Busted! Reviewer copies manufacturers sales page in review?

Presented without comment. Large hi-res image here



@roxy54 Means they didn't even listen to the cable? Anyway, can't really trust reviewers if they listen and then simply "agree" with the manufacturer and copy the sales page.

Is Mono and Stereo part of TAS?

@robert1976 Mono Stereo is not part of TAS, TAS is TAS and has a sister company Hifi+

As far as the review goes , I agree that it is unusual to see some of the same words and sequencing of them in the conclusion, but if you read the entire review I don’t see where he didn’t listen to and personally evaluate the cables

I am not sure why anybody would believe anything written in these magazines. I always looked at them for entertainment value only, I never took them seriously. Did you?

I'll sometimes look at reviews in these publications as just one of a great many sources of info I go to when researching for something new. I'll take any one thing or opinion with a grain of salt, as I look for some kind of general consensus. 

This is all that foolish consumer wants. It matches PERFECTLY consumer's IQ.

People often criticize reviewers, but how many trust their own ears enough to buy something not reviewed by the mainstream? From what I can see, not that many. 

Has anyone ever read a review that wasn't glowing, or at the very least positive?  I still marvel at one HI-Fi mag review of 25 different 75 ohm coax cables.  The reviewer managed to come up with different superlatives for the top 20.  A feat in itself.  My favorite line was "the music danced like fire from the speakers".  I mean really, who doesn't want that!  The number three choice was from Snake River Audio at $600 (top pick was $2200) for a single cable.  So I bought one to replace the $75 cable I was currently using.  Did the music dance like fire?  Maybe, but it was drowned out by the sound of $600 flying out the window.  🤣

Nothing new here…I see those exact words often repeated in describing the sound of many products so no big deal for me…the reviewer did listen to the cable as @facten pointed out. That’s all anyone could hope for from these reviewers who are often incentivized in one fashion or another. I read publications like TAS, Stereophile and HiFI News to keep me updated with latest products and industry news.

+1, @chayro 

I don’t think any of us take these reviews seriously, so there’s not much at stake here. But are we sure it isn’t the manufacturer who lifted this adulating tripe from the REVIEW? Quite honestly if I made the cables and paid good money for that review I’d be like "oooh - that’s a fancy way to describe the cables on my site!". Yoink! Again, not that it matters, whichever direction the effusive prose migrated from.

People often criticize reviewers, but how many trust their own ears enough to buy something not reviewed by the mainstream? From what I can see, not that many.

This is a very good, and fair point. There’s far too much back & forth bickering & speculation on these forums, with far too little of: buy-it / try-it / post-honestly-on-it.

Was this some kind of Eureka! moment?

This has been going on for many, many years and not all reviewers do it. Be sure to take those babies out before you toss the bathwater.

All the best,

That's not news. Post internet era all the subject experts copy and paste manufacturers brochure. If do research 90% reviews are fall in ame category especially the technology involved.

All audio magazines do this. Also, when have you seen a negative review of anything in an audio magazine. They are a joke.

All this nefarious practice aside…are Tellurium cables actually good? Has anyone here actually tried them (I’ll read back to see if I’ve missed someone who has)? Diluted truth tainting what is actually a good product, or is it just another case of sales over substance.

Post removed 

@stager Thanks for the link, I had never heard of your product before, definitely seems to be worth checking out. I use balanced cables from preamp to amp but not all my sources are so equipped. I’m thinking my processor (EQ) loop could benefit.

As to the thread topic, I haven’t been aware of outright plagiarism on the part of reviewers or manufacturers, but my eyes aren’t as sharp as the OP and others; I have often seen reviewers cite manufacturer’s literature or report on conversations with same when they are struggling to convey a novel design concept or innovative manufacturing practice. But then, I discriminate between reviews that are worth my time or not. I might likely not read reviews on posted websites of which I am not confident, of the website, that is. Reviewers themselves win me over by their approach to the topic, their honesty, and the elegance of their prose.  

Cars, boats, cigars,  wine....you name a magazine devoted to a product you get ad influenced opinions. But it is a starting point. 

I find most reviews overly warm and thick...and fairly lush...with a hint of velvet and, oh, wait....ah yes, a note of burberry. And with a risk of sounding busy, maybe a preponderance of bass, perhaps?

@rbstehno  I asked Fremer this and he said that the major mags only post positive reviews. They do not post equipment that would merit a bad write up.

Also, when have you seen a negative review of anything in an audio magazine.

@mulveling Astute.

But are we sure it isn’t the manufacturer who lifted this adulating tripe from the REVIEW?

Noromance- just because Fremer said something doesn’t make it better. All the top car mags evaluate multiple cars and only 1 is the winner. When audio mags can truly evaluate multiple products against each other and rate them from best to worst, then the audio mags are worthless to me.

jpwarren58- the good car mags do a good job rating multiple cars at 1 time, claiming only 1 is the true winner and the others are not. Something else that the car mags do that the audio mags do not: the car mags don’t always pick the winner to be the car that costs the most where almost all the time, the more expensive the audio product, more often you will see it picked the best of the best

One person's 'best' can be somebody else's 'worst', so that audio mags should still be worthless with totally subjective 'best' v 'worst' comparisons, unless you're talking purely about measurements. 

