Credibility of "Professional" Speaker Reviews dealt a Death Blow - Page 5 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #121 of 169 Old 08-15-2019, 12:53 PM
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post #122 of 169 Old 08-16-2019, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
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More Tekton Drama with Reviewer New Record Day


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Set up #2 : QA3020i LR, Center: Emotiva C1 Subs (2) HSU VTF2 MK5,
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post #123 of 169 Old 08-16-2019, 07:56 AM
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Oh, so they pulled the video from the OP?



Watching the new video:

"It's been a long week"

"Proprietary Bracing"

"We can wait for the dogs to stop"

"There's something in here that I can't put my finger on"

"I feel like I'm going mad"

"We're going to figure out where that... just that slight little bit of too much of something exists in the system and then attack it from that angle..."

-----

Oh, OK. Yeah. Or maybe it's the power cable...

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post #124 of 169 Old 08-16-2019, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by mpk1970 View Post
More Tekton Drama with Reviewer New Record Day
Mike, I really don't want to watch that whiny guy again; can you give a one paragraph summary as I did with the first video?
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post #125 of 169 Old 08-16-2019, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
Mike, I really don't want to watch that whiny guy again; can you give a one paragraph summary as I did with the first video?
I will give you my take on it. Take this with a grain of salt since I have a speaker company. It was an attempt for both to save face. Ron admitted that he was wrong in sharing the personal emails. Personally, I was glad that he did because it really helped shed some light on the entire situation. Eric was diverting quite a bit and it was pretty obvious from Ron's facial expressions that he noticed the diversion. Ron agreed to do away with his measurements and have a future video where Eric would share his measurements. The most laughable part was Eric explaining that they use proprietary bracing then later admitting the cabinet was large and not heavily braced because that would increase the cost of packaging and shipping. In other words, corners were cut to get to a price point.

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post #126 of 169 Old 08-16-2019, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Rick Craig View Post
I will give you my take on it. Take this with a grain of salt since I have a speaker company. It was an attempt for both to save face. Ron admitted that he was wrong in sharing the personal emails. Personally, I was glad that he did because it really helped shed some light on the entire situation. Eric was diverting quite a bit and it was pretty obvious from Ron's facial expressions that he noticed the diversion. Ron agreed to do away with his measurements and have a future video where Eric would share his measurements. The most laughable part was Eric explaining that they use proprietary bracing then later admitting the cabinet was large and not heavily braced because that would increase the cost of packaging and shipping. In other words, corners were cut to get to a price point.

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post #127 of 169 Old 08-16-2019, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
Mike, I really don't want to watch that whiny guy again; can you give a one paragraph summary as I did with the first video?
I would but I listened to first 30 seconds and turned it off.

While I do like the speakers, I wish I kept the boxes to return them only because like @Rick Craig stated Tekton comes up with a million excuses so now I'm wondering about the speakers true value?
I've already expressed what I like about them but I guess I'm second guessing my decision NOT on the performance but just the shady nature of the company in so many different aspects from parts to construction to measurements to specs.
(I used the Tekton boxes to ship the Emotiva gear to Canada)

-Special Bracing?
- use his own measurements?

Maybe @Rick Craig can help shed some light on the bracing in speaker cabinets? How many manufacturers (and who) have a minimal amount? How many brace their cabinets very well (who)

Again, there is so much mysterious crap with Tekton.

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post #128 of 169 Old 08-16-2019, 04:27 PM
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The most laughable part was Eric explaining that they use proprietary bracing then later admitting the cabinet was large and not heavily braced because that would increase the cost of packaging and shipping
You've been selling yourself short all these years, Rick. You could have had added an up-charge checkbox on your checkout screen for "proprietary bracing and re-tune fee."
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post #129 of 169 Old 08-17-2019, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mpk1970 View Post
I would but I listened to first 30 seconds and turned it off.

While I do like the speakers, I wish I kept the boxes to return them only because like @Rick Craig stated Tekton comes up with a million excuses so now I'm wondering about the speakers true value?
I've already expressed what I like about them but I guess I'm second guessing my decision NOT on the performance but just the shady nature of the company in so many different aspects from parts to construction to measurements to specs.
(I used the Tekton boxes to ship the Emotiva gear to Canada)

-Special Bracing?
- use his own measurements?

Maybe @Rick Craig can help shed some light on the bracing in speaker cabinets? How many manufacturers (and who) have a minimal amount? How many brace their cabinets very well (who)

Again, there is so much mysterious crap with Tekton.
Bracing will vary depending on the cabinet size and how much the manufacturer decides to use. I can't really tell you which companies do what but sometimes you can get an idea by looking at the listed weight of the speaker. The thickness and density of the wall material (normally MDF) is a factor, especially in a larger cabinet like the Tekton that you have. There's also the amount of damping material inside to control reflections.

