Herb Reichert

Herb Reichert  |  Mar 21, 2023  |  15 comments
The hegemony of the skinny-box orthodoxy had me worrying about our collective music-listening future—until a day in September 2022 at Jason Tavares's elegantly appointed HiFi Loft in Hell's Kitchen, NYC, where, after auditioning Klipsch's new, spectacularly dynamic, precise-imaging Jubilee horns (which have front baffles 52" wide) and Harbeth's latest not-skinny-but-consummately-coherent SHL5plus XD, I auditioned these stout, unpainted, unveneered-plywood box speakers.
Herb Reichert  |  Mar 06, 2023  |  2 comments

I mentioned in my CanJam NYC intro that CanJams offer more than just networking and headphone auditions. (You can read part 2 here.) They are also good places, I noted, to access the house sound of virtually every good DAC and amplifier that will fit on a tabletop.

Herb Reichert  |  Feb 28, 2023  |  5 comments
In Gramophone Dreams #51, I flat-out raved about Feliks-Audio's made-in-Poland "Arioso" integrated amplifier ($6999). This black, stealthy looking, single-ended 300B stereo speaker amp mated extremely well with my Falcon Gold Badges. During the months I worked on my review, I tormented engineer-designer Lukasz Feliks with at least 100 questions via email, but I didn't meet him in person. So what a joy it was to see the face behind all those emails—he's on the left in the photo above—and the smiling faces of his two partner-brothers, Piotr (center), and Michal (right). I like meeting the minds behind the gear I review.
Herb Reichert  |  Feb 27, 2023  |  0 comments

CanJams are about much more than skull-testing the newest headphones. They are the best places for all audiophiles to audition innovations in amplification, file servers, and digital converters and to jabber and bond with students, hipsters, gamers, and brainiacs from every part of the demographic spectrum. When the Jam is in New York, at the Marriott Marquis, it's like a being in a secret stadium lit neon-purple with white, vinyl-covered lounge chairs sheltered from the 100dB cauldron of Times Square tourism.

Herb Reichert  |  Feb 23, 2023  |  3 comments
As an upstart journalist-flâneur, my basic urge is to step on the gas and let my '54 Buick careen down the freeway, crashing into guardrails on both sides. Old Buicks were built for that, and I would love to take readers on one of those kinds of rides.

But when I write this monthly column, I find myself aiming for a different feel, more like driving cross-country in a '70s Ford station wagon, documenting motels and gas stations. A trip where it's fun to roll easy, take in the views, and stop at every car museum, snake farm, and stalactite cave.

This month, I'm going to put some miles on the Ford's odometer as I investigate the effects of Ron Sutherland's newest current-drive creation: a $3800 transimpedance moving coil headamp called the SUTZ. Along the way, I will also re-review Dynavector's $1250 DV-20X2 moving coil cartridge and examine what might be the sweetest spot in Dynavector's cartridge lineup: the $2150 XX-2 MKII.

Herb Reichert  |  Feb 03, 2023  |  15 comments
Before this month, I'd never experienced Rotel amplification in one of my own systems, but I have memories of how their amplifiers sounded back in the early 1990s. In those days, at audio shows, I would audition every Rotel amp I could find; I was especially interested in their $369, 60Wpc RB-960BX. I was curious about that model because it was the number-one competitor to the 60Wpc darling of the audiophile proletariat: Adcom's GFA 535 II. My friend Corey Greenberg compared these two popular amps in Stereophile and concluded, "The Rotel is for the budget-minded music lover who wants a good, solid little amplifier that's not going to make listening to music a trying experience."
Herb Reichert  |  Jan 24, 2023  |  7 comments
Everyone knows I'm a lucky guy. I was born in Chicago in nineteen-hundred and forty-nine, and as far as I can tell, that was the perfect year to be born. I missed the war, plague, and Depression horrors of the first half of the 20th century, and I witnessed the art, music, and cinema inventions of the second half.
Herb Reichert  |  Dec 28, 2022  |  23 comments
In my realm, the most sophisticated, intelligent, difficult thing anyone can do is create something mysterious. It could be a poem, a photo, a movie, a song, a symphony, or a piece of painted wood. What's most important is the mystery—and that experiencing the mysterious creation inspires in the observer a desire to probe its hidden realms, to somehow figure it out. Human cultures are founded on mysteries: Mysteries incite art, inspire science, and facilitate dreaming.
Herb Reichert  |  Dec 09, 2022  |  33 comments
This morning, I received an email from John, my DIY friend in Europe, saying how happy he was. He had just finished building a new power amplifier using two UcD250LP class-D amplifier modules. He described the results as "quiet, clear, clean, effortless class-D power," adding, "What more could I ask for?"
Herb Reichert  |  Nov 22, 2022  |  5 comments
In last month's Gramophone Dreams, I explained why doing any sort of empirical study of high-quality digital sources was extremely difficult. That any success I might achieve as a reporter would boil down to my ability to employ metaphors to describe a DAC's clarity and dynamic personality. Concocting metaphors for DAC reviews is risky because it assumes readers will be familiar with the sound of my amplifier and speakers and, ideally, with one of the DACs I'm using in the comparison. That's a lot to assume.