Magazine article Guitar Player

Soundhole the Credibility Conundrum

Magazine article Guitar Player

Soundhole the Credibility Conundrum

Article excerpt

GP readers always know what time it is. I mean, you cats bust us on every boo-boo we publish--including the most arcane factoids. We have an almost 35-year heritage of quality journalism to uphold, of course. But even if we didn't, this staff would have to stay pretty darn alert to deliver the credible information our readers demand.

In this arena of trust, product reviews have always been the make-or-break challenge. And, to be honest, the perception of GP's reviews as fair, comprehensive, and truthful isn't exactly an obvious, indisputable fact. Some readers believe we're "owned" by gear manufacturers. As hurtful as that is to a staff that prides itself on unbiased reporting, we have to accept that a percentage of the GP community will never fully trust us. On the other hand, there are scores of guitar lovers--including stars, non-pros, manufacturers, and publicists--who consider GP Bench Tests the "only" trustworthy evaluations of the products they're interested in. What's the absolute truth? Like most things that spring from the human heart and mind, the reality here isn't a simple, black-and-white detail of fact.

After all, every reviewer--whether he or she is assessing a guitar, a car, a movie, a novel, etc.--is beholden to the wonders of subjectivity. When a GP editor tests a piece of gear, his or her personal likes and dislikes cannot be eliminated from the testing process. To help combat human nature, we invite the entire staff to bash about on the gear in question (and add their opinions to the evaluation), and we have three editors read the review before it goes to press. …

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