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The Absolute Sound

 

The Absolute Sound Issue 270 February 2017

   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 270, February 2017 table of contents and editorial.

 

Articles & Reviews In This Issue
10 Letters

 

12 From the Editor
An Internal Reality

 

14 Future TAS
New products on the horizon.

 

16 Industry News
Robert Harley and Jacob Heilbrunn preview the new $685,000 Wilson Audio WAMM loudspeaker.

 

23 Tip of the Month
Greg Weaver on optimizing AC polarity.

 

24 TAS Legacy
A look back at the venerable McIntosh C22 and MC275.

 

113 Manufacturer Comments

 

Music
116 Leonard Cohen: September 21, 1934–November 7, 2016
Derk Richardson reflects on the life and work of a major artist.

 

120 Not Your Father's Big Band
Bill Milkowski spotlights new trends in large-ensemble jazz.

 

122 NRBQ's High Noon: A 50-Year Retrospective
A 5-CD set full of timeless tunes meets with Derk Richardson's approval.

 

124 Maazel Conducts Sibelius
Arthur B. Lintgen reviews a new release celebrating the 150th anniversary of Sibelius' birth.

 

126 Downloads
Alan Taffel and Andrew Quint review hi-res rock and classical downloads.

 

130 Rock, Etc.
New music from John Prine, the Rolling Stones, Brownout, Rory Block, and Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice, plus reissues of classic albums by Otis Redding, Cowboy Junkies, and Bob Dylan.

 

136 Classical
Performances by the Nordic Brass Ensemble, the solo piano music of Enescu, Scarlatti's La Gloria di Primavera, and orchestral music by Granados, Zimmerman, and Debussy.

 

140 Jazz 
New music by Aziza and Kris Davis, previously unreleased recordings by Shirley Horn and Getz/Gilberto, and a 4-CD set of Keith Jarrett solo performances.

 

144 Q&A 
We talk with Ypsilon Eletronics designer Demetris Backlavas.

 

The Absolute Sound Issue 270 February 2017

 

Absolute Analog
50 Koeppel Design LP Organization
Mama has a brand-new bag! Julie Mullins has a new tote for LPs—and wooden record dividers to organize her collection.

 

54 Jolida Foz XT-R
Jacob Heilbrunn on an inexpensive device, designed by the legendary Jim Fosgate, that reputedly corrects for phono-cartridge azimuth errors.

 

Personal Audio
56 Focal Utopia Headphones
The French speaker-maker has applied its considerable expertise to these new beryllium-driver headphones. Steven Stone reports. 



Affordable Focus
62 AudioQuest DragonFly Black and Red DACs
Robert Harley on the latest versions of AudioQuest's ground-breaking DragonFly DACs. 

 

66 Dynaudio Xeo2 Wireless Loudspeaker
Neil Gader takes this high-tech, wireless, DSP'd speaker from Denmark's Dynaudio for a spin. 

 

70 Hana E and S Series Phono Cartridges
Vinyl guru Andre Jennings listens to four new cartridges that won't break the bank.

 

74 Oppo BDP-105D Multi-Format Disc Player and DAC
Neil Gader on the latest updates to this popular “do-it-all” player that add even more capabilities and better sound. 

 

Equipment Reports
80 Magico S1 Mk II Loudspeaker
The S1 packs all of Magico's vaunted performance into a smaller-scale speaker. Andrew Quint has the good news.

 

86 Graham LS5/9 Loudspeaker
Robert E. Greene considers a new realization of a classic BBC loudspeaker design.

 

96 Nordost Odin 2 Loudspeaker Cable and Interconnects
Jacob Heilbrunn puts Nordost's new top-of-the-line cable and interconnects to the test.

 

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