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Reviews

Herron Audio products have been getting good reviews. See what the world's premier high-end audio publications are saying:

JAN 3 2012 +++++++.

- T.H.E. Show Newport Beach 2015: Stereophile.com: Sasha Matson's Day 2 at the Newport Show By Sasha Matson • Posted: Jun 1, 2015 See Report

- T.H.E. Show Newport Beach 2015: The Absolute Sound.com: Cables, Power Products, Accessories, and Music By Jim Hannon • Posted: Jun 5, 2015
..."Herron Audio electronics (tube phonostage and preamplifier, and solid-state monoblocks) are supremely musical."...
See Report

- T.H.E. Show Newport Beach 2015: audiocircle.com See Report

- VTPH-2 phono stage customer online reviews at Audiogon See Customer Responses and See Customer Responses

- Review: Herron Audio VTSP-3A (R03) Linestage See Review

- Customer post at Audiogon: The Herron Audio Experience See Customer Responses

- VTSP-3A(r02) line stage customer online reviews at Audiogon See Customer Responses

- VTSP-3A(r02) line stage customer online reviews at Audiogon See Customer Responses

- VTSP-3A line stage customer online reviews at Audiogon See Customer Responses

- T.H.E. Show Newport Beach 2013: parttimeaudiophile.com Part 7, Kirsten’s Notes, listed under Martin Logan See Report

- T.H.E. Show Newport Beach 2013: Stereophile.com: Pacific Coast A/V: Herron, MartinLogan, and more By Jason Victor Serinus • Posted: Jun 8, 2013 See Report

- T.H.E. Show Newport Beach 2013: whatsbestforum.com See Report

- T.H.E. Show Newport Beach 2013: audiocircle.com See Report

- AXPONA 2013 Audio Show in Chicago customer interview See Customer Responses

- AXPONA 2013 Audio Show in Chicago visitor comments about Herron Audio See Visitor Comments

- M1 Monaural Power Amplifier customer online reviews at Audiogon See Customer Responses

- VTSP-3A lne stage customer online reviews at Audiogon See Customer Responses

- VTSP-3A line stage customer online reviews at Amp/Preamp Asylum See Customer Responses


JAN 3 2012 +++++++.

T.H.E. Show Newport 2015
Stereophile: Sasha Matson's Day 2 at the Newport Show

""My very full second day at THE Show Newport continued with some wonderful quality time and listening. Had a good visit with designer/owner Keith Herron (left), of appropriately named Herron Audio. This company is based in St. Louis, and Mr. Herron is particularly interested in the musical aspects of his gear, and stated to me that he felt musicians respond particularly well to it. Being a composer myself, I think he is spot-on. Herron Audio covers most of the bases with the very reasonably priced system that was up and running at the show. Starting with a Herron Audio VTPH-2 vacuum-tube phono stage ($3650), into the Herron Audio VTSP-3A vacuum-tube stereo preamplifier ($6550), and downstream to the Herron Audio M1A mono power amplifiers ($6850/pair)..."

"The loudspeakers here were Audio Physic Avantis—but I was told by Keith they are no longer in production. We listened to a recording of the Masterwork Chorale in St. Louis, which sounded simply gorgeous, and I really got a kick out of hearing a couple of film tracks from Burt Bacharach and Henry Mancini as well. The gear is very compact, musical as hell, and affordable—at least in high-end terms. A lot to like here—thumbs way up and wavin'."

- By Sasha Matson • Posted: Jun 1, 2015 See Report


Audiophile Magazine 2013 - The High End Audio Journal of Hong Kong
The Herron VTSP-3A(r02) Vacuum Tube Stereo Preamplifier

- read the article (Chinese PDF)

Reviewed by - Ban Wong


2011 Positive Feedback awardPositive Feedback ISSUE 58, November/December 2011

The 8th Annual Positive Feedback Online's Writers' Choice Awards for 2011 - The Best of the Best!
Herron VTSP-3A

"Poor economy or not, seemingly the year revealed an unending number of new or upgraded examples of audio components. Was there a real demand for such a plethora or will the promotional firms be working overtime trying to get us, music lovers and audiophiles, to at least think about buying some new components? Fortunately there are a few companies out there that keep trying to make their products as good as possible as newly designed parts and procedures become available in areas of the world. Some audio designers/engineers are anxious to get hold of those newly released items to hear if they actually sound better and if so they will be using them in their own listening systems. If satisfied, then we will be able to obtain these upgraded products rather quickly; at least that is how it can happen with a relatively small company in any field including audio. How can that company get the word out without great promotional cost and time so we can benefit. Just think about that and the ramifications. Heron Audio's newly released upgrades designated as preamplifier VTSP-3A the 'A' is for the newly upgraded version and the solid-state power amplifiers are designated as M1 and are as expected monaural (single channel)."

