I don't have a settled opinion about this yet but since you mention it, those numbers don't provide overwhelming support for your conclusion: at least 43% of the products are your sponsors'. Maybe that's unavoidable in the buying guide, but I've experienced the effect it has on moderation and it's evident on the front page. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Claritas, as I said in my previous post: for that, or for any other reason, you can choose to completely disregard my reviews. Like anyone else who posts them, I know there are people who trust me, and those who don't.
Regarding the homepage, I'm doing a cursory look at it now, and this is what I see featured:
- OPPO HA-1 (OPPO is a sponsor)
- Westerville, Ohio Meet Covergae
- Rock It Sounds R-50M (I don't believe they are a sponsor)
- HiFiMAN HE-560 images by noluckboi (HiFiMAN is a sponsor, noluckboi posted those images and, to the best of my knowledge, he is not affiliated with HiFiMAN)
- Grado PS1000 and PS1000e (not a sponsor)
- HDtracks (HDtracks is a sponsor)
- Grado "e series" loaner program: Grado is not a sponsor, TTVJ (conducting the loaner program) is
- V-Sonic VSD3S vs Havi B3 Pro 1 (I don't believe either are sponsors)
- Astrotec AX-35 (I don't believe they are a sponsor)
- Schiit Happeend (Schiit is a sponsor, but that one is not specifically about their products, but Jason's online book)
- MHDT Labs Stockholm v2 (I don't believe they are a sponsor)
- Meridian Prime (not a sponsor)
- Audiofly AF180 (not a sponsor)
- Singapore Meet coverage
- HiFiMAN HE-400i (HiFiMAN is a sponsor)
- NuForce Primo 8 (NuForce is a sponsor)
- Chicago Meet coverage
- Custom Art Music One (I do not believe they are a sponsor)
- OPPO PM-1 (OPPO is a sponsor)
Again, if it bothers you that the gift guide covers the gear of both sponsors and non-sponsors, then don't read it--it will always be that way.
And if that homepage balance bothers you, then don't start your visits to Head-Fi on the homepage, go right to the forums. Here's a link: