A Lifetime Achievement Award for Robert Deutsch

Last night, at cocktail hour here at the Toronto Audiofest, the organizers presented their Lifetime Achievement Award to Stereophile contributing editor and longtime Stereophile contributor Robert Deutsch.

Audiofest organizer Michel Plante invited Jim Austin, Stereophile's new editor, onto the stage to present the award.

"Tonight I have an honor that I haven't earned," Jim said. "I've been Stereophile's editor for only eight months, and I get to present a lifetime achievement award."

Jim then told the audience that he had asked John Atkinson, a longtime colleague of Robert Deutsch, to prepare some remarks, which he—Jim—read at the event:

Robert Deutsch first appeared in the pages of Stereophile three decades ago as the author of a letter that complained about the English usages that had been introduced by the magazine’s then-new editor, the very English John Atkinson.
Husband to the ever-patient Beverley; a dog lover; a PhD; once a university professor, teaching experimental psychology; a student of singing; possessed of a fine tenor voice; a regular performer in amateur opera; a regular attendee at professional opera; and most important from our viewpoint, a keen audiophile, Bob joined Stereophile’s team of writers in 1988 as a music reviewer. His first two articles published in the magazine—“The Non-Tweaker's Guide To Tweaks” and “How To Write Manufacturers' Comments”—combined keen-eyed observations with a sharp-edged sense of humor. An article he wrote 20 years later, drawing on his experience in psychology—“Are You a Sharpener or a Leveler?”— is one of the most insightful explorations of what it is like to be a reviewer to be published in the magazine
Bob earned his bones in 1991 and 1992 as a Stereophile reviewer writing about preamplifiers—many preamplifiers, from Conrad-Johnson, Coda, Mark Levinson, and Threshold and others. Look through the 680 reviews, show reports, articles, and interviews on the Stereophile website and you find Bob comprehensively describing his experiences with box loudspeakers; enjoying horn speakers; enthusing over tubed amplifiers; carefully coming to grips with solid state amplifiers; playing with powerline accessories; and occasionally returning to his beloved Quad electrostatics, all the while bringing into sharp focus what makes each product relevant to music-loving audiophiles.
Along the way, he became Canada's voice in Stereophile.
And never once did he complain to his editor that every one of those products had to be carried up to his second floor listening room in suburban Toronto.
Sometimes a sharpener, sometimes a leveler, always an audiophile in love with music, Bob has spent a lifetime getting better sound from his beloved vocal recordings, with many more improvements lying ahead.

In an emotional acceptance speech, Bob thanked the crowd and the organizers and spoke of how much it had meant to him over the decades to be part of the audiophile community.

It was the second such award this year: Earlier this year at the Montreal Audiofest, the same organization (which also puts on the Montreal show) presented its Lifetime Achievement Award to longtime Stereophile editor John Atkinson.

Herb Reichert's picture

and my favorite Stereophile writer speaker reviewer and personality.He exudes warmth and charm. I remember the first time I met him and all the fun we've had covering shows together over the years. I am honored to be on the same crew as Bob.


Art Dudley's picture
A richly deserved award: To echo Herb's sentiments, I am honored to work alongside Robert Deutsch!
Bogolu Haranath's picture

Congratulations Mr.Robert Deutsch ...... I have always enjoyed reading your reviews and writings :-) .......

Bogolu Haranath's picture

.... and thank you for showing JA1 how to use proper English :-) ........

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

I miss seeing you. It has always been a joy to see you and read your reviews. May the joy continue.


Kal Rubinson's picture

Bob, as all have said, is nice, friendly and charming. In addition, he is a very acute thinker as well as listener and I always learn something whenever he speaker or writes, even if it is about a product in which, at first glance, I have no interest.

John Atkinson's picture
Ever since Bob joined our team in 1988, originally recruited by then-music editor Richard Lehnert to contribute record reviews, I have been a fan of his writings, as you might guess from the words I sent Jim for the presentation. Just wish I could have been there in person.

John Atkinson
Technical Editor, Stereophile

Glotz's picture

I have learned a great deal from Robert over the years and loved his 'Tweaks' essay and his reviews. I trust him implicitly in all that he writes!

I couldn't agree more with his and Art's findings in their recent GAIA 3 footer reviews... more great work and I thank them both for the direction to a very satisfying purchase.