So, Currawong has PM'ed me regarding my comment. Trust me, I don't want to be banned.
There's really two sides to this, though.
A. This manufacturer didn't just send out a review sample (which is fine, I mean, what else do you expect reviewers to do, right.) They specifically stated they would only do so if intent was to not write a negative review. This is way ethically wrong and in part why I flat out don't trust this industry. (i,e. subjectivity, trust your own ears anyway.)
B. And the real big problem. This person, this "reviewer," well, he had no real intention on writing a review in the first place. He just wanted the product - for free or discounted.
AND, this "reviewer" has wormed his way into writing for your favorite and friendly headphone sites.
Headphoneguru, Audio360, etc. There's a problem when "trusted" review sites, sources, etc, are gamed like this person has done/is doing.
Who is the "reviewer"?
Is it a secret? I mean who can be trusted in reality?
I'm pretty sure I know exactly who paradoxper is referring to, so it's not exactly a secret. Anyone who's spent some time reading around on Head-Fi should be able to figure it out.
Paradoxper, to my knowledge, there is no rule against calling out a reviewer.
Now, to hang up my moderator hat for a moment, and to act in my official capacity as one of the founders and editors at Audio360.org, I would be very interested in hearing what you have to say. If there is something untoward happening under my nose, then I would like to take corrective action immediately. Over at Audio360, we prize our ability to say what we want. That's why we don't accept any revenue of any kind, advertising our not, and self-fund the site instead. The banner ads that you see on the site are true endorsements that we give out, of our own volition, to promote gear that we like. We receive nothing in return for them. In fact, they go up without the manufacturers' knowledge (unless we specifically request that they furnish us with one because, frankly, I have better things to do with my time than design free banner ads for them).
And though we do accept loans of review units, simply because we're not moneybags that can afford to buy everything, they are certainly not free gifts that we just get to keep. That would be - for lack of a better word - just crazy!
Anywho, back to the point you brought up, I would very much like to know what you meant to say, as would several others here in this thread I imagine. If you don't feel comfortable discussing this in public for any reason, you can PM me. Or if you would like to keep this out of Head-Fi entirely, you can email me at email@example.com. In the meantime, Ima go grab my sledgehammer just in case I need to nail someone's balls to the wall.
Lachlanlikesathing, a youtube reviewer, sometimes crowdsources funds from his viewers to buy headphones for headphone reviews
I'm pretty sure that he was banned (from Head-Fi) for attempting to do exactly that. Jude (the admin of Head-Fi) didn't allow the idea of crowdsourced funding for review samples, Lachlan complained about it, and was then banned. That's not ethical IMO either—where do these reviewers get off on trying to collect money from their reading audience to acquire items? If they can't afford to use their own money, they shouldn't be asking other people for money.
Nope, never happened. At no time was Lachlan (a_recording) banned either during or after that. There was a vigorous debate of opposing viewpoints, but that was it.