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The Absolute Sound


The Absolute Sound Issue 206 October 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 206, October 2010 table of contents and link to the editorial.

Read this edition's editorial by clicking here.


Articles & Reviews In This Issue
6 From the Editor
Viva Analog!
Editorial By Robert Harley

10 Letters

12 Future TAS: New products on the horizon.

14 Industry News

122 Manufacturer Comments

24 Back in the Saddle: LP Mastering Engineer Doug Sax Interview
The father of modern direct-to-disc recording has pulled his lathes out of mothballs and is cutting LPs again. Neil Gader talks to this legend about vinyl's resurgence, Sheffield Lab, and high-resolution digital.


Analog Equipment Reports
28 Start Me Up
Musical Fidelity V-LPS and Clearaudio Basic Plus Phonostages
A great phonostage doesn’t have to cost a mint, Neil Gader discovers

34 Denon DL-103, Ortofon MC Rondo Red, Lyra Delos, and Benz SLR Gullwing Cartridges
Wayne Garcia looks at four cartridges at four different prices.

42 Fosgate Signature Phonostage and Fozgometer Azimuth Range Meter 
Chris Martens on a swell phonostage and an equally swell analog set-up accessory from audio pioneer Jim Fosgate.

50 Sumiko Palo Santos Cartridge 
Neil Gader listens to the best cartridge yet from analog specialist Sumiko.

52 Clearaudio Concept, Pro-Ject RM-9.2, and Thorens TD 160 Turntables
Each of these three affordable European-made 'tables has its own charm, says Wayne Garcia. 

64 Cover Story: Oracle Delphi Mk VI Turntable

72 Bergmann Sindre Turntable 
Paul Seydor on an outstanding linear-tracking record player from Denmark. 

82 Soulution 750 Phono Preamp
Jonathan Valin on a superb Swiss phonostage that does cost a mint. 

88 Seven Phono Cartridges from ZYX, Kubotek, My Sonic Labs, Miyajima, Dynavector, Clearaudio, and Benz 
In this monumental project, Harry Pearson evaluates eight contenders for the state of the art in phono cartridges.


Equipment Reports
16 Next-Gen Digital: Logitech Squeezebox Touch
A high-res music server for under $300? Steven Stone on a price breakthrough.

98 Kimber 12TC Loudspeaker Cable
Paul Seydor on a new addition to a venerable line of affordable, high-performance cables.

100 Hegel H100 Integrated Amplifier 
With a patented distortion-canceling circuit, this Norwegian integrated delivers sweet sound, indeed. Kirk Midtskog has 
the story. 

104 EMM Labs XDS1 CD/SACD Player
Anthony H. Cordesman on this ambitious player from the mind of Ed Meitner. 

112 The Cutting Edge: Vandersteen Model 7 Loudspeaker 
Forget everything you know about Vandersteen speakers; the Model 7 and its balsa-wood drivers are nothing short of revolutionary. Robert Harley reports.

120 Interview with Richard Vandersteen 
The loudspeaker pioneer talks with Robert Harley about the ten-year development effort behind the Model 7.


124 Feature: Vinyl Rules! 
Jeff Wilson on the resurgence of vinyl in today's marketplace.

126 Top Ten
Ten fabulous LPs of 20th century chamber music masterpieces get Mark Lehman's enthusiastic recommendation. 

127 Rock
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' newest on new vinyl, plus vinyl reissues and rediscoveries from Dire Straits, the Velvet Underground, Uncle Tupelo, and Pantera, along with recent CDs from Richard Thompson, Mark Chesnutt, and Lissy Walker. 

130 Classical 
LP reissues of Wagner, Moussorgsky, and Rachmaninoff; new music from Gabriel Prokofiev (grandson of Sergei) also on LP; and Henri Dutilleux on CD.

132 Jazz
Five (count 'em) just-out black discs of jazz: new releases from Fred Hersch, Jakob Bro, and Christian McBride, and top-quality reissues from Ray Charles and Frank Sinatra. 


136 Back Page
Industry stalwart Frank Van Alstine talks with Neil Gader.


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