Thin Line Between Critique and Courtrooms: A Dialogue on the Recent Audiophile Drama

Hey Audiogonians,

In the vast, vibrant universe of audio reviews, where the line between subjective opinion and objective analysis often blurs, a new saga unfolds. It involves a Youtuber, well-known within our community for their take on speaker designs – designs that, while innovative, haven't shied away from criticism. The plot thickens with another Youtuber's revelation: the speaker's designer and manufacturer has filed a lawsuit against a reviewer over their less-than-glowing feedback.

The core of the debate? Whether it's acceptable to push back against reviewers when their findings diverge from what manufacturers desire. It's not a new drama; history is littered with tales of reviewers facing legal threats for daring to express their truth. Yet, each story brings a fresh perspective on the delicate dance between free speech and brand reputation.

This particular episode raises several intriguing questions:
- Where do we draw the line between constructive criticism and damaging feedback?
- Is the courtroom really the arena for settling disputes over reviews, or should dialogue prevail?
- And crucially, what does this mean for the future of honest, independent audio reviews?

This isn't just about the nitty-gritty of legal battles, many of which remain cloaked in confidentiality and technical jargon. It's about the principle: the right to voice one's opinion in a space that thrives on diversity of thought.

So, fellow audiophiles, what's your take? Have you ever felt swayed by a review, only to discover a different truth upon listening? Have you faced the ire of those who didn't appreciate your candid feedback?

📢Let's make this a discussion to remember – not just for the controversy, but for the unity and respect we can foster, even in disagreement.


Post removed 

It appear to me ludicrous to settle audiophile reviews in courtroom...😊

But the fact that we are or not a "man" or a "woman" may or must now be settled in courtroom with the irrational delirium instilled in the social fabric...

Even privacy dont exist anymore in a world where our own body property can be settled also in court ...

And tomorrow there will be those who want A.I. as God and the others who prefer a  natural tree and no body modifications.

The next war will be religious between artificial life and natural life...


May God help us...😊


«War is peace and if it is not yet peace  it will be soon »--Oeorge Grwell in 2084 book

Can you provide links to the YouTubers involved in this?  Tough to comment on this either way without seeing the review and speaker involved.  Definitely disturbing on its face though.

Can you provide links to the YouTubers involved in this?  Tough to comment on this either way without seeing the review and speaker involved.  Definitely disturbing on its face though.



I personally like our adorable Schiit Lords, Jason Stoddard/Mike Moffat’s adorable approach in all of this...Attach a 20 page audio precision measurement report for all your product in the specs page. Any buffoon measuring it in his garage and running a buffoon review website couldn’t do a better job (Come get your measurements directly from the horse’s mouth kids.)



The Tekton man should just post comprehensive measurements for all his speakers on his website. 

One thing to keep in mind is that the 'reviewer' is typically a business or a person doing the reviews to make money, which means saying things or creating content that maximizes hits or views.  Re-framed the question can be "can one business disparage or even lie about another business or product to generate money??  Where does offering one's opinion end and lying for money begin?  As we know from the internet, the more outrageous and extreme the content, the more clicks or views a content creator (business) will obtain.  This is one of the reason much of the content on the Internet and the news is garbage.  


Your reference to Orwell’s “2084” serves as a stark reminder of the fine line between dystopia and reality. It's a wake-up call to cherish our humanity, respect our differences, and keep the dialogue open and empathetic 👍

@tvad ​​@piebaldpython @deep_333 
That’s a spot-on summary! It seems we’ve slid down a slippery slope where disagreement equals litigation. It’s a strange world we’re navigating, isn’t it? Just a heads-up, though—we’re all in the dark about the full extent of the lawsuit and the core disagreements as per the suitor’s perspective. So, grains of salt all around!

I couldn't bear to watch the whole video but it sounds like mostly hearsay to me. Many of these Youtubers rely on drama and controversy to get clicks and this looks like nothing more than a little kerfuffle.

I dont mind that it was somebody in his garage or a pro; i dont give a damn.😊

It is ludicrous to ban reviewers by legal pursuit threats...Period...

I estimate freedom of speech more important than what is borderline between opinion and defamation especially if the reviewers can prove that his opinion is motivated and grounded in his experience and is not pure defamation as it seems the case here...

