2017 – Counting backwards

219,373 – the number of uniques (individual readers) visiting DAR in the last 4 weeks. “Is that a lot?”, you ask. Like this site’s own review commentary, performance must be triangulated from comparative data points.

Back in October, the number of unique visitors clicking through to DAR was 182,637. That means the site has enjoyed 20% reader growth in the last two months alone. Wow. On the year, where DAR’s unique visitors in December 2016 numbered 121,588, the annual unique visitor growth clocks in at a whopping 80%. Quadruple wow.

And if you like REALLY crazy numbers, know that DAR served 9 million pages in 2017.

Note: these visitor numbers do not come from the WordPress theme’s back-end where any number of ‘Fake Views’ per article can be specified for public display and aggregation. Talk about fake news!

Instead, the aforementioned stats come from this site’s incorruptible web server log and the (even more) incorruptible Cloudflare caching.

These are pleasing results for any web publisher but they also tell us that disabling the comments section (for reasons explained here) has failed to impact traffic. Whilst I acknowledge that this decision might continue to displease some readers, commenters measured tens among thousands.

On New Year’s Eve 2017, a thank you goes out to all readers, new and returning, for seeing value in what DAR offers: news and reviews of interesting audio gear.

The banner ads that outline the editorial content provides space for advertisers to promote their wares whilst simultaneously serving as a table of the site’s financial interests. DAR’s advertisers put fuel in the engine to ride in the back seat with zero access to the steering wheel, lights, blinkers or breaks. Banner ads remain the only content for sale on DAR. Editorial and video coverage remain strictly off limits.

Therefore, a big thank you goes out to this site’s advertisers who not only recognise the site’s strong growth but the common ground that exists between their brand and DAR’s; and whose banner ad purchases allows me to provide news, reviews and show coverage without a reader paywall.

Thanks also to the manufacturers who sent out review loaners, wearing the cost of two-way shipping and trusting that their hard work will be judged fairly, compared to rival products with an even hand where raves and/or nits picked are rationally justified. Echoing the sentiments shared by 6mooning-manmain Srajan Ebaen, without manufacturer trust there’d be nothing to write about. Thanks also go to Srajan for his ongoing generosity in penning a superb series of op-eds: KIH – ‘keep it honest’.

And thanks also to new contributor John Grandberg whose DAR reviews, like those he pens for Inner Fidelity, are loaded with comparisons and low on hyperbole.

In 2018, I’ll be on the lookout for another writer to add to the reviewer team. If you think you can talk about a piece of audio gear thoroughly and with reasonable eloquence, please get in touch, but only if you’ve zero existing connections to the audio industry – no PR people, no manufacturers, no distributors and no hifi store salesmen. And only if you think you’re a break from the norm of hi-res obsessed Diana Krall devotees.

Next week, DAR will undergo some behind the scenes work that will see us returning with a difference: the site’s URL (always a horrible mouthful) will move to Not just yet, but soon. When we click over to our new home you’ll need to adjust your bookmarks accordingly.

From my listening chair in Berlin, I wish you all a stress-free 2018.

John H. Darko

Written by John H. Darko

John is the editor of Darko.Audio, from whose ad revenues he derives an income. He is also an occasional contributor to 6moons and AudioStream and currently resides in Berlin, Germany.

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DAR’s Product of the Year 2017

Sonos control comes to Tidal, Pandora mobile apps