— Reviews —

Can I send you the new mic preamp, etc. that my company is selling to get reviewed?

Contact Scott McChane, our Gear Reviews Editor for more information.
Please be patient.

All the gear reviews seem to be positive. How come I never read bad reviews in Tape Op?

We strive to review products that we think are relevant to our readers and often pass on reviewing products we think are less relevant or that we feel aren't something we would want to use ourselves. Space in the magazine is very limited and we almost always have far more editorial than we have space for. Our feeling is that we should write about products and gear that we think is worth buying and not waste space writing about things we think suck. These products will disappear soon enough anyway. As far as manufacturer input, when we've finished a review we send it to the manufacturer for a fact check. If we have written something in error, we will correct it. If the manufacturer strongly disagrees with something we've said, we'll sometimes add their comments into the review.

How come you don't run product photos in the gear reviews section?

1. We'd rather run more interviews and content and these photos would just take up more space.  2. We also think gear photos are usually pretty boring.  3. This way we can run more reviews.  4. You can find photos of gear on numerous websites, so why waste space reprinting them in the magazine?

Sometimes I see an ad for a product that you review right next to the review. This seems biased to me and I don't trust the review to not be influenced by the ad.

Tape Op is a free magazine that is supported by advertising. When we know that we are going to run a review, we contact the manufacturer and let them know the opportunity exists for them to advertise that same product in the magazine and support the review. We are already going to run the review, so if they decide to buy an ad because of that it allows us to add more editorial to that issue. The more ads we have the more editorial we can run. If the ad has a photo of the product, and if our page layout allows us, we will often put the ad next to the review so that you can see a photo of the piece of gear being reviewed.

Review and Ad Policy

Here at Tape Op Magazine we get at least ten requests per day from various audio companies asking us to review their products – we cannot possibly accommodate them all. This also sets up a conflict: Tape Op is supported by advertising, and that is how we are able to print and mail out the magazine for free every two months. As advertising budgets have increasingly moved online – primarily to Google, Amazon, and Facebook – this conflict has become more pronounced. Many manufacturers wish to see their products reviewed in the printed magazine, but they are reluctant to spend money on our print advertising. With this in mind, we want to be clear about how we run the reviews section of Tape Op Magazine, and how our publication functions.

1. Tape Op is an advertiser-supported magazine. If you are a Tape Op reader, please let our advertisers know you appreciate their support of Tape Op. If you are an audio company, you should advertise in Tape Op and reach our readers. 

2. These ads help us cover the cost of printing and mailing the magazine to our 38,000 subscribers; the largest subscriber base of any music recording magazine in the world. 

3. Our readership is knowledgeable and loyal, and they purchase products they learn about via ads and reviews in the magazine. 

4. The primary focus of Tape Op Magazine is interviews, which usually fills up the first 75% of the magazine. Specific gear and software gets mentioned in these interviews as well.

5. The last 25% of the magazine is reviews of music recording related products. The reviews are written by working engineers and musicians using the equipment or software in real world scenarios. Your product ends up being used on recordings that people actually hear and care about, not just in some bench test or silly key-jingling audition. 

6. We get far more requests for reviews than we can possibly delegate and edit, and we still generate more reviews than we can ever get into the printed magazine. 

7. This is how we prioritize reviews: If you are an advertiser and you support us, we will prioritize our resources (writers, editors, space in the magazine, etc.) to run a review of your gear. This does not guarantee you’ll get a good review, but it guarantees we will do our best to get your gear reviewed by a qualified reviewer in a timely manner. 

8. Keep in mind we are bi-monthly and publish only 6 issues per year. An issue’s content is frequently locked in up to two months prior to publication.

9. If you are a smaller, newer boutique audio or software company, we will do our best to get your product reviewed. If we run a review we will give you the opportunity to advertise in that issue. You do not need to advertise to get a review, but see 7 above. Note that we do not run any images in our reviews – they are text only. If you decide to run an ad for a reviewed product this will allow our readers to see what your wares look like, reinforcing the power of the published review. 

10. If you are a larger, established company that chooses not to support Tape Op with advertising, we’ll contact you if one of our reviewers is interested in writing about your product. We do run lots of reviews from companies that do not advertise with us, but we do not have the resources to prioritize or assign writers for your products. We look to our reviewers to tell us what gear they are interested in reviewing – not from suggestions from PR companies. We really like and respect a lot of the PR people in the audio industry, but please see points 1-9 above. 

11. It is your company’s job to get end users interested in your products. It only becomes our job if you support us with advertising, which helps us print the magazine and get it mailed to our readers. 

12. The more pages of advertising an issue of Tape Op has, the more reviews we will run. It’s a direct correlation.