As far as the true value the most important thing is that you like them and enjoy the sound. Affirmation from others is nice but it's you that have to live with them. If I were shopping in that price range I would look at what other companies are doing and how they spent their money executing the design. For instance, would it be better to use just one tweeter and upgrade the cabinet and / or other parts? Or what could I get in a stand-mounted speaker at the same cost?
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post #130 of 169 Old 08-18-2019, 05:29 AM
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I'm mildly curious how much this reviewer got paid by the manufacturer to produce this mess. I do understand that the reviewer regrets taking that path (based on their comments on the latest YouTube video).
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post #131 of 169 Old 08-19-2019, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Vergiliusm View Post
You've been selling yourself short all these years, Rick. You could have had added an up-charge checkbox on your checkout screen for "proprietary bracing and re-tune fee."
Now why didn't I think of that?

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post #132 of 169 Old 08-19-2019, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by mpk1970 View Post
I'm on a Tekton Facebook group. This review came up with a lot of comments.
This "professional" reviewer named Ron did one review of the Tekton Impact Mondel (approx $2,000/pr) months ago, then came back and finished his review just a couple days ago...
Find it here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2w8jnkEfrww

Around the 3:30 mark things get weird.

I'm sum it up:

-Reviewers paid by Manufacturers it appears
-Bad/Neutral reviews probably mean manufacturers didnt pay reviewer or speakers really bad
-Very good reviews mean manufacturers paid the reviewer very well

For me, I will NOT put any credibility to a professional review.

My trusted source moving forward, will be from everyday guys like us who buy/review speakers and write the experience in forums like AVSforum. The more of us that can review a certain brand/model of speakers of our opinions the better we can be informed.

Do you always jump to such rash results from so little data?


I mean, you've watched one contre temps on youtube and leaped to declaring it a "death blow" to all professional reviews, and inferred all reviewers are paid by the manufacturer to review their product.


Uh...no.


The vast majority of reviewers are NOT paid by the manufacturer to review the product (I have known many reviewers, have had a view behind the scenes, and did some reviewing for a high end audio on-line mag myself). Certainly no one at Stereophile, for instance, is paid by the manufacturer to review. They are very strict on such standards.


Now, it is the case reviewers tend to get the equipment they review at a great discount IF they want to buy it. But the only reason they would WANT to own the equipment in the first place is if they thought highly of it! Hence the positive review for a speaker/piece of gear the reviewer ends up buying.


One other motivation one could have for a "fake" rave review would be the reviewer would buy the item to flip it, sell it at a profit. But this is highly frowned upon among reviewers (even though some have done it), and it's why many mags have "non-flipping" policies in place that if you buy a piece of gear you can't just turn around and re-sell it (supposed to keep it for some reasonable or decreed amount of time).


Another issue is review magazines accepting advertising from the manufacturers they review. Well, what do you expect? If a manufacturer gets a good review they will likely want to capitalize on it by advertising in that magazine. But this doesn't mean that the whole thing is some coordinated shake down of audiophiles by the magazines. That would entail the compromised integrity of every reviewer, where the word comes down from the editor/publisher "look, you need to give this product a rave review because we want their advertising." Now, it's not that it has never happened. But as a rule, this just doesn't describe the process that I've been privy to. Reviewers often conscript their own gear after having been impressed and intrigued by encountering it elsewhere (e.g. shop or show or wherever), or by good notices from other reviewers/audiophiles. They tend to be motivated by "being audiophiles" and geeking out about cool gear and sound. In other cases they are essentially assigned gear to review. But, again, having been behind the scenes with reviewers, I've yet to see an editor tell his writer how to review the piece/what the outcome has to be.


There ARE discussions that arise when a reviewer finds a piece of gear to be very unsatisfactory or poor. A discussion can be had about whether to continue with the review depending on the situation - e.g. if the manufacturer may be altering the gear soon, or if a deeply negative review could sink the prospects of a very new company...maybe best to give the company time to get it's act together before sinking it. Or if publishing negative reviews is not how they see their remit - e.g. a magazine may not want to bother telling people about gear that sucks, but want to reserve their valuable time and space to getting the word out about gear that is great, separating the wheat from the chaff. That kind of thing.


But there isn't some necessarily all-encompassing nefarious plot where reviewers are all compromised of their integrity.


