Do you trust magazine reviews?

When I was in the sixth form at school I ran a mobile discotheque with my mate. He did the DJ bit I was the techie. I was off to University and he bought me out. So with cash in my hand I went to buy my first HiFI. I scoured the mags and there was a rave review of the new Amstrad 8000 MK II amplifier. Excellent figures with good signal to noise ratio. I went off to Tottenham Court Road to buy an advertised special value system of Garrad SP25 with Goldring G800, Amstrad 4000 and KEF speakers.

When I got to the shop they had "run out" of KEFs and I naively bought their substitute speakers, which turned out to be EMI 13x 8 units. It was all crap and I was royally conned. Mates who new abou HIFI helped me out with the speakers adding wadding and proper crossovers to make the sound passable but that Amstrad hissed like a steam locomotive idling.

After the next summer at work I could afford to replace it with a Tandberg TR200 receiver of excellent quality that I still have. I've often wondered how much Alan (Barrow Boy ) Sugar paid for that review because it was clearly all lies. Perhaps it was just the big ads for the amp he placed in the magazine. Ever since I've been very cynical about reviews with accompanying adverts. What's your experience?

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