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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 148, June / July 2004 table of contents and editorial.

June / July 2004



4 - From The Editor

6 - Letters

121 - Manufacturer Comments 



16 - Industry News 

20 Future TAS 
Hot new products on the horizon. 

22 - Start Me Up: Meeting High-End Expectations on a Modest Budget 
Our column on affordable gear resumes with new writer Jerry Sommers. 

28 Absolute Analog 
Paul Seydor spins Pro-Ject's RM 9 turntable and Sumiko's Blackbird 
cartridge, and sets it all atop Townshend's Seismic Sink Isolation Platform. 

33 - Editorial: Missing the Boat
Robert Harley argues that, for all the great contributions the high end has made over the years, it also has a habit of ignoring opportunities to expand its business (and your options). 

48 - Basic Repertoire: The Piano Trio
Andrew Quint kicks off the first in a new series on must-own music. 

103 - Cover Story:
Drop-Dead Gorgeous: Sonus Faber Stradivari "Homage" Loudspeaker 
In sound and looks Sonus Faber’s new statement design is simply 
gorgeous, so says our man, Jonathan Valin. 

77 - The State of Multichannel Audio 
In a series of special reports in The Cutting Edge, we explore the past, present, and potential future of high-end multichannel sound. In his Multichannel Audio Primer, Robert Harley explains the ins and outs of expanding your two-channel system — the right way; the TAS Roundtable finds RH, HP, Classical Music Editor Andy Quint, and recording engineer Peter McGrath debating the pros and cons of stereo, multichannel, center-channel speakers, and subwoofers; and in his Workshop, HP looks at the Dark Side of Multichannel Sound.



Equipment Reports

36 - Recommended Products
Loudspeakers Under $5000
Our staff selects the crème de la crème in affordable and mid-priced speakers. 

56 - NAD C 162 Preamplifier, C 272 Power Amplifier
Chris Martens reports on NAD’s new entry-level separates. 

62 - YBA Intégré Integrated Amplifier 
The latest combo amp from YBA finds Neil Gader waxing nostalgic. 

65 - Double-Dipping: Morel Octwin 5.2M Loudspeaker
Neil Gader listens to a stacked pair of speakers with more than a few sonic and design twists. 

68 - Further Thoughts: The Gamut D 200 Mk3
Jonathan Valin reports on the latest incarnation of a technological 

72 - Romantic At Heart — Valve Amplification Company Avatar Super Integrated Amplifier 
Wayne Garcia on VAC's top-of-the-line, retro-looking, all-tube integrated amp. 



The Music

127 - Rock and Pop
RECORDING OF THE ISSUE Wilco: A ghost is born;
Franz Ferdinand: Franz Ferdinand; Sigur Ros: Ba Ba Ti Ki Di Do;
Broken Social Scene: Bee Hives; Sam Phillips: A Boot and a Shoe;
Patti Smith: Trampin’; Eric Clapton: Me & Mr. Johnson and Keb Mo: Keep It Simple; Diverse: One A.M. and Kanye West: The College Dropout; Lou Reed: Animal Serenade, Allman Brothers: One Way Out, and Bob Dylan: The Bootleg Series Volume 6; Ellis Hooks: Uncomplicated; The Buzzcocks: Singles Going Steady and The Saints: I’m Stranded (Runt 180-gram LPs)
SACD —Mission of Burma: ONoffON; George Harrison: Live In Japan
138 - The "NEW FOLK": 5 artists putting a fresh sound on a familiar classic
Jim White, Sufjan Stevens, Ollabelle, Patty Griffin, and Sarah Harmer
141 - Jazz
Ted Sirota’s Rebel Souls: Breeding Resistance and Chicago Underground Trio: Slon; Duke Ellington: Masterpieces by Ellington; Brad Mehldau: Anything Goes and Joel Framm with Brad Mehldau: Don’t Explain; Fred Hersch: Trio + 2; Jason Lindner: Live/UK; Miguel Zenón: Ceremonial; Andy Bey: American Song
SACD—Great Jazz Trio: Someday My Prince Will Come
149 - Classical
Purcell: Dido and Aeneas and Britten: The Turn of the Screw; Anonymous 4: American Angels and Trio Mediaeval: Soir Dit-Elle;
The 1950s Haydn Symphonies Recordings; Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5
SACD—Bartók: The Miraculous Mandarin and Bluebeard’s Castle; Mahler: Symphony No. 3; Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition and Prokofiev: Ivan the Terrible; SACD and DVD-A Tackle Beethoven’s Nine Symphonies Conducted by Karajan and Abbado
158 - Absolute Audiophilia
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 (Maag) (Speakers Corner 45 RPM LPs); John Lennon: Imagine and Aimee Mann: Lost In Space (MoFi 180-gram LPs)



TAS Retrospective

160 - NAD 3020: The Little Amp That Put High-End Sound Within Everyone’s Reach Chris Martens



155 - Classifieds

157 - Where To Buy The Absolute Sound

159 - Ad Index



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