In Reply to: RE: And once again... posted by Steve O on March 24, 2017 at 11:57:54:
Steve I can't speak for other reviewers but I can tell you it has cost me more to be a reviewer than I have gotten out of being a reviewer.
But let's take a $10k speaker - the reviewer may get it for around $6k but the first point is no one pays list - if you are an established customer of a dealer and you have a good relationship with a dealer chances are you are able to get most $10k speakers for between $8k-$9k. You will be getting 10-20% off and several dealers have offered me that before I was a reviewer. So the reviewer is getting 20% off what a "good customer" is getting.
BUT the customer is getting a brand new product. The review is buying a "used" product since once the reviewer opens the box and starts playing it it is no longer a new item and can't be sold as a new item.
Second hand items are typically down 40% of retail list - so chances are if you go out and look at second hand $10k list speakers you will pay $6k which is what a reviewer pays. I have directly experienced this where the manufacturer dealer has offered me an item that I can buy for the same or less on the second hand market.
I am a reviewer in Hong Kong and the one thing you may like about it is that there is no reviewer rate - you have to buy the review sample up front. So when I say in my review with the Line Magnetic 219IA, 215CD player and 502CA DAC that I bought the item - I paid the retail price for those items! I also paid full retail price for the KEF LS-50, and I paid what the dealer asked for my Audio Note speakers. Clearly I am not doing this right eh? :)
I'd say the bigger issue is that some reviewers can become a-holes to certain companies if they don't get a big enough discount. They will say to manufacturer ABC "manufacturer XYZ gave me 70% off why do you only give 40%?" and then they will jump ship - start reviewing XYZ and then continuously make snide remarks and broadsides against ABC because ABC didn't play ball and give in to the "demand/bribe".
But you are correct to doubt for "some" reviewers in the sense that they may be choosing stuff because of a "deal" - everyone is looking for a deal. I see so many audiophiles on forums say "should I buy this - I can get a deal on it" or "such and such is 60% so I bought it" to which I always think - if all this stuff is marked down so heavily then it NEVER sold at the original asking price. Something isn't GOOD because it is 70% off. All indications in fact are likely the Opposite.
I never see 50% off sales from Shindo, Audio Note, and other top makers. The reason Speaker X is selling for 70% off at Music Direct is because no one F-ing wanted the piece of crap at 100%. And they can't get rid of the garbage fast enough. But hey "it's a deal".
As my dad always said - " Many people know the price of everything and the value of nothing." They can't get past the sticker price. It doesn't matter if it sounds good - the price is better. I'd rather pay $3,000 for an amp and get something that truly satisfies me than some other amp sells for $6000 but that I can get for $2500. Ooh what a bargain - until you listen and realize that no the $3000 amp that never ever goes on sale and has sold for 25 years and prices rise not fall might actually have something going for it. While that $6000 amp has been filled with a lot of review hot air and in 5 years probably won't be on the market and in the used shop will fetch $1200.
What I would do if I were paying attention to reviews is a three pronged approach
1) read the reviews of reviewers who hear things like you do.
[I am a SET HE guy so I don't read reviews of reviewers who buy high negative feedback Class A/B amplifiers or speakers of the slim line design of several woofers in a tall box with a metal tweeter on top. To me virtually all of these designs are utterly vapid to downright appalling. IMO these reviewers don't know what quality sound is. It doesn't matter if I am right or they are right - it's that they're not right for me.
2)Consensus over time - does the specific product get very good reviews across many magazines and over a long period of time? If the product gets raves from say 8 magazines over and over for 20 years - then gee it just may be a really good product. An example would be Magnepan. I don't care for them but I don't deny them their due. The bottom line is they are definitely worth your time to try. (But see number 1 and number one doesn't love them then chances are you may not love them either).
3)Factoring in number 1 and 2 - you could also find out some tertiary factors such as the typical buyer of the product and perhaps if you know a dealer who is actually trustworthy you can find out the history of trade ins. Ie if you look at the raved about EFG speakers that win a bunch of editor's choice awards or product of the years - how many of them get traded in after three months and for what?
4) A blind test might not be a bad idea either. If the product that your number 1 reviewer bought AND where number 2 has been satisfied AND meets number 3 - AND also wins the blind level matched sessions you have a lot of very good indications that the product is really good. My latest speakers that I bought meet numbers 1,2,3 and 4. And most importantly meet my litmus test when listening for myself.
