There’s no shortage of opinions in the world -- opinions about everything. And with the Internet literally everywhere, there’s no shortage of platforms through which to disseminate them. Lately, I’ve read online debates on a number of subjects related to high-end audio publishing, and I’d like to put in my own two cents, based on my experience in the biz.
Confirmed: Long-term loans affect reviewer recommendations. How can they not? If a reviewer has a component on long-term loan, then he or she obviously likes the component. You could argue that the fact that the reviewer likes it enough to use it is itself a kind of endorsement. But does the reviewer like it enough to buy it outright, with her or his own money? Is accepting the free use of a product proof that the reviewer would choose that same product if it had to be paid for? Not to me, but we’ll never know. That oft-used argument against living together before marriage applies here: Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? I’ve said in the past that long-term loans are advertisements for the manufacturer, not necessarily endorsements by the reviewer.
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