Robert J. Reina RIP

All of us Stereophile were deeply saddened this morning to learn of the death of Bob Reina, after a brief battle with cancer. Bob was 61. After a stint at The Absolute Sound and cofounding a high-end audio magazine, Sounds Like..., Bob joined Stereophile in 1995 and his first review was of a Creek amplifier. Bob's final review will be of VAC's Signature SE preamplifier in our June issue.

Although Bob could appreciate the sonic virtues of the finest audio gear, he was always excited to discover budget-priced components that delivered better sound quality than they had a right to.

This photo, taken at rehearsals for the John Atkinson Quartet's jazz gig at Home Entertainment 2002 in New York, shows him doing what he loved best, creating music. Audiophile, oenophile, composer, musician, music lover, reviewer, MIT graduate, husband to Ellen, father to Jordyn and Caitlin, and my friend, Bob was indeed a "gentle man."

eriks's picture

So sorry for the loss.

I thank Bob for his contributions and the many articles of his I have read over the years and wish his extended family a speedy recovery.


Mcintoshman's picture

He will be missed. In many ways, Mr. Reina was my favorite Stereophile writer.

csmalak's picture

Very sad to hear of Bob's passing. I enjoyed reading his equipment and music reviews. My deepest condolences to Bob's family, his friends and colleagues at Stereophile for your loss.

bubba's picture

he'll be sorely missed by his friends & brothers at
Γπ chapter of ΚΣ

Glotz's picture

What a tragedy. He was a pleasure to read and had such great insight. We will miss him every month.

jimtavegia's picture

I loved his writing and reading about his and JA's recording adventures. He will be greatly missed by all. With my wife's 2 bouts with colon cancer and my own recent mini-stroke it has made us appreciate every day more. My condolences to his family and to the Stereophile family. So hard to believe.

54 Les Paul Jr's picture

I always had the feeling that the Stereofile staff was like a family which makes it even more of a joy to read. Sorry for your loss which we readers share with you all.

Allen Fant's picture

Another great writer and music lover gone from the Stereophile Staff.
R.I.P.- RR.

Bill Leebens's picture

I only encountered Bob twice, but both encounters were memorable.
His intelligence was immediately evident, but it was the rare combination of humility, generosity and sheer joy that were striking.

I was fortunate to be able to present Bob and Attention Screen at the NY Audio Show in 2012, and shall always recall Bob's astonishment and delight at the restored vintage Steinway that was on hand for him to play.

There are far too few kind souls around these days, and the loss of Bob is a loss for all of us.

willdao's picture

I never knew him...except through his writings here, and at TAS...which, because of his evident intelligence and love of life and music and many of those things that mark some of the best of human endeavors, meant I could know him, perhaps a little, after all. Certainly, I much enjoyed every single article of his I ever read. Indeed, rest in peace, RJR, and thank you for your gifts to us.

tonykaz's picture

All of us have to feel this personally.

Decades ago we had the rest of our lives to pursue,
now Bob is another weighty reminder of how fragile our lives are.

I'm saddened, I've had 7 decades, my turn is just around the corner.

I just read about Bob's musical plans in the Emovita 4s review, I had hopes for him and me as a result, I felt the joy of his adventure,

Then poof, it's over, an exciting life gone, one of us.

And it's Bob of all people.

Dick Cheney and I'd be feeling quite different.

This time we all loose someone nice, a good person.

I'll be at half Flags for a good while.

Tony in Michigan

ps. better call my people to say hello,

ssimon's picture

This is awful. He was a fine reviewer with admirably eclectic taste in gear. And obviously someone who'll be greatly missed by his family and personal friends (and readers).
With the departure of Sam T and Wes P, the bench now seems kind of depleted, despite the strong reviewers who remain.

HalSF's picture

I owe Robert J. Reina big time for the Paradigm Studio Reference 20 v.2’s and the Epos ELS-3’s I still listen to. He had an inspiring and true genius for writing about so-called affordable components, especially speakers, without a trace of high-end condescension. At a time when my hi-fi aspirations and budget were way out of sync, he opened the door to beautiful sound and welcomed me inside.

tomasvalparaiso's picture


otaku's picture

That is terrible news. I never met Mr. Reina personally, but we had exchanged many emails regarding our musical tastes, and I still enjoy playing the LP's that he suggested. A tremendous loss to myself and the community.

DanGB's picture

He was one of those entertaining writers who made Stereophile such a pleasure to read, whether you agreed with their opinions or not.

jfbaquero's picture

I am deeply sad to learn of Bob´s passing. He´s reviews where my favorite ones. Bob was the only reason I read Stereophile. He was one of the few who had a true interest in HiFi for everybody and not a something for "rich old men with endless wallets". He will be missed. My condolences to his family.

amudhen's picture

One of favorite writers is no longer among us. Too young, too soon, too tragic. Rest in piece RJR. You will be missed by many of us.

bootlegger's picture

I've been a subscriber to both Stereophile & TAS magazines over the decades, long enough to remember the TAS work he has submitted and more recently, the reviews at Stereophile. I've been very fond of his prospective on affordable and entry level priced high end audio equipment. He will be missed, that's for sure! Sad news...

Tenchie's picture

I am so sad to hear of Robert's passing. I have followed him for more than 20 years, and considered him a friend that I had never met personally.
Tears for his family.

labjr's picture

Sorry to read this sad news. Always enjoyed his reviews and will be missing another member the Stereophile team and the larger world of audio enthusiasts.

hnipen's picture

I am very sorry to hear about this, My condolensces
I always enjoyed Robert's writing

Sak's picture

I was there at the 2002 show and loved that gig. I have enjoyed RJR's contributions to Stereophile over the years, and I will truly miss his writing. This is sad news, indeed. My sincerest condolences to his Stereophile and immediate family members.

stvgray's picture

I'm so saddened to learn of Bob's passing.

For me, he was a byline at first, but someone I always enjoyed reading. Then, by an odd coincidence, he wound up recruiting me to write record reviews for the short-lived Sounds Like magazine, and then for The Absolute Sound.

I'll miss his friendship, his good advice on gear and his reviews.

So sad.

jeffreybehr's picture

I've known Bob for decades and was pleased to have him and Ellen as houseguests on one of his VERY rare vacations in Arizona.

pablolie's picture

I always enjoyed his writing. I add my voice to many others... He will be missed.

Tsoomro's picture

Have been reading Stereophile since early 80's. Came to like reviews written by RJR during last few years. Those were real world reviews of components which most of us could afford. Will miss him a lot.