- Positive Feedback Online's Writers' Choice Awards for 2011 read the article

JAN 3 2012 +++++++.

Positive Feedback ISSUE 58, November/December 2011
Herron Audio VTSP-3A Preamplifier and the M1 Amplifiers;
as reviewed by Karl Lozier

"More than ever, Herron's latest electronics seem to let the music just flow out of them in an extremely natural way..."

"...I can now simply use and listen to Herron's amplification equipment, and have no need to compare with anything else. It is my reference standard..."

"So my recommendation is when auditioning either one, make every effort to audition them together, even if you only need one of them, sooner or later you will want both of them..."


- Karl Lozier read the review


Bound For Sound Issue # 195/196 - Special Products Report "Components of Merit Issue."
Herron VTPH-2 Phono Stage ($3,650)
"The last phono stage you'll need."

"For those persons who want the very best possible from their vinyl, this is the phono stage to end up with. I could have said, "to start with", but most audiophiles feel the compulsion to upgrade on a periodic basis and if they start with the Herron the upgrade instinct would merely force them to go on to something else that wouldn't sound as good. If you end up with the Herron, then the journey was worth it. There are a lot of nice phono stages out there and for the Herron to be such a standout product it must do something significantly different. And it does. It's called the Infinite Impedance cartridge loading option, whereby, the load seen by the cartridge is in the trillions (!) and for all intents and purposes is infinite. Such a high cartridge load basically allows the pick-up to drive the phono stage with no effort or work. You will hear the cartridge as it really sounds without the high frequency damping afforded by the standard load options available with most phono stages. In the cartridge survey, three of the four cartridges sounded their absolute best loaded with the Infinite Impedance load. Which doesn't mean that if your cart still sounds better with a load of 50 or 100 Ohms, the Herron can't accommodate it. On the back panel are RCA jacks which accept plugs with any load imaginable. Simply ask Keith for the values you need and he can send them to you. It's as easy as that.

"How does it sound? Fantastic!"
- Martin G. DeWulf


Bound For Sound Issue # 190, January, 2009
The VTPH-2 Vacuum Tube Phono Preamplifier

"The end product was a unit that was flowing and musical sounding while naturally drawing out from each musical instrument every minutia of tone, timbre and dynamic range."

"Upon initially hearing the VTPH-2 in a good system, the first thing I noticed was the unit's ability to contrast dark from light and soft from loud."

"Low level information is truly outstanding with the VTPH-2, however, it's the Herron's ability to unravel and keep organized complex passages that sets it apart from the other units I've used, as well as digital."

"...packing up the VTPH-2 and sending it back to Keith was harder than sending back any phono stage I've ever reviewed - bar none..."
- Martin G. DeWulf read the review (PDF)


CES 2009: The Best Sound Money Can't Buy by Jim Hannon, AVGuide.com

http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/ces-2009-the-best-sound-money-cant-buy/


August 15, 2008 - Ultra Audio www.ultraaudio.com
Herron Audio VTPH-2 Phono Stage

"When I hear a musical passage, it can be as if for the first time, my previous experience of listening to that passage first renewed, then suddenly displaced by a recurrence that makes my memory of having heard it before evanesce as the more beautiful notes of this present listening trail out over the air, striking new chromatic registers. The harmonies are deeper and more complex each time, and the melodies are as new footprints on a beach that, just a moment before, had been washed smooth by a wave.

"Such was my experience of the new VTPH-2 phono stage from Herron Audio ($3650 USD). At the end of nearly three months with it, when I put on Claudio Arrau's recording of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No.5, the "Emperor" (Philips 6570 086) -- an LP I'd heard dozens of times before through another system -- it was as if I were hearing it anew. Sonic colors, the lush harmonies of the orchestra, the attack and decay transients of the piano and its deep, tonal resonances -- all were presented in fresh profusion. Bass notes and their warmth through the frequencies rose up as though they were the volcanic breath of the planet."
- Garrett Hongo Ultra Audio August 15th, 2008 read the review


Bound For Sound Issue # 187 July 2008
Herron VTSP-3 Linestage Preamplifier

"It's a benchmark and bar setter for analysis and listening; in some important ways its sets new industry standards for neutrality and transparency. A cleaner window, I have not heard. I find it very difficult to write about a product that does so very little wrong while refusing to artificially hype the things it does right."
- Martin G. DeWulf


hifi+ Magazine Issue 58
Herron Audio VTPH-2 Vacuum Tube Phono Preamplifier

"Pick up an acoustic instrument and the better it is, the greater the sense of life, of energy just waiting to burst forth. This is exactly the quality that the Herron phono-stage captures. All that texture it brings to instruments is built on micro-dynamic definition and the ability to capture the harmonic envelope, the pattern of energy that extends from instruments."

