Holo Audio: one of the best dacs ever? J Atkinson, H Reichert, S Deckert, M Lavorgna, GoldenSound, D Abramson and the Stereophile reviewers think so. Stereophile A+ and POY 2020

The connection between reviews and advertising often goes the opposite way than you describe.

A piece of gear is reviewed well. The distributor/manufacturer then places ads to support the sale of the product.

I imagine few place ads in magazines who pan their product.

It is a bit of a chicken/egg thing.


That can happen as well, I guess, although the positive reviews would reduce the need for advertising after the reviews, I would think. Once the buzz is created by the reviews, why spend more money …

Anyway, in the case of Holo, zero ads before and zero ads after the reviews.
They don’t seem to have an advertising budget.

Many products and services continue advertising even though are popular and even dominate the market.

Holo is already having trouble fulfilling orders in a timely fashion as I understand it. They may well feel advertising will heighten the problem and they are unable to scale. Who knows? But we can speculate away. :slight_smile:


Businesses do realise the market is dynamic, and competitors are bound to release and promote new products and services. Also, they know they have to remain visible due to the fact that purchasing decisions do involve brand awareness, brand trust and brand presence. Lack of visibility implies absence from the market. My $0.02.


Though the Kitsune only rep importer with glowing reviews…
In the end he is a very good one man band and though his wife
is a huge help for him … How long can he keep up with
current and future clientele…I wish him well

However with my hard earned $$$ and now retired
my preference is turning toward a home team that is
investing in it’s clientele and with whom there is support.

Happy dac ing y’all
Best wishes


These are all interesting remarks, but my point was another one: how many firms have received a highly coveted product of the year award in Stereophile without ever advertising in the magazine before the award ?

There are probably a few, but I am willing to bet that the vast majority of winners are frequent, and probably heavy advertisers.

I may be wrong, it’s just my feel after over 30 years of subscription …

It’s an interesting point, and a good question.

I canceled my Stereophile subscription a decade ago or so, so I couldn’t say with any certainty how many awards were given to products, from companies that don’t advertise.

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I imagine there is a actually a good number who have received rave reviews and awards without advertising. For example, there are quite a few pro audio pieces of kit who never advertised which received accolades.

But it makes perfect sense that most would have advertised. High-end audio is a niche interest with few avenues for contacting clientele, primarily audio magazines. Of course they would have likely advertised before being reviewed, winning awards, etc. There also those with heavy market acceptance (Maganapan, Audio Research, Pass, Quad, etc.) who advertise little and receive review rave reviews.

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I have observed no definitive evidence to support this general conclusion. I understand the supposition, I just don’t share your observation/perspective about this.

Rather, I subscribed to and peruse H-Fi rags (digital and print) because I am confident they will review a wide variety of generally worthy equipment that I would never have a chance to stare at or listen to left to my own devices. It helps me to dream and develop short lists when I am in the market for something.

I read an editor’s answer to the ubiquitous nay-sayer’s question, “How come there are no bad reviews” once that made sense and rang true to me. His answer was something along the line of (summarizing): “we have limited space and resources in our publications and it would do our readers no service to spend those resources on equipment that is not known or expected to perform well.”

All that said, I have no doubt that manufacturers are often able to coordinate advertising with the publication of a favorable review. I just don’ share the often-cited conspiracy theory that ties good reviews to advertising dollars. I am not saying or in a position to know that it never happens, I just don’t think that is the general way of things.

No offense, @Phil , your comment just reminded me of folks that constantly harangue the Hi-Fi media industry for being inherently corrupt. (Maybe I am just naive?)

Be well.



You’re a good man, Charlie Brown.


…as, apparently, are you…

I really appreciate being able to visit this oasis of civility, that is the PSA forum.

And, I appreciate your contributions and obvious attempts to keep things civil.

We could use some more @Phil/civility in the world.


Spot on Phil !!

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Thank you @scotte1 and @twablt.
I am honored and humbled by your comments,
I don’t deserve your praise, I am just an enthusiast trying to help my fellow audiophiles.
As we speak l am listening to Ella singing the Cole Porter book, and there’s no higher bliss … except maybe for Schubert …
Who cares about the dac or amplifier or speaker, it’s our beloved music that speaks to us …

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Once again spot on regarding it’s ALL about the music !!
Ella has THE most wonderful female voice I have ever heard !!

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You are very smart and kind people @twablt, and @scotte1.

I am really digging that DAC component stand.

Is it a custom job? (I note the almost perfect matching black color - well done). :wink:

Thanks for sharing the “shoot out” observations.



That component stand looks an awfully lot like the high-tech, multi-purpose, folding table (read “TV dinner table”) that keeps my side surround speakers at the perfect height in my system.


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Great discussion, gentlemen!

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Aw…shucks @Phil. Thank you.


[The check is in the mail.]

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Very long after we are all dead, Schubert, Chopin, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms etc will still be alive. And Duke Ellington and Ella.

Unlike us, they are immortal.

Our petty discussions and differences about the best speaker, amp and dac will be long gone, and they will still illuminate the lives of future generations. They are my best proof of the existence of God.

What do you think @Elk ?

Here Here ! Buy that man a drink on me !

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