it's tough to find among all 'right' anything 'wrong', but it cannot be true.
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I'll second Kal who contributes here regularly. He's focused on multi-channel equipment and I find his Stereophile column informative and usually consistent with my own impressions. Reviews of straight up 2 channel gear rarely resonate with me these days, although John Atkinson is usually worth reading.
I haven't read a truly 'candid' review in twenty years. I trust my own ears and have some faith in companies who have been doing it right for a long time. Mainstream magazines are the worst in that ad revenues are at risk with each review. The most extreme example that I can think of is the automatic A+ rating that Stereophile magazine gives Sony for each new flagship digital front end device introduced to the market. I have demo/owned some of these A+ rated components and have compared them to products from Audio Research, EAD (Ultradisc 2000),etc. No way should Sony get an 'autopass'. Then again, if Stereophile really did blast Sony, what fallout would ensue for the magazine and it's relationship to an industry giant??
Neil Gader and Jonathan Valin of the Absolute sound. Neil is especially helpfull when reviewing affordable products. See, for instance, his reviews of 13 power cords.
Jonathan is usually associated with high end products but if finds a really good bargain he will let you know. Two good examples of this are the Odyssey Khartago power-amp and the Magnapan 1.7 loudspeaker.
I enjoy John Atkinson. Good bit of the techie measurement stuff over my head, but he gives reasons for his judgments, and is not afraid to disagree with other reviewers and be (somewhat) critical.
I'm not in the "audio mags suck" camp; they are entertainment, and one datapoint among many. With that understudy, I think they are both fun and helpful, when I'm in the mood.
I have become so disenchanted with the mainstream audio press I've stopped all subscriptions a while ago. Almost everything gets a glowing review. Also, think about the hundreds of audio manufacturers there are out there-from source to speaker. Now, think of the same old brands that are featured in the magazines over and over and over again. It's repulsive and an insult to us all. There are so many brands out there that you will NEVER HEAR OF because the mags cover THE SAME NAMES repeatedly. It's a joke. The audio press is doing such a disservice to the community and I won't have any part of it. I'm done.