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Synchronicity works at all times. No sooner had my Living Voice Vox Olympian industry feature published than a reader advised me about a poster on the UK Hifi Wigwam forum. Murray Johnson had authoritatively identified the piece as an advertorial paid for by Lynn & Kevin Scott. Since he clearly knew something about this I did not, I inquired as to what amount had been paid and what account it had been wired into. I had some bills to pay. That's when he apologized.

Forums are filled with assumptions and barely checked 'facts'. I have neither the time nor inclination to canvas them all in an attempt to track 6moons misinformation. Those who insist on knowing things about us which we don't will continue to do so. Actually, we operate in a quite transparent and very basic fashion. Around 30 advertisers keep us solvent with their banner ads. This pays for the literally hundreds of manufacturers whose products we review every year but who never reciprocate with a dime. It pays for my show reports whose travel expenses I incur unless show management sees fit to comp a hotel room or reimburse my air fare. It also pays on behalf of our readership who enjoys our content free of charge (and those readers who don't enjoy it might simply stop reading).

Readers will disagree or agree with our review findings, like or dislike our approach or presentation, find us credible or incredible. It's all part of the publishing package and related discussions trouble me little. Exceptions are ill-informed assumptions presented as facts which purport to describe the business side of 6moons. For the record and those who care to be informed, we do not publish advertorials nor do manufacturers pay to get reviewed. That's been our policy for eight years and I have no plans of changing it.

We have simply been fortunate to be considered worthy enough of support by enough ad sponsors to furnish a livelihood for this full-time publisher. What's more, we've been incredibly fortunate to have attracted mature supporters who appreciate as obvious that their support does not buy opinion. In fact, more than one advertiser has repeatedly received highly critical reviews and continues both their financial and review loaner support. And, the plain fact is that for every ad sponsor who sees fit to support us so we can continue doing what we do, there are twenty other manufacturers who freeload without giving anything back.

Naturally, many makers are far too small or young to have any ad budget to speak of. We don't expect their support. We're in the news media and motivated by enthusiasm. This is all-inclusive. After some basic due diligence, we embrace newcomers and their products with the tools at our disposal - exposure and fair reportage. The negative element of freeloading enters when established manufacturers with a dozen reviews in our pages never see fit to reciprocate at all.

Without a trust fund or large savings, one cannot work for free. It's been my belief and practice to trust that if one puts out, things come back. The focus has—and continues to be—on putting out quality. The old garbage in/garbage out concept applies magnificently in reverse too. Like attracts like and all that Jazz. Obviously 6moons is a content provider. Our focus is on producing quality content that's presented in an entertaining and educational manner. For as long as we are blessed with a sufficiently large core group of industry professionals who understand the basic principle of give and take without bringing into it direct quid pro quo assumptions, this very elementary rhythm of life requires little monitoring or concern. In short, nobody's counting. The few support the many, the few trade places. This generates enough to keep us afloat. We can tolerate some abuse without more damage than eventually thinking that the management of certain firms consists of cheap opportunists.

Naturally, should the free-grazing population overwhelm the small supportive element, I might have to get busy soliciting ad support rather than focus as I do now on the artistic job elements - writing, listening, editing, layout-ing, photoshopping, networking and news collecting. As I say that, it reads like mistrust already into this marvelous universal principle of 'give and ye shall receive'. No, the focus shall remain on the giving which in our case is putting out free quality content that promotes our hobby and all those connected to it. If you choose to read something more nefarious into it, so be it.

With the 'paid for' in advertorial demolished, does something else remain to warrant such a characterization? You bet. It's that dastardly term promote in the last paragraph. We write as enthusiasts with enthusiasm. Certain cynics would prefer we strip all excitement out of our reportage. They'd equate that with impartiality and objectivism. They forget that if it's boring to read, it's boring to write. Why bother?

If reporting on our hobby from a happy and involved perspective gets industry features labeled as advertorials—albeit free and unsolicited which is not intrinsic to the term—so be it. At this stage of the game, 6moons wields a small amount of influence in this very small pond called audio publishing. I'd much rather use this influence to promote the hobby as a fun pursuit than constrict it with boredom and cynicism. In particular our industry features and RoadTours are supposed to serve that function. Perhaps I should thank Murray Johnson for noticing that the Living Voice Vox Olympian piece doesn't read like a boring "wham, bam, just the facts ma'm" number. He simply got it wrong assuming that our enthusiasm is fake and hence, had to be paid for.

My question then is: How could anyone into audio possibly fail to recognize just how much passion and commitment poured into something like this Olympian product? Does it not deserve attention? Does it matter that only very few people can afford it? Should one not feel curiosity and desire to learn as much about it as the maker tolerates to part with?

I know what my answers are. Anything less would be disrespectful and blind to the pursuit of excellence and passion. It would be worn-out, faded and jaded. Then one should resign and do something more worthwhile with one's time. Just going through the motions fails to cut it. To our detractors I say, sorry, I ain't there yet. If that makes me an advertorialist, I shall wear that badge with pride...