"The colour and ability to reveal each step in the growing intensity of a crescendo mark out the beautiful balance that the VTPH-2 strikes between the instrumental detail that gives music its beauty and the body and presence that gives it its drama and so much of its passion."

"The Herron VTPH-2 gives listeners all the benefits of a tube unit with few of the failings and a text-book technical performance to boot. It offers a level of vacuum-tube engineering (carefully combined with solid-state circuitry) that's rare at any price, unheard of at this one."
- Roy Gregory hifi+ issue 58


Positive-Feedback Online Issue 35
Herron Audio VTSP-3 Preamplifier

"The overall and distinctly noticeable effect has been to make listening to music more enjoyable and another step closer to realistic. For music lovers that may be all that needs to be said."

"It is time for some serious listening to be done. I am not going to give you a litany of recordings to try to show off some specific aspects of this newest Herron creation. That is not where the appeal of this music reproducer lies. It lies in making your experience with listening to a favorite recording more satisfying than ever before. The fact that it has a tad (a southern word meaning a little bit or definite hint) more bass fullness, richness and power in the mid to upper bass is only a part of overall experience and does tend to reveal its vacuum tube heritage. The audibly extended high frequency response has its own attraction at the same time being silky smooth and sweet while revealing even more inner detail. That is a really tough balancing act for an audio designer to successfully accomplish. It also appears to be more extended and very definitely adds the natural sensation or feeling of the recording location and strong hints of its size! That is probably at least partly responsible for the added detail as is the seeming lack of background noise. This is a very quiet preamplifier and listeners may find it even quieter in the lower gain mode."

"The all-important mid-range extends from its lower reaches adds detail and presence to the bass, to its upper extremes giving body to beautiful harmonic overtones is where music lives. The Herron vacuum tube VTSP-3 preamplifier makes that all important range come nearly alive, and the better the recording the closer it comes and the more the music will be savored, enjoyed and appreciated. It is as if the listener is moved a few rows closer to the orchestra compared to the previous VTSP-2. I must award Keith Herron's model VTSP-3 preamplifier my highest possible recommendation and hope that many music lovers will have the opportunity to discover it for themselves."
- Karl Lozier Positive-Feedback Online Issue 35


Audiophile Magazine August 2007
The High End Journal of Hong Kong

Read the article (Chinese PDF)


Herron Audio at 2007 CES/T.H.E. Show, Las Vegas:

Bound For Sound Issue 176 February 2007
CES 2007

"Keith Herron's room was a shining light in the glitter of CES. I oftentimes hear from manufacturers that the rooms are so lousy that one cannot expect good sound. Why does Keith get exceptional sound no matter where he is? Last year Herron Audio camped out at the Alexis Park (same as the year before), and the sound was out of this world. This year, Keith moved over to the St. Tropez and T.H.E. Show. This year's room was totally different from last year's. Again, his sound was wonderful. No excuses for Keith, just great equipment and the anticipated great results. New this year was his VTPH-2, a tube phono preamplifier. Keith played analog through it from a VPI front end. Then he played his digital through the phono stage by first sending his digital line signal through an inverted RIAA box, then through the phono section and then to his preamp. Even with these added electronics on line, his sound was outstanding - as good as anything at the CES. Unique to the new phono stage is an infinite input impedance option for moving coil inputs. Keith provided me with a demo wherein we auditioned input impedances of 100 Ohms, 47,000 Ohms and the infinite input. No doubt about it, the infinite input impedance was more open, airy and focused ... more like music. Lastly, Keith was showing a 3-way speaker of his own design that looked conventional, while sounding anything but. Full range, detailed and wildly dimensional, this new speaker isn't for sale now, but it will be later. You may want to wait for it."
- Martin G. DeWulf


The Stereo Times
2006 "Most Wanted Components"

Herron Audio VTSP-2 Vacuum Tube Line Stage
"The Herron VTSP-2 is one of the best line stages available due in no small measure to its innovative circuit design, flexibility, ease of use, and reliability. The sonic performance is first class. The VTSP-2 truly delivers the musical goods."

"The Herron VTSP-2 line stage is a highly innovative product offering first class sound, flexibility, and reliability. If you are looking for a line stage in the $5000.00 to $15000.00 range the VTSP-2 should be on your short list. It is truly a best buy among serious high-end line stages. Highly recommended!!!"
- H. Courtenay Osborne read the review


hi-fi+ Magazine Issue 42
The Herron Audio VTSP-2 Vacuum Tube and HL-1 Solid-state Pre-amplifiers

VTSP-2
"Music flows and pulses in an utterly natural and unrestrained way that brings performances to life, imbues instruments with energy and vibrance to fill out and illuminate their harmonic shades and structures."

