Originally Posted by a_recording
All I am trying to do is to get people to recognise a potential problem and come up with solutions to address it. In order to do that the community as a whole has to talk about it and to explore all possibilities.
This is why I was upset that my original comments were moderated. People have said that maybe I could have started the discussion, and then started the crowdfunding, and then maybe everything would have looked better. But like so much in life I didn't plan this. I thought "gee crowdfunding might be a good idea!" I tried it and then thought, "gee, maybe Head Fi should be talking about this because it could work for other reviewers!"
Maybe it could work for other legitimate reviewers, but consider that it could also be exploited or adopted by people who suddenly claim to be reviewers, and then begin soliciting the board for contributions to review the next hot product so they don't have to buy it. So not only are they spamming the board, they're also posing as legit reviewers, so there is that concern as well. Head Fi is a source of news & reviews, but it's also a forum / community (arguably their greatest asset) so when something pops up that could have some unintended negative implications on the community, even if that is something that could have some potential benefits, the mods need to consider it and react accordingly. I'm guessing that is what happened here, and you may have taken it personally when in fact, it wasn't. Also I'm not sure if this would have played out differently if you weren't actively engaged in a crowd-funding review effort, but that could have also played a role in their decision to "nip it in the bud" so to speak.
One other thing I think you should consider, on the topic that you brought up about a lot of reviewers only doing positive reviews (your claim being that it was they have either bias or incentive due to their relationships w/ manufacturers). There was an episode of the PBS show Frontline that looked at advertising and marketing, where they talked to the head of one of the big NYC advertising firms - I think it was Saatchi & Saatchi (think modern Mad Men). This was close to a decade ago, but he was talking about how we have reached a point where for the most part "everything works nowadays". In the old days of advertising, they frequently used "-er" words to market products, "Fresher, brighter, cleaner, BETTER!" But now, pretty much everything works well enough and is of a minimum useful quality standard. I often think of that when it comes to headphones, and reviews. How many truly BAD headphones are there out there? OK, yes, I know there are some bad ones, but those aren't the ones getting reviewed by Tyll or Headfonia. They're looking at the stuff that is at the higher-end of the market, generally made by longstanding reputable companies who really know audio and know what they're doing. These companies aren't likely to put an outright BAD product into the market. So what is a reviewer to do when products aren't necessarily bad, so much as they are DIFFERENT? (or perhaps expensive compared to other cheaper options, but again that doesn't mean they're bad)
They can comment on these differences or specifics while still being honest that the product is for the most part good. Sometimes you see them point out some thing that is bad, like a design flaw or particular sonic weakness, but it's just one aspect of an overall picture. If they want, they can give a subjective opinion about if THEY liked it or not, but the thing is to keep in mind that all reviews are subjective in this way. Regardless, there is still no true way to know if bias exists (whether there is a relationship between reviewer & manufacturer or not), OR for that matter if you will like a product that is positively reviewed or not. Even your idea of a crowdfunded review is not immune to any forms of bias, and my guess is if you're crowdfunding to purchase higher-end gear, what are the chances those products will really earn negative reviews?
Anyway, I'm glad to see that you have returned and I hope you continue looking for ways to improve reviews & the community.