Now, there are some other reasons one could have for not "trusting" reviewers. We may not find that their subjective methods are very reliable in general, or transferable to our personal experience in particular. I personally find I weed out what to me are less informative reviews (and reviewers) than others. For instance, I've found some reviews to be very perceptive in describing the sound of gear I know well. Other times, I am dubious of the inferences made (e.g. about AC cables, tweaks etc)

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post #133 of 169 Old 08-21-2019, 09:23 PM
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How about this one? Do you guys agree/disagree with points made here? It's a review of the Tekton Pendragons - no mention of the prior controversy here.

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post #134 of 169 Old 08-22-2019, 04:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
How about this one? Do you guys agree/disagree with points made here? It's a review of the Tekton Pendragons - no mention of the prior controversy here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDe03qevYiM
This reviewer calls it a "line array system" and attributes high efficiency to that. That's when I'd personally stop watching in order to avoid having to hear the pseudoscience that led this person accept the sensitivity spec from Tekton without question (Tekton track record on sensitivity is very poor, see Stereophile's Tekton reviews for reference).

Then he goes on to say that the 3-tweeter array is like a line array AND a coaxial driver even though the outer tweeters are restricted to midrange frequencies. Huh???

The woofer reminds him of stacked Advents which were the "Best garage speakers!" - Uh, goody? Are you shopping for pricey tower speaker for your garage?

"The two 10" woofers do a lot of work" - glad they are not LAZY woofers!

"Extremely fast woofers" - Faster than a speeding bullet? What's the top speed?

"Remind me of vintage JBL speakers" - It would be better if they reminded you of modern JBLs but whatever.

"The bass is just very, very reminiscent of JBL speakers I love" - Really? I thought bass response was largely room-dependent



It's subjective reviewing (I have no problem with that, that's what I do)... but with a spoonful of nonsense as a chaser.

Let me ask a different question: What do you think you are obligated to say in a review if you agree to do a Tekton review?

Last thought... gotta hope the speakers were positioned that way for the sake of the video.

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post #135 of 169 Old 08-22-2019, 06:42 AM
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This reviewer calls it a "line array system" and attributes high efficiency to that. That's when I'd personally stop watching in order to avoid having to hear the pseudoscience that led this person accept the sensitivity spec from Tekton without question (Tekton track record on sensitivity is very poor, see Stereophile's Tekton reviews for reference).

Then he does on to say that the 3-tweeter array is like a line array AND a coaxial driver even though the outer tweeters are restricted to midrange frequencies. Huh???
I am with you there!

The first thing a reviewer needs is the technical competance of correctly identifying what the design is right at the start. Looking at the Tektons, they use three dimple domes and two modified cone Eminence PA woofers. One dome is the "tweeter" and the other domes cross over lower (crossover frequency not verified) then those lower tweeter domes crossover lower to two 10" woofers (crossover frequency not verified) That design has been around since 1983 and was first done by Joseph D'Appolito as the "D'Appolito POINT SOURCE Array". It attempts to mimic a point source coaxial without the doppler distortion that coaxials naturally have with the treble being moduated by the mid/woofer cone.

The first rule of that design is you are limited in effiecency or sensitivity by the single tweeter--you can't go higher than the single tweeter. The second rule is, to get it "perfect" is the crossover point can't be any higher than a 1/4 octave from the center to center distance of the single or paired drivers. Since this is impossible with 1 inch dome tweetrs when mating to two 10 inch woofers--you then make sure it is vertical (NOT horizontal) and push the center to center distance to one octave. Yes, it is a compromise but the issues with beaming/cancellation etc. really don't show up much when in vertical orientatation. You do get lobes but not too bad and when in vertical orientation, unless you listen while bouncing on a pogo stick--you should be OK. Now look at the two Eminence tens--do a rough calculation of say 16 inches as center to center distance between them (roughly) that means the wavelength at the crossover point must be 4 inches (1/4 octave) to be "perfect" or 16 inches if you wish to push it. That would be a crossover point of 850 Hz to the dual 1" dome tweeters as "mids".

I could look up those dimple tweeters to get their specs, but I'm willing to bet their Fs or resonant frequency is not 425 Hz so they could easily operate at 850Hz and up. Maybe they do, if so...those dimple tweeters have been modified to drive their resonant frequency lower and maybe Tekton uses an 18 or 24dB per octave crossover to prevent destroying them. Easy to check that, look at the manufacturer specifications and it will be listed. Check the impedance charts and so on and you'll see the crossover points. Done! What? Those are not listed? Uhhh.... hmmm. Well, then my quick look at them is over--why should I spend time trying to figure out something that the manufacturer does not list?

