"Why no bad reviews?" -- Twittering Lavorgna

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Eno_Fan, Nov 23, 2021.

  1. LeeS

    LeeS Music Fan

    Just don't buy gear that hasn't had a review in a major publication. That will help you avoid a bad experience.

    And as far as learning from technology goes, The Absolute Sound does that. In reviews where the circuit is different and interesting, our writers explain what is going on and why designers chose to do something a certain way. They often connect the technology to actual heard sound quality differences.
    Blue Devil, jonwoody and Slimwhit33 like this.
  2. Khorn

    Khorn Dynagrunt Obversarian In Memoriam

    Maybe we should only consider products where the reviewer utters the famous phrase: “I liked it so much I bought the review sample for myself”.
    Wigru and timind like this.
  3. norliss

    norliss Forum Resident

    Cardiff, Wales
    That's why my father (and many guys of his age) always bought Remington products: Victor Kiam liked them so much, he bought the company!
    wgriel, SteveFord, PATB and 2 others like this.
  4. Khorn

    Khorn Dynagrunt Obversarian In Memoriam

    I’ll adapt my sig to fit:

    Reviews? We ain't got no reviews! We don't need no reviews! We don't have to show you any stinking reviews! We have ears!!
    timind likes this.
  5. La notte

    La notte Active Member

    At least he is being honest. He is telling you it is a paid endorsement.
  6. PoetryOnPlastic

    PoetryOnPlastic Forum Reedmaker

    Colorado Springs
    I don't understand the contention here. Any reviewer that that gets any piece of gear in for review has the option to purchase it at wholesale or close to wholesale pricing, this is far and away the industry standard, it's called "accommodation pricing". Even getting a discount, do you think we are going to invest thousands in a product that doesn't sound good to keep for years in our system? Think this through. I own a pure fidelity table, yes I got a discount, yes i think it sounds good, and anyone that has seen these tables in person will concur the wood finishes are some of the best out there, far above most turntable wood finishes I've ever seen, what part of this isn't true?
    Hanks3, jonwoody and wgriel like this.
  7. Harris11235

    Harris11235 Forum Resident

    Minneapolis, MN
    My only reasoning was that a lot of people were opining about an article they hadn’t read. The rest was paraphrased from the article. If you’re getting this worked up about this topic, maybe it’s time for a break.
    tIANcI likes this.
  8. Khorn

    Khorn Dynagrunt Obversarian In Memoriam

    I always bought Gillette cause I love Parrots.
    brucej4 likes this.
  9. SteveFord

    SteveFord Forum Resident

    Shnecksville PA
    After buying a Gillette I liked it so much I switched to Norelco.
    Khorn likes this.
  10. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Senior Member

    Sherwood, OR, USA
    I do follow Lavorgna. On AudioStream and now Twittering Machines. I follow him mostly for his music discoveries rather than the gear reviews. He has a knack for finding interesting music on Bandcamp. I like some of the music he discovers so I return to find out if he's found more. He has different tastes in gear and sound than I do. So I don't find his gear that relevant to me. He does speakers and prefers a different sonic signature than I do. I do headphones and am after DACs and gear that get headphones to sound good to me. Which is fine. Doesn't make his reviews or recommendations less good. Just less relevant to me.

    He reviews and promotes music he likes and gear he likes. It's all about what he likes. So of course it's all going to be positive.

    Why would he have a section of music for "Albums of the week I don't like by bands that aren't good". Why? It's about music he likes and finds interesting. I also like some of his music discoveries. It's relevant to me so I read and follow and come back each month to find more. Would his music recommendations have more authority if he told us about bad albums and why they're bad?
    Harris11235 and Mortsnets like this.
  11. tIANcI

    tIANcI Wondering when the hifi madness will end

    It’s like those who drive past a country club and bitch about it when they aren’t members or have not experienced it. There’s just prejudice. I’ve yet to read something here about the review that’s really inaccurate or misleading. Debunk it. That would be good.

    But the likes of ASR is held in high esteem by some here. However, when someone like Amir says the Sony SS CS5 is a very bright speaker, it shows his ears are totally fudged. Not a single other reviewer has found it to be bright. I own it for quite a few years now, it’s far from bright. No where near as bright as say a RP600M.

    Is ASR not worse than the other reviewers who buy products reviewed that they like, at a big discount?

