Would you donate a dollar to have these Members Review a Product?

So, I've been thinking that there are a number of hifi products that I would love to hear or, at least, reviewed by folks I know and respect.  I then thought what if a panel of fellow members each listened and reviewed the product.  

I'd pay money to read (or watch/hear) ericsquires, wolfgarcia, millercarbon, and georgehifi each receive the same amp, speaker, etc. and review it. 
Is this a serious post? I dont even want to read reviews from supposed "experts" like Fremer and the like.
But some do want to read reviews, and this is a shared space.

So it is possible to have a review area, which many forums have.

We are naturally clannish creatures in the underlying design of the physical, as colored glasses of mind and bodily venue can go... and it can be a double edged sword. Thus reviews can be about following the gourd or following the shoe, or considering reason..or none of the above.
No way. The last thing I want to do is read a review of a piece of equipment where the owner is biased towards it because he owns it or a friend owns it.  There are already a lot of reviews of equipment by well meaning audiophiles who do not know what they are talking about or hearing. 
So maybe the parameters needed to be spelled out. And, yes and no on whether this is serious, but humor the thought as you may find value in it. 

1. Members don't own the gear. 
2. Gear is purchased and makes the rounds across 3-4 members. They live with it for a month. 
3. Each reviews it and the reviews are put into a collective single review. 

@millercarbon,  hope you weren't offended. I meant it as a compliment.  I'd enjoy hearing 3-4 frequent flyers from these boards review stuff. You chime in with meaningful posts so you came to mind. 
No. If I'm interested in a piece of equipment, I want to hear it for myself. Too many people buy things based on other peoples thoughts, and then they are disappointed with their purchase.
....and who would be providing the equipment?  Or, are you suggesting that these individual go into a dealer and waste their time? 
erik, you can be lead on any Luxman amps!  

But seriously, who wouldn't love to hear ordinary folks review stuff?  I'd love to hear what Millercarbon thought about a Luxman Class A amp versus what he/she has and how it was living with it for a month.  Then, I'd love to compare that take with, say, eriksquires.  

It might just be that one finds this as useful or more useful in some ways than reading magazines or blogs. 

Just a thought. 
@millercarbon, hope you weren't offended. I meant it as a compliment. I'd enjoy hearing 3-4 frequent flyers from these boards review stuff. You chime in with meaningful posts so you came to mind.

No, its hard to read it as anything other than a compliment.

As far as reviews go, I remain consistent in reading things differently than most people. When I go looking for something I read as many comments from as many people as I can find. The last things I did this with were Total Contact, Swarm/DBA subwoofers, Herron phono stage and Koetsu. I searched out and read everything I could find on all of these. Everything from basic research from 30+ years ago (DBA) to published "professional" reviews to even negative side comments and digs people make. Koetsu and Herron were "auditioned" on YouTube and I even called the YouTuber up and picked his brain. Called Keith Herron. You get the idea. I often say DYODD. I take my own medicine.

Doing it this way takes time and effort. But the payoff is huge. Every one of these things the surprises have all been on the upside. They all turned out far better than expected. 

I think this is because any one person can have any number of quirks, biases, strengths or weaknesses. The character of a component however is there for all of them, and a pattern will emerge. That's what I look for.

There's an underlying philosophy here that I think it would serve well to remember. I've said it before and will say it again. A good component is a good component- period! A good power cord is gonna sound good no matter what its connected to, no matter what speakers its heard with, no matter the room, no matter the music. Or its not a good power cord. Replace power cord with anything else- amp, cartridge, I don't care- same goes.

This might not seem all that important but its crucial. Bad enough to think you can't read reviews because the people all hear differently. To also believe the components are as individually quirky? Might as well throw a dart. 

My experience shows you can do a lot better. It really works for me, and I am sure it will work for you and everyone else as well. You don't have to pay with money either. Just time.
I’d pay money to read (or watch/hear) ericsquires, wolfgarcia, millercarbon, and georgehifi each receive the same amp, speaker, etc. and review it.
Do I get to keep the amp if I give a good review, as reviewers do??
Then I’m "In like Flyn"😊

Cheers George
I think I've become a single ended tube amp freak to the degree that any transistor class A or A/B or likely class D amp wouldn't stack up in my personal tube laden gear heap, so I might be useless as a general reviewer. This was demonstrated by 2 recent amps I had around for a while, a "Hot Rod" version of my Dennis Had SEP, and a Schiit Aegir. The "Hot Rod," although a slightly newer version of my amp, was slightly less powerful than my "Fire Bottle" version (with identical tubes), and somehow wasn't better so I sold it...the Aegir is simply a good transistor Class A amp and sounds like it. Sent it back as my SEP tube amp sounds utterly better in every way...more detail, more involving due to whatever tonality I seem to prefer, and just seems to make me smile. 

