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Herb Reichert Posted: Feb 04, 2016 5 comments
My first girlfriend was a hopeless kleptomaniac. Once, just before sunrise, as I helped her bury a few hot items in the woods, she asked from which direction the sun would rise. Always the smart-aleck, I told her: "It rarely fails to rise in the east."

She frowned and stared quizzically into the darkness. After a long moment, she said, in a low, sad voice, "Really . . . ?"

September 23, 2015: In his response to and defense of Elizabeth Newton's wildly insightful essay "The Lossless Self" (footnote 1), Michael Lavorgna wrote, on Stereophile's sibling website AudioStream.com: "My idea of hi-fi is to make the possibility of losing oneself in the music happen as often as I choose with the least amount of brain processing as possible." He continued: "Here's my preachy dogma in a nutshell (something I've been saying for years): the best hi-fi is the one that's used to discover and enjoy music most often." (footnote 2) When I read this, I thought, Right on, brother Mike!

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Herb Reichert Posted: Jan 15, 2016 1 comments
The Thiel TM3 loudspeakers ($3500/pair) looked extremely nice—but it was hard to listen. All I could think about was that girl on the poster's lips and the shadows on her cheeks. The cut angles on the TM3s seemed to match her face. And the flowers—I can't remember the last time I saw flowers in a CES room.
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Herb Reichert Posted: Jan 15, 2016 0 comments
Morel's USA distributor, Nir Paz, was demonstrating the Octave 6 Limited Edition floorstanders ($6000/pair). He was driving them with the new 250Wpc (into 8 ohms) Hegel H360 integrated amplifier ($5700).
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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 15, 2016 0 comments
PrimaLuna products flesh out texture, hall sound, and instrumental color better than the tube amps of yore and on the scale of warm to cool, PrimaLuna is always exactly in the middle—as in Goldilocks' "just right." In fact, I would have to say that PrimaLuna's just-right neutrality is its #1 best trait.
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Herb Reichert Posted: Jan 15, 2016 0 comments
The surprising combination of the superb-sounding (but prototype) Technical Audio Devices Laboratories (TAD) loudspeakers with the wonderfully affordable Audio Alchemy electronics manifested some penetratingly beautiful Roy Orbison music.
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Herb Reichert Posted: Jan 14, 2016 0 comments
GoldenEar was showing two new models at CES: the Triton 3+ ($2500/pair) and the larger Triton 2+ ($3500/pair). Both new GoldenEar loudspeakers have powered low-frequency drivers. The Triton 2+ and 3+ models both have new bass-mid drivers, new balanced crossovers, new bass tuning, and "new Triton 1 voicing!" Both models could move and handle like European race cars.
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Herb Reichert Posted: Jan 14, 2016 1 comments
I talked with Bill Johnson for about 30-minutes, but it was enough to know I was completely enamored with the new Conrad Johnson CA150 integrated amp ($5000, or $7000 for the "ST" version with better parts) and the so-right sounding TEA 2 Triode Equalization Amplifier (aka RIAA phono stage) which costs $3300 stock, or $4500 with Teflon caps.
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Herb Reichert Posted: Jan 14, 2016 0 comments
In addition to the Cary Audio AiOS, Cary Audio Design was showcasing its elegant DMS-500 network audio player/digital music streamer ($4999), which they claim, is virtually "future-proof."
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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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