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The Absolute Sound


The Absolute Sound Issue 210 February 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 210, February 2011 table of contents and link to the editorial.

Read this edition's editorial by clicking here.


Articles & Reviews In This Issue
06 From the Editor
Audio's Renaissance Man
Editorial By Robert Harley

8 Letters

12 From the Editor

17 Industry News

118 Manufacturer Comments

36 The 2010 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest
Twenty-two pages of the hottest new gear coming your way.


Equipment Reports
18 Start Me Up: NAD C356BEE Integrated Amplifier
The company that practically invented the integrated amplifier hits one out of the park with this new mid-priced offering, Wayne Garcia reports.

22 Absolute Analog: SOTA Sapphire Series V Turntable
Paul Seydor provides an in-depth historical perspective on this venerable turntable and evaluates the newest version.

31 Next-Gen Digital: Wyred 4 Sound DAC-2 Digital-to-Analog Converter
Steven Stone on this new high-performance, high-value DAC designed for today’s digital audio systems. 

74 Equipment Reports: B&W 805 Diamond Loudspeaker
A $5000 loudspeaker with a diamond tweeter? Kirk Midtskog tells you just how good B&W’s surprisingly affordable new offering is. 

78 David Berning ZH-230 Power Amplifier
Dick Olsher on this most unusual output-transformerless tubed amplifier from the fertile mind of David Berning. 

82 Classé Audio CA-M600 Monoblock Power Amplifier
These new monoblocks just might be the best value in high-power amplification today, says Jacob Heilbrunn.

86 King Sound Prince II Electrostatic Loudspeaker
Robert E. Greene evaluates this full-range electrostatic loudspeaker. 

92 Sanders Magtech Stereo Amplifier
Before you buy any power amplifier, you must audition the Sanders Magtech, says Robert E. Greene.

94 Cover Story: Simaudio 600i Integrated Amplifier
With performance this good, who needs a separate preamplifier and amplifier? Robert Harley on Simaudio’s amazing new integrated. 

101 The Cutting Edge: Synergistic Research Galileo Cable and Interconnect
Jonathan Valin lives with what are undoubtedly the world’s most elaborate cables and interconnects. Plus an interview with Synergistic’s Ted Denney.

110 HP’s Workshop
HP on the Nola Micro Grand Reference Loudspeaker, plus an interview with designer Carl Marchisotto.


120 New Jazz on Ten Fingers 
Jeff Wilson surveys the best recent recordings of solo piano jazz.

123 Rock
The latest from Neil Young, Eric Clapton, and Eden Brent; classics on polycarbonate from the Beatles and the Highwaymen; and audiophile vinyl reissues of Linda Ronstadt, Willie Nelson, and Tom Zé.

127 Top Ten
Paul Seydor selects ten great Leonard Bern-stein recordings you may have overlooked.

128 Classical
Premieres by Pärt and Tormis, old favorites by Dvorak, and a spectacular surround-sound Blu-ray of John Corigliano’s Circus Maximus. Plus all you need to know about the music for the Lord of the Rings films.

132 Jazz
New releases of Cassandra Wilson, Kevin Eubanks, Marc Ribot, and the Variable Density Sound Orchestra, along with a stellar eight-CD anthology of Henry Threadgill from Mosaic. 


136 Back Page
Cary Audio’s Billy Wright talks with Neil Gader.


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