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The Absolute Sound

The Absolute Sound Issue 183 August 2008   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 183, August 2008 contents and editorial.


Read this edition's editorial by clicking here.


Articles & Reviews In This Issue
6 Letters

12 From The Editor

15 Future TAS
New products on the horizon.

18 Industry News
Jonathan Valin reports from the Munich High End Show.

114 Manufacturer Comments


104 Cover Story:
World's Best Digital?
Jonathan Valin listens to two contenders for King of the Digital Hill, dCS's Scarlatti and Puccini CD/SACD players.

24 Start Me Up
The NAD tradition of great sound and spectacular value continues in the new $299 C515 BEE CD player and $349 C315 BEE integrated amplifier, says Neil Gader.

28 TAS Journal
Hi-Fi Maverick!
Has there been a more polarizing or controversial figure in audio than Bob Carver? The industry icon gets candid with Robert Harley.


Equipment Reports
84 Focal Chorus 705V Loudspeaker
Steven Stone on the best loudspeaker bargain under $500 per pair.

88 Dynaudio DM 2/8 Loudspeaker
Steven Stone auditions the newest offering from the venerable Danish speaker-maker. 

92 Sunfire CRM-2 Ribbon Loudspeaker and SubRosa Subwoofer
A ribbon speaker you can hold in your hand that plays as loudly as a floorstander? Robert Harley on the latest from audio's most unconventional thinker, Bob Carver.



Special Digital Focus
29 Music Servers for Audiophiles 
Steven Stone on how to join the hard-disc revolution.

54 A Music Store in Your Listening Room: Qsonix Q110 Server and MusicGiants 
On-line Store
Robert Harley reports on a seamless new system that brings CD-quality downloads directly to your listening room.

60 Bryston BCD-1 CD Player
Bryston hits one out of the park with its first CD player. Alan Taffel on why this unit is hard to beat.

64 PrimaLuna Model Eight CD Player
A tubed output stage is just the beginning of this player's charms. Dick Olsher reports.

70 Benchmark DAC1 Pre Digital-to-analog Converter and Preamp
Robert E. Greene on a DAC that also offers the functionality of a preamplifier.

75 Classé Audio CDP-502 CD/DVD Player
Classé proves that terrific sound and great video aren't mutually exclusive. Robert Harley has the details. 

78 UltraBit Platinum Disc Treatment
Robert Harley reports on what might be the most cost-effective tweak in high-end audio.

80 Raysonic CD168 CD Player
Sue Kraft on a luscious sounding, Chinese-made, tubed CD player.


120 Recording Of The Issue
Alejandro Escovedo: Real Animal.

116 Rock

129 Jazz

133 Classical


TAS Back Page
152 TAS Back Page
PS Audio founder Paul McGowan.


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