"And so the examples go, from the deepest bass, right through the mids and up to the highest treble, time and again instruments and voices take on a new independence and identity, almost as if the Herron pre-amp is freeing them from the constraints of the system and recording."

"Its naturalness extends to its stereo perspective, with broad spacing of images and convincing depth that suggests actual placement rather than a reconstructed acoustic. Once again we find the Herron putting the music ahead of its means of reproduction."

"...what the Herron does is allow the elements in a recording their own identity, separate from the fabric that constitutes the sound. Or to put it another way, rather than presenting the music, which is constituted from these various instruments or voices, it delivers those instruments and voices and allows them together, to create the music. That might sound like a semantic nicety, but think about what it means. Suddenly, each player's intention and contribution is writ clear, his or her part in the whole laid bare, whilst at the same time, the chemistry thus revealed keeps the whole greater than the sum of the parts. The results are impressive, engaging and informative in equal measure, allowing the listener full rein to explore the complexities or simply beauty, whatever the music."

"Its sonic invisibility allows the subtle textural details in a recording to emerge, delicate facets that let the music breathe, conjuring the instruments and singers to life. There's an immediacy and directness to performances, a lack of obstruction or interpretive fabric to distract or confuse the listener. For once, accuracy is not a dirty word."

HL-1
"The HL1 majors on getting stuff in the right place at the right time."

"...the HL1 represents that rarest of beasts, a full-facilities pre-amplifier that manages to sound excellent without costing a fortune."

"The HL1 is an engaging and entertaining performer that backs up its enthusiasm with a solid technical and operational basis. Its unusual combination of versatility and honest sound quality make it a bargain in an under-populated area of the market."

VTSP-2 and HL-1
"These two units offer convincing yet contrasting performances that defy the presuppositions that attend their different technologies."
- Roy Gregory read the review (PDF)


Hi Fi Review Magazine
Product of the Year 2004 (Preamplifier) Herron Audio VTSP-2

Read the article (Chinese PDF)


Bound for Sound, Issue # 163, Feb. 2005 Components of Merit Issue

Components of Exceptional Merit- Preamplifiers and Passive Line Controls
Herron VTSP-1 active tube linestage: $3995.
"A superb performer. To many audiophiles the term neutral means bland. It really shouldn't, because the Herron VTSP is extraordinarily neutral, but it is anything but bland. Capable of outstanding dynamic shadings and a tonal richness that will turn your head from another room, the VTSP-1 may be the most accurate active preamplifier in this listing - that's a good thing. Over the last three years it could be said that Keith Herron has had the finest sound each WCES in Las Vegas. For the last two years he has been playing his solid state preamps. For me, however, there seems to be an extraordinary family resemblance between the preamps, even if some are tubes and others are solid state. The fact is, Keith Herron makes an active preamp capable of making aural pictures of the most realistic kind anywhere. Price is not the consideration with a Herron product. For example: Every year at the show I hear preamps in the $10,000-$30,000 price range. And yet it is the Herron room that comes off as sounding more realistic and magnetic than all others - it literally draws you into the music, not with sound effects, but with a sense of reality, a microphone's view of the performance that can be mesmerizing -reach out and touch it real. Upgrades have taken place since our original review of the VTSP."
- Martin G. DeWulf

Components of Merit- Needle Disc Equipment
Herron Audio VTPH-1MC outboard phono line stage amplifier: $3250.
"The first outboard phono section used by me on my journey back to analog. I now admit that I probably didn't hear it at its best. The tubes were aging, and it had been about ten years since I'd dumped my Micro Seiki with Grace arm and cartridge. Still, the Herron could really sing, exhibiting boat loads of energy and an uncanny sense of true tone. If that original audition was in any way truthful, the Herron is a 'space' machine. Not a particularly tubey sounding unit in spite of having tubes inside. An extremely nice balance of tube naturalness and solid state precision."
- Martin G. DeWulf


Positive Feedback Online - Issue 17
Herron Audio VTSP-2 Preamplifier

"I started to pull out recordings that I thought would be hard to reproduce without adding distortion or harshness, but I soon gave up. I was unable to find any faults with the VTSP-2. Is it possible to be more positive than that? None of the newly remastered RCA or Mercury SACDs caused any trouble. For musical beauty, try Ravel's Daphnis et Chloe, or Telarc's new Epics, a particularly fine, well conducted compilation with outstandingly sound. Do you have space for a quartet of world-class vocalists (plus a few instrumentalists) in your listening room? If so, prepare to be absolutely thrilled with The Manhattan Transfer's Vibrate album, which features superb harmonizing, fine solo singing, and great pop and jazz selections. Turn up the volume a bit on the VTSP-2 and be completely immersed. Home listening just doesn't get much better.