My sympathy here goes with the reviewers not with any designers...

Suppose the reverse, what will become of audio reviews ? 😊

A good product cannot be impeded by few bad reviews, a good product will survive with many users and reviewers good reviews anyway ...


🎵"I see your true colors shining through..."🎵🎶

Whomever commented but didn't watch the video needs to go back and do it. 

The situation is clearly explained.

The situation is clearly explained.

Yes, but it’s all second-hand. It’s hearsay.

Oddly the review , which I watched before it was taken down was positive. Not even sure what Tekton is complaining about. I guess he can’t handle the truth. 

Your post reveal you did not listen the video and your post is hearsay or uninformed opinions about this video ...

The dude in the video is rational and spoke of the situation in general  in a legalistic perspective and his consequences.. And i think the same as him, ... 😊


I couldn’t bear to watch the whole video but it sounds like mostly hearsay to me.

@james633 ,

Since you saw the review first-hand, is the above video true and accurate in it's statements?

I’m no lawyer, and have no opinion nor a dog in this fight herein, but here is what a lawyer bud informally highlighted as an online GOOGLE search for the general public as an informal,layman’s “fast “n dirty”background info blurb on a complex and evolving area of alleged tort law,


“ …. the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation..”



” …. a published false statement that is damaging to a person’s reputation; a written defamation….”



” …. This general area of law is called defamation law. Libel and slander are types of defamatory statements. Libel is a defamatory statement that is written. Slander is a defamatory statement that is oral.…”


Plaintiff can possibly lose his alleged case or have his alleged claim for damages amended if the defendant can ultimately support his alleged defamation defence.

Defamation law continues to change and evolve. Defamation attorneys must have extensive knowledge of First Amendment and other aspects of defamation law to effectively prosecute claims for businesses, professionals and individuals who have been defamed.

Historically, the distinction between libel and slander was significant and had real-world implications regarding how a case was litigated including the elements that had to be proven and who had the burden of proof.

Illinois courts have changed their approach, however, as the Illinois Supreme Court explained in Bryson v. News America Publication, Inc.:

At common law, libel and slander were analyzed under different sets of standards, with libel recognized as the more serious wrong. Illinois law evolved, however, and rejected this bifurcated approach in favor of a single set of rules for slander and libel. Libel and slander are now treated alike and the same rules apply to a defamatory statement regardless of whether the statement is written or oral.

The tort of defamation (sometimes referred to as defamation of character) can be divided into claims involving two distinct types of statements:

- defamatory per se statements and

- defamatory per quod statements.

Statements that are defamatory per se (sometimes referred to generically by courts as libel per se) are so obviously and naturally harmful to one’s reputation on their face that proof of injury is not required. Illinois law recognizes five types of statements that are considered defamatory per se:

  • Imputing that a person committed a crime;
  • Imputing that a person is infected with a loathsome communicable disease;
  • Imputing that a person is unable or lacks the integrity to perform one’s employment duties;
  • Imputing that a person lack ability or otherwise prejudices one in one’s profession; and
  • Imputing that a person has engaged in adultery or fornication.

Importantly, a statement can only be considered defamatory per se if the harmful effect is apparent on the face of the statement itself. If extrinsic facts or additional information about the person being defamed is required to understand the harmful effect of the statement, then it cannot be defamatory per se. That is not to say the statement is not defamatory if extrinsic facts are required; it just cannot be defamatory per se.

If a defamatory statement does not fall into one of the defamatory per se categories or requires extrinsic facts, then it is considered defamatory per quod. Unlike in cases involving defamation per se, defamation per quod claims require the plaintiff to allege and prove special damages (also called “special harm” by some courts). The term “special damages” or “special harm” is a legal term of art in defamation law that means the loss of something with actual economic or pecuniary value. In other words, a plaintiff alleging defamation per quod must be able to show specifically how the defamation caused a specific, quantifiable loss of money such as the commission from a lost sale or the salary from a lost job.


I am so not surprised after reading the tekton guy's bullying comments in the other thread. Erin should have started a gofundme for the legal fees. He is really sane and objective and as hard working as anyone I know. 

