Issue 250 February 2015
The Enduring Legacy
The death of The
Absolute Sound (TAS)
Founder Harry Pearson on November 4 was a shock. Although Harry had been ill
for several months, the finality of his passing came as a blow to me and the
entire staff of The Absolute Sound.
In case you missed it, Jonathan Valin's moving tribute to Harry in the
previous issue is essential reading.
We continue our remembrance of HP in this issue with a piece
by TAS owner Tom Martin, who recounts how he came to buy the
magazine in 1998. Neil Gader, in a story I'd never heard before, shares with
us how he met Harry in early 1973, just weeks before Harry launched The
Absolute Sound. Neil's heartfelt piece beautifully encapsulates
their four-decade relationship. Our remembrance includes the publication of
the Super LP List, Harry's evolving distillation of the best-sounding
records extant. The Super LP List became iconic; HP's mention of an
out-of-print LP would instantly cause the title's price on the used market
to skyrocket. The Super LP List is a window into what a great music lover and
listener Harry was—his musical taste and sonic sensibilities are front and
center. We conclude our tribute by publishing selected comments about Harry
from readers and industry insiders, first posted on a special section of our
website called the Wall of Remembrance. I invite you to post your own thoughts
about the impact that TAS and
Harry Pearson had on your life.
Harry created an institution that survives him, and we on
the staff are entrusted with the mission of ensuring that the magazine and the
ideals it represents thrive well into the future. Toward that end, I'm
pleased to announce that two exceptional individuals have joined our staff.
The first is Julie Mullins, who has taken the full-time (and newly created)
position of Managing and Digital Editor. Julie brings to TAS
a wealth of experience in writing, editing, and publication management, and is
also steeped in the audiophile culture from growing up with her father, an
avid TAS reader since the magazine's early days. As you'll see in
Julie's first review in this issue of the Magnepan .7 loudspeaker (and in
her Rocky Mountain show report, also in this issue), she has a keen insight
into music reproduction along with a delightful wit.
The second new member of our team is Greg Weaver, who made
his debut with last issue's review of the Esoteric E-03 phonostage. Although
Greg is new to TAS, he is a veteran audio reviewer with a long resume going
back to 1989. He founded a small high-end magazine in that year called The
Audio Analyst, and has contributed to many other high-end
publications over the past 25 years. A TAS
reader since Issue 2, Greg is very much a "hands-on" guy, having repaired
audio gear professionally, designed and installed ultra-high-end automotive
systems, and built large theater installations. Greg has a special passion for
the LP format, and is highly skilled at turntable setup. We look forward to
bringing you Greg's experience and insight.
As we look back at TAS'
legacy in this issue, and simultaneously welcome a new generation of
contributors, it seems fitting to reflect on the state of the magazine as 2014
draws to a close. I'm pleased to report that The
Absolute Sound has never been stronger. In 2014, TAS
set new records in every single metric for magazine performance. One of those
metrics, the number of editorial pages published in a year, is particularly
significant because it means that we're able to deliver more equipment
reports, show coverage, feature articles, music features and reviews than ever
magazine staff has a responsibility to uphold and further the great traditions
and ideals embodied in TAS' creation back in 1973, while also exposing a new
generation of music listeners to the joys of great-sounding equipment. Our
goal is for The Absolute Sound,
along with its perspective and principles, to prosper for as long as people
appreciate music. As we enter 2015 with the wind at our backs, a bolstered
editorial team, and a clear view of our mission, I'm confident that in
another 41 years these pages will continue to celebrate music and the quality
of its reproduction.
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