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Herb Reichert Posted: Jul 28, 2016 1 comments
Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Mary Oliver famously remarked, "attention without feeling . . . is only a report."

After nearly two years of prattling for Stereophile, I am finally grasping the full veracity of that statement. When I read reviews that jabber on about highs, mediums, and lows, and that rely exclusively on nonmusical vocabulary, I come away with feelings of acute cognitive dissonance. Not to mention: if a review has a lot of initialisms—ADD, S/PDIF, DXD, HDMI, etc.—my ADHD kicks in and I stop reading by the third paragraph.

Herb Reichert Posted: Jul 26, 2016 7 comments
Which record player has achieved international acclaim as a musical instrument in its own right?

Which turntable is revered for its near-indestructible build quality?

Which disc spinner has played more records—and made more people drink, drug, dance, and make out—than any other?

Which turntable has sold over three million units?

Hint: It is not made in the US, the UK, China, or Switzerland.

Herb Reichert Posted: Jul 12, 2016 6 comments
The second best hug I received at CAF came from the towering and lovable Klaus Bunge of Odyssey Audio…
Herb Reichert Posted: Jul 12, 2016 1 comments
Before I visited the Bob's Devices booth in the Plaza ballroom, I was having a hotel breakfast with my runnin' buddy (and Stereophile's Deputy Editor) Art Dudley. We were speaking in whispers—plotting the overthrow of all governments—when a happy guy with facial hair, who I later found out was Bob Sattin of Bob's Devices, comes to our table and says he wants to show us a photo of a "modified record player"…
Herb Reichert Posted: Jul 10, 2016 10 comments
Think hip, young, handsome, and smart—with (maybe) some grease under his fingernails. Besides being one of my favorite loudspeaker manufacturers, Zu Audio's Sean Casey and his daughters restore vintage motorcycles. Sean is also a dancing party guy with a pile of records that follows him around like dust follows Pig Pen.
Herb Reichert Posted: Jul 09, 2016 1 comments
The opening-day buzz at CAF was all about the Mk.2 version of KEF's giant, chromed Muon loudspeakers. Styled by Ross Lovegrove, the Muon is like those concept cars we all love at the car shows—it had a big quotient of wow-factor—but everyone in the room knew they would never get to drive them home. But with the Muon, at least we could touch and listen.
Herb Reichert Posted: Jun 16, 2016 12 comments
My lifestyle consultant warned me not to review Zu Audio's Soul Supreme loudspeaker ($4500/pair).

"Why not?" I asked. "They're exciting and super-enjoyable."

"Zu speakers are not mainstream," he explained. "People either love them or hate them. They're for music lovers, not audiophiles."

"That's not true!" I whined like a disappointed child. "They play Nina Simone and Aretha Franklin with spooky soul and natural tone! They play big classical orchestras—especially with trumpets and timpani—with radical ease and full-tilt momentum! And . . . and . . . they project large soundstages! Isn't that what audiophiles like?"

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Herb Reichert Posted: May 31, 2016 2 comments
This Gramophone Dream is about my continuing adventures as I slowly scale the pyramid of analog audio. I'm still too close to the sandy earth to see the mythical gold tip or enjoy a six-figure super-turntable. However, in this month's episode, I do reach a level where I can relax, play some eternally beautiful music, and peer out over the vast desert of record-player mediocrity.
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Herb Reichert Posted: May 26, 2016 0 comments
This is a true story about a surprising 1W integrated amplifier—a push-pull, class-A, output-transformerless tube amp—that drove my DeVore Fidelity Orangutan O/93 speakers to 90dB average levels with grace, spiderweb detail, liquidity, and—unbelievably—a small degree of bass slam.
Herb Reichert Posted: Apr 28, 2016 19 comments
This is a story about vulgar words and what is likely one of the most innovative and exciting, yet self-consciously idiosyncratic, audio components of the 21st century: Schiit Audio's Ragnarok integrated amplifier ($1699).

I never use vulgar words—at least not in public. I rarely use the word shit as an adjective, a verb, or a noun. Therefore, when I first heard of an audio company founded by legendary audio engineer Mike Moffat (formally of Theta) and award-winning science-fiction author and audio polymath Jason Stoddard—a company named Schiit—I could permit myself to pronounce its name only as Shite. I thought it made me sound British instead of rude.

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