He does like to throw the ’slander’ word around a lot. He’s done it here more than a few times.(Even though he means 'libel'.)

And I just know he’s reading this...

Will he comment? If he’s really that hot headedly dumb, yes!

If he has even a scintilla of common sense, no!

I would be happy to contribute to Erin’s potential GoFundMe.

I cannot stand a bully.

it's the Barbara Streisand effect. If you want to be talked about for the wrong reason, make scene, throw a fit. 

This could’ve easily been solved with a little communication and follow-up measurements.  Not a good look for Tekton IMO, and who the hell would wanna review one of their speakers after this?  Stupid. 

I'd expect as much from somebody who builds speakers that look like his....


Erin’s Audio corner has direct comments on this YouTube page community page regarding this issue. He states Tekton is questioning his test method due to not having feet on the speakers as there are holes straight through the cabinet that the feet. Erin did not state directly Tekton is the company suing….



Tekton also threatened to sue ASR publicly in an open forum recently for a review they did. It is a long thread and can’t be bothered to paraphrase it. What I can tell you is I will personally avoid Tekton now and forever, not because of what they call “bad” reviews but because of their attitude on the forums and toward reviews.

Again I looked at the measurements and thought they were better than expected but my expectations were pretty low. 

the thread can be read here. 


I expect ASR will have more protection from manufacturer/distributor lawsuits than most since so much - and sometimes all - of his content is emperical measurements.

Now a litigant can always claim ASR's measurement technique is flawed and therefore besmirching their product unfairly, and drag Amir into court and outspend him.

But as others have said this is the new American social/economic context, where nothing matters except the $$.  Corporate concepts of honesty, integrity, long term customer satisfaction and fair competition in the marketplace are going the way of the dinosaur. 



So I guess there's no 1st amendment in hifi journalism?

Reviewers review a product however he wishes to and tell his thoughts about it however he wants to. It is up to viewers how they react to the review either buy it or not. I commend review which does not sugar coat. Like some stereophile reviews, I can pick out things reviewers didn't like. Art Dudley was pretty clear about product he didn't like. Read his review on EAR Yoshino CD player. Also John Atkinson said that Simaudio 700i does not deliver power according to its spec. I think after that Simaudio stopped sending their products to Stereophile for reviews

The problem I see these days is everyone has to be right. There's no room for negotiation and understanding. Things are so short fused, especially on the internet. These designers should be more open minded and willing to work with reviewers and improve on things. 

There are a number of laws to protect the reviewer. Audioholics covers some of them in the video linked above. There is no libel, there is no case. It is just a way to bully the reviewers into taking down the reviews as no one wants to mess with court. 

…and the court would like to welcome expert witness millercarbon through zoom demonstrating a  live recording of stairway to heaven through his iPhone…

Again I looked at the measurements and thought they were better than expected but my expectations were pretty low.
the thread can be read here.

Has anyone ever wondered why a middle eastern dude thinks he’s a Chinese chick (in all these years)? It’s quite strange.

This seems very heavy handed on the part of the manufacturer, if it’s actually happening the way it’s being reported. Erin seems like a reasonable guy and I suspect he would have been amenable to a discussion about his testing method with the manufacturer, where any issue could have been resolved amicably.

I’ve no time for people who resort to the threat of litigation when there are clear and obvious alternatives.  “Vote with your feet” is my default position when I hear stuff like this… 

Post removed 

Yeah man...go after somebody for subjective criticism and you not only look like a fool, but instantly earn all the bad publicity you're likely gonna get. If you actually believe in your product...any gotta take a hit once in a while. Suck it up. I recently noticed an older ad for a Tekton Moab with beryllium tweeter/mid array for 18 grand. Now it's 30 grand. I should have invested in beryllium futures. Sue me.

There seems to be comity between the parties.

There's back and forth after this pinned posting, so I don't really know where things stand, now. But this seems to be pull-back from litigation.