I started this review by asking whether the Herron VTSP-2 is "the one." I must conclude that it is the one preamplifier that competes head on with those at two, three, and four times its price."
- Karl Lozier read the review


The Stereo Times CES/T.H.E Show 2005
The High-End Audio Circuit

"Herron Audio - This room gets my vote for "Best Sound at the Show." Keith Herron really pulled out all the stops with this system, which included the VTSP-2 tube preamplifier ($5,000), M1 mono power amplifier ($6,000/pair), and VTPH-1MC tube phono stage ($3250). The synergy between the hardware and music played was awesome. I've only heard Herron Audio electronics with Audio Physic speakers and usually the sound is great. But this time Keith was using a prototype of his own speaker the ESP-1, a large infinite baffle design. The music reproduction capability of this system was simply outstanding in terms of natural dynamics, tonal accuracy, and resolution. I hope to spend some time with this system this year."
- H. Courtenay Osborne read the article


Audiotechnique Magazine 2005 Issue #1

"I've been extremely satisfied with the vocal reproduction on VTSP-1, but VTSP-2 offers more "flesh and blood". The tasty metallic tenor sax from Sonny Rollins - Way out West or the warmth of Ben Webster's Ballad is simply unforgettable."
- Thomas Leung Read the review (Chinese PDF)


Audiotechnique Magazine 2005 Issue #1

"HL-1's soundstage is wider and deeper, better separation, transparency and more alive than the VTSP-1."
- Thomas Leung Read the review (Chinese PDF)


SoundStage! A/V
The CES 2005 Jimmy Awards - Herron Audio

"An oasis on the last day of CES was the Herron Audio room. Whether it was the graciousness of Mr. and Mrs. Herron or the vinyl being played, after the usual perfunctory listen I found it impossible to leave. Because the Herron ESP-1 loudspeakers were prototypes (no price yet), I restrict this Jimmy Award to Herron's electronics: the VTSP-2 tube preamplifier ($5000), M1 mono power amplifier ($6000 per pair), and VTPH-1MC tube phono stage ($3250). Heck, I'll throw in the Herron interconnect ($225) and DiMarzio speaker cables ($500) as well...anyone with access to Keith Herron's highly engaging products should take a listen to the full setup. A Herron system would be a classical-music-lover's Holy Grail."
- James Saxon
http://www.soundstageav.com/onhifi/20050115.htm


Bound for Sound Issue #162
CES 2005

"I think Keith Herron is a genius of sorts. Without undue fanfare each year, and without excuses for room irregularities and bad conditions, Keith simply provides one of the best sounding rooms at the show each year. Again this time, an argument could be made that in spite of the relatively modest nature of his system, it may have been the finest of them all. This year, Keith used his own speakers eschewing the Alons that served him so well in years past. And the results were a resounding success. Within the small confines of his room, and away from the pitch and sell going on in the rooms neighboring his, Keith made incredible music. The sound of the Herron system didn't display the amazing dynamic range of the Edge room. Nor, did it have the incredible immediacy or intimacy of the Ray Kimber room. What Keith once again had, was the amazing sensation that what one was hearing was exactly the information recorded onto the medium, be it needle disc or CD. It's as if one is reaching backward through the speakers, the cabling. the electronics, back to what is on the recording. As good as many of the rooms at the show were, not one of them had the same sensation of pure transparency. What Keith did wasn't big, though hard rock and wild percussion did bite one in the booty. It wasn't large scale in terms of wave launch, though large scale orchestra comes shining through and it wasn't dramatic the way horns can emphasize leading edges - it just sounds right, at least to me. It was so good that one truly did have to hear it to get the meaning of what I am trying to describe. Hear Herron electronics and loudspeakers now. It will be worth the effort."
- Martin G. DeWulf


Positive Feedback Online - Issue 18
Music, Sound and Personalities: The 2005 CES and T.H.E. Show

"The Best New Preamp at the show was in the Herron Audio room. The Herron Audio HL-1 Stereo Preamplifier has everything I've been looking for... an absolute polarity switch, a mono switch (really effective for mono LPs), a remote control, and a MM/MC phono stage, all in one very cool-looking chassis. Yes, it's solid state, but in my experience Keith's solid state gear sounds every bit as good as his tube gear, which simply blows my mind. This is one fantastic new product that is catching on very fast within the community. Bravo, Keith."
- Dave Glackin Read the article


SoundStage! March 2005 The Candy Store
Window Shopping "Hi-Fi Style" - "The true music lovers"

- Bill Brooks read the article


Audiophile Magazine 19th Anniversary issue
VTPH-1MC Plus was chosen as one of "Two Best Pieces of Equipment I've tested in 2004"

"With the phono cable plugged, the output going to my favorite VTSP-1 preamplifier, when music plays, it's hard to explain by words: the "LIVE" music stands in front of me, it's accurate proportion between instruments, the 3D liveness of vocals are all just perfect, it has no coloration of the tonality."
- Ah Yun read the article (English) read the article (Chinese PDF)