Personally, if I was going to build that design, the "WMTMW" D'Appolito, I would use at least 2" dome mids, maybe even 3" dome mids in an attempt to cross them lower at around 800 Hz because the center to center distance becomes longer. You get any driver near it's Fs or resonant frequency, the impedeance skyrockets which makes any form of accurate passive crossover network close to impossible.

Backt o the reveiwer, he babbles about "line arrays" and leaves out the important part--a line array only drops off at 3dB with distance if it is an infinite line array. Once the line has a length, it will do that lower drop off with distance only up to 2 to 4 times the distance compared to the height of the array. If the array is 6 feet, the distance nearfield is around 12 feet (very little SPL difference from 1 inch to 12 feet) then a 3dB drop from 12 feet to 24 feet where it reverts to point source or a typical drop of 6dB per doubling of distance (this assumes you are outside hanging up in the air) Since the Tekton is a D'Appolito point source, there is no "line" so all his jibber-jabber about line arrays are useless information and throws the red flag instantly that he does not understand line arrays, D'Appolito point source arrays or what the word "infinite" means.

The bogues sensitivity claims--very obvious that the dimple tweeters are not 96dB of sensitivity--maybe if they were 2 ohms they would have a chance at 2.83V since they would draw 4 watts--that might work. They might do that if they are 4 ohms so it pulls 2 watts to gain 3dB and just roll down -3dB when operating compared to the rest of the speaker. That does work, just call it a "soft" or "rolled off treble" ... or go old school and call it "British sound" with rolled off highs.

The Eminance 10's don't do deep bass, they are professional drivers and there is no demand for tens to do deep bass--the bass bins or subs do that so they are used as upper bass/midrange drivers. To allow them to do deeper bass is a cone swap, use a thicker/heavier cone with a lower resonant frequency and if you can, increase the Xmax by using a longer voice coil, larger spyder and a longer stroke surround. This will kill off efficiency of course, but that is fine because you do have two of them. Eminence will help you make custom drivers, many people use them be it Yamaha, JBL or Denovo Audio (DIY Soundgroup)

My issue with Tekton is lack of meaningful specifications--20 Hz to 20 KHz without a deviation spec is meaningless--I can spec a 2 inch cone driver at 20 Hz to 50 KHz and technically/legally it would do that--might be 80dB down at 50 KHz but it does something (legally at least) In reality, having a spec like that would be akin to the chip amps with 13 V 2 amp wall wart power supplies claiming 700 WATTS! I've seen boomboxes that claimed over 1,000 watts (PMPO) so sometimes bogus specs are worse than no specifications at all.

In theory, Tekton could design their speakers correctly--the D'Appolito is open source and has been around for over 35 years. Line source speakers have been around since the 50's when Shure called them "column" speakers but it took until the 90's with L'Audio getting the treble response correct(ish) and now they are common in pro sound. The problems with them are outweighed by their benefit of being modular, you can put the sound where you want it and EQ/phase them the best way possivle to limit lobing/beaming and destructive interference. Delays, DSP, PEQ and the entire alphabet soup are thrown at them to get proper operation--if you hold your mouth right. They are not the perfect design by any means but the best tool for the job.

Back to Tekton, they could technically build higher efficiency speakers with mutliples of dome tweeters--technically they could. Considering the lack of meaningful specifications, the overstating of frequency response and sensitivity--I don't feel positive about them from the start. Looking at the "reviews" with massive errors in terminology, a bunch of useless audiophile jargon and pay to play kickbacks to the reviewers--this causes me to default to demanding full and complete specs, full testing and verification of their performance both on/off axis and the specific testing to check what distortion levels those 1 inch dome tweeters produce and at what frequencies. At this point, I see a bunch of marketing, jargon and outright BS surrounding their speakers which is disheartening. Bose used to do that back in the 70's/80's with the 901--as Consumer Reports about going to the supreme court. A great way to make money but as far as moving speaker technology forward, I would not bet on Tekton stock!

Still, it is an interesting design but if I was a betting man--I'd bet that it does not follow D'Appolito specs for WMTMW alignments and the attempt with circular "mid" dome tweeters around a center dome. Sometimes a good idea gets buried in the reality of trying to make something work properly. I've been there! Sometimes you must make compromises with the design as sound energy has rules that can't be broken. I'll just go with if the design was a break trhough, if it was me I'd be using mutliple charts/graphs, testing results and information to explain the break trhough and I would invite testing/certification across the board as verification of a brilliant design. I don't see that happening, quite the opposite so I'll pass until the tech is what moves it--not the marketing and bogus reviews.

