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 251, March 2015 table of contents and
Articles & Reviews In This Issue
12 From the Editor: The Absolute Sound's Editors' Choice Awards Editorial By Robert Harley
14 Future TAS
New products on the horizon
17 Industry News
Vade Forrester listens to the first commercial DSD256 recording.
170 Manufacturer Comments
2015 Editors' Choice Awards
31 This is the Big One!
Our top recommendations—complete with mini-reviews—of the very best speakers, amplifiers, DACs, turntables, headphones, cartridges, cables, phonostages, integrated amps, desktop audio, equipment racks, AC power conditioners, accessories, room treatments, and more.
56 Power Amplifiers
65 Integrated Amplifiers
69 All-In-One Systems
80 Disc Players
84 Digital-To-Analog Converters (DACs)
88 Portable DACs/ Headphone Amplifiers
92 Music Servers
93 Digital Format Converters / Clocks
110 Tape Decks
110 Record Cleaning Machines
110 Equipment racks
113 Power Conditioners
113 DSP Room Correction
114 Interconnects & Speaker Cables
122 Digital Interconnects
122 Power Cords
124 Acoustic Room Treatments
126 Earphones/ In-Ear Monitors / Headphones
128 Desktop Headphone Amplifiers
18 VPI Classic Direct Turntable
The direct-drive turntable makes a spectacular comeback in this ambitious new model from VPI. Anthony H. Cordesman reports.
136 LH Labs Geek Out 450 DAC/Headphone Amplifier
Vade Forrester discovers a great-sounding and versatile portable DAC and headphone amplifier that costs $199.
142 Larson Model 8 Loudspeaker
Robert E. Greene listens to a most unusual loudspeaker from Denmark that is designed to be positioned against a wall.
148 MartinLogan Motion 35XT Loudspeaker
This affordable new compact speaker with MartinLogan's Folded Motion Tweeter brings high-end sound to an affordable price. Neil Gader has the good news.
152 VTL ST-150 Power Amplifier and TL-5.5 Series II Preamplifier
Wayne Garcia finds much to admire in this highly musical pair of tubed electronics from VTL.
158 Audio Physic Classic 30 Loudspeaker
Neil Gader reports on a superb, mid-priced, five-driver floorstanding loudspeaker from Germany's Audio Physic.
162 Kimber Kable KS 6800 Series Speaker Cables and Interconnects
We've always wondered what Kimber Kable could achieve if it pulled out all the stops. Now we know. Neil Gader shares the pleasure of auditioning Kimber's remarkable wires.
166 Jadis DPMC Phono Preamp
Dick Olsher on a French phonostage that adds joie de vivre to any LP lover's life.
174 The Great American Symphony
Never mind the Great American Novel—what's the Great American Symphony? Mark Lehman has narrowed it down to nine choices; now you decide.
184 Henry Mancini: The Classic Soundtrack Collection
Arthur Lintgen evaluates Legacy's new 9-CD collection of Mancini scores.
186 Download Round-Up
Andrew Quint, Alan Taffel, and Neil Gader review classical and high-res pop/rock downloads.
New releases by Howell Devine, Billy Boy Arnold, Greensky Bluegrass, and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, along with BBC performances by Todd Rundgren, reissues by the Notting Hillbillies and Alan James Eastwood, and The Basement Tapes Complete.
Rudresh Mahanthappa, Orchestra Nostalgico, Caterina Zapponi, and Chris Dundas; guitar duets with Nels Cline and Julian Lage; and a previously unreleased Frank Lowe 2-LP set on vinyl.
A new 14-CD Der Ring des Nibelungen, Gibbons' The Silver Swan, a slightly re-orchestrated Scheherazade, performances by the Turtle Island Quartet, and the string quartets of Matthew Barnson.
208 Back Page
We talk with Charles Van Oosterum of Kharma.
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