For more, see this discussion:

Pinned by Youthman


6 hours ago

Would the Troubadour review be live today if it didn’t contain any provable mistakes? Yes- absolutely! Here are the facts... I am protecting my brand and I have no problem with a review [good or bad] so long as it doesn’t contain any mistakes. The review contained a couple of measurement mistakes based on a couple of simple oversights. In all fairness to Erin, the Troubadour is a unique loudspeaker that would throw the best acoustical measurement experts a bit of a curve ball - the speaker is even unique to the point of being allowed a US patent. The measurement oversights have been talked about between Erin and I and Erin has agreed to remeasure the speaker. I respectfully asked Erin to pull his review temporarily and we’re working together to ensure the measurements he publishes are accurate. I believe we’ve got everything figured out and expect his review to be published again soon.

SLAPP suits have always been popular with those people/businesses that could not rebut criticism with legitimate claims or evidence.


Strategic lawsuits against public participation (also known as SLAPP suits or intimidation lawsuits),[1] or strategic litigation against public participation,[2] are lawsuits intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.[3]

In a typical SLAPP, the plaintiff does not normally expect to win the lawsuit. The plaintiff's goals are accomplished if the defendant succumbs to fear, intimidation, mounting legal costs, or simple exhaustion and abandons the criticism. In some cases, repeated frivolous litigation against a defendant may raise the cost of directors and officers liability insurance for that party, interfering with an organization's ability to operate.[4] A SLAPP may also intimidate others from participating in the debate. A SLAPP is often preceded by a legal threat. SLAPPs bring about freedom of speech concerns due to their chilling effect and are often difficult to filter out and penalize because the plaintiffs attempt to obfuscate their intent to censor, intimidate, or silence their critics.

whats the debate?

reviews take unflattering measurements, and some companies threaten to sue. 

i have no idea if the findings of the reviewer were legit or the complaints (not the threats) of the speaker comapny wre legit. 

i did recently watch a video where gr research danny reviewed and measured a set of magnepan minis WITHOUT THE BASS DRIVER. of course the bass was weak. youre reviewering these speakers without the bass driver. 


" I believe we’ve got everything figured out and expect his review to be published again soon."

@tektondesign ,

Will you explain why you didn’t do that in the first place instead of threatening to sue him? Forgot that little tidbit. Now you’re playing the understanding good guy after the "fact". 😂

Looks like nothing more than damage control after your litigation threat bought you a truckload of bad publicity.


"I respectfully asked Erin to pull his review temporarily..."

Yeah, by threatening to sue him. A lot of respect there...

'Tekton is dead to me"    about the worst PR you can get from a reviewer.    Well done Tekton.   

The majority of opinions on audio websites are utterly useless. I take them as garbage. But if I made a living engineering and designing speakers I would hold people accountable for the ignorant BS they spread. Many people who participate on audio websites are idiots who know very little about what they are talking about and can destroy a reputation just to hear themselves speak. Why not hold them accountable?

I wouldn’t use the word “truth” in this instance.  I would suggest that the word opinion is a better choice.

This reminds me of the political left cancel culture of destroyer a opponent 

when it doesnot fit their narrative . Your 1st amendment right is to your opinion .

you should ask to not have your outcome displayed if they don’t like them.

I am not familiar with the speaker in question but unless speaking personally about their integrity ,and moral character I don’t think they have much of a case.

"- Where do we draw the line between constructive criticism and damaging feedback?"

The line should be at "Lied" If the manufacturer or the reviewer lied with intention to cause damage then there should be recourse. Otherwise not. 
"- Is the courtroom really the arena for settling disputes over reviews, or should dialogue prevail?"

Dialogue first. If there is willful misrepresentation with the intent of financial harm then the courts should (assuming they are even honest any longer) adjudicate.
"- And crucially, what does this mean for the future of honest, independent audio reviews?"

I think independent reviewers remain encouraged and are not too worried about being bullied. 

"So, fellow audiophiles, what's your take?"

Tekton managed to alienate and anger a LOT of well heeled informed consumers.  Way to go you morons! 

"Have you ever felt swayed by a review, only to discover a different truth upon listening?"   

Yes- long ago I bought a ChiFi DAC that Thomas was raving about- a Suncoz. $500 in the toilet on that one. Ugh!  "Learnt me lesson" 

"Have you faced the ire of those who didn't appreciate your candid feedback?"

Nope- I'm a digital nobody-  unless you count Audiogon. I have riled a few snowflakes by accident. Some people are just miserable and want you to join them.