My one word summation of Tekton? Sketchy!
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post #136 of 169 Old 08-22-2019, 07:19 AM
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Also, I wouldn't put much stock in the opinion of a guy with full-length bangs.
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post #137 of 169 Old 08-22-2019, 08:22 AM
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1. Reviewers could do themselves a favor by stating reviews are paid at the outset. We know it, but if we're to trust the reviewer's opinion...be totally honest.

2. While I've not heard any Tekton designs, it seems the whole lineup could be trimmed down to lessen overlap/confusion which would also allow for concentration on design upgrades.
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post #138 of 169 Old 08-22-2019, 03:45 PM
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I agree there are sketchy things surrounding the design and marketing of these speakers. However, everyone who has heard them seems to love them. if they really were severely compromised and did not sound good, we would be seeing it in the forums from those who have heard them.
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post #139 of 169 Old 08-22-2019, 06:28 PM
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I agree there are sketchy things surrounding the design and marketing of these speakers. However, everyone who has heard them seems to love them. if they really were severely compromised and did not sound good, we would be seeing it in the forums from those who have heard them.
I've seen at least a handful of ambivalent first-hand listening evaluations of a couple Tekton speakers over the last couple years. Mostly people who've heard a fair number of speakers in their lives. So it's not all reverence.

What I have noticed is the brand tends to garner the positive attention of those audiophiles who are more of the subjectivist type, those who might contend that, "upscale" cables, wires, equipment racks, etc., are important contributors to sound quality. Tekton has received a fair amount of positive review coverage from the types of publications (6moons, etc.) and reviewers (Guttenberg), which have a stronger following among these subjectivist types. Plus, since Tekton tends to the more efficient side of the speaker world, and speakers like that just aren't as familiar to the subjective crowd. So they stand out more as a novel speaker darling among that crowd.

Just some observational conjecture on my part anyway.
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post #140 of 169 Old 08-23-2019, 08:47 AM
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Since this review and topic has become a object of mild obsessive fascination for me, I thought I would browse the YouTube comments for that latest video installment in this saga.

What I came up with:

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post #141 of 169 Old 08-23-2019, 12:39 PM
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I used to watch JoeNTell. Then he started getting all the stuff sent to him from speaker companies and his videos changed once that started happening.
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post #142 of 169 Old 08-23-2019, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Since this review and topic has become a object of mild obsessive fascination for me, I thought I would browse the YouTube comments for that latest video installment in this saga.

What I came up with:

Haven't others been doing this for years? I'm not sure if there was compensation, but these dedicated room coverage videos are on YouTube.

In this case, they're being paid for a service, as sort-of-celebrities. Does it cross a line? I'm not sure.
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post #143 of 169 Old 08-23-2019, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
Haven't others been doing this for years? I'm not sure if there was compensation, but these dedicated room coverage videos are on YouTube.

In this case, they're being paid for a service, as sort-of-celebrities. Does it cross a line? I'm not sure.

I guess it never occurred to me that folks are asking for money ahead of the show to produce and distribute marketing video, that's concurrent to "covering" the show with "unpaid" content.

As a professional photographer and videographer, it never even occurred to me to cross that line. But maybe there's no line to cross? I actually have no idea, in the end it's what the viewers think is credible that matters, whether it's sponsored "influencing" with full disclosure or fierce independents.

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post #144 of 169 Old 08-23-2019, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
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@imagic the **** show continues. That New Day guy has lost so much credibility. Never even heard of him before the Tekton debacle so I'm not losing sleep.

Set up #1 Speakers LR: Tekton Enzo XL ; Center: Tekton Pendragon Subs (2) 2019 JTR 118HTs
Set up #2 : QA3020i LR, Center: Emotiva C1 Subs (2) HSU VTF2 MK5,
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post #145 of 169 Old 08-23-2019, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
How about this one? Do you guys agree/disagree with points made here? It's a review of the Tekton Pendragons - no mention of the prior controversy here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDe03qevYiM
This is just awful. As some of the other posts pointed out he's not very well informed on speaker design.

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post #146 of 169 Old 09-11-2019, 12:41 AM
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I used to watch JoeNTell. Then he started getting all the stuff sent to him from speaker companies and his videos changed once that started happening.
I don't typically like to post in forums because I tend to find I spend too much time in there, but I'll came across this post.