Positive Feedback Online - Issue 17
CES 2005

"Recorded music does not get much better than this."
- Roger S. Gordon read the article


Audiophile Magazine - The High End Audio Journal of Hong Kong
October 2004: Editor's Important Notice (Herron VTSP-2 Tube Line Stage)

"[The] Herron VTSP-2 is a very reasonably priced preamplifier and it re-creates absolute Hi-End sonic performances...at this moment, there's not a single competitor for this high class VTSP-2 preamplifier..."
- Mr. Y.K. Chan read the article (Chinese PDF)


Bound for Sound Issue 155
CES and The Show: 2004 Herron HL-1 Preamplifier

"Every year Herron Audio has good sound; this year it was insanely good. Having heard Keith Herron's exhibit in a room that was by all standards as bad as anyone's, one has to ask Just what he is doing that others cannot (the excuse of the room being at fault for poor sound as used by many, becomes no excuse at all after this room). The sound in the Herron room was so good that I would gladly have taken it all home, put it in the Big Rig, and lived with it happily ever after .... until I got the upgrade itch, anyway. So, this was something special, the kind of sound one hopes to hear at an exhibit of the world's best. Interestingly, the Alon Lotus Elite speakers ($9,000) used by Herron have been criticized in these pages before as being bass heavy and generally undistinguished sonically. They were doing the job well this time, no doubt about it. This year Keith introduced his latest solid state preamp using new digital controls and read outs. New from the ground up, the HL-1 ($3,495 -$4,995 with phono) sounded wonderfully accurate in a musical kind of way. My audition made it a contender for best preamp I've ever heard, but it was a show, so who can say for sure? (hahahaha) The sound was exceptional nonetheless, revealing things about the music seldom heard at home, much less at an audio show. Showing with the HL-1 preamp were a set of mono amps (M1 $5,895) that I think were new, or at least an upgrade to the old mono amps. Lastly, Keith was using his own $225 interconnect. Herron Audio will continue to sell the earlier model tube preamp and phono stage too. If you are dreaming of a different preamp or amp, Herron Audio is a must audition."
- Martin G. DeWulf


Audiophile Magazine - The High End Audio Journal of Hong Kong
October 2003: Editor's Important Notice (Herron VTSP-1A/166)

"Assuming if the VTSP-1A could climb up another level, it's an indication telling me that the VTSP-1A/166 will likely be the best preamplifier in the world."
- Mr. Y.K. Chan read the review


Stereophile: VTSP-1 Line Stage and VTPH-1 Phono Stage - Class A Recommended Components
(April '00, Vol. 23, No. 4), (October 00, Vol. 23, No. 10), (April '01, Vol. 24, No. 4), (October '01, Vol. 24, No. 10), (April 02, Vol. 25, No. 4), (October '02, Vol. 25, No. 10)

RJR praises the VTSP-1A for encompassing a "seductive holographic midrange and grain-free, pure, and extended high frequencies, more so than any preamp I've heard." Holds its own against the cost-no-object contenders.
- Robert J. Reina


Hi Fi Review
Product of the Year 2001 (Preamplifer) Herron Audio VTSP-1A


Stereophile: March 2000, Vol.23 NO.3
Herron Audio VTSP-1 Line Stage

"The Herron VTSP-1 is an impressive product at a very reasonable price."
- Michael Fremer read the review

"This is an Excellent set of measurements, indicating good engineering and not a hint of tube technology."
- John Atkinson read the review


Stereophile: March 2000, Vol.23 NO.3
Herron Audio VTPH-1 Phono Stage

"It's competitive with anything I have rated 'Class A.'"
- Michael Fremer read the review

"It was a pleasure to measure such a well-engineered phono stage."
- John Atkinson read the review


Positive Feedback Online: 2003 CES Report - Eight Great Systems
Herron Audio room at CES

"The System I'd Most Like to Take Home...The sound in this room was open, airy, and relaxed, with excellent timbre and delicacy, coupled with the all-too-rare feel of live music. This system sent chills up my spine multiple times. When played on this system, Cantate Domino had articulation, effortlessness, transparency, delicacy, and jump, and individual voices were really fleshed out."
- Dave Glackin read the review


SoundStage!, March 2001
Herron Audio VTPH-1 Phono Stage

"The Herron VTPH-1 is a great phono stage - definitely world-class. It just draws you into and makes sense of - what else? - the music. If you're a tweaker, the Herron will respond to your efforts. If you can't be bothered with such compulsive behavior, the Herron VTPH-1 sounds wonderful straight out of the box. Simply put, if you're in the market for a state-of-the-art phono stage, you must give the Herron VTPH-1 a listen."

