Stereofool Editor Involved with 21-year-old Tube Amp?

In a covert sting operation launched by Stereofool's competitor, Big iF magazine, 24-bit/96kHz tapes have just surfaced revealing a conversation Stereofool editor Acker Johnson (AJ) had with a local dealer in used audio equipment.

Among the shocking details on the tapes: AJ admits to evaluating a dozen or so sets of speakers using a poorly biased 21-year-old tube amplifier from the company McLewintosh. McLewintosh was sold to some Russian investors two years back, and AJ allegedly lost interest in the equipment at that point. In print, however, he claims to have been using the latest solid-state amplifiers from Lark Mevinson the entire time.

Also on the tape are hints that AJ may not have used tweak interconnects for years at a stretch, and there is rumored to be a set of favorite AudioShack zipcords in his closet, kept as a memento.

Meanwhile, sources close to Stereofool claim that AJ has been huddling with his top writers in an effort to spin the story. Commented equipment editor Eas Sonny, "I believe AJ. This is merely another underhanded publicity stunt from Big iF to gain control of the market."

This just in: Industry reaction and recent statements from Stereofool downplay the investigation. According to Bob French, Stereofool Contributing Editor, "There's nothing much to this so-called scandal. If indeed there was a relationship, its nature was entirely aural."

Several readers have been sending in letters of support, one stating "I don't care whose amp you used or how you used it, as long as the reviews were well written and informative." Others have not been so kind. "We demand scientific accountability at every step of the review procedure - blind listening tests and objective measurements are mandatory!"

In his recent "State of the Art" address, Acker Johnson stated: "Audio equipment is sounding better than ever. We should all feel good about the progress we have made together. But there is still work to be done on the interconnect to the 21st century. That's why I've set up a pension plan for retired audio engineers, salespersons and writers. This plan will be funded from the excess taxes on recordable media collected by the RIAA." He declined to make any reference to the events of the past week.

Stay tuned for details as they arrive.