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The Absolute Sound

The Absolute Sound Issue 192 April / May 2009   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 192, April / May 2009 contents and editorial.

 

Read this edition's editorial by clicking here.

 

Articles & Reviews In This Issue
6 Letters
Microphones and the absolute sound. Defining musicality. Is analog or DSP-corrected digital the path to the absolute sound? Is Apple's Macintosh the Wilson Audio of computers?

10 From the Editor
One Step Closer to the Absolute Sound.

15 The 2009 Consumer Electronics Show

29 Pages of the Hottest New Gear from this Season's CES.

 

Equipment Reports
12 Start Me Up
Paradigm Monitor 9 Loudspeaker
Neil Gader discovers a floorstander with all the right moves. And it's priced under $1k!

76 Muse Model Two Hundred Integrated Amp
Neil Gader on a genuinely superb amp from Muse's Kevin Halverson.

80 Synergistic Research Tesla PowerCell 10 SE AC Conditioner
Jacob Heilbrunn on a reference-grade power conditioner from Synergistic.

82 Pass Labs XP20 Preamplifier and XA160.5 Power Amplifier
Anthony H. Cordesman on this ultimate statement in preamplifier and amplifier design.
Plus Nelson Pass discusses his four decades of making world-class electronics.

100 HP's Workshop
HP revisits the updated Scaena loudspeaker.

 

Music
110 Feature: Mastodon Interview and Album Review
Bob Gendron talks with Mastodon drummer Brann Dailor about the band's stunning new concept record Crack the Skye and working with mega-producer Brendan O'Brien. And a review of Crack the Skye, the Rock Recording of the Issue.

112 Rock
Reviews of new CDs and LPs from Neko Case, M. Ward, Robyn Hitchcock, and Amadou & Mariam. Also, Warner Bros.' three 180-gram LP reissues of Van Morrison classics and ORG's 180-gram vinyl set of Rickie Lee Jones' Pop Pop.

114 Classical
Bach's Orgelbüchlein is the Classical Recording of the Issue. In addition, we evaluate pianist Richard Goode's rendition of Beethoven Piano Concertos 1-5, Victor Hugo en Musique, and a disc featuring Ligeti's Lux aeterna and Heppener's Im gestein.

116 Jazz
Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, and Jack DeJohnette's Yesterdays is the Jazz Recording of the Issue. Plus, the scoop on Jeff "Tain" Watts' Watts and ORG's audiophile LP pressing of John Coltrane's Live at the Village Vanguard.

 

TAS Back Page
120 An interview with Gabi van der Kley, President, Crystal Cable.

 

 

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