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The Absolute Sound


The Absolute Sound Issue 255 September 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 255, September 2015 table of contents and editorial.


Articles & Reviews In This Issue
8 Letters

12 Guest Editorial
Alan Taffel looks at the high-end industry's strategies for engaging a new generation of music lovers.

14 Industry News
Acoustic Sounds acquires Doug Sax's The Mastering Lab.

16 The Munich Show 
We report on the greatest new gear at the world's greatest audio event.

57 The 2015 Golden Ear Awards 
Our writers pick their personal favorites.

179 Manufacturer Comments


Start Me Up
96 Denon PMA-50 Integrated Amplifier and DAC
Vade Forrester checks out this highly capable $599 integrated amp with a wireless streaming DAC.


Equipment Reports
104 Tannoy Revolution XT 8F Loudspeaker
Revolution, indeed. This new $2600 speaker with Tannoy's legendary concentric driver competes with five-figure models, says Dick Olsher.

110 Vinnie Rossi LIO Modular Audio System
With completely customizable modular architecture, the LIO can be just about any component you want it to be—linestage preamp, DAC, full-function preamp, integrated amp. Steven Stone explores this new concept in high-end electronics.

118 GoldenEar Triton Five Loudspeaker
Jacob Heilbrunn listens to the latest addition to the high-value Triton series from Sandy Gross' GoldenEar Technology. 

122 NuPrime DAC-10H DAC/Pre and ST-10 Power Amplifier
This affordable new preamp/power amp pair cements NuPrime's growing reputation for creating great-sounding, high-value electronics, says Steven Stone.

128 Reference 3A Taksim Loudspeaker
Andrew Quint finds a sweet spot in the price-to-performance ratio in mid-priced loudspeakers.

134 Classé Audio CP-800 Preamplifier and CA-D200 Power Amplifier
The Canadian manufacturer has added a host of new features in the CP-800 preamp, and introduces its first Class D amplifier in the CA-D200. Neil Gader evaluates the duo.

140 Harmonic Technology
Neil Gader listens to the latest wires from Harmonic Technology: Pro-7 Reference Armour Loudspeaker cable and Armour Link III interconnect.

144 Constellation Argo Integrated Amplifier
The Argo significantly lowers the entry price to Constellation Audio's famous resolution and transparency. Alan Taffel has the details.

148 Magico M Pro Loudspeaker
Only fifty of you will be able to buy this “concept” loudspeaker, intended to demonstrate Magico's most advanced technologies. But if you're one of The Fifty...oh, what a lucky man you are! Jonathan Valin on Magico's limited-edtion, reference-quality offering.

164 Cover Story: Burmester MC151 Music Center 

One of the world's most prestigious high-end companies has created an easy-to-use, highly capable, and great-sounding music server. Anthony H. Cordesman has the scoop.


180 The Girl Singers That Time Forgot
David McGee writes about the Desaparecidos of Classic American Pop.

184 Mercury Living Presence: The Collector's Edition Volume 3
Arthur Lintgen is impressed with the final round of Living Presence box sets.

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

190 Rock
New releases by My Morning Jacket, Jason Isbell, Paul Weller, Todd Rundgren, Jeff Beck, Meg Baird, Tom Brosseau, Sufjan Stevens, and Tom Paley. 

194 Jazz
New releases by Steve Coleman, Marilyn Crispell, Joe Lovano, and Antonio Sanchez, plus vinyl reissues by Wes Montgomery and Julie London.

196 Classical
Esoteric's new 9-SACD box set of four newly remastered operas (two with Maria Callas and two with Herbert von Karajan), four works by Joseph Jongen, Dacapo's SACD of two Nielsen symphonies, and a 45rpm LP from Yarlung.


Back Page
200 We talk to Siegfried Amft, Founder and President, T+A Electroakustic.


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