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The Absolute Sound

 

The Absolute Sound Issue 272 April 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 272, April 2017 table of contents and editorial.

 

Articles & Reviews In This Issue
10 Letters

 

12 Guest Editorial
JV tries out computer audio. Guess what he thinks? 

 

18 Industry News
Tidal finally begins streaming MQA files but with an unexpected twist that's great news for music lovers.

 

124 Manufacturer Comments

 

Music
126 UltraAnalogue Recordings
Jim Hannon examines a reel-to-reel tape label that marries great performances with first-rate sound.

 

130 Brahms Symphonies on Direct-to-Disc Vinyl
A new 6-LP set by the Berlin Philharmonic impresses Robert E. Greene.

 

134 Henry Mancini on SACD
Arthur Lintgen explores classic soundtracks reissued by Analogue Productions.

 

136 Download Roundup
Alan Taffel and Andrew Quint review hi-res rock, jazz, and classical downloads.

 

140 Rock, Etc.
Son Volt, Guy Clark, Holly Bowling, Mac Wiseman, Ilya Toshinsky, Kate Bush, and vinyl reissues of Rebecca Pidgeon's The Raven and Laura Nyro's Eli and the Thirteenth Confession.

 

146 Classical
Performances by Baiba and Lauma Skride, music by Prokofiev and Stravinsky, and piano recitals by Daniel Barenboim, Hélène Grimaud, Peter Schaaf, and Bruce Levingston.

 

150 Jazz
Jimmy Scott, Stephan Crump, Wadada Leo Smith, Randy Weston, the Hot Club of San Francisco, and previously unreleased live performances by Sonny Rollins and Horace Silver.

 

152 Q&A 
We talk with Daniela Manger of Manger Audio.

 

The Absolute Sound Issue 272 April 2017

 

Affordable Speaker Focus
56 Micromega MySpeaker
The French company rounds out its "My" series of affordable electronics with an inexpensive powered speaker. Neil Gader reports.

 

60 Air Tight AL-05 Bonsai
This diminutive, crossoverless, one-way mini-monitor from Japan offers music reproduction in its purest form, says Julie Mullins.

 

64 Audioengine HDP6
Halfway between a desktop and a stand-mount, the new passive version of Audioengine's outstanding HD6 offers even greater versatility. Neil Gader has the details.

 

66 Aerial Acoustics Model 5T
Neil Gader says the latest stand-mount two-way from Michael Kelly delivers classic Aerial virtues in a small, affordable package.

 

70 ATC SCM19A
Are active speakers inherently better than passive ones? Neil Gader thinks so, if that speaker is the new active version of his longtime reference.

 

Equipment Reports
76 exaSound PlayPoint Network Player and e32 DAC
Want to play file-based music with the Roon interface but don't want to boot up a computer? Vade Forrester has your answer in this new network player and DAC from Canada's exaSound.

 

84 Shunyata Research Denali AC Conditioning System
Inspired by an unexpected source, Shunyata significantly advances the state of the art in AC power conditioning. Robert Harley offers a full assessment.

 

92 Accuphase C-3850 Preamplifier and P-7300 Power Amplifier
Andre Jennings lives with the flagship offerings of one of Japan's most iconic marques.

 

The Cutting Edge
98 Soulution 755 Phonostage
JV listens to four superb phonostages from Audio Consulting, Constellation, VAC, and Soulution. If vinyl is your thing, any of them is Nirvana in a wood or metal chassis, though the best of the lot has a special combination of charms.

 

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