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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 159, February 2006 table of contents and editorial.

February 2006


Equipment Reports
82 - Cover Story
Balanced Audio Technology VK-600M SE Monoblock Power Amplifier

Can a massive solid-state power amplifier deliver the immediacy and delicacy of a low-power, single-ended design?
40 - 2005 Golden Ear Awards
Our editors and frequent contributors choose the gear that found a place in their hearts.
90 - Exotica
Audio Research Corporation Reference 3 Linestage Preamplifier and Reference 210 Monoblock Power Amplifier

A long time ARC buff, Jonathan Valin listens to the company's latest Reference products, designed by none other than ARC founder William Zane Johnson.
20 - Absolute Analog
Kuzma Stabi S Turntable with Outboard Power Supply and Stogi S Tonearm
Chris Martens on a soul-satisfying turntable and arm combo from…Slovenia.
58 - April Music Stello DP200 DAC/Preamplifier
Is there room for an upsampling DAC/preamp in today's systems? Neil Gader has the answer.
62 - Echo Busters Decorative Acoustical Treatments
Sue Kraft rediscovers the most important audio accessory of all -- the listening room.
66 - Dynaudio Focus 220 Loudspeaker
A Danish contender for affordable musicality, says Sallie Reynolds.
70 - Moscode 401HR Tube Hybrid Stereo Amplifier
New contributor Jacob Heilbrunn reports on the rebirth of an audio classic.
75 - Magnepan MG 20.1 Loudspeaker
Donald Saltzman takes a fresh look at a perennial audiophile favorite.
The Cutting Edge
99 - HP's Workshop
Golden Ear Awards, and a short think piece on Digital Domination.
12 - From The Editor
14 - Industry News
16 - Future TAS: New Products on Horizon
26 - The Quest for Great Sound on a $2000 Budget, Part 2
Barry Willis finishes his report on seeking out a great budget system.
34 - TAS Talks with Benjamin Zander
Jonathan Valin and Mark Lehman interview a conductor who's recorded some impressive Mahler symphonies on the Telarc label -- and brilliantly explained what they mean, to boot.
116 - Golden Ear Music Awards
134 - Recording of the Issue - Mozart: Sonatas for Piano and Violin (Hahn)
133 - Classical
The lowdown on Beethoven's Razumovsky Quartets, Testament's Juilliard Quartet reissues, and a Sibelius SACD box set.
141 - Jazz
Critiques of the latest albums from Jim McAuley ,Robert Glasper, Andrew Hill, Greg Osby, and Steve Lehman.
144 - Rock Etc.
A roundup of new live records from Green Day, Patti Smith, The Mars Volta, Iron Maiden, The Grateful Dead, plus reviews of the latest from Neil Diamond, Lewis Taylor, and others.
8 - Letters
113 - Manufacturer Comments
157 - Classifieds
158 - Where To Buy The Absolute Sound
159 - Ad Index
160 - Audio Finds
Jonathan Valin reports on rarities from the recent Bighorn Sheep Audio Fest in Boise.
In the Next issue:
MartinLogan's Summit speaker
Pathos Classic One Mk 2 integrated amplifier
ESS AMT-450 Heil-driver speaker
Audience 72SE speaker
And More!

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