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The Absolute Sound

  Welcome to The Abso!ute Sound online! We explore music and the reproduction of music in the home. We believe that the sound of music, unamplified, occurring in a real space is a philosophic absolute against which we may judge the performance of devices designed to reproduce music. Our goal is to provide the resources consumers need to judge how a component's sound either honors or departs from the music's truth, and to make sound purchasing decisions that maximize their experience of reproduced sound. Below is our Issue 138, October/November 2002 table of contents and editorial.

October/November 2002



6 - From the Editor

8 - Letters

16 - Future TAS: Products on the Horizon

18 - Industry News

23 - Absolute Analog
Stephan Harrell looks at two mid-priced turntables, Michell GyroDec SE Mk II and Nottingham Space Deck.

29 - Real-World High End
Wayne Garcia auditions a system from Naim, one of England's most respected marques.

33 - Exotica
A look at high-end audio products outside the mainstream.


TAS Journal

37 - Recommended Products
The TAS editorial staff recommends more than 200 of the best components at every price level and every product category.


The Sound

Equipment Reports
71 - Parasound Halo P 3 Preamplifier and A 23 Amplifier
Shane Buettner discovers musical magic in a John Curl-designed combo that is surprisingly affordable.

75 - Interconnect Survey
Neil Gader and Paul Seydor audition and evaluate 13
interconnects priced between $129 and $250.

83 - Smart Systems 2X150VT Power Amplifier
With a mix of tubes and solid-state technologies, Smart Systems tries to capture the best of both worlds in this affordable amp. Sue Kraft reports.

89 - Quicksilver V4 Mono Amplifiers & Remote Control Line-Stage Preamplifier
Paul Seydor auditions the latest gear from this small, venerable company.

95 - Cover Story: Balanced Audio Technology's VK-300X Integrated Amp
The integrated amplifier takes a leap forward with this
stunning new design, according to Wayne Garcia.

99 - Theta Citadel Monoblock Power Amplifier
Anthony Cordesman puts this massive 400W monoblock through its paces.

103 - CUTTING EDGE: Snell XA Reference Loudspeaker
Snell enters the "big speaker" arena with an ambitious new effort. Robert E. Greene weighs in.

112 - HP's Workshop
HP brings us an updated version of his famous Super CD List. Don't turn on your system without it!

122 - Manufacturers' Comments


The Music

125 - JAZZ: Feature
Charlie Christian: Genius
Gary Giddins delves into The Genius of the Electric Guitar, Legacy's new four-disc set on jazz Prometheus Charlie Christian.

127 - Jazz Caps
Jason Moran: Modernistic
Patricia Barber: Verse; Dee Dee Bridgewater: This Is New
Dave Holland Big Band: What Goes Around
Ben Allison: Peace Pipe
Steven Bernstein & The Sam Rivers Trio: Diaspora Blues

132 - Pop Caps
Queens of the Stone Age: Songs for the Deaf
Mekons: OOOH; Sonic Youth: Murray Street
Velvet Underground & Nico: Velvet Underground & Nico (Deluxe Edition)
David Bowie: Heathen & Ziggy Stardust (30th Anniversary 2CD Edition)
Bruce Springsteen: The Rising
David Johansen & The Harry Smiths: Shaker; Jorma Kaukonen: Blue Country Heart;
Ralph Stanley: Ralph Stanley
Allison Moorer: Miss Fortune
Gary Wilson: You Think You Really Know Me
The Stooges: The Stooges and Fun House on Sundazed 180-gram vinyl

141 - Feature
What's Old Is New Again: Vital Sounds from the 80s and 90s
Recent reissues give new life to records from forgotten rock and pop artists who helped shape today's musical landscape.

145 - CLASSICAL: Feature
EMI'S Pantheon of Great Conductors of the 20th Century
Dan Davis surveys the first 15 releases in EMI's blockbuster series.

147 - CLASSICAL: Capsules
Busoni: Orchestral Suite No. 2. Clarinet Concertino
Kancheli: Styx. Gubaidulina: Concerto for Viola and Orchestra
Furtwangler: Symphony No.2
Enescu: Octet, op. 7; Quintet, op. 29 (Gidon Kremer)
David Daniels: Handel Oratorio Arias
Kurka: The Good Soldier Schweik
Brown: The Last Five Years
Goldsmith: The Ballad of Cable Hogue

155 - NEW FORMATS: Feature
ABKCO's The Rolling Stones Remastered Series on Hybrid SACD
Bob Gendron on SACD's ultimate coup. And yes, you'll get all your ya-ya's out.

RECORDING OF THE ISSUE: Vaughan Williams: A Sea Symphony
Bach: Keyboard Concertos (Murray Perahia); Chopin: Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor; Ravel: Retrospection
Williams: Cello Concerto, etc. (Yo-Yo Ma)
Poulenc: Concerto for Organ. Petit: Concertino for Organ (Gillian Weir)
Clark Terry & Max Roach: Friendship
Jorma Kaukonen: Blue Country Heart
Bruce Springsteen: Live In New York City

Stravinsky: Firebird Suite (1919 version). Ravel: Boléro



165 - Where To Buy The Absolute Sound

167 - Ad Index




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