! After that we must take into account that the print rags and webzines are business-based to make money. I respect 6 moons for saying what the others are not.
Long time subscriber to TAS, Stereophile, Hifi News & Record Review & HiFi+ -Happy Reading!
I trust myself as its my system and my money.
Why can't the OP of questions like this be more specific about the article or event that motivated the question.
"In light of recent questions concerning 6 Moons policies" What is the OP referring to? I understand from the context, but would like to read the "questions" for myself. Can someone please provide the reference.
here is that article from 6moons that says that he's charging ad money starting June/July 2014. Scroll down in the article about midway to the para that begins with "So here's the upshot...."

No spell check on that 6moons site? Toekn ad?
If I were paying money, I would expect more professionalism from my journalist. ;^)
I prefer The Audiophile Hotline
If I were paying money, I would expect more professionalism from my journalist. ;^)
nobody paid for an ad in that article - it was a "free-loader" taking advantage - that's why the spell-checker was turned off.. (written with tongue firmly in cheek! ;-) )
I am not sure I trust anyone, but who reads a review and buys a piece on the basis of the review. That does'nt mean everyone is dishonest, just they have other priorities than mine.

I use reviews as I think they are meant to be used, a starting off point, making you aware of a product you might never have heard of and so to go on to more research, maybe an audition.

6Moons, well at least you can say Srajan is being more honest and upfront about what happens and you can only applaud that.

Sites, magazines I trust, Bound for Sound(if it is still going) and HiFicritic in the UK, still limping along in a hand to mouth existence. Both make a virtue of not taking advertising and I am sure you can detect that. They still can't be openly critical as they will get nothing for review. I also like the online site 10audio, very good crisp reviews I can relate to, grounded in some common sense
Usually, I think we tend to trust those who see things similarly to us over the long haul the most.

Can't have trust without some common basis. For audio, for me, it might comedown to trusting someone who seems to hear the same things I do in general, and can explain how and why things they like work well in terms I can understand.

So we each might rightfully trust different people most.

A better question might be who is the most trusted by the masses? Usually the guys with the most skin in the game over the long haul I would guess.

If you like pop contact me privately here on Agon and I would be glad to share the ids of some folks here that I have come to trust. I doubt there would be many surprises though for those who have hung around these parts for awhile.
Here's another good question from a guy a lot of folks would trust:

Cash: What Is Truth?
I trust my dog.

He is trustworthy and loyal and has good hearing. He sits and listens with me and his ears twitch in synch to the music when things are going well.

Plus he bears a strong resemblance to Nipper. :-)
Am I only one who thinks present site is toast?
Thanks for the reference.
I trust my wife, who is blessed with fabulous hearing. Like Mapman, I also trust my dog who of course has even better ears than my wife. I also trust myself.

I do not trust any of the "luminaries" no matter what publication. There are entirely too many variables for me to consider purchasing equipment without adequate home audition.

A number of years ago on the TAS forum, I asked a simple, sincere, and straightforward question regarding the hearing acuity of reviewers, especially as they aged. I wanted to know if they were tested periodically or if at all.

Well, you can only imagine the proverbial hornet's nest that created!

Not only was the essence of my question ignored, the current editor's reply side-stepped, and obfuscated the subject and another prominent TAS reviewer said that if his readers agreed to have their eyes tested, then might he consider getting his ears tested!
I trust me and thee but sometimes I have my doubts about thee.
Forgot to mention, I trust the gov'r'mint.
How a piece being reviewed sounds to the reviewer is a biased personal value judgement at best with no empirical or factual comparison base.

Add to it that how it sounds is entirely system dependent - just because it sounds good in his unique system, is of nil assurance that it will sound good in yours.

Add to this, that there exists , at a minimum , the murky optics of potential manufacturer and magazine influence in appearance w/o any reference to in fact .... as highlighted by the very creation of this thread;

Sidebar: is the reliance or trust limited to just background reading only or does it form a primary step in the buying decision? IMO the degree of osmosis from what you "rely on " is much different.

In any case, with these qualifiers, where is there any basis for "reliance"or "trust"?

- The reviewers do perform a valuable function in highlighting new products.

- Hence An actual personal audition with your own ears is the only worthy basis , a blind purchase particularly in the high-end arena is overly risky than many of us hobbyists may elect to assume.

In God we trust ...... (U can fill in the rest ....)

How a piece being reviewed sounds to the reviewer is a biased personal value judgement at best with no empirical or factual comparison base.

That's not universally true. Reviewers are known to compare the item being reviewed to equipment in their existing system, which may or may not be revealing depending on how close the products are to each other. Some reviews cover 3 or 4 similar products where the whole purpose of the review is to point out similarities and differences. Robert Reina, who reviews inexpensive speakers for Stereophile, almost always compares the speaker under review with three other speakers of the same type and in the same price range.
In God We Trust(all others pay cash)
Syntax, that post was Comedy Gold!
Rodman, in US monetary phrase the the word God has missing letter "L".
When I read Mr. Eban's complaint I was struck by how the thread failed to answer his concern and immediately went to biased judgement of the reviewer, and yes, money must corrupt the review. His question though remains unanswered.
There are very few opportunities to even aquaint yourself with new products, never mind auditioning them. I am not a religious reader of any particular audio mag blog or site, save this one and Audio Asylum. Enjoying this hpbby is not buying a new stereo and reading nothing until you system breaks and you "need" another one.
So how are we to know whats out there if not for professional reviews? Even if the reviewer were to basically just physically describe the gear, and what is new about it in particular, to let us know what technology the manufacturer claims re their equipment. Should the review end with just the results of the lab tests?
I don't think I would satisfied with that. I think that perhaps several reviewers, a panel, might work. That still doesn't answer the question though of how to pay for this process. I think he is right, if you want a review you pay a fee. We pay for assessments all the time, for better or worse (do you trust your car mechanic?) Anyway food for thought.
Snytax......best thing I've read it many years....and too a degree truthful.