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The Absolute Sound


The Absolute Sound Issue 242 April 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 242, April 2014 table of contents and editorial.


Articles & Reviews In This Issue
4 From The Editor: The 1% Solution
Editorial By Robert Harley

8 Letters

12 From the Editor

14 Industry News
Robert Harley on Meridian's truly fabulous Signature Reference car-audio system.

39 The 2014 Consumer Electronics Show
Thirty-three pages of the newest, most innovative, and best-sounding high-end audio gear on the planet.

135 Manufacturer Comments


Start Me Up
20 Rotel RCD-1570 CD player, RC-1570 P7 Preamplifier, and RB-1552 Mk II Power Amplifier
Rotel returns to its roots with these high-performance, eminently affordable electronics, says Alan Taffel.


Absolute Analog
24 Pro-Ject XTension 10 Record Player
Wayne Garcia on this mid-priced 'table and tonearm from Pro-Ject, complete with Sumiko's latest Palos Santos Presentation cartridge.


Next-Gen Digital
30 Cary Audio DAC-100 and DAC-100t
Tubes or transistors? Cary Audio gives you the option in two otherwise identical DACs. Steven Stone reports.


Equipment Reports
94 Four Loudspeakers For Any Budget
Neat Acoustics Iota, Gallo Strada 2 with Tr-3D Subwoofer, Dynaudio Excite X34, and Von Schweikert Audio UniField Two Mk2
These four overachievers starting at just $995 prove that great sound needn't cost a fortune. Plus! Speaker Designer Roundtable: Four top designers reveal their secrets.

126 Audio Research VSi60 Integrated Amplifier
Wayne Garcia listens to an all-tubed amplifier from venerable Audio Research.

130 Westone ES5 Custom In-Ear Monitors
Steven Stone reviews these state-of-the-art in-ear monitors, and explains why custom fit is essential to great sound.


The Cutting Edge
136 Audio Research Reference Phono 10
A two-chassis, stand-alone, $30,000 phonostage preamplifier from Audio Research Corporation? Yup, and if you have the moolah (and the patience) JV says it's worth every penny.


146 Golden Age Broadway Musicals on Record
Roger Grodsky on the best recordings of classic American musicals from Show Boat to The Music Man.

154 Download Round-Up
Alan Taffel samples the first offerings from Acoustic Sounds' SuperHiRez.com.

158 Rock
The latest from Los Lobos, Steve Dawson, Scott Law, Dot Wiggin, Andy Statman, and Lou Pride; reissues from Johnny Winter and Hot Tuna.

164 Classical 
Stellar performances by Valentina Lisitsa, Jordi Savall, Momo Kodama, Athens Guitar Duo, and the Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew's.

168 Jazz
New releases from Vijay Lyer, Pat Metheny Unity Band, and Nir Felder, along with outstanding vinyl reissues of Milt Jackson and the Bill Evans Trio.


Back Page
176 Steve McCormack, President, SMc Audio.


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