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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 152,  February/March 2005 table of contents and editorial.

February / March 2005



6 - From The Editor

8 - Letters

115 - Manufacturer Comments 



20 - Future TAS: New Products on the Horizon 

16 - Industry News 

56 - Cover Story: 
Legacy Victoria LE Loudspeaker and 12.2 Subwoofer
Combining the virtues of a mini-monitor with the bass extension and weight of a floorstander, Legacy's 20th anniversary statement speaker (with ribbon tweeter) is a cause for celebration, says Robert Harley. 

28 - Recommended Products: 
High-Resolution Digital Sources
Our top picks for the best ways to play back SACD and DVD-Audio discs. 

38 - The Absolute Sound's 2004 
Product of the Year Awards
Our editors choose the very best sounding — and highest value — components of the past year. 

32 - Rocky Mountain High
Robert Harley reports from the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest...

36 - Inside Innersound 
…and also takes you on a factory tour of this ambitious electrostatic loudspeaker company.


Equipment Reports

24 - Absolute Analog 
Wayne Garcia on Manley's magnificent Steelhead and a sweet affordable 'table from Goldring. 

48 - PSB Image T55 Loudspeaker
Neil Gader reports on this updated version of an affordable high- performance design. 

52 - Chord PCM 2600 Integrated Amplifier 
Self-professed tube-guy Jeff Dorgay gets a date with this English model. 

64 - Meridian's G Series: G08 CD Player, G02 Control Unit, 
and G57 Amplifier
Sue Kraft on Meridian's updated and improved three-piece combo. 

69 - Four High-Resolution "Universal" Players
Shane Buettner listens to new machines from Denon, Simaudio, and Esoteric... 

74 - Marantz SA-11S1 CD/SACD Player
...while Robert Harley spins one from Marantz. 

76 - Edge Electronics G3 Integrated Amplifier
A further look and re-evaluation by Wayne Garcia. 

79 - Magnum Dynalab MD-106T FM Tuner
Neil Gader rediscovers the joys of analog (and tube) radio. 

82 - Musical Fidelity kW500 Dual Mono Integrated Amplifier
Yes, that's 500 as in watts! Chris Martens reports. 


The Cutting Edge

86 - TAS Roundtable
Three of the world's finest recording engineers discuss what goes into making a spectacular recording. Robert Harley moderates. 

96 - McIntosh XRT28 Loudspeaker
They don't only make electronics — Robert E. Greene on Mac's tall tower.

100 - HP's Workshop
HP updates his Super Disc List, shares some new SACD discoveries, and gives us a sneak peak at equipment under review.


The Music

Rock and Pop 
118 - 2004's Best Rock and Pop Box Sets, Collections, and Best-ofs
Immerse yourself in the more than 120 discs and LPs that are 2004's best boxes and anthologies — the backbone for any music library, says Bob Gendron. 

135 - Pop Caps 

145 - 2004's Best Jazz Box Sets 

149 - Jazz Caps 

153 - 2004's Top 10 Pop/Rock, Jazz & Classical Albums 

155 - 2004's Best Classical Box Sets 

163 - Classical Caps



176 - TAS Retrospective
Tim Britt recalls the McIntosh MR78 tuner. 

167 - Classifieds 

171 - Where To Buy The Absolute Sound 

169 - Ad Index


In The Next Issue

Full report from the Consumer Electronics Show 
Gilmore's radical new loudspeaker 
Thorens TD2010A turntable 
Conrad-Johnson PV14L2 preamp 
And More!


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