I used to subscribe to stereo review (remember them?), now sound & vision. I loved that magazine. It presented some basic data along with a qualitative review for each featured review.
I found the reviews to be reasonably balanced: if there was a problem or limitation, they'd mention it. However, they'd almost always give it a positive spin (ie 'thd is higher than average, but you can't hear it').
As far as I can tell, the audiophile market has ceded almost completely to the audio/video market. High end audio equipment seemed to be a big deal in the 80's/90's and now, with 'flawless' digital, hdmi, etc, the transparently obvious snake oil of certain high end brands (monster cable), there is less of a place for 'golden ears' to detect the fine nuances between turntable cartridges, tube amps, much less high end cassette players (remember the nakamichi's??? :)).