Originally Posted by fzman
This seems like a compelling consideration, and seems like it really is correct. However, if you consider the facts-- it is really not true in the way that it is intended- as an appeal to "authority", so to speak.
1. we mostly have no idea who the internet pundit is-- and what their actual knowledge/experience/agenda really is.
2. said pundit has no responsibility incurred by giving "advice" on the net.
3. retailer is known, and has something at stake-- reputation. most businesses rely heavily on repeat business and word of mouth- if you screw people you forfeit both. any retailer that stands behind his products and offers a money-back return policy has more at stake, and is actually taking responsibility for his/her actions. the internet "expert" is simply typing words on a keyboard.
Researching online is only part of the data you should amass. Trying things for yourself is at least equally important.
1. When it comes to cable sellers, oftentimes we don't know what their actual knowledge/experience is either. They may spout facts, but there's no way of really knowing of those facts affect sound unless they're studied. And the cable seller is just spouting those facts to sell cables. Look at Virtual Dynamics and that thread with the kitty cat and the garden hose cable. VD pretty much flat out said that they don't know why what they do with their cables makes a difference, but that "it does".
3. The point about reputation is almost moot when it comes to audio equipment. Until it's found out that the seller is lying, their reputation remains. In many markets it happens quickly. A blender doesn't blend the way it's supposed to, a computer crashes or overheats, pencil lead is actual lead and toxic, etc. In audio it takes a lot longer for the truth to come out, provided a few things. You tell someone they can hear a difference, then they're happy. It doesn't have to actually make a difference, and if the buyer is convinced reputation remains or even grows. If the build quality is good (easy enough to do when charging so much for wire), and if the customer service is helpful (easy enough when selling on a small scale as audio often is), only research will really tarnish the reputation. I mean, look at the power cable market now. Even though so many people don't believe in it (and thus unsatisfied), the market remains and individual retailers do fine. But once word gets out about build quality (use VD as an example again)...
Is #2 a distinct point? I kind of lump it into #3 because the seller's responsibility is closely tied to reputation. If reputation isn't threatened, their only responsibility is to try to sell more cables.
Wow rsaavedra, I'm reading through those biases now. So far almost all of them apply to audiophiles. Especially bandwagon effect and expectation bias.