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The Absolute Sound

  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 136, June/July 2002 table of contents and editorial.

The Absolute Sound June/July 2002
June/July 2002



6 - From the Editor

8 - Letters
Classical snobbery redux, jazz reviews in TAS, Accuphase controversy, and the readers respond to TAS' new cover and graphic design.

16 - Future TAS: Products on the Horizon
A peek at new products from Wilson Audio, Classé, VTL, Dynaudio, Accuphase, and Rotel.

19 - Industry News - Absolute Analog
Paul Seydor samples some tasty new vinyl offerings from Groove Note, Analog Productions, and Pure Audiophile, and reports on the resurrection of Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab.

29 - Real-World High End
In the first installment of this new column on affordable high-end equipment, Wayne Garcia wades into multichannel with Magnepan's new MGMC1 and MGCC2 loudspeakers.

34 - Holt's Space
J. Gordon Holt explores the idea of imaging in multichannel audio systems.


TAS Journal

37 - CenterStage
In this first installment of a new feature, we recommend 26 power amplifiers, 12 integrated amplifiers, and eight multichannel amplifiers from $895 to $40,000.

50 - Recommended Systems
Eight reviewers recommend ten complete music systems from $2,800 to $300,000.

67 - HP's Workshop
HP auditions the Gamut CD-1 CD player, and continues his exploration of the Magnepan MG 20.1.


The Sound

73 - Energy Veritas 2.3 loudspeaker
Veritas—Truth—should be the goal of every high-end loudspeaker. John Higgins explains why this new loudspeaker from Canada's Energy is appropriately named.

76 - Arcam FMJ 23 CD player
The $2,199 Arcam "Full Metal Jacket" 23 CD player may be the best bargain in high-end audio, according to Fred Kaplan.

79 - Sony SCD-CE775 SACD player
Want to know what all the SACD fuss is about? Sony's $250 multichannel SACD player lets you sample the format for practically nothing. Shane Buettner reports.

83 - Creek 5350, Naim Nait 5, and Cyclone 2.1 Integrated Amplifiers
Wayne Garcia puts three British integrated amplifiers head-to-head—with some surprising results.

89 - Athena Technologies S2 Loudspeakers and P2 Subwoofer
Our resident small-speaker expert Neil Gader evaluates this subwoofer/satellite package from Athena Technologies..

93 - Rockport Technologies Hyperion Loudspeakers and Tenor 75WP Amplifiers
This system, which stunned everyone who heard it at CES, may be the best audio system in world, according to Jonathan Valin.

101 - Pass Laboratories X350 Power Amplifier
Greg Petan reports on this high-current powerhouse from one of high-end's most innovative designers, Nelson Pass.

104 - MIT Oracle Interconnects and Loudspeaker Cable
Although among the most expensive interconnects and cables in the world, MIT's Oracle sets a new standard in performance. Greg Petan reports.

107 - Sony SCD-DVP-NS500V SACD/DVD Player
With good SACD performance, surprising CD sound, and DVD-Video to boot, Sony's new $300 machine is an ideal all-around performer, according to Chris Martens.

109 - Manufacturers' Comments


The Music

115 - Feature
Brutally Cruel: Elvis Costello Is This Year's Model.   Bob Gendron evaluates When I Was Cruel, Elvis Costello's brand-new recording, explores Rhino Records' recent second wave of Costello catalog reissues (This Years Model, Blood and Chocolate, Brutal Youth), and says why all four titles are indispensable.

117 - Capsules
Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Neil Young: Are You Passionate?
Chris Isaak: Always Got Tonight
The Bottle Rockets: Songs of Sahm
Jon Spencer: Plastic Fang
Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels: Breakout (180g LP)
Josh Clayton-Felt: Spirit Touches Ground
Alanis Morissette: Under Rug Swept; Lisa Loeb: Cake and Pie
Felix da Housecat: Kittenz & Thee Glinz; Golden Boy with Miss Kittin: Or; Miss Kittin & The Hacker: The First Album
Jaguar Wright: Denials, Delusions, and Decisions
The Blasters: Testament; Patti Smith: Land 1975–2002; Uncle Tupelo: 89/93: An Anthology

129 - Capsules
Danielpour: An American Requiem
Ives: An American Journey
Korngold: Captain Blood, others
Berio: Voci; Naturale
Lang Lang: Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3
Menotti: Violin Concerto
Eroica Trio: Trios (Various Brahms Piano Trios)
Mahler: Symphony No. 4. Lieder Eines Fahrenden Gesellen
Bach: St. John Passion
Puccini: Tosca; Verdi: Il Trovatore

139 - Feature
Atomic Basie!  Gary Giddins weighs in on Classic Records' 180-gram vinyl treatment of Count Basie's 1957 sessions.

141 - Capsules
Recording of the Issue: Cassandra Wilson: Belly of the Sun
Norah Jones: Come Away With Me
Dave Douglas: The Infinite
Medeski, Martin, and Wood: Uninvisible
Wayne Shorter: Footprints Live!
Pat Metheny: Speaking of Now
Hasidic New Wave: Belly of Abraham

147 - SACD Capsules
Handel: Coronation of King George II
Villa-Lobos/Antil/Ginastera: Orchestral works
Stravinsky: Petrouchka. The Firebird
Berlioz: Requiem. Mahler: Symphony No.1 in D major
Mahler: Symphony 6 in A Minor
Johnny Winter: Best of Johnny Winter
Bill Evans: Waltz for Debby; Sonny Rollins: Way Out West; Chet Baker: Chet
Monty Alexander: Monty Meets Sly & Robbie
Dave Brubeck: Time Out

156 - DVD-A
Queen: A Night at the Opera
Ravel/Debussy/Fauré: String Quartets
Sidebars: The Best in New-Format Software; Multichannel Without Fear



155 - Where To Buy The Absolute Sound

159 - Ad Index

160 - LAST PAGE: A fond farewell: Joanna Nickrenz



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