    “I always look forward to the first few seconds after the speaker plays. Here, I was like "maybe this is not so bad" until another five seconds passed and I said, "man this thing is bright!" It is so bright that if you play music in the dark, you may have to wear sunglasses! It is also muddy to some extent although the brightness gives the impression of detail.”
  12. DancingSea

    DancingSea Forum Resident

    Maui, Hawaii
    This is an often leaned upon excuse by reviewers. However, it only casts light on one aspect of the review industry, and willfully ignores the rest. Yes, there is a degree of truth to the notion of only publishing reviews of gear a writer likes. There's also the reality that reviewers can receive a discounted price on the gear being reviewed, or receive the piece of review gear entirely for free, or get paid cold hard cash to write a review, or all of the above - especially on YouTube.

    There's also an underlying threat from the manufacturers that if a negative review is written, the reviewer will receive no more gear from them, and thus imperil the reviewer's business. That is an unseen, but very real gun. All of that is also part of the equation.

    Of course I'm lumping all reviewers together in one basket and the degree to which all of the above is in play varies.

    Regarding Consumer Reports, I certainly wouldn't turn to them for HiFi reviews - it's far from their forte. But their review process stands in stark contrast to the audiophile industry. Consumer Reports accepts no advertising. They obtain review items completely independently from manufacturers, and there are no kickbacks or unseen gun involved. They are utterly independent. And that review structure allows for very non-biased or otherwise influenced reviews (unbiased doesn't always equate to accurate). The audiophile industry is about as far away from that review structure as possible. It would be refreshing to read audiophile reviews that are genuinely independent and free to give us the straight scoop on a product - be that positive or negative - with no repercussion or monetary incentive lurking about.

    Audio Excellence in Canada posted this rant about paid YouTube reviews. I'm fairly certain it's in response to their former employee Jay, requesting the Canadian distributor for a free pair of $10K Sonus Faber Electa Amator in exchange for a review. YouTube is even more impure than TAS or Stereophile, or at least less refined at hiding the conflict of interest.

    vwestlife likes this.
  13. chervokas

    chervokas Senior Member

    Well, but that creates one of the ethical problems with a "no bad reviews" policy. One of the things it does is create a cloud over things that aren't reviewed -- did the publication not review it because it was bad? As I've noted probably too often now in this thread, likely annoying everyone, I have a real problem with "no bad reviews" as an editorial policy.

    Yes, and I'm with that. For me, I rarely read audio reviews anymore, but when I do here's how I do it: I skip all the throat clearing and off topic cutesy stuff about the reviewer's personal life (if the personal pronoun "I" never again appeared in an audio review, I think it would be an improvement), I skip all the parts about the gear arriving and being unpacked, I jump to the descriptions and explanation of the circuit and the build and any reportage about how those things relate to the goals of the sonic design, and then usually I skip all the subjective listening and, if there are measurements, jump to those. I just kind of wind up skimming through the pieces for facts and information. I do appreciate the reviews when there's that kind of reportage. That's all kind of separate from the dilemma I think created by a "no bad reviews" policy. But that's how audio reviews are useful to me.
    DancingSea and jonwoody like this.
  14. Khorn

    Khorn Dynagrunt Obversarian In Memoriam

    Strange thing. In all the many years that I’ve been involved with sound equipment I have only once bought a piece of equipment on the strength of a review and it was a bummer.

    I’ve always purchased equipment after seeking trusted advice as well as forming some sort of relationship with the manufacturer or distributor of said items. It’s always worked out really well for me.

    I subscribe to mags to get up to date info on world wide new developments as well as reading opinions on recordings. For me they’re very enjoyable entertainment and always have been.
  15. LeeS

    LeeS Music Fan

    There is not enough money coming in from subscriptions to pay for the cost of a widely distributed print magazine. Print costs are very high these days. Your comment assumes that there is collusion between the editorial staff and the sales team. In fact, at both TAS and Stereophile, there is separation between editorial and sales. The reviews are genuine subjective opinions by the writers.
    Blue Devil, wgriel and jonwoody like this.
  16. jlykos

    jlykos Forum Resident

    Parts Unknown
    Wait, what? Are you serious? This is literally the worst piece of audio advice I have ever heard. How much more self-serving can you possibly get?
    rischa, timind and Tommy SB like this.
  17. Eno_Fan

    Eno_Fan Staring into the abyss: Brockman BIF, Pilbara WA Thread Starter

    Izieu, France
    Not "worked up", just don't want the thread polluted with posts by people who make dumb statements (e.g., your "wanting to hear something" statement as some sort of metric of objectivity) and who then resort to stupid patronising to cover for their empty argumentation.

    I like that "I will not reason" part of your signature. Suits.
  18. Blue Devil

    Blue Devil Forum Resident

    Tuxedo Park NY
    In addition to all of the above, I find that lately I'm also skipping or skimming the endless and thinly-disguised adverts for the reviewer's favorite obscure artists, which often have the effect of musical virtue signaling.