Unlike wolf, I’ll prostitute myself if I smell there’s a freebie involved. 😎

Cheers George
In my experience reviews has no meaning whatsoever, except if you are interested in some reviewer journey, or about some new device technicalities or simply to hear the wind...

But reviews has no audio real meaning, except a very general one, because the synergy of different electronic audio components plays a great role in their sound output; but this is not even the main reason... :)

The main reason is the same audio system will sound totally different, relatively to the 3 embeddings were it will be immerse : mechanical(vibrations-resonance), acoustical (room treatment+acoustical tweaks) electrical (house and room noise floor).

Then the reason for reviews are many: literary, technical vulgarisation, subjective taste, trends participation, etc. But in general they are sponsored directly or indirectly, and willing or not, suggest unbeknownst to the reviewer or readers, the idea (erroneous) that upgrading an electronic components(speakers, dac. amplifier) is the main and most desirable method to increase the sound quality... This is absolutely false and I explain already that in another thread....

All this thing said, I enjoy reading reviews and reviewers, but paying directly them, no thanks.... :)

One exception:

I will accept all donations of those who want to contribute to my review of some ZOTL Berning amplifier...Minimum gift is 2 dollars...I will be totally partial because I want to buy one, one day...After reading a review, I was convinced... Now you know that reviews can be efficient and dangerous even on conscious spirit.... :)

"Reviews are better than books, except for the bible." - Groucho Marx
Mahgister... you forgot one. Ears. It’s pretty simple really. When I look for reviews I look for the trend in the reviews one way or another. Audio or whatever. Then I’ll base my decisions on my desire, need,  budget etc. WAY, WAY too much bias generally on this forum from most. Which is fine. But highly subjective, not hardly objective. As are most reviews...
I dont forget the ears but you are right all ears are sure different...

But gives me your ears and I will put delight in them like I put in mine, tastes difference apart, because the 3 way an audio system is embedded has way more impact than the variations between relatively normal healthy ears...

Understand me, ears of one are very different than ears of another, but if the 2 sits in a treated controlled environment with a rightly embedded good audio system, the 2 ears will meet together in a different critical appraisal but nevertheless a good one... :)

It is just that I know by experience that most people totally underestimated the 3 embeddings impactful power...This is the general trend in audio, even if tweaks has a small niche....And remember that NO TWEAKS address the 3 embeddings together...They are tweaks more potent than others I know some, but not one solve the equation by only itself... Thinking that way only reveal a misunderstanding of the relation between acoustical, mechanical, electrical embeddings and their very different impacts on the sound qualities...
So few understand level matching or have the needed tools to do  so cuts the reviewer pile by 99%
In God we trust, all others bring a calibrated SPL meter - Groucho Watt
So the ones you picked as potential reviewers have golden ears or what? I can think of many others who I would like to hear from. I have an idea, why not start your own online forum and have your golden eared guys review equipment? Doubtful you will get the manufacturers to loan out equipment.

Lets see, you have a Luxman fanboy, a Synergistic fanboy and a GAN fanboy. What do you expect the results to be? I can give you a clue. BAD idea. You can add me as a McIntosh fanboy too.    We could also add one of the Tekton fanboys to review Tekton.  Do you see what I am getting at?
@tomic601 , 
Good point.
I just saw a video of John Atkinson's equipment. Though I really don't follow his reviews, I have to say he seems to be the real deal.
@stereo5 , wow!  So if you're a fan of a product line you cannot review any other products?  

And, yes, starting a website with a panel of reviewers is something I've kicked around for a couple of years. 

Maybe I'll take this subject over to Steve Hoffman's forums! :)

Tough crowd!
I am a Fluke and B&K fanboy oh and the almighty Tektronix and Gen Rad

but first, perhaps test hearing and critical listening skills, a great free place to do that is at the 2L testbench

free George free
So few understand level matching or have the needed tools to do  so cuts the reviewer pile by 99%
If it was only level matching electronic components, this will be simple...A question of measured numbers... But the 3 embeddings i think about are best measured by our ears...No apparatus measured the 3 simultaneously....
Lets see, you have a Luxman fanboy, a Synergistic fanboy and a GAN fanboy. What do you expect the results to be? I can give you a clue. BAD idea. You can add me as a McIntosh fanboy too. We could also add one of the Tekton fanboys to review Tekton. Do you see what I am getting at?