In what way did my videos change? Because I have more stuff to review? I'll tell you, as a reviewer, we get it from all sides. Folks like you who think that our reviews have "changed" and also from manufacturers who don't like the reviews. I go out of my way to rank speakers on my speaker leaderboard. What that means is that I have to actually rank speakers instead of saying they're all great. At RMAF, I got an earful from someone who does PR for a manufacturer of speakers because although my review was 95% positive, they didn't like where I placed their speaker on the leaderboard. I got paid nothing. I told them to take their speakers back. I told him the company needs to shut the f*** up because I owe them nothing. We're still cool, but he understands this is a different game. Youtube is not a magazine or online publication. The game is different, at least with me.

So here's the deal. The video I made took nearly 20 hours to make. The ad revenue is laughable. No YouTube hifi reviewer is getting rich doing this. I could make more working at McDonalds. This video has 10's of thousands of views, and about 1/10th of the people who have viewed it have clicked on the website to learn more about the product. Have they sold any due to that? Probably. I don't even get any affiliate links from this particular product. Yet here they are complaining that they didn't like the review. Psssh.

These companies need to understand that they benefit way more than the people reviewing the products. We get chump change compared to them. I want the viewers to understand that too. So when we're trying to figure out ways to make a living doing this (this is my full-time job and I have a wife and two kids) then I don't appreciate all the negativity from outsiders. I need to make a living too. I'm providing something of value to viewers and companies, yet it seems we get the least. If I'm working to change that for myself, then I think it's the right thing. If you don't think so and believe we should work for free, then we will agree to disagree. it's almost 1am right now and I just had my coffee. I will probably be editing video till 6am.

I've been very clear with my audience. I've done a survey and they think I deserve to make a decent living based on what I provide in return. The problem is that most of us are one-man-shows. There is no advertising department and editorial. We're the same person. I think I've figured out something that will work for the audience, companies and myself. It's called be extremely open and obvious. If something is a paid ad, just say so. If it isn't say so. That's it. Simple.
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post #147 of 169 Old 09-11-2019, 01:44 AM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
I guess it never occurred to me that folks are asking for money ahead of the show to produce and distribute marketing video, that's concurrent to "covering" the show with "unpaid" content.

As a professional photographer and videographer, it never even occurred to me to cross that line. But maybe there's no line to cross? I actually have no idea, in the end it's what the viewers think is credible that matters, whether it's sponsored "influencing" with full disclosure or fierce independents.
Be warned, this is kind of long. I just want to get it all out there so I don't spend too much more time. I'll say this here and hopefully, it will be the end. I'm tired of explaining this. This is kind of an open-letter addressed to Mark, but more for the general public to see.


Hey Mark, good seeing you at RMAF. Sorry, I didn't have time to say hi, but it looked like you were leaving. I think you were in the room as I was filming some b-roll for a video for one of the companies.

Do you think it's crossing the line to get paid to make product videos for these companies? I don't. Videography and reviews are totally different.

We know some of the same people. I have nothing to hide on my end. I'm as open as it gets, but it goes both ways. I'm open and honest as long as others are open and honest with me. So if this is supposed to be an open discussion, then it should be open.

I'll say it here for the world to see. I AM TOTALLY BIASED! But who isn't? My problem is when people trick themselves into thinking they aren't. I like certain brands. I like certain sound signatures. I like some people in this industry more than others. And guess what? I've never claimed to be unbiased. That's why I do measurements. All I can do is be forthcoming about my possible biases so people can calibrate themselves to me.

Side note: I don't know if you've experienced this, but I find that if I buy a product instead of getting a review unit, I am more likely to be willing to "hype it up." I'm always cautious if I get a review unit because I didn't pay for it, and I am MORE RESERVED about the positive aspects than I might be if I had bought it outright. So in a way, the company would benefit more if I buy the product rather than them give me a review unit.

I don't even like the term reviewer. I'm not a reviewer. I'm more of a maven. If I hate a product, I will not spend a ton of hours to make a video to bash it. I would rather not shine ANY light on it. Why should I? It hurts the company, it hurts my relationship with the company, and believe it or not, people who watch the review might still buy it. That's the worst part. I made a video about a product I don't like and someone buys it because of the video. It happens more than people might think. I have the data to prove it. But if there's a product that I think more people should know about, then I want people to know about it. That's it. If something truly sucks, I'll send it back. That just happened today. I got a product in for review, I hated it and told the company. They emailed a return label and now they want to send me a different product to review. It's not that hard. They appreciate honesty also. They probably know this product sucks that's why they didn't even push back. LOL.

So Mark, if I live stream as much of the show as possible and I post that for free on my channel, that's a service to those who couldn't be there and everyone's happy. No complaints. I think you did a live stream of the Polk room also. I think you went to their event a while back too if I'm not mistaken. I saw you in a video someone posted where they invited media to go to their offices to see the new Legend series. Ok, cool. No issue. I'm sure some people would twist that to make it seem like it is, but I don't think so.

