Tell you what once upon a time...say 15 years ago, when you got a good review for say...uhem I dunno...a guitar amp in a rag, you had guranteed sales. These days, you know what good reviews result in? Folks on guitar forums complaining about the biased reviews in mags.
In that case the rags have lost their authority.
Would you say that is their own fault or has the open forum given rise to a "we know better" mentality, maybe just for the sake of it?
I must confess that I no longer trust a lot of reviews, the 4 stars / 5 stars given in any review seems biased. I guess if they gave the product 2 stars there would be ructions with the manufacturer.
One time working for a manufaturer in an electronics industry, one mag would always give us three stars and be very down on the gear. Some total bozo kit got 5 stars, and was piss poor. Our kit was well made, reliable, class leader, but not with this reviewer. This was despite taking regular full page ads in his mag, sometimes that doesn't get you a good score, but when you don't do well in the reviews, you tend to think something is afoot.
One thing that does get my goat is the letters page. How many rags are filled with; I haven't played guitar for years but bought your mag and am now playing again. It is the best read ever, fantastic job guys! Bob, Essex.
Congratulations Bob, that's our star letter, we are sending you a fuzz pedal and a magazine pen.
Play the blues guitar with your soul, but play the fretless guitar with your spirit.
Author of the book "Fretless Guitar The Definitive Guide" fretlessguitar.co.uk