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The Absolute Sound

 

The Absolute Sound Issue 231 March 2013   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 231, March 2013 table of contents and editorial.

 

Articles & Reviews In This Issue
6 From the Editor: Know Your Audience
Editorial By Robert Harley

8 Letters

12 Editorial

15 Industry News

16 Start Me Up: KEF LS50 Loudspeakers
The venerable British loudspeaker-manufacturer creates a stunning $1499 monitor to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Neil Gader reports.

 

2013 Editor's Choice Awards
We Feature 56 Pages of our Top Picks in Every Category and at Every Price Point
24 LOUDSPEAKERS
48 SUBWOOFERS
48 POWER AMPLIFIERS
60 INTEGRATED AMPLIFIERS
66 iPOD DOCKS AND ALL-IN-ONE SYSTEMS
66 PREAMPS
74 PHONOSTAGES
80 DISC PLAYERS
84 DIGITAL-TO-ANALOG CONVERTERS
90 MUSIC SERVERS
92 DIGITAL FORMAT CONVERTERS & CLOCKS
92 TURNTABLES & RECORD PLAYERS
103 TONEARMS
104 CARTRIDGES
111 ANALOG SOURCES, RECEIVERS
112 TUNERS, PROCESSORS, DSP CORRECTION
112 INTERCONNECTS & SPEAKER CABLES
120 POWER CORDS
122 EARPHONES & IN-EAR MONITORS
124 EADPHONES
128 HEADPHONE AMPS
128 EQUIPMENT RACKS
130 POWER CONDITIONERS
130 ACCESSORIES
138 BOOKS

 

Equipment Reports
142 ExaSound e20 Digital-to-Analog Converter
New TAS reviewer Vade Forrester on a highly capable mid-priced DAC that gives us a hint of the future of high-resolution DSD playback.

148 Bryston B-135 SST2 Integrated Amplifier
The Canadian electronics company celebrates its 50 anniversary with this 135Wpc integrated amp. Kirk Midtskog has the details.

152 Bel Canto mLink, uLink, and REF Link USB Converters
Steven Stone looks at three new USB converters.

156 Simaudio 810 LP Phonostage
Robert Harley is floored by this ultra-quiet, ultra-detailed, and ultra-musical phonostage from always-reliable Simaudio.

147 Manufacturer Comments

 

Music
162 The Essential Zappa
Greg Cahill surveys the brilliant career and polymorphous output of one of the most independent, inventive, and original musicians of our time.

166 Download Round-Up
Alan Taffel reviews recent hi-res downloads of classic rock albums.

168 Rock
Neo-soul from MeshellNdegeocello and Macy Gray; neo-country from John Hiatt and Greg Brown; neo-folk from Tim O’Brien and Darrell Scott; neo-world music from Taarka; neo-hip-hop from MC Yogi; new blues from Darren Jay & the Delta Souls; and (really) old blues from Cin-city.

170 Classical
Sterling performances of Fauré, Bach, Britten, Finzi, Ciurlionis, Mortensen, and French Flute Favorites.

172 Jazz
New releases from Wayne Shorter, Jason Robinson, and Chris Potter; in-concert recordings by Magico and Keith Jarrett rescued from ECM’s vaults; and Gil Evans’ Out of the Cool on 45rpm vinyl.

173 Five Faves
Greg Cahill on five great albums by notable post-2000 neo-soul artists.

 

176 Back Page
Neil Gader talks with Greg Stidsen of NAD Electronics and PSB Speakers.

 

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