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 145, December 2003 / January 2004 table of contents and editorial.
December 2003 / January 2004
- From The Editor
8 - Letters
175 - Manufacturer Comments
18 - Future TAS: Products on the Horizon
26 - Industry News
28 - Absolute Analog
Paul Seydor on the background of Sota, and its latest triumph, the Cosmos Series III.
77 - Cover Story: Special Report
High-Resolution Digital Audio Comes of Age
In this special feature on DVD-Audio and SACD, Robert Harley gives a technical primer on the two formats; Bob Stuart of Meridian Audio and David Kawakami of Sony make the case for the respective formats; and on page 97 our staff reviews 13 SACD, DVD-A, and Universal players from Accuphase, Denon, EMM Labs, JVC, Krell, Marantz, Meridian, Musical Fidelity, Philips, Shanling, Sony, and Yamaha.
56 - Golden Ear Awards
Our annual year-end awards to the very finest components.
38 - Recommended Products: Preamps
Our picks for the best sounding full-function, linestage, and
34 - Wagner, the Festspielhaus, and the Audiophile Lexicon
Classical Music subeditor Andrew Quint journeys to Bayreuth for the ultimate Wagner experience.
48 - 30th Anniversary Feature
TAS Interview: Harry Pearson
For this final issue of our 30th Anniversary year, Andrew Quint sat down with HP to chat about this magazine’s beginnings, and the high end today.
124 - Epos ELS3 Loudspeaker
Chris Martens listens to the latest budget mini from England’s Epos.
127 - Sutherland Engineering 12dAX7 USB Audio Digital Converter and Vacuum Tube Linestage
$1600 for computer sound? You betcha! says Tom Miiller.
131 - PSB M2 Platinum Loudspeaker
Neil Gader on this fine new model from Canada’s Paul Barton.
137 - Conrad-Johnson MV-60SE Amplifier
C-J stuff is super expensive, right? Not necessarily, as Dan Davis reports.
141 - Mark Levinson No.436 Power Amplifier
Anthony H. Cordesman on the latest power amp from the Mark Levinson Co.
147 - Art Audio PX-25 Amplifier
Stephan Harrell has slimmed way down—to a mere 6 watts of SET bliss.
The Cutting Edge
156 - Vandersteen Model 5A Loudspeaker
Shane Buettner listens and reports on the technology behind
Richard Vandersteen’s newest flagship.
163 - Components to Remember
Harry Pearson reflects on the ten most significant audio components of all time.