Originally Posted by positive_energy
That is a really poor argument for collusion. You seem to have forgotten who your customers are.
Had it not occurred to you that the industry needs a bit more honesty in it, and it precisely your sort of behaviour that gives it a bad name?
Of course I have. But, precisely to whom should I be honest? What about those customers who want to know whether they should buy a set of Nordost or Crystal or ZenSati power cords, at roughly £10,000 a pop? Telling them "it's all the bleedin' same" is not an option because that just leads to an ex-reader. Worse, it leads to an ex-reader who goes somewhere like AudioAficionado.com and tells the core readers of the magazine that it is 'soft' on cables and therefore, 'deaf'. Which means your credibility among those who are your enthusiast readers is undermined.
So, if you think cables are "all the bleedin' same" you keep your council.
For all the enmity you and yours have toward the magazine, our biggest potential loss of readers right now is coming from my stance on hi-res. I still maintain that you are paying a premium for microphone thermal noise and - at best - a more careful mastering process. I know a lot of manufacturers of DACs who (privately) agree with me... but have to continue to develop their products from 24/96 to 24/192 to 32/384 to DSD-over-USB because the audiophiles (who, let's face it, buy our stuff) will not accept anything less. This is a sham, especially as there is a better campaign to be had (something like "brick-wall mastering is worse than brick-wall filtering", but more pithy). However, the upshot of the excellent exposé of the hi-res game by Hi-Fi News did not cause an army of hi-res-loving audiophiles demanding more from their hi-res, it caused some of them to consider Hi-Fi News 'hostile' to hi-res.
We have to be the promoters of the audio industry because no-one else is doing that. It would be absolutely fantastic if the audio industry was large enough to be able to afford a truly independent voice. Like they used to be, before the business got really, really small.
As it stands, I published three negative reviews out of about 130 last year, and at CES I was already finding brands no longer willing to submit products for review because the magazine was 'not playing the game'.