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The Absolute Sound


The Absolute Sound Issue 264 July / August 2016

   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 264, July / August 2016 table of contents and editorial.


Articles & Reviews In This Issue
12 Guest Editorial
Nothing Could Be Finer: An Ode to Liner Notes 
Editorial By TAS Reader Roy Midyett

8 Letters

14 Future TAS
New products on the horizon.

26 Manufacturer Comments 


Acoustic Signature Turntable
What's almost three feet wide and two-and-a-half feet deep, weighs 315 pounds (70 of it platter), and sounds like mastertapes? Jonathan Valin reports on the imperturbable Invictus from Germany's Acoustic Signature — one of the world's great record players.

The TAS Super LP List
It's back! HP's classic Super LP List returns with exciting new updates from Jonathan Valin and the TAS staff.

The 2016 AXPONA Show 
High-end returns to the Windy City and we're there to bring you the hottest new products.
Personal Audio

32 Dragon Inspire IHA-1 Headphone Amplifier 
Steven Stone auditions an SET head-phone amp from Dennis Had (founder of Cary Audio) that competes with the best.

38 Stax SR-L700 Headphone Steven Stone on a superb, affordable electrostatic headphone from Stax.


Analog Focus Equipment Reports
74 Basis Audio Superarm 9 Tonearm
Robert Harley evaluates a statement tonearm from Basis Audio's A. J. Conti.

80 Brown Audio Labs SP-1B Preamplifier
This $850 tube preamp with phonostage has Dick Olsher swooning.

84 Phoenix Engineering Eagle PSU and Roadrunner Tachometer
Andre Jennings on a pair of accessories that deliver precise turntable speed. 
Cable Focus Equipment Reports

104 Audience Ohno Cable
Audience's svelte Ohno cables are winners, says Neil Gader.

106 WyWires Diamond Cable
Neil Gader on WyWires' outstanding new Diamond Series products.

110 Transparent Audio XL Generation 5 Cable
Anthony Cordesman listens to ambitious interconnects and cables from Transparent Audio.


Equipment Reports
118 Monitor Audio Gold 300 Loudspeaker
Monitor Audio brings both stellar sonics and elegant style to its floorstanding Gold 300, says Julie Mullins.

122 Audio Research Corporation GSi75 Integrated Amplifier
ARC's styling has changed but its great sound hasn't, says Jacob Heilbrunn.

126 GoldenEar Technology SuperSub XXL
Jacob Heilbrunn listens to an exceptional new subwoofer from GoldenEar.

130 VooDoo Iso-Pod Isolation System
No voodoo here — these affordable accessories deliver real improvements, says Neil Gader.


132 Seven Years of Plenty
Stephen Estep looks at British Folk Rock from 1967 to 1974.

136 What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love, and “Content”?
Guitarist Marc Ribot discusses compact discs, the music industry, and a trip to the Apple Store.

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

142 Rock
New releases by Esperanza Spalding, Ben Harper, Wussy, Sierra Hull, Dave Adkins, the New Mastersounds, and Applewood Road, plus a Blind Willie Johnson tribute, two Johnny Cash releases, and Rhino's The Replacements: The Sire Years.

150 Jazz
Previously unreleased recordings by Tony Bennett and Dave Brubeck, Quincy Jones, the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, Larry Young, and Buell Neidlinger, plus new music by Julian Lage, Pixel, and William Parker and a John Lewis/Sacha Distel reissue.

156 Classical
The music of our very own Mark Lehman, Verdi's Aida, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra winds, and Harry Partch on vinyl.

160 Back Page 
We talk to Bruce Jacobs of Stillpoints.


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