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The Absolute Sound


The Absolute Sound Issue 235 September 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 235, September 2013 table of contents and editorial.


Articles & Reviews In This Issue
4 From The Editor: The Only Thing Constant in Life Is Change
Editorial By Neil Gader

8 Letters

12 Guest Editorial

14 Future TAS

16 The Absolute Sound's Illustrated History of High-End Audio
Robert Harley brings you details on our epic three-year project to document the entire history of high-end audio in a series of graphic-rich coffee-table books.

18 In Memorium 
Robert E. Greene writes a moving tribute to cello great Janos Starker.

53 The 2013 Golden Ear Awards
Our editors and writers honor their favorite products.

143 Manufacturer Comments


Show Report
21 Highlights of the Munich High-End Show
We spotlight the most intriguing and best-sounding gear at the world's greatest hi-fi show.


Start Me Up
34 Magnepan Super MMG
Magnepan sets a new standard in affordable speakers with the Super MMG. Neil Gader has the scoop.


Next-Gen Digital
38 Plinius Tiki Music Server
Vade Forrester auditions an intriguing turnkey music server from New Zealand's Plinius.


Special Report
46 A High-End Headphone Primer
Want to join the high-performance headphone revolution? Chris Martens shows you how.


Equipment Report
86 T+A Cala All-in-One System
Neil Gader on an affordable desktop system from Germany's T+A.

90 Paradigm Inspiration Monitor
For its 30th anniversary, Paradigm pays tribute to its legacy with the Inspiration Monitor. Chris Martens puts the Canadian firm's new speaker through its paces.

96 Rogue Audio Hydra Power Amplifier
Tube stalwart Rogue Audio offers an interesting twist in amplifiers — a tubed input stage and Class D output stage. Garrett Hongo has the winning results.

102 Bud Fried Tower Loudspeaker
The transmission-line designs of the late, great Irving "Bud" Fried have been resurrected with 21st century technology. Dick Olsher on this affordable reincarnation.

106 Enigm Acoustics Sopranino Supertweeter 
Dick Olsher tries out the Sopranino, a self-biasing electret transducer that that you can add to any speaker.

110 Audience adeptResponse aR6-TSS Power Conditioner
Garrett Hongo falls for Audience's flagship conditioner.

118 Sony NA2ES Loudspeaker
Sony trickles down the technology from its acclaimed SS-AR1 loudspeaker in the mid-priced NA2ES with outstanding success, says Robert E. Greene.

124 Cover Story: Legacy Audio Aeris Loudspeaker
The new Aeris from Legacy Audio makes a powerful case for incorporating DSP room correction and active bass in a loudspeaker, says Anthony H. Cordesman.


139 Analogue Productions' RCA Reissues: Jonathan Valin — the man who wrote The RCA Bible — reports on the first batch of AP's spectacular vinyl reincarnations of Shaded Dog classics.

144 "Out de Window": Duck Baker profiles Jamaican-born jazz legend Joe Harriott.

148 Rock: New releases from David Bowie, Chrysta Bell, Guy Clark, Kacey Musgraves, Crazy Joe, and the multicultural team of Habib Koité and Eric Bibb; reissues from Aerosmith, Primus, and Shuggie Otis.

152 Classical: 
Piano music by Mozart, Haydn, and Griffes; piano trios by Widor; symphonic music by Wolfgang Rihm; and Leonard Bernstein's coruscating take on Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.

156 Jazz: The latest from Charles Lloyd and Jason Moran, Craig Taborn, and Ibrahim Maalouf, along with old faves from Thelonious Monk, Muhal Richard Abrams, and the guitar trio of Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin, and Paco De Lucia.


Back Page
160 Back Page
We talk to Lloyd Walker, President of Walker Audio.


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