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The Absolute Sound


The Absolute Sound Issue 240 February 2014   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 240, February 2014 table of contents and editorial.


Articles & Reviews In This Issue
6 From The Editor: High-End Audio's Golden Opportunity
Editorial By Robert Harley

8 Letters

12 From the Editor

14 Future TAS

16 Industry News
Jim Hannon reports on retailer AudioVision San Francisco seminars with Devialet, JL Audio, and Nordos. And.Robert Harley shares the details of our epic project to document the history of the high end in a series of lavishly illustrated large-format books.

33 The 2013 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest
Twenty-three pages of the hottest new gear from the Denver show.

116 Manufacturer Comments


Start Me Up
20 Meridian Direct DAC and Prime Headphone Amplifier
The new $699 Direct brings Meridian's renowned digital technology to an affordable price point, and the Prime makes headphone listening a joy, says Neil Gader.


Next-Gen Digital
26 Baetis Revolution II Music Server
Andrew Quint explores the possibilities of computer-audio with this interesting new server.


Equipment Reports
78 Musical Surroundings MYDAC II
Steven Stone reports on an affordable DAC that features a proprietary new technique for improving digital sound.

82 AURALiC Vega DAC/Digital Preamplifier
This new DAC/digital preamplifier delivers an advanced feature set, cutting-edge technologies, and great sound, says Chris Martens.

88 Morel Sopran Loudspeaker
Neil Gader on a new slimmed-down version of Morel's famous Fat Lady loudspeaker.

92 German Physiks Unlimited II Loudspeaker
With its unique “bending wave” driver, the German Physiks Unlimited II produces sound like no other loudspeaker. Dick Olsher explains.

98 Naim NDS Network Player and UnitiServe CD Ripper
The venerable British high-end manufacturer has married traditional sonic values with today's cutting-edge technology to create the ultimate machine for accessing music. Robert Harley reports, and takes you behind the scenes at the Naim factory.


120 Vinyl Heaven
Wayne Garcia details new and forthcoming audiophile recordings on vinyl — and SACD too.

126 Mack Avenue Records
Jeff Wilson profiles a Detroit-based label now issuing fine new jazz recordings on LP, CD, and 96/24 downloads.

128 Download Round-Up
Alan Taffel and Andrew Quint review high-res pop/rock and classical music downloads.

132 Rock
New releases from Arcade Fire, Rosanne Cash, Robbie Fulks, and Emerald Rae, along with a two-disc anthology of Civil War songs, a Woody Guthrie box-set, and reissues of Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Mike Bloomfield, and Tears for Fears.

138 Classical
Lang Lang plays Bartók and Prokofiev, the 5 Browns play Stravinsky, Muti conducts Otello, plus rarely-heard music of Bloch, Dale, and Valen.

142 Jazz
Fresh stuff from Keith Jarrett, David Krakauer, Kris Davis, and Matt Wilson, and vintage soul-jazz from Les McCann.


144 Back Page
Cookie Marenco of Blue Coast Records.


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