Articles & Reviews In This Issue
4 From the Editor: Audio Acquaintances — Discovering New Music
Editorial By Kirk Midtskog
8 Guest Editorial
10 Industry News
10 Now on theabsolutesound.com
124 Manufacturer Comments
27 AXPONA Chicago 2013
Jonathan Valin and brand-new TAS contributor Scot Hull report on the goodies
they heard at the first high-end show in the Windy City in almost two decades.
Start Me Up
12 iFi iDAC, iCAN, and iUSBPower
Steven Stone on three remarkably high-performance products — a DAC, a
headphone amplifier, and a USB power supply — that start at just $249.
20 Ortofon MC Anna Phono Cartridge
Ortofon has created the finest phono cartridge in the company's 104-year
history, says Jonathan Valin.
44 Hegel H300 Integrated Amplifier
The Norwegian company behind the fabulous H100 and H200 integrated amps raises
the bar with its new flagship, the H300. Neil Gader brings you the details.
48 PrimaLuna DiaLogue Premium Integrated Amplifier
PrimaLuna kicks it up a notch with higher-end parts and design in this new
“Premium" edition all-tubed integrated amplifier. Tube maven Dick Olsher
52 Marantz Reference Series PM‑11S3 Integrated
Amplifier and SA-11S3 SACD/CD Player
Gorgeous build quality, a plethora of features, and great sound are only the
beginning of these Reference Series' components appeal, says Paul Seydor.
60 Gato Audio AMP-150 Integrated Amplifier and CDD-1 Compact
This gorgeous looking — and sounding — integrated amp and CD player from
Denmark's Gato Audio has Wayne Garcia swooning. Find out why.
66 Constellation Audio Centaur Monoblock Power Amplifiers
Robert Harley discovers that the Constellation Centaur comes mighty close in
performance to Constellation's nearly three-times-the-price Hercules, the
world reference in solid-state amplification.
70 Technical Brain TBP-Zero EX Electronics
JV sticks his neck out (yet again) for some of the most realistic-sounding
solid-state electronics he's heard, Naoto Kurosowa's fantastic Technical Brain
monoblock amp, preamp, and phonostage.
80 Nola Contender Loudspeaker
Neil Gader on a knock-out floorstander from Nola's Carl Marchisotto.
84 Bryston BDA-2 Digital-to-Analog Converter
Kurt Schuster extols Byrston's much improved DAC.
90 High-End Headphone Survey
Chris Martens picks the crème de la crème headphones.
98 Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Baby Grand Loudspeaker
Ron Doering auditions an impressive mid-priced floorstander from Austria.
104 Shunyata Typhon Power Conditioner
A two-box power conditioner? Kirk Mitdskog reports on a worthy add-on to
Shunyata's Talos or Triton.
108 dCS Vivaldi Digital Playback System
The Vivaldi is easily the most ambitious assault yet on the state of the art
in digital playback. Robert Harley brings you an in-depth report on the
technology behind this remarkable product along with a full assessment of its
Plus! Inside the dCS factory.
128 From Grooves to Bits
Arthur Lintgen surveys transfers of vintage analog classical recordings into
New releases from Richard Thompson, Doug MacLeod, Heather Masse and Dick
Hyman, Delta Reign, and Mark Lee Gardner; treasures from the vaults from Jimi
Hendrix, Stephen Stills, and Marcos Valle.
The latest from Ahmad Jamal, Kevin Eubanks, and Rudresh Mahanthappa; a
multi-disc reissue from Arve Henriksen; and bootleg recordings of Miles Davis.
Latin American showpieces on Brilliant, Stokowski on Decca, saxophone gems on
ACA, and a wind ensemble spectacular on 2L Blu-ray.
152 Back Page
We talk to Bent Holter of Hegel Music Systems.
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