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The Absolute Sound

 

The Absolute Sound Issue 243 May/June 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 243, May/June 2014 table of contents and editorial.

 

Articles & Reviews In This Issue
4 From The Editor: It's All Good
Editorial By Robert Harley

8 Letters

12 From the Editor

14 Industry News
• Book signing at AXPONA Chicago & Munich for The Absolute Sound's Illustrated History of High-End Audio.
• The upcoming Chicago AXPONA show will be big!
• High-end audio comes to Saudi Arabia! JV reports.
• Steven Stone on a digital process that removes wow and flutter from analog masters.

140 Manufacturer Comments 

24 Start Me Up: Rotel RDD-1580 DAC
Rotel's roll continues with this eminently affordable new DAC. Spencer Holbert has the good news.

28 Next-Gen Digital: Ripping CDs with dBpoweramp Software
Vade Forrester takes you step-by-step through converting your CD library to digital files via the dBpoweramp program.

 

Electronics Focus Equipment Reports
34 Zesto Bia 120 Power Amplifier
Paul Seydor finds much to praise in this new all-tube amplifier from Zesto Audio. 

40 NuForce MCP-18 Multichannel Preamplifier
If you're into multichannel music and don't want a digital controller, NuForce's MCP-18 is just the ticket, says Steven Stone.

46 Rogers High Fidelity EHF-200 Mk2 Integrated Amplifier
Spencer Holbert discovers the glories of 100W of pure Class A tube power.

52 Viola Audio Laboratories Concerto Preamplifier and Crescendo Power Amplifier
Connecticut-based Viola has produced a preamplifier and power amplifier that rivals the best Robert Harley has heard.

60 Zanden 3100 Preamp and 8120 Power Amp
Jonathan Valin on two beautiful-sounding, high-resolution components from Japanese master craftsman Kazutoshi Yamada.

69 Electronics Designer Roundtable
Kazutoshi Yamada of Zanden, George Kounnas of Zesto, and Paul Jayson of Viola Audio Labs discuss amplifier design.

 

Equipment Reports
78 Focal 906 Loudspeaker
Neil Gader reports on the new cone technology Focal introduces in this marvelous $1500 compact. 

82 Eminent Technology LFT-8b Loudspeaker
Robert E. Greene on what may be the lowest-distortion loudspeaker yet.

90 Abyss AB-1266 Headphones
The title of “World's Best” may have been invented for these new 'phones from Abyss, says Chris Martens.

96 Aesthetix Romulus CD Player/DAC
Robert Harley explains why this new tube CD player/DAC is a giant-killer.

102 Cavalli Audio Liquid Gold Headphone Amplifier
Chris Martens evaluates a new headphone amplifier from one of the industry's leading lights, Alex Cavalli.

106 Light Harmonic DaVinci DAC
Scot Hull reports on an extremely ambitious and sonically impressive DAC with an analog-like presentation.

 

Music
144 The Clash in High-Res
Alan Taffel on the iconic rock band's welcome appearance on 96/24 downloads from HDtracks.

150 Download Round-Up
Andrew Quint reviews high-res classical music downloads.

154 Rock
New releases from Bruce Springsteen, the Allman Brothers, Johnny Cash, and Rhonda Vincent; reissues of Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams, Mark Lanegan, and Yes; three cover CDs of Everly Brothers songs; and four decades of live-in-concert folk music from Caffè Lena.

164 Classical
New recordings of Barber, Gershwin, Copland, Enesco, and Cahill, plus five music-only Blu-rays and a program of chamber music recorded live in a bar—on vinyl.

170 Jazz
The latest from Roy Nathanson, Regina Carter, David Berkman, and Thumbscrew, along with outstanding reissues of Miles Davis on both vinyl and CD.

176 Back Page
We talk to Jim White, founder of Aesthetix Corporation.

 

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