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dbowker
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My Favorite Section is starting to be Manufacturers Comments

There have always been those that are oversensitive, and others just looking for an argument, but it seems to me that in the last year or so the emotional scale has gone way up! For me, it makes some great reading and I always find myself smiling, if not laughing at the cry-baby ranting and hysterical prtoesting you get on the pages.

This month I especially enjoyed the guys from one of the software packages Art evaluated (the first one I believe). The guy just went nuts that Art had "talked to the two other companies and NOT HIS!" He went on and on about the unfairness of it all, questioning Art's integrity and just about everything else. I had read the article already, and thought he pretty much liked all three, but for the money ($33 or so), he liked the second package as opposed to the others that cost many times more. I think he mentioned the 2nd one was also slightly cleaner sounding than the first one too- but not a huge amount. From the software makers response you'd think Art had said he, his children and every line of code he'd written were evil piles of dog dung and that they all should burn in hell, hahah.

I also like the manufactures that try and pretend they are not actually about to pop a vessel and prtend to be polite, when what comes through is just barely contained rage. They usually run like "We beg to differ with the esteemed reviewer and respectfully point to the fact that many smarter and betetr people have long loved and enjoyed our product, including the Pope himself who has blessed our entire enterprise. In the future we do hope the magazine chooses a better reviewer that understands we want only high praises and reverent fawning from start to finish. Many thanks."

And then of course we have Roy Hall, truly in a class in himself, who looks for every slight, real or imagined, from Sal Tellig and blast out another poisened lteer, all of which are better than any tabloid expose.

Robert Deutsch
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Manufacturers' Comments

I wrote about this topic nearly 20 years ago: http://www.stereophile.com/features/22/index.html Not much has changed since then.

Reed
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Or the guy from Ayre...

Who reads the article of another manufactures product, sees that the technology his product uses is mentioned, and feels compelled to write a "comment" in return that it takes up half of the overall section. This is a product that stands on it's own merit, winning all kinds of awards. Suddenly, he goes from a confident manufacturer to someone who is threatened by someone else's product, and looks like he is running scared. I'm somewhat surprised this was allowed. It could end up in an infinite monthly manufactures comment debate. Is someone from Rega allowed to retort next month?

tom collins
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wah wah wah

i think this go-round started in earnest with the Totem guy.  his was an all-out assault on the reviewer.  when you don't like the message, attack the messenger. 

in the last few years with this recession, many people in all professions and all walks of life have changed into people they would not recognize  if they had the chance to see the person they are today 5 years ago. 

 

i agree and find it highly entertaining.

dbowker
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Yep

Tom- Right you are. The Totem rant was definitely the one that got my attention in a way that other compalints had not.

And Reed: I was thinking the same thing. At first I really had a difficult time even figuring out what he was talking about, since it didn't seem to be in response to a review at all (which it wasn't). To take an off-hand comment from the guy from Rega and turn it into a full fledged rebuttle seemed way over the top. If I had noticed the original comment at all, it would have not made more than a minor im pression on me. After all it was just one guy's opinion (granted form a great and storied company) amongst many. I really doubt it suddenly made anyone considering USB audio transfer to immediately cancel all purchase plans. It made the Ayre guy look like the information police, or worse someone who doesn't belive in his own prodcuts.

Poor Audiophile
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Manufacturers' Comments
Robert Deutsch wrote:

I wrote about this topic nearly 20 years ago: http://www.stereophile.com/features/22/index.html Not much has changed since then.

I just read this & it's too bad that they don't take your advise!

The guy from Totem, for instance seems a real bozo! It wold make me not consider his products'

Glotz
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Couldn't agree more...

The opinion of any writer should be taken as just that.  It is insulting (from manufacturers) to the reader that we, as educated readers and experienced audiophiles, would not take into the account of any writer's bias, or simply their observations into the context of their system.  Whether an equipment comparison in a review or a conclusion drawn about the musical value of a component in the context of a system, experienced listeners realize that there are limitations to any review, due to its inherent constraints (eg: comparisions from memory, length of discussion on a particular subject in the review).

Blind listening doesn't solve it, and measurements don't give a lot of more real, useable info (see AD's LFD reviews this month regarding the two identically-measuring products with different sound due to differing power supplies). While reviews may have way too much weight in the market with some prospective buyers, it seems that mfgs. automatically assume that they need to attack back with vitriol.

I don't find the drama too entertaining as it has a tendency to divide readers and feed myths that reviews are purely arbitrary in their findings.  It creates poor perceptions of the hobby, and gives the manufacturer a chance to act childish and knee-jerk.  Perhaps the only one I found morbidly entertaining was the Dynaco Stereo 70 review 20 years ago by Corey Greenberg.  "Corey you misguided wordmeister..."  (I can remember that from memory...) I know Brian Beinfang and his company for the Nobis tube gear (and his funky stereo shop), and he let me read the pre-production text CG wrote prior to the Mfg. Comments he wrote. Wot a crappy typist! (J/k) 

I never thought there would be that kind of backlash after the review, as CG really just liked the one amp over the other and really didn't 'crap' on the Panor amp.   Perhaps manufacturers are just ultra-paranoid that there companies will go out of business from a 'bad' review, even if it was from a new reviewer (which to me is strange as it would seem only the inverse should be true).  Stereophile and TAS carry huge weight in the marketplace, even though it's one opinion, in one system.

RD was right then, and right now.  They would do well in their marketplace to learn from that advice.

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