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The Absolute Sound


The Absolute Sound Issue 244 July / August 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 244, July/August 2014 table of contents and editorial.


Articles & Reviews In This Issue
4 From The Editor: High Resolution Audio
Editorial By Robert Harley

8 Letters

12 From the Editor

16 Industry News : Overture Ultimate Home Electronics hosts Robert Harley for a book signing and Magico founder Alon Wolf for an S3 demo; Spencer Holbert reports from the Montréal show; Neil Young launches the Pono high-res music system; Fine Sounds debuts a successor to Sonus faber's legendary Extrema.

33 The 2014 AXPONA Show
Discover the best new gear at the Chicago audio extravaganza.


Special Feature
61 How to Set Up a Cartridge
Jonathan Valin and Andre Jennings show you how to perfect your vinyl setup in this step-by-step guide.


Analog-Focus Equipment Reports
70 Funk Firm Flamenca Turntable
Spencer Holbert auditions an affordable 'table from a British company with a long and storied history in analog.

74 Acoustic Signature Wow XL Turntable
We've been wowed by this German manufacturer's upper-end 'tables; its entry-level offering proves to be a winner as well. Spencer Holbert reports.

78 Ortofon Red/Black Quintet Phono Cartridges
Neil Gader covers two new cartridges priced at $299 and $999.

84 Dr. Feickert Analogue Woodpecker Turntable
Analog guru Andre Jennings weighs in on this mid-priced turntable with a host of options and upgrades.


Cable-Focus Equipment Reports
94 Acoustic Zen Absolute Copper
This mid-priced interconnect comes with a fair share of pleasant surprises, says Neil Gader.

96 Moon Audio Silver Dragon II Interconnect
A relative newcomer to the cable scene, Moon Audio has created a flat-out bargain with its new Silver Dragon II interconnect. Neil Gader reports.

98 Wireworld Platinum Eclipse Series 7
Neil Gader on Wireworld's top-of-the-line cable and interconnect.

102 Synergistic Research Galileo LE
Despite being about two-fifths the price of the original Galileo system, Synergistic's new Galileo LE is still a challenger for the state of the art in cabling, says Jonathan Valin.


Equipment Reports
108 MartinLogan Montis Loudspeaker
Discover why this electrostatic/dynamic hybrid from MartinLogan has Paul Seydor running out of superlatives.

114 Moon Neo 260D CD Transport/DAC
Thought the CD transport was dead? Simaudio has reinvented the category with new features and options that bring it into the computer-audio age. Neil Gader reports.

118 JL Audio e110 Subwoofer
Jonathan Valin has his anti-subwoofer worldview turned upside down by the affordable new e110s from JL Audio.


128 Putting Some English on Jazz
Jeff Wilson discovers some new Old World sources for jazz on vinyl (and CD too).

134 Rebirth at Bethlehem
Duck Baker on another new source for vinyl (and CD) jazz reissues.

136 Big Voice in a Small Room
Wagnerian singer Stephanie Blythe records Kate Smith at Berkeley California's Meyer Sound. Andrew Quint is impressed.

142 Rock : New releases from David Crosby, Roger Daltrey, Jack Bruce, Chuck E. Weiss, Tony Trischka, and The Infamous Stringdusters; reissues of the Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary Celebration Concert on CD, and of Albert King and Lula Reed on Sundazed vinyl.

148 Classical : Wind Ensembles on 2L, orchestral showpieces on Reference and Mariinsky, choral music on Aurora, and violin duos on Sono Luminus.

152 Jazz: The latest from Nels Cline, Chris Speed, Brian Blade, Mike Marshall, and the Pixels, along with Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan back on LP.


Back Page
160 We chat with Bob Surgeoner of Neat Acoustics.


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