Herb Reichert

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Herb Reichert Posted: May 30, 2015 0 comments
First morning of the first day, jet-lagged, don't recognize anybody, forgot every name and, worse still: I broke every rule I made for myself and the way to Newport Beach. Mostly, I have attended these shows as a distributor-exhibitor so I never forget how much it costs in money and psychic energy to do any show—let alone the whole US-World circuit. Many of these exhibitors just finished a big, wallet-crushing, jet-lagging show in Munich, and now they are here in California (how many miles and time zones is that?), still staggering and punch drunk from dancing on that big stage—trying to smile and impress everybody. So my kind and gentle spirit tells me to understand and try to comfort them...
Herb Reichert Posted: May 29, 2015 1 comments
High-end audio is mostly about songs blaring from boxes. Occasionally, you can be sitting near some of these wailing boxes and think: Wow, these songs are sounding pretty darn good! If you’re an audiophile that means you’ve found a home. Today, on my first day in Newport Beach, California I am sitting in the lobby of the Irvine Hotel (home of The Home Entertainment Show Newport) getting myself psyched for room after room of blaring boxes and stacks of brochures, sproutin’ like cotton from every horizontal surface...
Herb Reichert Posted: May 27, 2015 3 comments
So, audiophiles, riddle me this: What does a DAC actually look like? I don't mean the box it hides in—I mean the little doodad that does the actual converting from digital to analog. Is it bigger than a phono cartridge? Is it made of rain-forest wood, gemstone, or porcelain? Do people show it to their friends, who gawk in awe and envy? Does it have an exotic, geisha-sounding name like Jasmine Tiger, Koetsu Onyx, or Miyajima Takumi? When it breaks, does a watchmaker type rebuild it for a not-insubstantial fee? Do people hoard them in vaults, like NOS tubes? Can you trade a DAC for a rose-gold Rolex Oyster Bubbleback ca 1945?
Herb Reichert Posted: Apr 23, 2015 5 comments
I find small humans more beguiling than big people. My favorites are the two-footers—those little two-year-old boys with a kind of wobbly, bent-kneed stride that dips like a blues song every fourth step as they stagger ahead of their watchful parents. I like three-footers too—sprightly three-year-old girls who dress better than their moms and never need a lifestyle consultation. Whenever we see one of these cheerful, bouncing young'uns coming toward us on the sidewalk, I smile and my dog's tail wags. Their bright faces and excited voices make me think, You go, little sprouts! These miniature humans' special beauty is that they still possess their full force de vie.
Herb Reichert Posted: Mar 24, 2015 14 comments
The CD era was well underway. Rudy Giuliani was about to sweep the crack hoes and squeegee humans off New York's garbage-filled streets. Disney was conquering Times Square. It seemed the perfect time for artists and audio weirdos like myself to go underground. Seeking economic sustainability, I hunkered down in my Seaport bunker and started a little business called Eddie Electric. I found a 23-year-old Japanese business partner named Ryochi who was dealing in big-E Levi's, bubble-back Rolexes, and antique Abarth cars. He was my Seaport, New York–Akihabara, Tokyo connection.
Herb Reichert Posted: Mar 11, 2015 7 comments
Before I moved to the boat, I lived in a big old firehouse with a shiny brass pole and a red door. The fire engines were gone but it was still a boy-toy pilgrimage site. The first thing one noticed on entering was a red 356 Porsche coupe. Behind it was a black '32 Ford hot rod with a flat-head V8 and triple Strombergs. Behind that was a 1939 Lincoln convertible from some Godfather movie. On the second floor . . .
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Herb Reichert Posted: Feb 07, 2015 15 comments
Hats off and heads down. Let Joe Grado's passing fill our collective hearts with enduring feelings of gratitude (for what Joe brought to the quality and character of the audio industry over six decades) and respect (for his myriad inventions and human fortitude that delivered musical joy and aural insights to countless listeners and audio professionals throughout the world).
Herb Reichert Posted: Feb 05, 2015 11 comments
The more integrated amps I review, the more I want to tell manufacturers: Please, skip the DAC, omit the phono stage, lose the Bluetooth—just give me the best sound quality, and the most vivid, most transparent line stage and control center (with pre-out) you can design. Make sure this line stage has appropriate gain, and high input and low output impedances. Give me at least four balanced and single-ended inputs. Make sure the volume, balance, and tone controls are durable and degrade the sound as little as possible. That way, I can add a DAC, server, phono stage, or Bluetooth, of any quality level, any time I choose.
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Herb Reichert Posted: Jan 17, 2015 10 comments
Working like a stereopticon, Edgar Choueiri's Bacch-SP provides up to a 32dB reduction of interaural crosstalk, not with headphones, but with everyday stereo loudspeakers. And without the coloration that previous solutions, like a physical barrier between the ears, are plagued by.
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Herb Reichert Posted: Jan 15, 2015 1 comments
See that picture of a well-suited handsome man? That's Keith Martin of Washington-State firm, Vana Ltd. Vana distributes cool stuff like Vienna Acoustic loudspeakers, IsoTek AC line voltage products, Dr. Feikert Analogue (maker of one of the finest alignment protractors), and Acoustical Systems (makers of the Axiom tonearm, Archon cartridge, the Arché headshell, and the $799, SMARTractor cartridge alignment tool). What Keith is holding is the new Blue Horizons ProFono MM/MC phono stage ($1249).

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