    Way, way too much of the typical audio equipment review is about the audio reviewer. They are clearly fascinated with themselves and believe that the rest of us should be too.

    As an aside, and in reference to a few other remarks upthread, I've often found it interesting that many (most?) reviewers listen in tiny, cluttered shoe-box spaces yet often have the wherewithal to purchase review samples costing well into five figures.
    brucej4 and nosliw like this.
  19. LeeS

    LeeS Music Fan

    Keep in mind that many reviewers have a day job in addition to their writing job. Quite a number of TAS writers are very successful outside of their writing for us. Also, many of our writers has acoustically treated rooms with excellent sonics. Robert Harley and Jacob Heilbrunn in particular have wonderful sounding rooms.
  20. MattHooper

    MattHooper Forum Resident

    I used to do some reviewing - speakers only - a long time ago for an on-line audio mag.

    I came on board on the provision that I'd choose what to review. I had recently finished a fanatical search for my own pair of speakers and in the process heard an enormous number of contenders, a few of which really impressed me. For me reviewing was a way of sharing my enthusiasm and selecting speakers that struck me as standing out from the pack in one way or another. If I heard something compelling in a speaker I could basically say to other audiophiles "Here's a product I heard that I think is great, and here's what I found special about it..."

    This selection process naturally led to positive reviews (although mentioning any liabilities I heard as well). But it wasn't because of some advertising or editorial pressure.

    Among the people I knew who reviewed gear, and those I still know, that is still a fairly common feature: Reviewers are often requesting samples of gear that they've already heard as sounding impressive somewhere before, so it's naturally selecting the gear they are most disposed to be positive towards, as a way of alerting other audiophiles to that gear.

    There are also situations where reviewers are simply assigned gear. But from what I've seen the dynamic of reviewers selecting gear they already have reason to think will sound good would help explain a preponderance of positive reviews.

    For me, life was too short to spend long times listening to gear I didn't care for or didn't know I'd like. It made more sense to me to be pre-selecting gear that had already impressed me enough to want to listen to it in my home at length, and alert other audiophiles to the gear I'd weened from my general experience.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2021
  21. Harris11235

    Harris11235 Forum Resident

    Minneapolis, MN
    You asked what the article was about because you refuse to read it yourself. I paraphrased the article for you. You projected his opinions on me as if they were my own, and insulted me for polluting your thread with the answer you asked for. Think about that for a bit.
  22. Eno_Fan

    Eno_Fan Staring into the abyss: Brockman BIF, Pilbara WA Thread Starter

    Izieu, France
    No need, nothing of substance. Perhaps you think twice next time you go to a thread and tell the OP "...If you’re getting this worked up about this topic, maybe it’s time for a break". If I didn't want to consider the subject at length I would have saved myself starting a thread and putting up with tosh like this.

    I'll let you have the last, empty word as it seems to be all you're here for / good-for.
  23. brucej4

    brucej4 Forum Resident

    West Coast, USA
    Hasn't that been true for most newspapers and magazines for many years?
    Khorn likes this.
  24. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Hong Kong
    One of the problems with audio reviewing is that people tend to put more stock in a negative review as if the negative review is more "honest." This is somewhat silly because no matter how much one reviewer may love something (and even buy the product) another reviewer will not be a fan of it. That's true of restaurants, cameras, watches, cars etc.

    Moreover, the vast majority of reviewers are not making a living on reviewing - even reviewers who get paid for their reviews. They are doing it more or less as a hobby so naturally, they will be choosing the gear they like since they have to listen to it for a couple of months.

    Accommodation pricing is similar across companies so if a reviewer is getting a $10k speaker for $6k they're still going to choose their favourite $10k speaker to buy. That said, there are a few companies out there that we reviewers know about who give 100% discounts. I do not read reviewers who have those items in their systems. Long-term (many years) loaners are the same thing.

    Besides when there have been publications like UHF who gave out very negative reviews to B&W and Paradigm speakers as well as products from Arcam and Cambridge Audio - those companies stopped sending them products and fans of the products get irate.

    Before becoming a reviewer (and shortly before), on forums I made some direct comparisons of gear and gave some blistering commentary on a few popular products - I received death threats, crybabies ran to my editor and to Soundhounds (my dealer) to complain.

    I noted that a McIntosh amplifier was selling for $2200 and had a new retail price of $8,800. The argument was about which companies retained value - the guy blasting me phoned up the dealer and yup they confirmed it was $2,200 - I never received an apology.

    People hurling death threats because you like something more than the toy you bought is kind of crazy.
  25. LeeS

    LeeS Music Fan

    It's really been the past year that paper and ink have really gone through the roof.

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