"With gobs of insight into the musical message and a presentation that was downright fun, the Herron phono stage proved to be not only a superb tool for understanding the sonics of the original recording, but a thoroughly musical device. The VTPH-1 is just one of those components that strikes a great balance between the sound and the music."
- Kurt Morgan read the review


EnjoyTheMusic.com
Equipment Reviews, August 2001
Herron Audio M-150 Amplifier

"...even the subtlest nuances of musical enjoyment are presented in a musically natural way even at very high sound pressure levels."

"...I couldn't decide whether the Herrons sounded as if they were superb solid state amplifiers with some added qualities usually attributed to tubes, or did they actually sound more like superb tubed amplifiers with some qualities usually ascribed to the best solid state examples."
- Karl Lozier read the review


The Absolute Sound, Issue 130
The Herron M150 Monoblocks
Quoted with the permission of the Editor

"...Keith Herron has taken solid-state sound into fresh and stimulating territory."

"The M150 struck me immediately as a different and quite stunning performer, combining the ability, focus, and bass control of solid state with the liquid quality of tubes."

"As I expected, they do carry on the Herron tradition of neutral, finely-controlled, harmonically accurate sound, with sophisticated command of imaging and spatial relationships.

They have the suave, grain-free, silky textures, the tight, potent bass control, and the broad, laid-back soundstage of Krells and other top solid-state amps, but also a large component of tubelike presence, a freshness and natural breathing that emulate live music where other such amps can embalm it, flatten it, rob it of vitality."

"The M150s now complement the preamps' precision with a bold, robust, and generous personality that can knock you over with unexpected power as well as ultra-fine definition."

"I wouldn't expect the shimmery temple bells to be as delicate as the bass guitar is macho, but you bet they are. The guitar tones cohere effortlessly, throbbing midbass arriving in perfect phase with penetrating midrange, and I can feel the pressure of the pick on the strings. Each instrument seems surrounded by a cylinder of air and bathed in a warm glow."
- Art Pfeffer


AUDIOPHILE, The High End Journal of Hong Kong, December 2000
Herron Audio VTSP-1 Line Stage

Review in Chinese by Y.K. Chan read the review


Ultimate Audio, March/April 1998
Herron Audio VTPH-1 Phono Stage

"The Herron Audio phono preamplifier produced something I've never heard from an audio system before: live, I mean LIVE, in-your-room clarity. The clarity and the absolute transparency this phono section delivers takes the listener not into the world of reproduction, but production. Great recordings assume their full, explosive, lifelike dynamics, with bass that is tight, deep and articulate complete with shading and definition; lightning-fast transients; exceptional control of the leading and trailing edge of the musical wave form. Tonally and harmonically, the Herron transports you to a place you have never been before."

"If you want the best (that I've heard) in line stage and phono stage reproduction, from the deepest, the tightest, cleanest bass your system can reproduce to the silkiest, most open highs you can hear, listen to what's happening at Herron Audio. You'll be glad you did."
- Richard Foster read the review


Ultimate Audio, Summer 2000 Vol.4 NO.2
The Upgrade Train, Herron Audio VTSP-1A Line Stage

"The VTSP-1A is a special creature indeed, unwaveringly true to the source."

"The Herron maintains such clarity so well that mere sound is elevated to music, even music one might not always appreciate under other circumstances."
- Jerry Kindella read the review (PDF, 215k)


Ultimate Audio, Summer 2000 Vol.4 NO.2
Herron Audio M150 Monaural Power Amplifier (Introduction)

"With his company's reputation for stellar sound resting on but a pair of products, the VTSP-1A line stage and the VTPH-1 phono stage, designer Keith Herron apparently keeps to a "limit what you do but do it very, very well" business philosophy. Those who know Keith, however, know his aspirations (and expertise) are not limited strictly to preamplifier products. Joining the Herron Audio product line is the new M150 monaural power amplifier. In contrast to the Herron line and phono stages, the new amplifier is a pure solid-state design."
- James Durkin read the review (PDF, 236k)


The Absolute Sound, Issue 116
Herron Audio's Phono and Line Stages: All They Lack is Inexperience
Quoted with the permission of the Editor

"They have given me the most revealing and enjoyable if not in every case the most viscerally gut-wrenching musical listening I have heard at home, and I confess I am struggling to find a way both affordable and legal not to let these unusually musical twins out of here."
- Art Pfeffer


The Absolute Sound, Issue 123
Sounds of CES 2000
Quoted with the permission of the Editor

"Herron Audio has also made a great impression. Keith Herron introduced his new M150 solid-state amplifier a non-Class A design (it runs cool) that eliminates the crossover notch distortion common to Class AB designs. Herron used Audio Physic Virgo speakers and mostly played LPs (the best sound I heard from vinyl at the show).
- Roman Zajcew