Ok, here's the main question. What if a company wants me to lug around my cinema camera and 100lbs worth of gear, take it on the plane with me from CA to CO, and film something for them to use on for their marketing materials. I will spend many hours editing the videos I create. Should I get paid for that? Because I have a YouTube channel with 32k subscribers, should I NOT be able to offer videography services? I have expensive camera gear and lots of experience using it. It's a potential source of income for me. What are the potential issues? I just don't get it. Because I'm building a business relationship with that company and people might think that creates bias? It does! It totally does. Just the same way someone who is kind influences us. We all like to deal with people we like. BUT, if you have a good relationship with a company and the people within it, they should understand that it's a two-way street. They should also understand that we have a commitment to uphold the trust of our viewers. They should understand that an honest review is required for us to retain our audience. After all, with no audience, we are of no use to them with regards to influence. So videography services are for sale, but the audience's trust is not. It doesn't even make business sense to sell our audience's trust for a single business transaction or multiple transactions with one company. It makes more sense to grow the trust, grow our following and create more demand from MANY companies. In order for that to happen, we have to have to maintain integrity for the long run.

I caught up with someone at Polk at the airport on my way back from RMAF. We talked at the bar. I told him I've owned many Polk speakers and they were always too bright for my taste. I loved the L800's at RMAF though. I made a video for Polk during RMAF for their marketing materials. Does that change my previous opinion on the old Polk speakers I've had or my current opinion of the L800's? Nope. Was he thrilled that I didn't like the old Polk speaker line? Probably not. But it's the truth and he respected it.

I'll say this. I didn't start my channel to review hi-fi. I started to review things I have and things that interest me. It just so happened I've been into hi-fi for over 25 years and it seems this industry needs a bit of help attracting the younger generation. So I started making more audio videos and started getting emails from companies for me to review their products. My channel is called Joe N Tell, not Joe N Tell Audio. I don't need to only review audio gear. I'm here because I enjoy it. I'm sure a smartphone or camera review might get more views.

I plan on posting the videos I create for these companies on my channel with full disclosure that they were paid and contains product placement and is 100% an advertisement. The companies didn't ask for that. I want to because I am proud of the way the videos came out. That's it.

Sorry to talk your ear off, but I wanted to be clear and open. I want this industry to grow and I think we need to all lift each other up in order for that to happen. I see too many people trying to cut each other down in this industry. What's that all about? We should build each other up! I need to make a living too. I'm not working for free. I hope to see more hi-fi enthusiasts support this behavior. I like to see good companies succeed. I like it when great products get the fanfare they deserve. As far as I'm concerned, a big problem with this industry is the lack of growth, especially with the younger demographic. So basically, a marketing issue. That's topic for another discussion though.

Joe
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post #148 of 169 Old 09-11-2019, 02:01 AM
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Be warned, this is kind of long. I just want to get it all out there so I don't spend too much more time. I'll say this here and hopefully, it will be the end. I'm tired of explaining this. This is kind of an open-letter addressed to Mark, but more for the general public to see.

----

- Hey Mark, good seeing you at RMAF. Sorry, I didn't have time to say hi, but it looked like you were leaving. I think you were in the room as I was filming some b-roll for a video for one of the companies.

= Side note: I don't know if you've experienced this, but I find that if I buy a product instead of getting a review unit, I am more likely to be willing to "hype it up."

- I don't even like the term reviewer. I'm not a reviewer. I'm more of a maven. If I hate a product, I will not spend a ton of hours to make a video to bash it. I would rather not shine ANY light on it.

- So Mark, if I live stream as much of the show as possible and I post that for free on my channel, that's a service to those who couldn't be there and everyone's happy. No complaints. I think you did a live stream of the Polk room also. I think you went to their event a while back too if I'm not mistaken. I saw you in a video someone posted where they invited media to go to their offices to see the new Legend series. Ok, cool. No issue. I'm sure some people would twist that to make it seem like it is, but I don't think so.

- They should also understand that we have a commitment to uphold the trust of our viewers. They should understand that an honest review is required for us to retain our audience. After all, with no audience, we are of no use to them with regards to influence. So videography services are for sale, but the audience's trust is not.

Joe
Hi Joe, good to see you there. We ignored each other like working pros! Hope the show went well for you.


Yes I'm more enthused about stuff I buy for myself and tend to "hype" it more... but these days that's usually something other than audio gear (drone/scooter/new PC).

