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The Absolute Sound

The Absolute Sound Issue 172 June / July 2007   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 172, June / July 2007 contents and editorial.


Read this edition's editorial by clicking here.


Articles & Reviews In This Issue

8 Letters

15 From The Editor

16 Industry News

20 Future TAS

24 Start Me Up
Barry Willis on Monitor Audio’s fabulous new $599 BR5 speaker

26 iTAS
MSB's iLink turns your iPod into a no-compromise high-end music

28 Book Review
Jonathan Valin reviews Robert Harley’s new book, Introductory Guide to High-Performance Audio Systems.

122 Manufacturers’ Comments


Special Report On The State Of Analog Playback
35 An  LP Primer: Robert Harley on everything you always wanted to know about the LP.

40 Twelve Analog Components The Shook The Audio World
The TAS editorial staff picks the 12 most significant LP-playback products of the stereo era

46 Rega P1
Get into the vinyl game for just $350 — complete. Wayne Garcia reports.

47 Pro-Ject Audio System Roundup
Jim Hannon surveys three Pro-Ject turntables and a phonostage, priced from $299 to $2500.

59 Tech Corner
Robert Harley explains cartridge compliance, tonearm mass, and why they need to be matched.

60 VPI Aries Scout And JMW-9 Tonearm
Jacob Heilbrunn on a high-value entry from a venerable turntable manufacturer.

64 Nottingham Space ‘Table & Arm
Chris Martens on a unique British ‘table and tonearm.

70 Budget Cartridge Survey
Chris Martens listens to three affordable cartridges from $89 to $299.

74 Four Moving-Coil Cartridges
Paul Seydor compares four moving coils from $800 to $3000.

80 Nine "Must-Have" Analog Accessories
Don’t spin vinyl without them!

84 Musical Surroundings Phonomena Nova And Parasound Zphono
Paul Seydor reports on two sweet phonostages at even sweeter prices.

88 JR Transrotor Phono II
Neil Gader on a mid-priced phonostage from Germany’s premier turntable-maker.

90 Art Audio Vinyl Reference
Jim Hannon has the scoop on a phonostage that mixes tubes, transistors, and transformers

92  Audio Research PH7
Jonathan Valin on the best phonostage yet from ARC.

98 Basis Audio 2800 Signature Turntable And Vector Model 4 Tonearm
Robert Harley brings you an exclusive look at a truly remarkable piece of turntable and tonearm engineering.

110 Pursuing Perfection
Basis founder A.J. Conti talks with Robert Harley

114 HP's Workshop: The Golden Dozen LPs
Harry Pearson on the twelve best-sounding LPs of the stereo era.

30 Sonic Anima And Argenta Loudspeakers
Neil Gader on a classic mini-monitor and an entry-level speaker from an important new company.


127 Recording of the Issue: Kronos Quartet: Henryk Górecki String
Quartet No. 3

Rock Etc.
Reviews of the latest CDs and LPs from The National, The Sea and Cake, Modest Mouse, Pelican, Blonde Redhead, El-P, Aesop Rock, Tinariwen, Neil Young, Dale Watson, Chris Knight, Uncle Earl, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Mavis Staples, Koko Taylor, and Bill Callahan. Plus, Rhino’s Warren Zevon reissues and audiophile vinyl pressings from Joni Mitchell, Slayer, Lowell Fulsorn, Earl Hooker, and Muddy Waters.

The scoop on three new Mario Alsop discs, Handel’s Concerti Grossi, Mozart’s Symphonies Nos. 38 and 41, and Elina Garanca’s Aria Cantilena. Also Testament’s reissue of Wagner’s Göftterdämmerung, SACDs from Beethoven, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, and Rachmaninoff, and two Speakers Corner LPs.

Coverage of new records from Anat Cohen, Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, Wynton Marsalis, Robert Glasper, and Mario Adnet, plus a survey of eight Analogue Productions 180-gram, 45rpm, two-LP titles.

160 Back Page: Questions for mastering engineer Bob Ludwig.


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