The Absolute Sound, Issue 124
Recommended Systems
Quoted with the permission of the Editor

"The Herron VTSP-1 is among the smallest single-box tube line stages offering Upstairs sound. A high-tech purist device, it gently massages source signals and of course couples seamlessly with the VTPH-1. This quiet, self-effacing preamp contrives to sound as if it is doing absolutely nothing - but enthusiastically, and supremely well!"
- Art Pfeffer


Bound for Sound 8/98
CES and The Show 1999

"Herron Audio is special. Went to that room with Rich Weiner, see his show report for specifics. But know this, Keith Herron is an incredibly knowledgeable person. His system at the show was beyond all reproach. Listen to his amp and preamp if you are at all serious about music."
- Martin G. DeWulf


Bound for Sound Issue #128
The Herron Preamp (VTSP-1)

"This is one heck of a preamplifier·no preamp sculpts an image any better than does the Herron preamp. "Pictures in space" is how some listeners have described what they hear with this preamp, and they are absolutely right."
- Martin G. DeWulf


Bound for Sound Issue #128
The Herron VTPH-1 Phono Stage (Sneak Preview)

"When it does all come together, the soundstage is deep, wide, and gloriously detailed. Don't let the tubes fool you, this is one neutral piece of gear. Pronunciations are clear and distinct - you can hear vocalists like Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra form their lips around the words and phrases. Violins have that silken glow you hear in real life, but it fully preserves that occasional bite you hear in vigorous passages. If your connections are clean, your cables are compatible (low capacitance!), and your cartridge / tonearm / turntable is pure of heart, the Herron is one of the few pieces of electronics I've ever heard that can transport you to NeverNeverland. Picky, but worth the effort. Really nice.
- Les J. Linton


Primyl Vinyl Volume 2 Number 6

"First things first, again. The Herron VTPH-1 is, overall and by a good margin, the best phono stage I've heard."
- Bruce Kinch read the review


EnjoyTheMusic.com
Music, Sound and Personalities
Year 2000 WCES and T.H.E. SHOW (Part 1)

"The Best Musical Oasis in the show was the Herron Audio room. Keith Herron just sat back and played music, mostly from certain now-unobtainable (slobber, drool) LPs, and let the music speak for itself. No interruptions, no hard sell, no technobabble, just well-selected music played in a relaxed, low-key manner. The system included the highly regarded Herron Audio VTPH-1MC tubed phono preamp, the VTSP-1 tubed line-level preamp, the Herron Audio M150 mono-block amps, the Audio Physic Virgo loudspeakers, and the Audio Physic Luna subwoofer. The system had outstanding delicacy and transparency, with great timbre, articulation, and integration. Good show, Keith!"
- Dave Glackin read the review


EnjoyTheMusic.com
Herron Audio VTSP-1A Preamplifier and VTPH-1 MM Phonostage

"If I had to sum up the Herron combination in three words, I'd chose: musical, musical, musical or perhaps musically unbeatable or music lover's pre-amplification or vinyl superiority emphasized. If translation is needed let me try by saying that any music lover would appreciate the audible performance of the Herrons."
- Karl Lozier read the review


The State of the High End
By Harry Pearson
(Quoted with the permission of the Editor)
Appeared in FI Magazine - November 1997 Volume 2 Issue 9

"the new Herron VTPH-1 which is to phono stages in terms of a Living Presence what Mercury was to its competitors of yesteryore." read the article


SoundStage! December 1999

"How do you describe the sound of something that virtually sounds like nothing? Dynamics: excellent. Soundstage: excellent. Imaging: excellent. Tonal color: none. Harmonic detail: excellent. Bass: excellent. Treble: excellent. Oh please. Try this instead: the VTSP-1 sounded as close as I've heard in my system to a straight wire with gain. Sorry to toss in the old cliché, but I can't think of a better way to describe it."

"Virtually sounds like nothing"; "the VTSP-1's greatest strength has to be dynamics - macro, micro, and infinitesimal"; very good retrieval of musical detail too.
- Bill Cowen read the review


Listener Magazine Autumn 1999

"The Herron gear charms, insinuates, and draws me in with its seductive sound but at the same time they're warming my lap, the Herrons throw ice water in my face and command my full attention during each minute of music...I am convinced that a hi-fi rig with a Herron preamp at its center would be utterly useless for background music."
- Art Dudley read the review


The Herron Audio demonstration at CES 2000 was recognized by:

Herron Audio was named a Standout Room by Soundstage:

Articles by Keith Herron in the audio press:


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Herron Audio, div. of Herron Engineering, Inc.
12685 Dorsett Road #138, Maryland Heights, MO 63043 U.S.A.
phone: 314-434-5416,
email: keith@herronaudio.com