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The Absolute Sound


The Absolute Sound Issue 252 April 2015   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 252, April 2015 table of contents and editorial.


Articles & Reviews In This Issue
8 Letters

10 Guest Editorial: The Streaming Juggernaut: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Editorial By Andrew Quint

134 Manufacturer Comments


Industry News
13 Jonathan Valin on the brand-new Fifth Edition of Robert Harley's classic book The Complete Guide to High-End Audio.

15 The AXPONA show returns to Chicago. Julie Mullins reports.


Start Me Up
16 B&W T7 Wireless Powered Speaker and Dynamic Design Anna Lyric PC-1 Power Cord
Bowers & Wilkins speaker lets you take great sound anywhere, while Dynamic Design introduces an excellent entry-level power cord. Neil Gader reports.


Next-Gen Digital
18 Sony NW-ZX2 Digital Media Player 
Sony, the originator of personal portable audio with the Walkman, makes a bold new statement with this state-of-the-art hi-res media player. Steven Stone brings you the good news.


Subwoofer and Small Speaker Focus 
76 Subwoofer Basics
For this issue's special subwoofer focus, Robert Harley offers a subwoofer primer, excerpted from the new Fifth Edition of The Complete Guide to High-End Audio.

82 Axis Voice Box S Loudspeaker
Neil Gader on a compact monitor with a ribbon tweeter from the Land Down Under.

86 Audio Kinesis Swarm Subwoofer System
Robert E. Greene explores a radical approach to reproducing bass.

92 MartinLogan Balanced Force 210 Subwoofer
Spencer Holbert on a swell subwoofer from a company known for its electrostats.

96 JL Audio e112 Subwoofer
Robert Harley auditions a mid-priced model from subwoofer specialist JL Audio.

100 Raidho X-1 Loudspeaker
Robert Harley on a tiny, tantalizing sub-compact that features the same ribbon tweeter as Raidho's $220k flagship.

102 REL S/5 Subwoofer
Neil Gader discovers a new world of bass reproduction with the latest sub from England's REL Acoustics.


Equipment Reports
108 NuPrime IDA-16 Integrated Amplifier/DAC
Vade Forrester finds much to like about this high-performance, yet affordable amplifier/DAC from NuPrime. 

114 Wilson Audio Duette 2 Loudspeaker
Wilson performs creates a speaker that delivers high-end sound when placed against a wall. Andrew Quint on the Duette 2's stereo and multichannel performance.

122 Cover Story: YG Acoustics Hailey 1.2 Loudspeaker
With drivers machined from solid aluminum blocks, 
YG brings something different to the high end. Anthony H. Cordesman evaluates YG's latest creation, the Hailey 1.2.


136 Clean Feed Records
Derk Richardson explores a small Portuguese jazz label. 

140 The Decca Phase 4 Stereo Concert Series
Arthur Lintgen on a new 41-CD box set of Phase 4 recordings.

144 Butterfield Blues Band
Jeff Wilson explains why these blues-rock pioneers earned their spots in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

148 Download Round-Up
Alan Taffel and Andrew Quint review hi-res pop/rock and classical downloads.

152 Rock
The 40th Anniversary Theatre Edition of Jethro Tull's War Child, MoFi's two-LP 45rpm set of the Grateful Dead's American Beauty, plus new music by Jorma Kaukonen, Pieta Brown, Sean Costello, Alasdair Roberts, Sir Richard Bishop, and Anonymous 4.

158 Jazz
A four-CD set of live recordings from the Miles Davis Quintet's 1960 European tour, new recordings by Jimmy Greene, the Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quartet, and the Sylvie Courvoisier Trio, plus a Horace Tapscott reissue.

162 Classical
Two piano-duets of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, choral music by Arvo Pärt, contemporary chamber music by Conundrum, piano concertos by Dussek, and symphonic music by Dukas.


Back Page
168 We talk to John Hunter of REL.


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