Herb Reichert

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Herb Reichert  |  Mar 20, 2018  |  4 comments
Everything sounds like what it's made of.

I'm known for saying that, and to me, it's obvious: box speakers with dome tweeters sound like box speakers with dome tweeters. I can hear their tweeters calling to me when I'm in the next room, making a phone call. I can hear their boxes hissing and groaning even after I turn off the stereo. Many a day, I think Edgar Villchur, inventor of the acoustic-suspension loudspeaker and the dome tweeter, ruined audio, and that audiophiles will never stop denying how artificially colored the sounds of domes and cones in boxes really are.

Herb Reichert  |  Feb 20, 2018  |  29 comments
During the hour preceding my removal of the KEF LS50 loudspeakers from their spiked, rough-iron stands, I was lost in the recurring still moments, reverberating tones, and contemplative spirit of Sir John Tavener's Eis Thanaton and Theophany, in the recording by soprano Patricia Rozario, bass Stephen Richardson, and Richard Hickox conducting the City of London Sinfonia (CD, Chandos CHAN 9440).
Herb Reichert  |  Feb 08, 2018  |  4 comments
In my October 2017 column I reported on two turntables, the Palmer 2.5 and AMG Giro G9, each costing $10,000 and up, depending on ancillaries. It wasn't that I wanted to get all Mikey Fremer Uptown on you; I wanted to refine my listening skills and familiarize my senses with what my own humble system would sound like with a pair of world-class record players.
Herb Reichert  |  Feb 01, 2018  |  42 comments
The XA25 stereo amplifier is the latest addition to Pass Laboratories' XA series of amplifiers and, at $4900, the lowest priced. It weighs only 45 lbs, has single-ended inputs only, and outputs 25Wpc into 8 ohms, 50Wpc into 4 ohms, or 100Wpc (!) into 2 ohms. According the XA25's well-written owner's manual, it will deliver 50W peaks into 2, 4, or 8 ohms—in class-A.
Herb Reichert  |  Dec 28, 2017  |  2 comments
New York City, 1989: I had a music and audio-guru friend named George, who worked at both Tower Records and Stereo Exchange. Every Saturday I'd slip him a Grant and, over the following week, he would choose $50 worth of used Tower LPs he thought I should own. One midweek afternoon, on my way home from work, I dropped in on George at Stereo Exchange, to chat and maybe see what was new. Grinning, he led me to a back room and pointed to a pair of small speakers mounted on stands. "Tell me what you think of these." He walked out and left me to listen alone.
Herb Reichert  |  Nov 28, 2017  |  8 comments
I spend my days comparing cartridges and speaker stands, arguing about imaging and microphone placement, speculating about DAC filters, and lately, sometimes, very secretly listening to headphones connected not to commercially available headphone amplifiers but directly to the outputs of basic tubed and solid-state power amplifiers. No person in his right mind would or should try this—it's too easy to destroy a pair of delicate, expensive headphones. But for me, it's been worth the risk.
Herb Reichert  |  Nov 16, 2017  |  12 comments
For audiophiles of a certain age, the mere mention of NAD Electronics' original 3020 integrated amplifier (1980, designed by Erik Edvardsen), or Adcom's GFA-555 stereo power amplifier (1985, designed by Nelson Pass), conjures up happy memories of audio's last Golden Age—an idyllic time when working stiffs could luxuriate in the same audio arcadia as bankers and brokers. Since then, few, if any, audio components have achieved that level of iconic high value. Which caused me to wonder: What would it take, nowadays, to manufacture a genuinely high-value audiophile product: one that delivers exciting, satisfying sound at a price most audiophiles can afford?
Herb Reichert  |  Nov 08, 2017  |  0 comments
Dan Wright is most famous for his Oppo disc-player modifications that seem to cure the colorlessness and industrial ennui that contaminates the stock Oppo players. They look a bit weird sci-fi with the two tubes sticking out the top like alien antennae—but his BDP-105 and 205 mods sound rich fast and wonderful. Dan also makes beautifully crafted amps and preamps. And lately, he's been making glamorous-looking and -sounding headphone amplifiers like the shiny red $7900 300B tube-powered HA300 amplifier pictured above.
Herb Reichert  |  Nov 08, 2017  |  0 comments
What I love most about the CanJam-CanMania world of headphones is, when I enter these rooms full of tables stacked with gear and cans; all laid out into individual listening stations; each with its own folding chair, DAC, amp, and headphones—all with table cloths and tangled wires—I am reminded of those ham radio meets I used to attend. Those tribal rooms were always alive with a collective vibe of discovery—just like here and now. CAF 2017's CanMania was no exception, and, exactly like those old hamfests, there are tubes everywhere.

And of course, the most hamfest-tubealistic of all is (as always) Justin Weber's Ampsandsound table...

Herb Reichert  |  Nov 07, 2017  |  10 comments
When I walked into the VK Music room, I was jealous and embarrassed. I was jealous, because obviously VK Music's Victor Kung was doing something I admire; I was simultaneously embarrassed that I had never heard of his British Columbia-based operation.