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The Absolute Sound


The Absolute Sound Issue 265 September 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 265, September 2016 table of contents and editorial.


Articles & Reviews In This Issue
4 Standing On Their Own Shoulders
Editorial By Robert Harley

8 Letters

12 From the Editor

14 FutureTAS


Start Me Up
100 KEF Muo Wireless Speaker 
Julie Mullins listens to this amazing desktop Bluetooth speaker system, featuring a miniaturized version of the Uni-Q driver array inside KEF's Muon flagship.


Personal Audio
106 Astell&Kern AKT8iE In-Ear Monitors
The company that reinvented personal audio players introduces its first in-ear monitor. Steven Stone has the details.


Special Reports
Technics' Triumphant Return -- R1 Reference System
Technics has returned to the high end with the innovation-packed R1 Reference System. Alan Taffel reflects on the company's legacy, and assesses Technics' radical rethinking of audio system architecture.


2016 Golden Ear Awards
Our editors and writers pick their personal favorites.


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


Equipment Reports
112 Mytek Brooklyn DAC with MQA Decoding
More than an MQA-compatible DAC, the Brooklyn offers a full-function preamplifier complete with phonostage. Steven Stone puts this highly capable product through its paces, and offers his assessment of MQA. 


118 Rogers EHF-100 Mk2 Integrated Amplifier
Vade Forrester reports on this all-tube integrated from Rogers High Fidelity.


126 Nordost Frey 2 Cable 
Neil Gader finds much to like in the revamped Frey 2 from Nordost.


130 Stillpoints Ultra 5 and 
Ultra 6 Isolation Devices
These sophisticated vibration-dissipation products can significantly improve the sound of just about any system, says Jacob Heilbrunn.


134 REL T7i Subwoofer
Subwoofer specialist REL introduces an affordable sub that not only delivers low bass, but seamlessly integrates with your main speakers. Neil Gader reports.


138 Aavik Acoustics U-300 Integrated Amplifier 
Don Saltzman evaluates this innovative new 300Wpc integrated amplifier from Michael Børresen of Raidho fame.


The Cutting Edge
148 The David Berning Company 211 / 845 Power Amplifier
With 60W of Class A triode power, no output transformer, zero feedback, and a switch-mode power supply, the Berning 211 / 845 breaks new ground in amplifier design — and musical performance — says Robert Harley.


172 Lyn Stanley
Andrew Quint interviews "the hands-on chanteuse."


176 New Old Ways
Greg Cahill recommends 15 essential neotraditionalist country albums.


180 Download Round-Up
Andrew Quint reviews hi-res classical downloads.


182 Rock
New music by Paul Simon, Sarah Jarosz, Bob Mould, Sturgill Simpson, Yo-Yo Ma & the Silk Road Ensemble, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Sam Bush, and Bryan Sutton, plus reissues by Joe Jackson, the Dixie Chicks, Lightnin' Hopkins, and Piero Umiliani. 


190 Classical
Piano concertos by Prokofiev, Schumann, and Tchaikovsky; overtures by Weber; piano works by Henrique Oswald; Pablo Villegas' Americano; and three "after" concertos by David Canfield.


194 Jazz
New releases by Sonny Rollins, J. D. Allen, Matt Wilson, Snarky Puppy, Ferit Odman, and Frank Kimbrough, plus a Booker Ervin reissue and Mosaic's Classic James P. Johnson Sessions (1921–1943).


200 Back Page 
We talk with Tony Brady, Chief Engineer, Exposure Electronics Ltd.



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