Enjoy the Music.com
The Absolute Sound


The Absolute Sound Issue 204 August 2010   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 204, August 2010 table of contents and link to the editorial.

Read this edition's editorial by clicking here.


Articles & Reviews In This Issue
6 From the Editor
The Primacy of Music
Editorial By Robert Harley

8 Letters 

12 Future TAS

108 HP's Workshop
Harry Pearson's updated Super CD List.

114 Manufacturer Comments


Equipment Reports
16  Start Me Up
B&W MM-1 Multimedia Monitor, Paradigm Studio 10, and Sonus Faber Toy Loudspeakers
Wayne Garcia reports on three loudspeakers that prove great sound still comes in small packages.

24 Absolute Analog
Clearaudio Innovation Wood Turntable and Helius Designs Omega Silver-Ruby Tonearm
Clearaudio's new Innovation turntable lives up to its name, says Jim Hannon, who also considers a new tonearm from Helius Designs.

32 Graphic Guide to Computer-Based Audio
Confused about how computers and audio systems go together? Our Graphic Guide visually depicts several common scenarios. 

38 DSPeaker Anti-Mode 8033 DSP Subwoofer Equalizer
This $350 device digitally corrects room-induced frequency response peaks below 140Hz?with miraculous results, says Robert E. Greene.

42 Peachtree Audio iDecco Integrated Amplifier
Is Peachtree's new iDecco a USB DAC, an iPod dock, a tubed preamplifier, a headphone amplifier, or a 40Wpc integrated amplifier? Yes. Chris Martens reports on this remarkable and remarkably affordable new breed of product.

48 Wadia 151 PowerDAC mini
When you create the world's first and wildly successful digital iPod dock, what do you do for an encore? Wadia answers that question with the stunning 151 PowerDAC. Steven Stone brings you the details.

52 Benchmark Media DAC1 HDR DAC/Preamplifier
This latest version of the Benchmark offers preamplifier functions as well as digital-to-analog decoding. Paul Seydor reports.

56 Marantz UD9004 
Blu-ray-Capable Universal Player
This Marantz does it all -- CD, DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, SACD, Blu-ray -- all in full audiophile quality. Alan Taffel offers his assessment of this groundbreaking player. 

62 Linn Majik DSI Digital Stream Music Server
Venerable Linn Products stopped making CD players and revolutionary devices like its DSI are the reason why. Steven Stone reports. 

68 Playback Designs MPS-5 SACD/CD player
This innovative CD/SACD player has been a well-kept secret in audiophile circles… until now. Jacob Heilbrunn reports.

74 Audio by Van Alstine Ultravalve Power Amplifier and Salk Sound SongTower QWT Loudspeaker
Dick Olsher on this modern interpretation of the classic Dynaco ST-70 circuit, along with its match made in audio heaven, the $1795 SongTower speaker.

78 Audio Research DSi200 Integrated Amplifier
Audio Research returns to Class D amplifier technology, this time with an output stage entirely of its own design. Neil Gader reports.

84 KEF Reference 203/2 Loudspeaker
Neil Gader on the latest effort from one of England's most venerable loudspeaker manufacturers. 

88 Accustic Arts Tube Preamp II
Dick Olsher on an unusual German IC/tube preamp that's either great or not depending on which tubes you use. 

92 Wilson Audio Sasha Loudspeaker
It might look like a WATT/Puppy, but the Sasha is an entirely different animal. Robert Harley reports on this replacement for the best-selling upper-end loudspeaker of all time.

96 Meridian Sooloos 2.1 Music Server
The unquestioned state of the art in music servers now comes with state-of-the-art sound. Anthony H. Cordesman reports on the newly revamped Sooloos server coupled with Meridian's 808.3 CD player/DAC.


116 Feature: Big-Time Bluegrass Goes to Town
David McGee on three powerhouse traditional bluegrass bands now appearing on new releases and headlining at this summer's music festivals.

118 Rock
The newest from old favorites Peter Frampton, Sade, and the Earl Brothers; concept albums from Titus Andronicus and the Clogs; and classic reissues from Wilson Pickett, Carole King, and Chicago. 

122 Classical 
Guillaume Connesson's spectacular Cosmic Trilogy in surround SACD, Frank Martin's radiant Golgotha, melodious delights by Tchaikovsky and Dvor‡k and a "new" piano concerto (!) by Johannes Brahms. 

124 Jazz
Jass music from piano maverick Matthew Shipp, from elder statesmen Mose Allison, John McLaughlin, and Roswell Rudd, and from revered masters Coltrane, Monk, and Rollins. 

127 Top Ten
Greg Cahill selects ten best-ever fingerstyle guitar recordings. 


128 Back Page
Loudspeaker designer Carl Marchisotto talks with Neil Gader.


Click here
to subscribe to The Abso!ute Sound.

Previous Issues


January   February   March   April/May

June / July



January   February   March   April/May

June/July   August   September   October

November   December



January   February   March   April/May

June/July   August   September   October

November    Winter/Spring Buyer's Guide   December



January   February   March   April/May

June/July   August   September

October   November   December



January   February   March   April/May

June/July   August   September   October

November   December



January   February/March  April/May

June/July   August/September  October/November




January   February/March   April/May

June/July   August/September  October/November




December/January   February/March   April/May

June/July   August/September   October/November




June/July   August/September   October/November



Quick Links

Premium Audio Review Magazine
High-End Audiophile Equipment Reviews


Equipment Review Archives
Turntables, Cartridges, Etc
Digital Source
Do It Yourself (DIY)
Cables, Wires, Etc
Loudspeakers/ Monitors
Headphones, IEMs, Tweaks, Etc
Superior Audio Gear Reviews



Show Reports
HIGH END Munich 2024
AXPONA 2024 Show Report
Montreal Audiofest 2024 Report

Southwest Audio Fest 2024
Florida Intl. Audio Expo 2024
Capital Audiofest 2023 Report
Toronto Audiofest 2023 Report
UK Audio Show 2023 Report
Pacific Audio Fest 2023 Report
T.H.E. Show 2023 Report
Australian Hi-Fi Show 2023 Report
...More Show Reports


Our Featured Videos


Industry & Music News

High-Performance Audio & Music News


Partner Print Magazines
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
hi-fi+ Magazine
Sound Practices
VALVE Magazine


For The Press & Industry
About Us
Press Releases
Official Site Graphics





Home   |   Hi-Fi Audio Reviews   |   News   |   Press Releases   |   About Us   |   Contact Us


All contents copyright©  1995 - 2024  Enjoy the Music.com®
May not be copied or reproduced without permission.  All rights reserved.