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 151, December 2004 / January 2005 table of contents and editorial.
December 2004 / January 2005
- From The Editor
8 - Letters
131 - Manufacturer Comments
18 - Future TAS: New Products on the Horizon
20 - Industry News
22 - Absolute Analog
Anthony H. Cordesman on the VPI TNT HR-X and 12.6 Tonearm.
26 - Fear and Loathing on the 'Net: Apple iPod Mini and the Travails of Downloading Music
Bob Gendron takes an in-depth look at Apple's red-hot music player.
31 - RCA on SACD: A Reason To Celebrate
More on the latest incarnation of Living Stereo by the man who wrote the RCA Bible, Jonathan Valin.
36 - The 2004 Absolute Sound Golden Ear Awards
Our annual year-end roundup of components that have won our hearts — and ears.
60 - Cover Story
Robert Harley auditions the Aesthetix Calypso linestage and Rhea phonostage and discovers that state-of-the-art performance
doesn't always command a stratospheric price. On page 74, Anthony H. Cordesman reports on the solid-state Conrad-Johnson Premier 18LS Preamp and Premier 350 Stereo Power Amplifier.
52 - PrimaLuna ProLogue One Integrated Amplifier
New writer Jeff Dorgay reports on an affordable tube amp, and adds his nomination for the next Nobel Peace Prize.
56 - Totem Acoustic Rainmaker Loudspeaker
Wayne Garcia and Neil Gader offer two similar (and not so similar) takes on
Totem's latest little guy.
66 - Von Schweikert Audio VR-4jr Loudspeaker
Causing a stir in the high-end world, the VR-4jr gets a thorough evaluation by Sue Kraft.
70 - Krell Resolution 2 Loudspeaker
Fred Kaplan on Krell's latest foray into speaker design.
80 - Gershman Acoustics Gap 828 Loudspeaker
What's four-and-half-feet tall and pointy-headed? Wayne Garcia explains the sound and technology behind
The Cutting Edge
84 - TAS Roundtable: Playback
Systems — what matters most
Wayne Garcia, Harry Pearson, Jonathan Valin, Linn Products Founder Ivor Tiefenbrun, and Wilson Audio Founder David A. Wilson debate the role of each component in the playback system; Robert Harley moderates. Next, a bevy of surprises in a 13-page
HP's Workshop, and Jonathan Valin describes The Best Stereo System He's Heard, Part Two.