I get "punished" for writing long, technical reviews. I get plenty of "thank you" when I post links to audio gear that's on sale and include a "Buy Now" button. So I'm leaving the technical objective reviewing to folks who are dedicated to it. I moved into an apartment that effectively ends my ability to review systems the way I used to (think 7.2.4 with full-size towers in the mix)

I appreciate the post and would like very much to focus on one comment (bolded): Yes, press goes to (embargoed) press events that they are invited to! Very helpful to have that familiarity before the official unveiling. I do the same for TVs.

Anyhow, my point (which you clearly agree with) was that there is no line if your audience does not think there is a line. That's about it. I agree!

When it comes to show coverage, I tell everyone the truth: I am a gonzo journalist. So of course I'm "there" and actively participating. And yes I'm biased, that's why I'm vocally critical of BS when I see it, like power cords that cost as much as cars.

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Last edited by imagic; 09-11-2019 at 02:32 AM.
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post #149 of 169 Old 09-11-2019, 02:18 AM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Hi Joe, good to see you there. We ignored each other like working pros! Hope the show went well for you.


Yes I'm more enthused about stuff I buy for myself and tend to "hype" it more... but these days that's usually something other than audio gear (drone/scooter/new PC).

I get "punished" for writing long, technical reviews. I get plenty of "thank you" when I post links to audio gear that's on sale and include a "Buy Now" button. So I'm leaving the technical objective reviewing to folks who are dedicated to it. I moved into an apartment that effectively ends my ability to review systems the way I used to (think 7.2.4 with full-size towers in the mix)

I appreciate the post and would like very much to focus on one comment (bolded): Yes, press goes to (embargoed) press events that they are invited to! Very helpful to have that familiarity before the official unveiling. I do the same for TVs.

Anyhow, my point (which you clearly agree with) was that there is no line if your audience does not think there is a line. That's about it. I agree!

When it comes to show coverage, I tell everyone the truth: I am a gonzo journalist. So of course I'm "there" and actively participating. And yes I'm biased, that's why I'm vocally critical of BS when I see it, like power cords that cost as much as cars.
LOL, "ignored each other like working pros."

It wasn't even that. I was just busting my *** trying to get a million things done. I also was in charge of the $1000 budget room. They also had me do 2 seminars. I didn't eat lunch any of those days. I had a croissant in my camera bag I had forgotten to eat.

I would've gone to that press event had I been invited too! My point is, "people" will twist that around as if there's some conspiracy. LMAO! I bet if people understood the work behind it and the reward ratio, they wouldn't trade their job for ours. :-)

I just posted a link to this thread on my YouTube community page. I want my audience to see this discussion.

You're right about the line being determined by my audience. After all, it's their eyeballs that companies are seeking. They're not really mine to give away without permission. So I always ask them and consult with them. I've done surveys asking if they're ok with me doing sponsored stuff. Resounding "Yes, you deserve it! Keep making great content."
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post #150 of 169 Old 09-11-2019, 04:29 AM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Hi Joe, good to see you there. We ignored each other like working pros! Hope the show went well for you.


Yes I'm more enthused about stuff I buy for myself and tend to "hype" it more... but these days that's usually something other than audio gear (drone/scooter/new PC).

I get "punished" for writing long, technical reviews. I get plenty of "thank you" when I post links to audio gear that's on sale and include a "Buy Now" button. So I'm leaving the technical objective reviewing to folks who are dedicated to it. I moved into an apartment that effectively ends my ability to review systems the way I used to (think 7.2.4 with full-size towers in the mix)

I appreciate the post and would like very much to focus on one comment (bolded): Yes, press goes to (embargoed) press events that they are invited to! Very helpful to have that familiarity before the official unveiling. I do the same for TVs.

Anyhow, my point (which you clearly agree with) was that there is no line if your audience does not think there is a line. That's about it. I agree!

When it comes to show coverage, I tell everyone the truth: I am a gonzo journalist. So of course I'm "there" and actively participating. And yes I'm biased, that's why I'm vocally critical of BS when I see it, like power cords that cost as much as cars.
I'm not sure Joentell understands why he has (or had) so many viewers.

You see, many folk don't trust the usual reviewers from Stereophile. They think they have been bought by advertisiers.

So they put more faith in 'mavens' on YouTube. Funky down with it types like yourself and Zeos and Darko.

Like you're on their side.

It turns out you are no more on their side than Kim Kardashian is on the side of those who subscribe to her sponsored life.

You are on the take.

If you can't comprehend how taking money from a company to make a video may possibly affect your ability to review their products impartially you need to take a quick ethics course.

You can of course take as much payola as you like. But you should state that fact up front before every video.

You may be worried that if you do that people will stop watching.

And that's the point.
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