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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 163, August 2006 table of contents and editorial.

The Absolute SOund Issue 163, August 2006 table of contents and editorial
August 2006

Read this edition's editorial.

Cover Story:
MAGICO Mini Loudspeaker

Can any two-way mini-monitor be worth $22,000? Designer Alon Wolf’s MAGICO Mini poses the question, and Jonathan Valin has the answer.
Start Me Up:
Epos ELS303 Loudspeaker

Chris Martens reports on the latest version of the speaker that won TAS’ Budget Loudspeaker of the Year award in 2003.
Absolute Analog:
Wilson Benesch Full Circle Analog System

Chris Martens on a carbon-fiber tonearm and turntable from Great Britain.
NAD Masters Series M3 Integrated Amplifier
Neil Gader listens to the first no-holds-barred integrated amp from budget-minded NAD…
Music Hall a25.2 Integrated Amplifier and cd25.2 CD Player
…while Sallie Reynolds tries out another affordable integrated and CD player from Great Britain’s Music Hall.
Shunyata Hydra 8 Power Conditioner
Robert Harley reports on a power conditioner that is expensive but worth it.
REL Britannia B3 Subwoofer
Neil Gader on a small sub with high-end credentials.
Phonar Akustik Credo S100 Loudspeaker
A sweet-sounding German import that gets a “five heart” rating from Sue Kraft.
PBN Montana EPS2 Loudspeaker
Barry Willis auditions an ambitious three-way floorstander from PBN.
Revel Performa F52 Loudspeaker
Neil Gader on getting to the essence of a loudspeaker.
NHT Xd Speaker System
The futureis now, says Robert E. Greene, with NHT’s ingenious digital loudspeakers.
The Cutting Edge

Sound Fusion Hyperion SF-81 Loudspeaker
Jacob Heilbrunn on a two-way, ribbon/cone hybrid that speaks the unvarnished truth.


HP's Workshop:
An expanded “Special Edition” Workshop with HP’s thoughts on the E.A.R. Disc Master Magnetic Drive Turntable, the Zanden Model 2000 CD transport and Model 5000 DAC, the E.A.R. Acute CD player, the Blue Note Stibbert Mk II CD player, the Edge G CD player, the Lab 47 Pi/TracerCD playback system, and the Burmester B100 hybrid speaker system

TAS Book Review
Paul Seydor reviews Sound Bites: 50 Years of Hi-Fi News.
Basic Repertoire:
Free-Jazz Guitar
Derk Richardson
introduces you to the world of improvisational jazz guitar — and recommends the best free-jazz guitar recordings.
Recording of the Issue - Johnny Cash, American V: A Hundred Highways
Rock, Etc.
Reviews of the latest CDs and LPs from Neil Young, Dixie Chicks, Pearl Jam, Scott Walker, Mission of Burma, The Raconteurs, Paul Simon, Mark Knopfler, Bruce Springsteen, Morrissey, Mono, and Del McCoury.
The Florestan Trio’s take on Saint-Saëns’ Piano Trios, György Kurtág’s Kafka-Fragmente, a pair of Purcell titles, Edgar Meyer, and Anna Caterina Antonacci, plus reviews of three more discs and two multichannel SACDs.
The latest from Ben Allison, Liberty Ellman, Cassandra Wilson, Fred Anderson, plus an overlooked treasure from Ella Fitzgerald on LP.
TAS Retrospective:
Ampzilla — Solid-State Comes of Age

Randy Tomlinson on designer Jim Bongiorno and the transistor amp that changed a lot of minds about solid-state.
In the Next issue:
Pro-Ject Model RM-9.1 turntable
Meridian Reference 808 CD player
Rotel 1052 and Outlaw 2150 receivers
Electronics from MBL
And More!

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