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The Absolute Sound

 

The Absolute Sound Issue 199 January 2010   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 199, January 2010 contents and editorial.

Read this edition's editorial by clicking here.

 

Articles & Reviews In This Issue
8 Letters

12  From the Editor
Rocky Mountain High

14 Future TAS
New products on the horizon.

16 Industry News
Overture hosts Robert Harley and folks from McIntosh and Marantz.

38 In Memoriam
Harry Pearson remembers legendary Mercury Records producer Wilma Cozart Fine.

136
The Cutting Edge
Jonathan Valin listens to über-expensive, über-transparent, und über-terrific electronics from Swiss ultra-high-end manufacturer Soulution.

150 HP's Workshop
HP updates and revises his SACD Super Disc List.

 

Equipment Reports
18 Start Me Up
NAD C326BEE Integrated Amplifier and C545BEE CD Player
Paul Seydor auditions the $499 descendent of NAD's fabled 3020 integrated amplifier, the best-selling audiophile amp in history. 

24 Absolute Analog
Ortofon Rondo Blue Moving-Coil Pickup
This mid-priced cartridge gets it right where it matters, says Paul Seydor.

28 Audio Research Corporation Reference Phono 2
JV on the second phonostage to earn ARC's coveted "Reference" moniker the standard-setting Reference Phono 2.

47 2009 Product of the Year Awards
We honor the very best high-end audio products of 2009.

80 Micromega PA-20 Preamplifier and PW-400 Power Amplifier
A forward-looking French company returns with a mid-priced preamplifier and amplifier. Neil Gader reports.

84 ModWright KWA-150 Stereo Power Amplifier
Dick Olsher on a solid-state amplifier that delivers the magic of tubes. 

90 Sonus Faber Liuto
Neil Gader on a mid-priced wonder from Italy's premier loudspeaker-maker. 

96 A/V RoomService "Metu" Acoustic Panels
Jonathan Valin discovers some affordable and effective room treatments.

98 Mye Sound Magneplanar Stand
Jacob Heilbrunn recommends a "must-have" product for Magnepan speakers.

102 Boulder 1021 CD Player
Anthony H. Cordesman on one of the most ambitious CD players ever created.

114 YG Acoustics Kipod Studio Loudspeaker
Robert Harley auditions the $38,000 Kipod Studio? YG Acoustics' "entry-level" full-range loudspeaker. Plus, an interview with YG Founder Yoav Geva.

128  PrimaLuna DiaLogue Seven Monoblock Amplifiers
PrimaLuna adds an interesting technological twist to the venerable tube amplifier. Jim Hannon reports on the results.

149  Manufacturer Comments 

 

Music
160 Feature
Wayne Garcia visits Mobile Fidelity's Sound Lab and sees how mastertapes are transformed into vinyl and digital reissues. 

164 Rock
New releases from five old favorites: Mark Knopfler, Pearl Jam, The Flaming Lips, Rosanne Cash, and Lyle Lovett. 

166 Classical
Mahler in surround, Liszt on the organ, comic overtures, and Messiaen on vinyl. Plus an anthology of music written in World War II concentration camps. 

168 Jazz
Recent offerings from the Fat Cats Jazz Band, guitarist Duck Baker, bassist Linda Oh, and songstress Maria Muldaur, along with a retrospective of Scott LaFaro.

171 Top Ten
Andy Quint selects ten opera spectaculars now on Blu-ray Disc.

 

176 Back Page
Jeff Joseph of Joseph Audio talks with Neil Gader.

 

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