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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 143, August / September 2003 table of contents and editorial.

August / September 2003



4 - From The Editor 

6 - Letters 

115 - Manufacturer Comments



14 - Future TAS: Products on the Horizon 

16 - Industry News 

20 - Absolute Analog 
In this in-depth tutorial, Robert Harley tells you everything you always wanted to know about turntables.

28 - Tweaks 
Our new tweaks and accessories column finds Jonathan Valin checking out the Walker Proscenium Equipment Rack, Clearaudio Matrix Record Cleaner, Silent Source interconnects, and Precision Audio Cable Elevators.


TAS Journal

32 - Recommended Products — Loudspeakers Under $2500 
Neil Gader, Jonathan Valin, and the TAS Staff 

40 - Holt’'s Space: The Superfluous Subwoofers 
Bass management isn’t only for the home-theater crowd. Gordon Holt explains why. 

42 - Hi-fi by the bay: Home Entertainment 2003 show 
TAS goes to San Francisco — Robert Harley and Wayne Garcia 
bring you the highlights of this year's Home Entertainment show. 

49 - 30th Anniversary Feature 
A classic from our very first issue — Harry Pearson on The Double Advent System.


Equipment Reports

53 - A Duet of Integrated Amplifiers: Sugden A21a and Primare I20 
Neil Gader reports on a pair of good-sounding and affordable integrated amps. 

57 - A Pair of Makeovers from the UK: Quad 99-CDP CD Player and Spendor S3/5SE Mini-monitor: 
Paul Seydor on new gear from two of England’s finest brands. 

61 - Perreaux Radiance R200i Integrated Amplifier 
Perreaux's latest is a thoroughly modern integrated, so says Wayne Garcia. 

63 - Red Rose Music Rosebud II Studio Reference Monitor 
Aaron M. Shatzman listens to a serious little two-way from Mark Levinson's Red Rose. 

67 - BAT VK-51SE LineStage Preamplifier 
Shane Buettner explores Balanced Audio Technology’s top preamp. 

73 - An Artisan's Sound: The Sonus Faber Cremona Loudspeaker 
What's Italian, beautiful, and highly musical? Check out Wayne Garcia's findings. 

77 - Air Tight 211 SET Monoblock Amplifiers 
Scot Markwell on one of audio’s most controversial beasties —
the single-ended triode amplifier.


The Cutting Edge

81 - Wilson Audio Specialties WATT/Puppy 7 Loudspeaker System 
The latest generation of Wilson’s classic is generating quite a buzz. 
Robert Harley spends some time with the Tiny Tot, and the boy’s best friend.

87 - Aesthetix Callisto Signature Linestage and Io Signature Phonostage Preamps 
They may be hot and heavy, but put these six glowing boxes together and Jonathan Valin says they spell one great preamp.


HP Workshop

93 - The Super Components List Part II 
The conclusion to last issue’s thoughts on the best of the best. 


The Music

119 - Rock 

Recording of the Issue: Radiohead: Hail to the Thief 
Super Furry Animals: Phantom Power 
Madonna: American Life 
Richard Thompson: The Old Kit Bag and John Hiatt: Beneath This Gruff Exterior 
Gillian Welch: Soul Journey 
John Eddie: Who the Hell Is John Eddie? 
Drive-By Truckers: Decoration Day 
Allison Moorer: Show: A Live Release 
Deftones: Deftones 
Metallica: St. Anger 
From the Vaults: Sonic Youth: Dirty (Deluxe Edition); Generation X: Anthology
Buzzcocks: Inventory—Singles Boxset

Bookhelf: Hardcore Troubadour: The Life and Near Death of Steve Earle 

For Those About to Rock: Epic's AC/DC Catalog Remasters 

113 - Classical 
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7 "Leningrad" & Prokofiev: Scythian Suite. Alexander Nevsky 
Kabalevsky: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 3. The Comedians 
Bach: Partitas Nos. 1, 3, and 6 (Goode) 
Cantaloube: Chants d'Auvergne (Gauvin) 
Debussy/Mozart: Songs (Banse/Schiff) 
Bizet: Carmen (Gheorghiu) & Hindemith: Die Harmonie der Welt (François Le Roux) 
Shaken, Not Stirred: Capitol’s James Bond Soundtrack Reissues 

141 - Jazz 
Scot Ray Quintet: Active Vapor Recovery 
The Carla Bley Big Band: Looking for America 
Rich Halley Quintet featuring Bobby Bradford: The Blue Rims 
Tisziji Munoz: Divine Radiance 
Miles Davis: In Person Friday and Saturday Nights At the Blackhawk, Complete 

145 - Absolute Audiophilia 
Damn Right, We've Got the Blues: 
Jimi Hendrix: Blues (200-gram LP) 
Aretha Franklin: Spirit in the Dark (180-gram LP) 
Solomon Burke: Don't Give Up On Me (180-gram LP) 
Howlin' Wolf: The London Howlin’' Wolf Sessions (Deluxe Edition) 
Charles Munch and the Boston Symphony Orchestra on XRCD: 
Ravel: Daphnis and Chloe; Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet; Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 
Art Pepper: Landscape—Art Pepper Live in Tokyo ’79 

149 - New Formats 

Holst: The Planets. Britten: Four Sea Interludes and Bach: Organ Music (Biggs) 
Shostakovich: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 
Schmidt: Symphony No. 4 in C and Mozart: Symphony No. 29. Symphony No. 5 
John Coltrane: Soultrane (plus 45-rpm version) 
Allison Krauss + Union Station: Live 
The Who: My Generation (Deluxe Edition) 

Fleetwood Mac: Say You Will 
Strauss: Four Last Songs. Ein Heldenleben


TAS Retrospective

160 - Robert Harley traces the evolution of Dave Wilson's WATT loudspeaker.



154 - Classifieds 

157 - Where To Buy The Absolute Sound 

159 - Ad Index



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