Herb Reichert

Herb Reichert  |  Mar 06, 2020  |  18 comments
The Quad Electroacoustics Ltd. Artera Solus is a multifunction audio component that was designed to look smart on top of a bureau in a living room or office. It comes with a thick, removable smoked-glass top that complements its compact dimensions. It weighs 25lb, and, in addition to being attractive, feels genuinely solid and well-made. Like its Artera-series stablemates, the Artera Solus strikes an intriguing engineering and aesthetic balance between decorator-friendly lifestyle product and serious audiophile product worthy of the Quad name.
Herb Reichert  |  Mar 04, 2020  |  43 comments
The image above is not a modernist oil painting. It's an airport x-ray of my friend Jeffrey Jackson's backpack.

Can you identify its contents? Did you notice the red rectangle alerting the inspector of a suspicious object is, or what it's worth?

That ominous-looking black silhouette is a 1930s-era Western Electric 555W "receiver"—ie, a compression driver for use with a horn. It's about 10" in diameter and weighs around 15lb. It requires a 7V DC/1.4A power supply for its field-coil magnet and would cost about $8000 to replace.

Herb Reichert  |  Feb 07, 2020  |  71 comments
When I applied for this job, I wrote a pretend review of the Rogue Audio Sphinx integrated amplifier and emailed it to Stephen Mejias, then Stereophile's deputy editor, who printed it and put it on John Atkinson's desk.

Before I sent it to Stephen, I showed a rough draft to my business agent, Sphere, who said, "Herb, you can't turn this in like this."

"Why?" I asked.

"Because you speak as if you are not an audiophile and think you're superior to audiophiles."

Herb Reichert  |  Jan 23, 2020  |  33 comments
In my personal life I prefer the minimalist, one-box architecture of integrated amplifiers. Always have. Before I started writing for Stereophile, my only audio system consisted of a pair of 15 ohm Rogers LS3/5a loudspeakers (with factory wall mounts) and an ancient Creek integrated amplifier, connected to my computer via a Halide DAC HD, and to an Oppo CD player. That system had pitch-perfect tone and was satisfying with all types of music.
Herb Reichert  |  Jan 08, 2020  |  30 comments
Tell me now: When you're there in the scene, watching Lord Voldemort chase Han Solo through the Cave of the Klan Bear, how often do you notice that the sounds you're experiencing are being pumped at you from five black-painted room boundaries, while the flickering-light images approach from only one? Moreover, in a parallel, more quotidian reality, you're sitting upright in your seat, noisily chomping popcorn while absorbing—and processing—massive amounts of sensory data: Did you ever consider the sensual, mechanical, and psychological complexity of a moment like this, and how fundamentally unnatural it is?
Herb Reichert  |  Dec 26, 2019  |  38 comments
No one thinks I have a good memory, but I can easily remember a few sentences from my March 2016 review of Elac's Debut B6 loudspeaker. The sentence I remember best: "I might be able to forgive you for liking Paul more than John, George, or Ringo, but if you don't grasp the genius of Mel Tormé, only God can save you." I felt guilty for bringing God into the story, but I sincerely wanted everyone to experience the wonder of the Velvet Fog (Tormé) and to realize how good Mel could sound on a pair of $279.99/pair upstart speakers with audiophile pretensions.
Herb Reichert  |  Dec 04, 2019  |  9 comments
My current romance with audiophile-quality headphones began in earnest with the appearance, about 10 years ago, of Audeze's LCD-2 planar-magnetic headphones—these predated the company's patented Fazor elements, said to guide the sound around the transducers' magnet structures—and Schiit Audio's original Asgard headphone amplifier. Together, these groundbreaking products rekindled my interest by making headphone listening into something new and exciting—something less distorted, more dynamic, denser, and more intensely lifelike than what I was getting from my speakers on the floor. Best of all, I could listen while lying in bed with my eyes closed.
Herb Reichert  |  Nov 27, 2019  |  101 comments
Everyone who reads my loudspeaker reviews knows: I wish box speakers did not sound like box speakers. Plus! I wish all speakers sounded focused and transparent like LS3/5a's or vintage Quads. I also want them to be uncompressed and play large, with window-shattering power and floor-shaking bass. And while I'm wishing . . . I'll take a little glow and sparkle and voodoo magic as well.
Herb Reichert  |  Nov 07, 2019  |  11 comments
Some products I review touch my heart and affect how I see all other products that I review afterwards. VK Audio's made-in-Japan $1785 EleKit TU-8600R 300B single-ended tube amp kit was one of those. This amp uses Swedish-made Lundahl transformers (and super-premium parts) to deliver near-state-of-the-art performance at a price anyone with a soldering iron could afford.

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