I’d rather read a review by a "fanboy" more than some random dude I know nothing about. At least the fanboy you know where he’s coming from.
Its like, who’s the world’s most recognizably great reviewer? If its not Michael Fremer I’ll eat Turd Ferguson’s hat. Everybody knows Mikey. And if there’s anything we know about Mikey its that he likes it fast and hard. We know this how? Because he’s right up front about it. I’m exaggerating but MF definitely makes it explicitly clear that he does have a preference. So when we read MF we know exactly what lens we are looking through.
(If you haven’t been following Fremer for decades and only know a few examples then spoiler alert- he’s a writer not a lawyer. He doesn’t include the same disclaimer every review.)

Same goes for "fanboys" whatever that means. Seems to me a derogatory term cooked up in order to avoid serious thought and excuse sloppy reasoning. But whatever. The fact remains that if you do read a "fanboy" and the "fanboy" has anything negative to say the one thing you know for sure, he’s not making it up. You just don’t criticize what you love, unless its really necessary.


You didn''t get it.  I used the examples, myself included, to show that most likely no one here is unbiased.   I don't see it working in these forums.  Also, I have a right to my opinion, like it or not, just like you and everyone else has a right to theirs.

@tomic601 ………………………………..

I did a online hearing test and after 13K, I flunked.  I was told that is average for someone my age, but it bothers me greatly.  Makes me wonder how good the pro reviewers hearing really is.  Most of the ones that have been around a long time are in their 60 and 70's by now.
@mahgister you missed the Fletcher Munson point, right past those ears is a brain, which likes loud. No level matching, no real comparison
Stereo5 you really missed the point, it’s not that kind of test bench, but if you took three minutes to go listen at 2L recordings the Nordic sound you would catch the drift....
With the exception of spouses, you do criticize what you love in order to make it better - the first rule of Kaizen : nothing is perfect

I guess I am a time and phase point source fanboy, including that oddity the ESL63, so there are at least four speaker designers I trust
Quote : "But seriously, who wouldn't love to hear ordinary folks review stuff? "

And here all this time I thought reviewers were just ordinary folk........😞 
If that diverse gang all agree on something there might actually be something to it.

Eric there are preamps with meters...,

OMG .... why don't they all have them??? <G>

The only reason Fremer likes it as he does is that now he has enough clout, deserved or not, to get away with it. The problem with Fremer is not Fremer himself but people like his fanboys that believe he is immune to the petty corruptions that taint most other reviews. The whole process is broken and no publication will identify a truly superior product as such because it is bad for business.
Perhaps there is unknown superior products, i know some...

But in general there is 3 levels of price/ S.Q., low, mid, high, and on each rung of this scale, almost all products are equal, if someone is taking the real path to increase the audio experience and this path is absolutely not buying an electronic component upgrade... 

This real path ask to turn to the triple embeddings problems, because mechanical vibrations-resonances, bad acoustical room, and the high level of the electrical noise of the house, obstruct the potential of the electronic components at any price and impede the higher audiophile experience... Then never mind the superior products, pay attention to the embeddings... :) 

"The sound is good enough for my room"- Groucho Marx audiophile
Asking me to read reviews is like asking if a band takes requests and they keep playing.

I'd like @tomic601 's review of the Royer  R-122V Vacuum Tube Ribbon Microphone.

asking as a trumpet player ;)
Nice YouTube vid @gdnrbob 
It seems the Stereophile "test lab" is a (sort of messy) walk-in closet?
This may explain why the Wizard of Oz had a curtain.
I hope there is another room where he kept the JC-1s.
As mahgister said, reviews are overall not that useful. Add the reviewer whose posts in general are detached from any easily verifiable reality and you are really wasting even that one proposed dollar fee.

That is not to say that I would not read what almarg would have to say, but not everyone is almarg.
I actually think it's an interesting idea.If the 'reviewers ' could describe their rooms,equipment,and personal preferences up front.But someone has to purchase the item and how would any damages be handled?Someone's going to pay for that glass!!Maybe too many details to work out.And getting everyone to agree on the details?Good luck with that:-)
I will precise rewiews are not a waste, I like them, but they are less useful than misleading overall... Useful for fun reading and technicalities generally not a good understanding of audio experience for the beginners that I was 7 years ago....

Cheers glupson...

"Son, one fish takes the other fish in one gulp, always watch the bowl "- Groucho Marx