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The Absolute Sound

The Absolute Sound Issue 177 December 2007   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 177, December 2007 contents and editorial.


Read this edition's editorial by clicking here.


Articles & Reviews In This Issue
7 Letters

14 From The Editor

16 Future TAS

21 Industry News
Chris Martens reports on new high-end products launched at the CEDIA show.

26 Start Me Up
Wayne Garcia on two working class heroes, the NAD C372 integrated amplifier and the Paradigm Studio 20 v.4 loudspeaker.

30  iTas
Alan Taffel shows you how to add hi-fl sound to your Mac or PC with aftermarket speakers and headphones from Klipsch, Acoustic Energy, Altec Lansing, Ferguson-Hill, and Headroom.

132 Manufacturer Comments


Special Report On Music Servers
47 The Brave New World of Music Servers
Robert Harley introduces you to a new kind of component that will fundamentally transform how you access your music.

49 Arcam MS250 Music Server
Alan Taffel reports on Arcam's entry into this new product category.

53 Sooloos Music Server
RH on a state-of-the-art server with an amazing touchscreen interface.

60 Do Hard-Disk Drives Sound Better than CDs?
RH answers the question.

63 Qsonix Q100/110 Music Server
RH on another state-of-the-art server with access to high-rez downloads.

69 Sooloos and Qsonix Head-to-Head
A point-by-point comparison of these two top contenders.

71 Interview with Mike Weaver
Qsomx's co-founder lays out a striking vision for the future of music servers.

75 Interview with Mark Waldrep
AIX Records' founder on the future of high-rez downloads.

79 Rolling Your Own
Karl Schuster offers a step-by-step guide to turning your PC into a music server


Equipment Reports

113 Luxman L-550A II Class A integrated amplifier and DU-50 universal player
Paul Seydor on venerable Japanese manufacturer Luxman's return to the U.S. market.

42 Absolute Analog
Wayne Garcia on the updated Transfiguration Phoenix cartridge and Hanoi Mera record cleaner.

86 Magnepan MGI2 and MMG loudspeakers
Jonathan Valin on two terrific loudspeaker bargains from Maggie.

90 Naim NACI22x preamp and NAP150x power amp
WG on a pair of worthy separates from Great Britain.

95 TEAC Esoteric MG-20 loudspeaker
Dick Olsher on TEAC Esoteric's first loudspeaker.

101 Plinius SB-301 stereo power amplifier
Neil Gader on a great amp from Plinius.

105 Synergistic Tesla Series interconnects and speaker cables
NG on a new series of cables from Synergistic.

108 PSB Synchrony Two and Two B loudspeakers
NG on two new speakers from giant-killer PSB.

120 The Cutting Edge
Audio Research 610T monoblock power amplifier
JV on the best power amp yet from ARC.

128 Metronome Kalista CD player and C2-A Signature DAC
Jacob Heilbrunn on a cutting-edge CD front end from France.


137 Recording Of The Issue
Keith Jarrett/Gary Peacock/Jack DeJohnette: My Foolish Heart.

137 Jazz
Coverage of hot releases from Herbie Hancock, John Sco field, Sir Richard Bishop, Abbey Lincoln, and Clark Terry. Also, the latest Miles Davis box set, The War soundtrack, and a lovely Keith Jarrett reissue.

145 Classical
We rate Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón's Duets, Mozart's Don Giovanni with René Jacobs, Wagner's Ring on hybrid SACD, Trio Mediaeval's Folk Songs, Marc-André Hamelin playing Alkan, Olga Kern's Brahms, Evgeny Kissin's Mozart the Kremerata Baltica's Mahler's Tenth, and the Silk Road Ensemble's New Impossibilities.

Reviews of new CDs and LPs from Neil Young, John Fogerty, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Mark Knopfler, Bill Medley, Lorenna McKennitt, PJ Harvey, Rio Kiley, Kevin Drew, Lyle Lovett, Kenny Chesney, Kanye West, 50 Cent, Heaven and Hell, and Porcupine Tree. Plus, Rhino's Heavy Metal Box, Megadeth and Robyn Hitchcock boxsets, a key Pink Floyd reissue, and five Ryan Adams LP reissues.


Back Page
176 We talk to Jim Thiel, co-owner and chief design engineer of Thiel Audio Products.


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