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Herb Reichert Posted: Jul 26, 2014 2 comments
Stalking the halls to experience 38 rooms at Capital AudioFest in three days feels like trying to see the whole Smithsonian in one day. When I got back to my room tonight my ears were ringing from the rock-concert volume levels played in most rooms. My eyes were spinning from trying to read upside down name tags scribbled with Sharpies. But because I have been an exhibitor so many times, I remember that the most important thing I can do is recognize and respect the hope and effort (and money) all these exhibitors and organizers have invested.
Herb Reichert Posted: Jul 29, 2014 15 comments
Gary Gill of Sousahorn, plus Dave Slagle and Jeffrey Jackson of Emia Audio, combined to demonstrate some of that dissention and diversity in the Sousahorn room. Try to imagine a show so easy-rolling and human-scaled, that the organizer and hour-to-hour manager of the show—Gary Gill—can team up with his buddies and demonstrate one of his own products!
Herb Reichert Posted: Jul 27, 2014 11 comments
Hold an audio show in a hotel? VPI's Mat Weisfeld was snapped taking full advantage of the amenities and listening to music courtesy of VPI's new Nomad record player!

At the end of a long day of standing in halls and sneaking into converted bedrooms with little rows of chairs I find myself wondering—are there any other trade shows or hobby fairs that take place in the sleeping-rooms part of hotels? Certainly there are no others where so many are hoping so much—for a seat in the middle!

Herb Reichert Posted: Jul 27, 2014 8 comments
Most of the exhibitors at CAF are not big brandnames with factories employing more than 100 persons. Most are highly inspired and maximally driven "ma & pa" operations like Klaus Bunge's Odyssey Audio. What is unique about Klaus is that he appears to begin designing with a very clear idea of what he wants (precision, dynamics, and laser-clear soundstages). Starting with a cost-is-no-object design, Mr. Bunge distills it over and over making it simpler and less costly each step of the way.
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Herb Reichert Posted: Jan 15, 2016 2 comments
Last year, I raved-reviewed the Hegel H160 integrated amplifier. It was probably the best all-around integrated amp I studied. I laughed that it had only two analog inputs but six assorted digital ones. I didn't laugh while the H160 grabbed every loudspeaker in my house by its cojones and gently forced the frightened cones to submit. Maybe it was the black mask faceplate or maybe was Hegel's SoundEngine technology. I don't know, but unquestionably, the H160's 150Wpc (into 8 ohms) had a very special way with speaker cones.
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Herb Reichert Posted: Jan 13, 2016 0 comments
Adcom introduced two new products at CES 2016: The 250Wpc, GFA-565se stereo amplifier ($1499, rear) and the Luna wireless music system ($599, front). Like the Naim Mu-so, Adcom's version of "industrial design awesomeness"—the Luna also connects in the most happening ways: WiFi, aptX Bluetooth, USB, UPNP/DLNA, 3.5mm analog input and headphone jack.
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Herb Reichert Posted: Jan 12, 2017 4 comments
Look at that photo, with the beautiful wood-plinthed KT88 amp. What do you notice? That's not a dCS digital stack lying on the table bottom-right: It's an iPad. A fancy red cable, whose name I forgot to get, is connecting a portable music source to the line-level input of a $1850 single-ended stereo integrated headphone amplifier called the Mogwai.
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Herb Reichert Posted: Jan 14, 2016 0 comments
ELAC America introduced a new 100Wpc, class-A/B integrated amplifier with a switching power supply, the "Debut Series DA101EQ" ($499), which looked so Walter Gropius' Bauhaus: Moderne. I was deeply impressed by its industrial design quotient. Hidden inside its elegant 2.1-channel skin, the ELAC integrated includes an "Auto Blend" control feature that measures the nearfield response of your main speakers and subwoofer and then corrects phrase and adjusts crossover frequency to suit the listener's room.
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Herb Reichert Posted: Jan 12, 2017 0 comments
The one that has me the most stoked is the Rogers High Fidelity 65V-1 class-A, single-ended EL34/KT88 integrated amplifier ($3999). Not to mention: I have never seen an amp painted with industrial-black crinkle paint that I didn't love.
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Herb Reichert Posted: Jan 12, 2017 0 comments
I am an Anglophile…and a Brit-fi guy. I just am. Back in 1982 I really wanted a wood-cased A&R Cambridge A60 to drive my Rogers LS3/5a speakers. But I couldn't afford its modest price. Somewhere around then, this venerable UK company simplified their name to Arcam.

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