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The Absolute Sound


The Absolute Sound Issue 226 October 2012   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 226, October 2012 table of contents and link to the editorial.


Articles & Reviews In This Issue
6 From the Editor
The Pendulum Swings Both Ways
Editorial By Robert Harley

8 Letters

12 From the Editor

14 Future TAS: New Products on the Horizon.

16 Industry News: Neil Gader tests out the Porsche Cayenne Turbo with Burmester sound system.
Harry Pearson on the passing of Mike Kay, proprietor of Manhattan's iconic Lyric Hi-Fi.

19 New Gear from the 2012 Newport High-End Show
We bring you the latest from the hottest trade show in the U.S.

43 Cable Designer Roundtable: The Founding Fathers of the high-end cable industry discuss the history, art, and science of cables.

112 Old World Craftsmanship Meets 21st Century High-Tech: Jonathan Valin on a beautifully designed, reasonably priced turntable from Germany that competes in realism with the most expensive 'tables money can buy. PLUS! JV visits the AMG factory outside Munich.

120 Manufacturer Comments


Start Me Up
34 AudioQuest DragonFly USB DAC
A great-sounding asynchronous DAC that looks like a USB stick and costs $249? That's just the beginning of the DragonFly's appeal, says Robert Harley.


Next-Gen Digital
38 USB Cable Survey: Alan Taffel puts five USB cables ranging in price from $15 to $599 to the test.


The Cutting Edge
102 Lansche No.7 Loudspeaker: How does a loudspeaker with no moving parts sound? Robert Harley lives with the corona-plasma tweeter'd Lansche No.7 from Germany.


Special Analog Focus Equipment Reports
56 Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Record Player: Pro-Ject's latest LP-spinner ups the ante in affordable record players with a carbon-fiber tonearm, full-sized platter, and a host of other goodies including a great-sounding Ortofon cartridge all for $399. Wayne Garcia has the details. 

60 Rega RP6 Record Player: WG on a step-up record player from England's venerable Rega that brings the company's recent technology advances to a mid-priced offering.

64 Hanss T-60 Turntable and Graham Phantom II Supreme Tonearm: Paul Seydor finds much to like in this mid-priced turntable fitted with the new Graham Phantom Supreme tonearm.

70 Lyra Atlas Phono Cartridge: Jacob Heilbrunn says that the Atlas is the most exciting cartridge he's heard in a long time.

74 Walker Proscenium Black Diamond Mk III Record Player: The best-sounding record player JV has heard gets even better with significant upgrades to its suspension, damping, and clamping systems.


Equipment Reports
78 Cable Survey: Siltech Explorer, Cardas Clear, and Synergistic Research Element
Neil Gader listens to and compares mid-priced cables from three of the industry's leading manufacturers.

86 KEF R-300 Loudspeaker: This mid-priced loudspeaker is the first to feature trickle-down technology from KEF's amazing $30k Blade concept. Neil Gader reports.

90 PSB Imagine T2 Loudspeaker: Robert E. Greene on Paul Barton's marvelous (and affordable) new T2 floorstanding loudspeaker.

96 Critical Mass Systems MAXXUM Equipment Rack: Sensationally transparent, these gorgeous, constrained-layer racks and stands reveal every note and nuance your components are capable of reproducing, says our JV.


124 Rock: New vinyl from the Beach Boys, Neil Young, Joe Walsh, the Tedeschi Trucks Band, Paul Mark & the Van Dorens, and Counting Crows, along with reissues of Dylan and The Band's Basement Tapes and Paul Simon's Graceland.

130 Classical: Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, Holst, Herold-Lanchbery, and six classic Mercurys all sounding great on LP.

137 Jazz: Spectrum Road, Billy Martin and Wil Blades, Branford Marsalis Quartet, Miles Davis at the Blackhawk, Bill Evans at the Top of the Gate all on vinyl.

142 New Music on New Vinyl: The LP Resurgence Continues: Jeff Wilson reports on the surprising proliferation of first-issue vinyl releases: pop, rock, soul, R&B, hip-hop, alternative, Americana/roots, jazz, and classical too.


152 Back Page: Neil Gader chats with Joe Perfito, President of Clarus Cables.


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