The Absolute Sound
July / August 2018
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.
Articles & Reviews In This Issue
14 Guest Editorial
Hi-Res Digital Audio Versus Analog Vinyl LP
Guest Editorial By Jeff Wilson
Albuquerque retailer ListenUp hosts a Music Matters event and a Robert Harley book signing.
18 TAS Legacy
The classic Acoustic Research XA turntable and tonearm.
20 The 2018 AXPONA Show
AXPONA Chicago has easily become the biggest and most important show in North America. We bring you comprehensive team coverage of the hottest new gear from the hottest new show.
125 Manufacturer Comments
52 Emotiva A-150 BasX Power Amplifier
A power amplifier for $299? Drew Kalbach continues his quest to discover the greatest bargains in entry-level high-end audio.
56 Clearaudio Concept Black Turntable with Satisfy Tonearm
The 40-year-old German company brings superb build-quality and terrific sound to a mid-priced record player. Neil Gader has a full report.
62 Lyra Atlas SL MC Phono Cartridge
This super-low-output moving coil performs a neat magic trick, says Jacob
66 Bryston BLP-1 Turntable and Tonearm
The amplifier specialist enters the booming turntable market with the mid-priced BLP-1. Paul Seydor offers an assessment.
74 Two Moving Irons and a Moving Magnet: Grado Prestige Black2, Audio-Technica VM540M, and Audio-Technica VM760SLC
Paul Seydor weighs in on three great cartridges, priced from $75 to $649.
86 Prather Design Signature LP Storage Rack
Robert Harley on a beautifully built line of LP storage racks.
88 Parasound JC 3 Jr. Phono Preamplifier
Parasound just launched a $1495 phonostage designed by the world's greatest phonostage designer, John Curl. Neil Gader has the good
Cable Focus Equipment Reports
94 MoFi Electronics
and StudioPhono Phonostage
After decades of creating exceptional LP reissues, MoFi has developed an equally exceptional—and
affordable — record player. Julie Mullins brings you an in-depth report.
106 Shunyata Research Sigma Signal Cables
Kirk Midtskog listens to a new cable and interconnect from Shunyata.
112 VooDoo Cable Infinity Power and Air Spectra Power Cords
Neil Gader auditions two power cords and a digital interconnect from VooDoo Cable.
114 MasterBuilt Audio Reference Cables
The name may be new, but the aerospace engineers behind MasterBuilt aren't newcomers. Greg Weaver tries out these highly engineered cables and interconnects.
Naim Uniti Nova
Naim's new Uniti makes accessing and enjoying music from any source simple and musically rewarding, says Steven Stone.
126 The Mayor of MacDougal Street
Mark Lehman discusses a posthumous release by folk singer Dave Van Ronk.
128 ESP Disk' Lives up to Its Legacy
Derk Richardson likes six new releases by a historic label.
130 John Zorn's The Book Beri'ah
The prolific composer discusses his 25-year Masada Project with Bill Milkowski.
132 Download Roundup
Alan Taffel and Andrew Quint review rock, jazz, and classical downloads.
136 Rock Etc.
New releases by Bettye LaVette, the Decemberists, Kacey Musgraves, MeshellNdegeocello, Eels, John McCutcheon, Chris Smither, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, a 3-CD set of previously unreleased live performances by Frank Sinatra, four Julian Cope reissues on LP, and a vinyl reissue of Albert King's Born Under a Bad Sign.
New releases by Keith Jarrett, the Nels Cline 4, GoGo Penguin, Sonar, Corcoran Holt, Frank Carlberg and Noah Preminger, Anat Cohen and Fred Hersch, and LPs from Louis Armstrong and Charles
Pianist Nelson Freire, cellist Zuill Bailey, The Rite of Spring for two pianos, Mahler's Symphony No. 9, Stewart Goodyear's tribute to Glenn Gould, and a vinyl reissue of the Philadelphia Orchestra performing Shostakovich.
152 Q& A
Jorn Janczak, CEO, Tidal Audio.
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