Edits: 03/25/17This post is made possible by the generous support of people like you and our sponsors:
Topic - Audio critics should publish their hearing tests - triamp 16:39:14 03/21/17 (71)
- I don't think that matters much. - MannyE 17:46:25 04/02/17 (0)
- It's not just hearing. Experience, understanding, ability to - oldmkvi 18:31:43 03/29/17 (1)
- RE: It's not just hearing. Experience, understanding, ability to - warnerwh 00:40:34 04/10/17 (0)
- I'm not sure this would make the results more convincing - Frihed89 14:23:14 03/29/17 (0)
- Jeez, then you'll want them to get writing lessons too... - musetap 19:15:09 03/26/17 (3)
- Haihu-Fi.. - 4everyoung 16:30:07 03/27/17 (0)
- So their writing... - mkuller 15:06:13 03/27/17 (1)
- :-) -nt - Jim Treanor 11:56:30 03/28/17 (0)
- RE: Audio critics should publish their hearing tests - ahendler 17:27:16 03/26/17 (2)
- RE: Audio critics should publish their hearing tests - muser 14:44:06 03/28/17 (1)
- RE: Audio critics should publish their hearing tests - ahendler 20:52:42 03/28/17 (0)
- And their shoe size and sexual proclivities. - viridian 09:44:37 03/26/17 (0)
- RE: Test and tastes - jazz1 01:48:07 03/25/17 (0)
- RE: Audio critics should publish their hearing tests - russ69 22:32:42 03/22/17 (1)
- RE: Audio critics should publish their hearing tests - Inmate51 08:02:07 03/23/17 (0)
- RE: Audio critics should publish their hearing tests - Steve O 15:55:25 03/22/17 (23)
- RE: Audio critics should publish their hearing tests - RGA 03:57:45 03/23/17 (22)
- RE: Audio critics should publish their hearing tests - Steve O 09:09:57 03/23/17 (21)
- Once again... - mkuller 08:14:05 03/24/17 (8)
- RE: And once again... - Steve O 11:57:54 03/24/17 (7)
- RE: And once again... - RGA 05:40:36 03/25/17 (5)
- RE: And once again... - Steve O 09:10:49 03/25/17 (2)
- Consumer Reports... - mkuller 09:55:15 03/25/17 (1)
- RE: Consumer Reports... - Steve O 11:06:35 03/25/17 (0)
- RE: And once again... - A.Wayne 07:29:41 03/25/17 (1)
- RE: And once again... - RGA 04:55:08 03/26/17 (0)
- You are overthinking this... - mkuller 13:21:50 03/24/17 (0)
- RE: Audio critics should publish their hearing tests - RGA 19:39:29 03/23/17 (11)
- Only ask TAS or another review publication? What about the manufacturer? Its a two way street. nt - Rick W 09:07:40 03/24/17 (10)
- RE: Only ask TAS or another review publication? What about the manufacturer? Its a two way street. nt - RGA 06:17:08 03/26/17 (0)
- RE: Only ask TAS or another review publication? What about the manufacturer? Its a two way street. nt - 4everyoung 05:39:19 03/25/17 (8)
- My post was in response to long term (forever?) "loaners" issue, not accommodation prices. nt - Rick W 11:13:44 03/25/17 (0)
- Are you saying ARC and VPI "blacklisted" you... - Steve O 09:00:35 03/25/17 (6)
- RE: Are you saying ARC and VPI "blacklisted" you... - -æ- 08:14:45 03/26/17 (0)
- What she said... - mkuller 09:58:53 03/25/17 (4)
- RE: What she actually said... - Steve O 11:16:29 03/25/17 (3)
- Oy vey Read the first and last paragraph - 4everyoung 11:59:24 03/25/17 (2)
- RE: Oy vey but no mention in the paragraphs under discussion... - Steve O 12:45:11 03/25/17 (1)
- RE: Oy vey but no mention in the paragraphs under discussion... - 4everyoung 13:26:01 03/25/17 (0)
- RE: Audio critics should publish their hearing tests - Jim Smith 09:36:14 03/22/17 (0)
- Age-related hearing loss mysteries - Bill Way 09:04:50 03/22/17 (1)
- RE: Age-related hearing loss mysteries - Inmate51 10:24:29 03/22/17 (0)
- RE: Audio critics should publish their hearing tests - SpotcheckBilly12345 07:32:02 03/22/17 (0)
- RE: Audio critics should publish their hearing tests - RGA 06:58:00 03/22/17 (0)
- RE: Audio critics should publish their hearing tests - John Atkinson 04:17:51 03/22/17 (5)
- RE: Audio critics should publish their hearing tests - John Atkinson 11:22:05 03/23/17 (4)
- RE: Audio critics should publish their hearing tests - Pjay 10:17:17 03/30/17 (1)
- RE: Responding - John Atkinson 10:42:12 03/31/17 (0)
- Response - Inmate51 14:19:44 03/23/17 (1)
- On the other hand, he might actually be a - DAP 11:18:26 03/27/17 (0)
- RE: Audio critics should publish their hearing tests - triamp 01:32:33 03/22/17 (1)
- what we have here is a failure to communicate - RhythmDevil 04:22:06 03/23/17 (0)
- If you search... - mkuller 20:54:02 03/21/17 (15)
- RE: If you search... - Norman M 08:17:43 03/23/17 (7)
- How would you define a "normal healthy human ear?" - Kal Rubinson 16:27:58 03/23/17 (0)
- Usually... - mkuller 10:14:24 03/23/17 (5)
- RE: If you search... - triamp 22:06:39 03/21/17 (6)
- Since you're 40 dB down at 10 kHz. yourself... - Dave Pogue 05:57:48 03/22/17 (5)
- Besides, at 87 finding home after grocery shopping is of more import than hearing 17kHz. nt - Rick W 10:48:07 03/22/17 (4)
- Funny i should read this right after coming home from grocery shopping ... - Dave Pogue 11:36:53 03/22/17 (3)
- RE: Funny i should read this right after coming home from grocery shopping ... - Norman M 08:21:02 03/23/17 (1)
- Whatever turns you on. - Dave Pogue 09:39:15 03/23/17 (0)
- Boxster?! Wow, I can only envy you. Only a Cannondale bike for me. - Rick W 13:12:23 03/22/17 (0)
- You first. Send in YOUR results.. so we all know what you got. - 3+4=5 20:16:36 03/21/17 (1)
- RE: You first. Send in YOUR results.. so we all know what you got. - triamp 21:15:29 03/21/17 (0)
- Why? - hawkmoon 17:22:17 03/21/17 (0)
- RE: And once again... - RGA 05:40:36 03/25/17 (5)