Most Honest Audio Magazine?

I subscribe to Stereophile and I really enjoy reading it but something happened last year that made me raise an eyebrow as to the authenticity of their intentions. Remember the review of the B&W Nautilus 805's? The original reviewer raved about them and rated them "Class A Restricted Low Frequency". Shortly thereafter they demoted the same speaker down to "Class B Restricted Low Frequency". This really hurt the magazine's credibility in my eyes. My first conclusion was that they didn't want to upset the other manufacturers who produced "Class A" products at far higher prices. Shouldn't a trade journal give credit to the truly remarkable products especially when they are produced for relatively decent prices? It's unfortunate that the advertising dollars of the megabuck manufacturers bullied a stellar product into receiving a less than stellar final rating. I'm wondering if this hasn't happened before. I've since heard from some of my audio buddies that corruption does indeed exist in the audio press; everything from reviewers being related to manufacturers to reviewers being offered products for a song (pun intended). Please share your thoughts and experiences when it comes to audio magazines and let me know which ones you'd rate best and worst. Putting together a great system is hard enough without having to sift through the sometimes suspicious advice of those publications who purport to advance the hobby.
With reference to which audio magazines are most honest, I find it difficult to rate any one magazine more honest than another. It is more important that the writer accurately conveys the virtues or shortcomings of a product being reviewed. While there have been many talented writers in audio journals, that is not to say they always accurately describe the benefits or shortcomings of products reviewed. I have subscribed to Stereophile for about 15 years and have seen the priorities stay basically the same. The writing is as it always has been, that is to say there are good writers that demonstrate credibility by their reviews of a product and there are others that overstate the quality/value of a product. I can't say I have read too many really bad reviews, the latest being on a line conditioner a few months ago by Scull (a nebulous confusing writer, IMO) The Nautilus 805 is an example of a product being overstated IMO. While certainly a good product in the eyes of many, I have listened to this speaker on several different occasions with excellent electronics and am baffled at how this product can be rated so highly. I am not alone on these impressions. It does indeed make one raise his eyebrows. What did this writer hear that I didn't I ask myself. Stereophile has ultimately become something they always professed they never would be, a tool for manufacturers' to get positive exposure for their product. But it didn't happen yesterday, it has been going on for quite some time. Most products in high end audio are not bad sonically but there are many poor values with reference to price performance. I do not see ANY magazines really expose this to the degree it should be. It would be suicide to do so but it would REALLY benefit the readers, a real balancing act. I have found the best medium for finding out the real value products in audio is the internet and the buzz created by such products will spur still greater innovation and value. Ultimately the magazines are in business and their ultimate interest is survival, the common denominator of all. So MY answer is THERE IS NO ONE MAGAZINE MORE HONEST THAN THE NEXT, most just spin that they are. "If you just fool some of the people most of the time that's all it takes baby"
Nice post Mr tubegroover.Nailed it all.OK,now we know this,I think we have to read between the lines.I remember when Chip Stern did his first,for the mag.The product was Messa Barron.He loved it.I think it was JA who did a follow up side bar,and figured he was very easy to please.(read terminally deaf).I borrowed one twice,it is so so at best.BUT without the follow up side bar,I think a lot of people could have been misled.Also, the last, honest review I've read.Ocasionally I see 80 grand to evaluate a 2 thousand dollar piece,and 4 grand to do a 5 thousand piece,you think they do that on purpose??
I have to agree with Tubegroover that there is no magazine that is demonstrably more honest than any other. I find, however, that TAS is much better written than any of the other magazines out there. Every other month or so, I receive both magazines at the same time, and it becomes extremely obvious how much better a magazine The Abso!ute sound is. As far as honesty goes, I believe that TAS is as honest as any other. Not that this proves anything definitively, but they often make clear that their reviewing standards (which they hold to be extremely sacred) are very objective.
All the mags are biased to some degree but I think Stereophile has gone to shit. Check out recent columns by Sam Tellig as an example. Last month he raves about several models of Triangle speaker and guess what there is a first time full page ad for Tianagle speakers. Several months earlier Sam raved about CJ amps from his pals at Audio Outlet and guess what a few pages over there is a first time full page ad palced by Audio Outlet featuring you guessed it -CJ amps. There are less obvious examples of journalism for hire in Stereophile but it is obvious that Petersen Publishing knows what where the bread is buttered. Take out a full page ad in slipping audio rag and Sam will write you up real good.
I have to agree with the majority of the other respondents. There is no one perfect audio magazine. I do feel however, that the TAS is now superior to Stereophile, which is now a mere shadow of it's former self. After all the reading and comparing you still have to listen, for yourself, and go with your own instincts. Regards, AEW