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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 146, February / March 2004 table of contents and editorial.

February / March 2004



4 - From The Editor 

6 - Letters 

121 - Manufacturer Comments



14  - Future TAS: Products on the Horizon 
A special report by Neil Gader on Sonus Faber’s new factory and latest statement speaker. 

16 - Industry News 

22 - Absolute Analog
Wayne Garcia hot-rods his Rega with a bevy of cool aftermarket tweaks. 

93 - Cover Story: Meridian DSP7000 Digital Loudspeaker
Robert Harley looks at an entire system consisting of just one component and a pair of loudspeakers, with just two thin cables—neither of them analog—hooking it all together. Oh, and the user interface is in the speakers. 

42 - 2003 Product of the Year Awards
The Absolute Sound’s writers and editors select the most intriguing audio products from the past year. 

50 - The In-Between Music of Andrew Hill
Kevin Whitehead on one of jazz’s brilliant and underappreciated artists. 


TAS Journal

28 - Recommended Products: Digital and Analog Source Components. 

38 - Editorial: your relationship with the high-end retailer.


Equipment Reports

56 - Loudspeaker Cable Survey, Part One
Paul Seydor and Neil Gader look at affordable models from Harmonic Technology, Kimber, MIT, Siltech, Synergistic Research, and Tara Labs. 

64 - Rotel RCD-1072 CD Player
Read Alan Taffel’s findings on a very special CD spinner. 

68 - Evolutionary—MartinLogan Aeon i Hybrid Electrostatic Speaker
Wayne Garcia reports on the latest refinements to ML’s ’stat-’n’-cone technology. 

73 - Definitive Technology BP7001SC SuperTower Loudspeaker 
A great speaker from a large, successful company? 
Why not? says Chris Martens. 

76 - Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor Loudspeaker
Small speaker, big sound—Wayne Garcia listens to this 
beautiful Italian offering. 

79 - Coincident Speaker Technology Partial Eclipse Series II Speaker and Atma-Sphere Music Systems MA-1 Silver Edition OTL Amplifier
Sue Kraft finds synergy between this high-sensitivity speaker and unusual tube amp.


The Cutting Edge

85 - Bang & Olufsen BeoLab 5 Loudspeaker
High end from B&O? Read Neil Gader’s thoughts on this futuristic design. 

102 - DALI Megaline Loudspeaker
Though they aren’t yet well-known in the U.S., Robert E. Greene explains why these Danish DALIs should be. 


HP Workshop

113 - The Perils of Reviewing (or) Into the Gray Zone with HP:
The Coincident Technologies Total Victory Speaker System


The Music

123 - Feature: 2003's Best Rock/Pop and Classical Box Sets and Collections
Curl up to the more than one hundred discs that are 2003’s best boxes, collections, and best-ofs—the foundations for any music library.
141 - Classical
Three from Kronos String Quartet—Vasks: String Quartet No. 4, Berg: Lyric Suite, and Partch: U.S. Highball; Mahler: Symphony No. 6 and Grieg/Schumann: Piano Concertos in A minor; Beethoven: Fidelio (Rattle)
SACD—Ravel: Bolero. Rapsodie espagnole. Daphnis et Chloé; Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet and Telarc’s Epics
DVD-A—Vivaldi: The Four Seasons (Mutter)
143 - Absolute Audiophilia
Reference Returns: Taverner: Ikon of Eros and Argento: Casa Guidi and Felix Hell "Organ Sensation"; The Living Presence of 20th Century Music from Speakers Corner (3 LPs)
157 - Rock and Pop
Nelly Furtado: Folklore; Missy Elliott: This Is Not A Test; Bright Eyes: Vinyl Box Set; Paul Westerberg: Come Feel Me Tremble and Dead Man Shake; Jimi Hendrix: Live at Berkeley (LP); The Beatles: Let it Be…Naked; Metamorphosis—ABKCO’s Rolling Stones Remastered Series on vinyl
163 - 2003's Top Ten Pop/Rock, Jazz, and Classical Albums
Bob Gendron, Fred Kaplan, and Andrew Quint commit to print 2003's finest albums.
165 - Jazz
The Complete Verve Gerry Mulligan Concert Band Sessions; Jaki Byard Quartet with Joe Farrell: The Last from Lennie’s; Stan Getz: Bossas and BalladsThe Lost Sessions; Fred Anderson: Back at the Velvet Lounge and Josh Abrams: Cipher; Kyle Bruckmann’s Wrack; Pat Martino: Think Tank; Mario Pavone Nu Trio/Quintet: Orange
SACD—Fantasy wades into SACD with classics from Gil Evans, John Coltrane, and Dave Brubeck


TAS Retrospective

176 - The MartinLogan CLS I
Jonathan Valin on a classic (and difficult) love affair. 



211 - Classifieds

213 - Where To Buy The Absolute Sound

215 - Ad Index



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