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The Absolute Sound

 

The Absolute Sound Issue 220 February 2012   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 220, February 2012 table of contents and link to the editorial.

 

Articles & Reviews In This Issue
6 From the Editor
William Zane Johnson.
Editorial By Jonathan Valin

8 Letters

10 From the Editor

12 Dealer Profile: We visit Hanson Audio Video in Dayton, Ohio.

40 The 2011 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest

24 Pages of the hottest new gear coming your way.

34 Computer Audio Quality Part 3
DR. CHARLES ZEILIG AND JAY CLAWSON CONTINUE THEIR GROUNDBREAKING ATTEMPT TO EVALUATE AND QUANTIFY EVERY SONIC VARIABLE IN COMPUTER AUDIO. PART THREE OF THIS FOUR-PART SERIES EXPLORES WHETHER FLAC IS REALLY SONICALLY TRANSPARENT.

16 Start Me Up: REL T-5 2.1 Channel Loudspeaker System
Neil Gader reports on a diminutive three-piece package that delivers outsized performance.

20 Absolute Analog: Basis Inspiration Turntable and Vector 4 Tonearm
Robert Harley lives with the turntable "inspired" by Basis' own $170,000 Work of Art 'table.

30 Next-Gen Digital: Berkeley Audio Alpha DAC Series 2
The spectacular bargain that was the Alpha DAC is now even more spectacular, courtesy of significantly upgraded sonics and no price increase. Robert Harley brings you the good news.

 

Equipment Reports

86 Marantz PM8004 Integrated Amplifier
Who says great amplification has to cost a small fortune? Paul Seydor discovers one of the true bargains in high-end integrated amps. 

90 BSG Technologies QOL "Signal Completion Stage"
Robert Harley investigates a new technology that reportedly solves a fundamental problem in reproduced music. PLUS: QOL inventor Barry Stephen Goldfarb interviewed.

102 Audio Physic Avantera Loudspeaker
JV on a beautifully engineered floorstanding speaker from Audio Physic of Germany that competes nearly toe-to-toe with the biggest of the Big Boys for roughly one-third the price.

108 Shunyata Anaconda Interconnect and Loudspeaker Cable
The AC power-conditioning leader has created reference-grade interconnects and cables, says Robert Harley.

110 Wilson Audio Sophia Series 3 Loudspeaker 
Wilson's most affordable floorstanding speaker is now even better than ever. Neil Gader reports.

114 YG Acoustic Anat III Signature Speaker
THIS AMBITIOUS LOUDSPEAKER WITH DRIVER CONES MACHINED FROM SOLID ALUMIMUM BILLET HITS ALL THE RIGHT BUTTONS. PLUS! INSIDE THE YG FACTORY: A PHOTO ESSAY.

 

Music
124 Download 
Round-Up: Alan Taffel and Andrew Quint review recent hi-res downloads rock, classical, and jazz.

130 Rock: New releases from Chris Isaak, Coldplay, Shelby Lynne, Moreland & Arbuckle, and Tom Waits; stellar reissues of Stevie Ray Vaughan and the Grateful Dead; and vintage recordings of teenage Hank Williams. 

136 Classical: Choral music by Anonymous 4 and Conspirare, concertos by Widor, trios by Bernstein and Shostakovich, piano works by Earl Wild, and showpieces by the Chicago Symphony Brass. 

140 Jazz: The latest Keith Jarrett, Jeff Gauthier, and Rudresh Mahanthappa, along with notable reissues of Weather Report and Julius Hemphill.

138 Fives Faves: Greg Cahill selects his personal favorites by interplanetary master Sun Ra.

 

144 Back Page: TAS talks with John McDonald, President of Audience.

 

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