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The Absolute Sound


The Absolute Sound Issue 246 October 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 246, October 2014 table of contents and editorial.


Articles & Reviews In This Issue
4 From The Editor: Letter
Editorial By Robert Harley

8 Letters

10 From the Editor: Robert Harley dispels a popular notion about building an audio system.

12 Future TAS: New products on the horizon.

13 Industry News: The New York Audio Show, now in a new venue, promises to be bigger and better than ever.

141 Manufacturer Comments


Show Report
18 T.H.E. Show Newport 2014: The latest and best new gear from the Newport Show.


38 New Methods for Quantifying Sonic Performance
In this groundbreaking work, Chuck Zellig, Ph.D., and Jay Clawson attempt to create a universal, transportable scale for measuring sound quality.


Absolute Analog
14 Klaudio KD-CLN-LP200 Ultrasonic Record Cleaner
Andre Jennings reports on the advantages of ultrasonic LP cleaning.


Loudspeaker Focus
54 ClairAudient 1+1 Personal Reference Monitor
Steven Stone discovers a spectacular desktop loudspeaker—and Robert Harley explains why it is also perfect for small rooms.

60 GoldenEar Technology Triton One Loudspeaker
GoldenEar has offered some of the best-performing affordable speakers. Now the company has set its sights higher with the $4995 Triton One. Anthony H. Cordesman has the good news.

68 Vienna Acoustics Liszt Loudspeaker
With "Vienna" and "Liszt" in its name, a loudspeaker had better deliver the goods. The Liszt more than lives up to its namesakes, says Jacob Heilbrunn.

72 Endeavor Audio Engineering E-3 Loudspeaker
Newcomer Endeavor Audio Engineering hits it out of the park with its first offering, the $6995 E-3 floorstander. Spencer Holbert reports.

76 ENIGMAcoustics Mythology M1 Loudspeaker
With innovative custom drivers, ENIGMAcoustics has created a remarkable stand-mounted loudspeaker. Dick Olsher brings you the details.

82 GamuT RS5 Superior Loudspeaker
Robert E. Greene offers an in-depth and insightful analysis of this upper-end Danish loudspeaker.

88 Magico S5 Loudspeaker
Alan Taffel explains why the S5 may be his favorite speaker in the Magico line.


Equipment Reports
94 VTL Siegfried Series II Power Amplifiers
These 650-watt monoblocks offer not just Wagnerian power and scope, but also grace and finesse, says Jacob Heilbrunn.

98 Audeze LCD-X Headphones
Infinity Systems co-founder and hi-fi legend Arnie Nudell explains why, after nearly 50 years of designing state-of-the-art loudspeakers, he's fallen in love with headphones—and with the Audeze LCD-X in particular.

108 Auralic Gemini 2000 Headphone Dock
Steven Stone listens to this most unusual headphone amplifier from innovator Auralic.

126 Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC Reference Series
You haven't heard digital audio's potential until you've heard the new Alpha Reference. Robert Harley reports on this landmark product.


The Cutting Edge
116 Raidho Acoustics D-5 Loudspeaker
Jonathan Valin reports on his new reference speaker—Raidho's gorgeous-looking, gorgeous-sounding, diamond-driver D-5 floorstander.


142 New and Reissued Vinyl from Blue Note and ECM
Recordings new and classic from two great jazz labels are back on black disc. Jeff Wilson reports.

146 The Beatles Get Back to Mono
The British supergroup returns in original monophonic sound. Jeff Wilson gets the backstory from Abbey Road's Sean Magee.

150 Rock
The latest from Jack White, Brian Eno, Chris Smither, Steve Wynn, Somi, Peter Rowan, Candi Staton, Royal Southern Brotherhood, and Michael Cleveland, along with a set of in-concert recordings by Crosby, Still, Nash & Young.

158 Classical
Orchestral showpieces in multichannel from Pentatone, Dvorák on SACD and dance spectaculars on vinyl from Reference, Stile Antico on Harmonia Mundi, "Epic Songs" on Ligia, Brahms chamber music on Foghorn, and a new West Side Story from Tilson Thomas.

164 Jazz
Recent outings by Bobby Hutcherson and pals, Matthew Shipp, Steve Khan, and Dylan Howe, plus a sterling reissue of John Carter and Bobby Bradford.


Back Page
168 We chat with Joe Reynolds of Nordost.


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