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The Absolute Sound


The Absolute Sound Issue 207 Spring Buyer's Guide 2011   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 207, Spring Buyer's Guide 2011 table of contents and link to the editorial.

Read this edition's editorial by clicking here.


Articles & Reviews In This Issue
9 From the Editor
Time Machine
Robert Harley on what a high-end audio system really is. 
Editorial By Robert Harley

12 The Democratization of High-End Audio 
Andrew Quint offers the controversial view that multichannel audio and DSP room correction have brought high-end sound quality to mass-market prices.

14 The Critical Listener's Lexicon 
Robert Harley explains the language of critical listeners.

24 Musing on Demo Discs 
Wayne Garcia reminisces about the role of the demo disc.

28 The Best Recordings for System Evaluation 
Our editors and writers each name their 20 top recordings for assessing sound quality.

40 Loudspeaker Types and How They Work 
Robert Harley explains how the three basic types of loudspeakers - cones, electrostats, and planars - turn signals into sound.

200 The 30 Greatest Bargains in High-End Audio 
Proof positive that high-end audio doesn't have to mean high-priced audio.


Buyer's Guide

62 Stand-Mounted Loudspeakers

70 Floorstanding Loudspeakers

97 Subwoofers

102 Power Amplifiers

117 Integrated Amplifiers

124 Preamplifiers

134 Phonostages

140 CD and SACD Players

154 Music Servers and Other Digital Sources

162 Turntables

172 Tonearms

178 Cartridges

186 Tuners

186 Equipment Racks

188 Power Conditioners

190 Interconnects, Speaker Cables, and Power Cords



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