Articles & Reviews In This Issue
6 From the Editor
A Mystery Solved?
Editorial By Robert Harley
12 From the Editor
Robert Harley shares with you a startling new book that might explain why humans are such a musical species.
14 Future TAS
New products on the horizon.
45 The Munich High-End Show: Robert Harley and Jonathan Valin report from the world's biggest high-end extravaganza.
59 The 2012 Golden Ear Awards
Our editors and writers name the products, brand-new and classic, that most impressed them last year.
152 Manufacturer Comments
Start Me Up
16 Polk Audio LSiM703 Loudspeaker: Polk returns to its audiophile roots with this affordable stand-mounted three-way. Neil Gader has the scoop.
20 Audirvana Macintosh Music Playback Software: Steven Stone discovers a bargain-priced music-software package that greatly improves the sound of iTunes.
24 PS Audio PerfectWave: A DAC, player, and server that compete with the best for considerably less. Anthony H. Cordesman reports.
34 Simaudio 310LP Phonostage: An affordable new phonostage from Canada that impressed our Mr. Garcia.
38 Merrill-Williams R.E.A.L. 101 Turntable: Jim Hannon on George Merrill's latest innovation in analog playback.
88 Naim SuperUniti All-in-One Player: Naim'sSuperUniti is perhaps the most versatile single-box audio system on the planet, says Wayne Garcia.
92 Audio by Van Alstine Fet Valve 600R Power Amplifier and Transcendence 8+ Preamplifier
These affordable new electronics from Frank Van Alstine combine the best of tubes and solid-state. Dick Olsher brings you the good news.
98 Thiel SCS4T Loudspeaker and USS SmartSub Subwoofer: Neil Gader on a great floorstanding speaker from Thiel that solves the subwoofer integration problem. PLUS: Jonathan Valin visits the Thiel factory.
108 Stillpoints Ultra Equipment Rack, Ultra 5 Isolator, LPI LP Isolator
Stillpoints' highly sophisticated vibration-isolation technology can transform an audio system, says Robert Harley.
114 Audio Research Corporation DAC8 D-to-A Converter
Alan Taffel compares the DAC8 to the DAC7 — and the results may surprise.
118 Acoustic Signature AsconaTurntable and Kuzma 4P Tonearm
Jonathan Valin lives with a terrific-sounding turntable from Germany's Acoustic Signature—and a terrific-sounding tonearm from Kuzma.
126 Concert Fidelity CF-080LSX2 Line Preamplifier: Dick Olsher discovers a new reference in this ultra-minimalist tubed preamplifier from Japanese artisanal-audio maker Concert Fidelity.
132 A New Beginning: Wilson's XLF Loudspeaker: Although the XLF might look like Wilson's Alexandria X-2,
this new flagship represents a fresh beginning for one of America's most celebrated loudspeaker manufacturers.
Jacob Heilbrunn reports.
140 Symphony & Cinema: Arthur Lintgen surveys the best recordings of film music of the Golden Age and after.
154 Rock: New releases courtesy of Jack White, Regina Spektor, Bonnie Raitt, Billy Boy Arnold, Dirty Three, Ian Tyson, Lisa Mills. And a set of legendary demos by Carole King.
160 Jazz: The latest from Jenny Scheinman, Ravi Coltrane, John Abercrombie, and Hank Roberts, along with a two-album reissue from Dave Douglas.
164 Classical: Shostakovich quartets, Lutoslawski symphonic music, Barber choral works, Argentinean piano miniatures, and a stellar tribute collection in memory of the great early-music singer Montserrat Figueras.
165 Five Faves: Jazz covers of Jimi Hendrix tunes
168 Back Page: Abey Fonn, President of Impex Records, talks with Neil
Click here to subscribe to The Abso!ute Sound.