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The Absolute Sound


The Absolute Sound Issue 258 December 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 258, December 2015 table of contents and editorial.


Articles & Reviews In This Issue


Robert Harley on the challenges and opportunities of computer-based audio. 


Industry News
Jonathan Valin visits Italian loudspeaker manufacturer Rosso Fiorentino.


Dealer Profile
New York City retailer Audioarts offers some of the countryís best equipment and listening rooms, says Alan Taffel.


The Absolute Soundís High-End Audio Hall of Fame
We add five of high-end audioís most important innovators to our Hall of Fame.


The Absolute Soundís Illustrated History of High-End Audio, Volume Two: Electronics
Get the scoop on the publication of the second volume of this monumental series of richly illustrated, large-format books celebrating the high endís most iconic products and their legendary designers.


Start Me Up
PS Audio Sprout Integrated Amplifier
The $499 Sprout is the perfect antidote to generic mass-market commodity audio, says Julie Mullins.


Absolute Analog
Ortofon A95 Phono Cartridge
Our resident analog guru Andre Jennings listens to Ortofonís latest offering.


Cover Story
Aurender W20 Music Server
Not Just a Pretty Interface
Robert Harley reports on a music server that delivers a fantastic user experience and amazing sound quality in equal measures. Plus, RH evaluates Aurenderís affordable N100H server.


Equipment Reports: Focus on Music Servers
NAD Masters Series Digital Preamplifier and Power Amplifier
Neil Gader auditions NADís new Masters Series M12 digital preamp/DAC and M22 stereo amplifieróand likes what he hears.


Baetis Reference Music Server
Andrew Quint puts this ambitious new server through its paces.


Roon 1.1 Music Management Software
The folks who invented Sooloos have turned their attention to creating the ultimate music management software. Vade Forester assesses the results.


Equipment Reports
Cambridge A80 Integrated Amplifier
The venerable British firm brings affordability to high-end audio with its new A80 integrated, says Neil Gader.


Follow-Up: Tannoy Revolution XT 8F Loudspeaker
Robert Harley offers further thoughts on the remarkable $2600 XT 8F, which Dick Olsher raved about in our September issue.


KEF Q500 Loudspeaker 
New TAS reviewer David Marston listens to an affordable floorstander from KEF.


Creek Evolution 100A Integrated Amplifier 
Mike Creek has been designing integrated amplifiers since 1982, but the new Evolution 100A is his best effort yet. Neil Gader brings you the details.


Primare A34.2 Power Amplifier
The Swedish audio company debuts a new Class D output stage in its powerful and capable A34.2. Wayne Garcia has the good news.


Tortuga Audio LDR V2 Passive Level Control
The world has never before seen a passive level control even remotely like the LDR V2, says Steven Stone.


Atma-Sphere UV-1 Tube Preamplifier 
Dick Olsher on an ultra-minimalist preamp from Atma-Sphere that offers classic tube virtues at an accessible price.


JansZen ZA1.1 Loudspeaker
Robert E. Greene finds much to admire in this electrostatic wonder from David Janszen.


Dali Rubicon 6 Loudspeaker
The Danish manufacturer Dali draws on the technological advances of its Epicon Series to create the new $5995 Rubicon 6. Neil Gader reports.


The Cutting Edge
Muraudio PX1 Omnidirectional Electrostatic Loudspeaker
This new Canadian company has rewritten the rules on electrostatic speakers with the radically new, omnidirectional PX1. Robert E. Greene offers his insights and analysis, and Paul Seydor comments.


Legacy V Loudspeaker
Anthony Cordesman reports the new Legacy V loudspeaker that brings cutting-edge digital technology to bear on the problem of how loudspeakers behave in rooms.


Manufacturer Comments


The Album Cover Photography of Michael Wilson
A photographer with a long history in the music business discusses his career with Jeff Wilson. 


The Many Lives of Jerry Granelli
Bill Milkowski catches up with the "drummer-composer-sound painter" who played on A Charlie Brown Christmas.


Prestige Mono Reissues by Analogue Productions
Wayne Garcia listens to remastered Trane, Sonny, and Miles.


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


New releases by Los Lobos, Widespread Panic, Buddy Guy, Ian Tyson, The Last Hurrah!!, and Ravi Shankar, plus a 23-CD Isley Brothers compilation, The Otis Rene Story, and a Stealers Wheel vinyl reissue.


The latest by Fred Hersch, John Scofield, Matthew Shipp and Mat Walerian, Satoko Fujii, and Sonia Wieder-Atherton, plus an Ahmad Jamal vinyl reissue.


Solo piano recitals on the Steinway & Sons label, John Adams on SACD, orchestral music by Jaques Ibert, violin and harp performances by Viktoria Kaunzner and Anna Viechtl, and a violin concerto by Bernard Hoffer.


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