@rbstehno I'm inclined to agree with you on car mags but, as @larsman points out, audio perception and preference is very subjective. ​​​​​​​

just because Fremer said something doesn’t make it better. ​​​​​​​

*L* ....and all this isn't really news, is it?

Imho, where does one think that FauxNeus? got it's format?

Say it often enough, and it seems to be true....kinda...may be....*soft snort*

On an related note, or a different aspect of what y'all chase this 'n that to appreciate....I just received the other day a copy of Sweetwaters' Fall '22 ProGear Select 'mini-catalog'.

When one has an expanded view of what goes on prior to hitting your stuff, the concept of a never-ending pursuit of perfection that reminds me of the ever-expanding universe.

You will never reach the edge because it's always out of reach..

*hmmm* A digital patchbay....how kewl.... ;)

Keep up the hunt. ;) J

The publication of damning reviews would increase the risk of litigation. I know there are ways of insulating from this but it's still an issue.

Magazines or any other source of keyboard opinion and self promoted SME are merely guidance and mostly data points

It's incumbent upon the consumer to trust but verify and convert to actual information upon which we use to make decisions

Lots of Kool-Aid out there and we all drink it, just be careful how much we allow it to influence our behavior

@asvjerry I like the keep up the hunt reference and couldn't agree more the edge will always be out of reach but in 5-10 years that edge is now main and we stand a chance to benefit

Enjoy the journey

Media containing so-called reviews are mostly motivated to make the reader want what they don't have, maybe not now but eventually.  Curiosity leads to purchase,  and the spending of money continues the cycle.

Marketing copy is the same.

Both rely on sales to fund new products to promote.  Without new products hifi media would be out of business.

With that in mind, who wants to read negative reviews? Who would buy that magazine?

I would not be surprised if some reviewers write marketing copy.

The publishers know who pays their bills, and my guess is that is largely not revenue for sales of the publication, but from advertising in it.

A truly independent publication would not be affordable to readers.

Being aware of editorial bias will regulate how seriously to take the content.

For me, I like to research rewiews understand differences between products.  I enjoy reviewers who make fair and honest comparisons, and that dont buy the products they just reviewed or advertise them.

Interesting, kind of like Big Pharma providing drug data to the FDA which then uses it for drug approval.  

Noromance-aren’t car reviews subjective too? Looks of a car vs sound of a component? Only car magazines have multiple reviewers evaluating a group of cars sometimes, especially when they rate 20+ cars for the car of the year, and they rate the worst to the best and they explain why. And, all the car manufacturers whether they are rated the worst or the best still advertise in the mags or might not even advertise at all but still evaluated. Something that would be very rare in audio mags.

IMO, the reviewers in audio mags try to write reviews that tend to elevate the iq of the audiophile using words only an English professor knows whereas in the car mags, the reviews of a $3M car is down to earth and to the point.


I am not sure why anybody would believe anything written in these magazines. I always looked at them for entertainment value only, I never took them seriously. Did you?


I'm afraid I did.

As a newcomer to the world of separates audio I found the field just too vast, too bewildering.

Perhaps what I should have done was to find a decent dealer who could demonstrate the differences between turntables, CD players, amps and loudspeakers, but instead, in the absence of any local dealers, we only had retailers, I picked up some magazines from my local newsagents (WHSmiths mainly) and I was off and running.

In entirely the wrong direction as it later turned out.

Even when I heard the vastly disappointing LP12/ Naim/ Isobarik system that Hi-Fi Review had praised to high heaven, I was unwilling to accept that this particular emperor had no clothes.

It has taken me years to try to free myself from being influenced by other opinions. Even now, I tend to gravitate towards certain YouTube channels to see what's happening in the world of audio.

Only recently I was intrigued by a pair of all carbon fibre coned Acoustic Energy AE520 speakers that were on sale.

However after reading 2 separate reviews by a couple of the few reviewers I had any confidence left in, I'm now resigned to doubting anything written by any audio journalist.

Noel Keywood (ex Hi-Fi Review and highly experienced UK journalist) described these speakers in Hi-Fi World as being 'dry' in presentation whilst on the other hand, David Price, his one time colleague at Hi-Fi World, wrote this of the same speakers in Hi-Fi Choice -

“Tonally it’s lovely; it has richness that you don’t often hear from modern speakers.”

I have spent decades reading these 2 reviewers and they are amongst the very few for whom I have any respect remaining but reading contradictory stuff like this makes me doubt whether it's ever advisable to take someone else's words even as a starting point.

Perhaps, as a last resort, it's high time someone reintroduced an audio reviewers glossary just so we can be sure that they all understand exactly what they're trying to convey?

Otherwise we might as well dismiss all serious magazine reviews as nothing more than subjective opinion.

The rest, I think, we can assume are already little more than a simpering sales pitch on someone else's behalf.


Going full circle paradoxically takes me back to the days of Hi-Fi Review. What initially attracted me to that iconoclastic magazine was it's unique willingness to compare and criticize audio equipment.


Under the maverick editorship of Chris Frankland, Hi-Fi Review certainly pulled no punches when it came to pouring scorn on almost any non-Linn/Naim products.

The opinion within may have been biased rubbish, but its refreshing attitude of a complete lack of reverence for established brands made that magazine memorable.


Yes, agreed.

Entertainment value only.