Herb Reichert

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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.
Herb Reichert  |  Nov 05, 2017  |  2 comments
Fyssion? That rhymes with "fishin'," right? Every year I pop in the Fyssion room and every year I start thinking of fishin' before I even sit down, because these Fine Southern Gentlemen remind me of how good the bass fishing must be in their home state of North Carolina. I always cause a little friction 'cause I try to get them to have a room sheet with info about the gear they are playing and they always say, "Why should I do that?" I grin and explain that, "No words from you gets no words from me." They all laugh.
Herb Reichert  |  Nov 04, 2017  |  6 comments
I like the word tenacious. I consider myself tenacious. I admire tenacity. But I have to ask, what is Tenacious Sound? It is an audio dealer in Syracuse, New York, that is about to "tenaciously" open a new store in Nashville, TN. Tenacious had two rooms at the 2017 Capital Audio fest. The first was upscale and featured John Bevier demonstrating the hottest speaker of the moment, one I think sounds fast and lucid in a sometimes-thrilling way, the TAD ME-1K ($14,290/pair).
Herb Reichert  |  Nov 03, 2017  |  1 comments
That is me you see hanging out the car window like an old hound dog—ears flappin' in the slipstream—a big smile on my face. I am happy in the wind 'cause I am heading down to Rockville, Maryland to Capital Audio fest (starting today, November 3, and running though Sunday November 5) where I will see at least 60 fine audio rooms and I'll chatter on a panel about "The Virtues of Vintage" with old pals, Art Dudley, Joe Roberts, and Blackie Pagano. I'll be cruising the Rockville Hilton Hotel halls meeting new people and visiting the rooms of some old and (hopefully) some new friends. Tickets for entry are only $20 a day or $30 for the whole weekend.
Herb Reichert  |  Oct 26, 2017  |  5 comments
Every day in my bunker, I use one of a few high-quality headphone amplifiers to double as a line-level preamplifier-controller and operate as the quality-assurance reference for my ongoing audio experiments. I must choose this component carefully, because it determines the upper limit of my system's ability to reveal any subtle differences among components under review.
Herb Reichert  |  Oct 15, 2017  |  2 comments
Sunday afternoons at audio shows are when the good sound is just kicking in. The rooms' components have recovered from the trauma of travel and are starting to purr. Unfortunately, that's when the toys go back in the boxes. That is also when this humble reporter looks like he's been dragged behind a car.

And this Sunday, just when I thought I was done being dragged, I get this mad call from an out-of-breath Jason Victor Serinus, saying, "Herb! Get your ass up to room 1125 (the Parasound-Tekton room). The sound is amazing, and you must listen to this speaker. Hurry up!"

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