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The Absolute Sound

The Absolute Sound Issue 185 October 2008   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 185, October 2008 contents and editorial.


Read this edition's editorial by clicking here.


31 The 2008 Editors' Choice Awards
This is the Big One 41 pages of every product we recommend at every price level.


Articles & Reviews In This Issue
8 Letters

14 From The Editor

16 Future TAS
New products on the horizon.

20 Industry News
Loudspeaker-maker Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) launches an on-line music subscription service; Chesky Records makes available high-resolution down-loads; a Ferarri-branded single-speaker stereo system.

147 Manufacturer Comments


Equipment Reports
24 Absolute Analog
Neil Gader auditions the Clearaudio Maestro moving-magnet cartridge, Jonathan Valin goes back to the future with the Koetsu Onyx Platinum moving coil, and Robert Harley evaluates Analogue Productions' new Ultimate Analogue Test LP.

114 Simaudio Moon i-1 Integrated Amplifier and Moon CD-1 CD Player 
Although scaled down in size and price, Simaudio's new "1-series" isn't scaled down in sound quality. Wayne Garcia has the details.

Pass Labs XA100.5 Power Amplifier
Is Class A output power worth the size, cost, and heat? Robert Harley listens to 200 watts of pure Class A power. 

126  Cutting Edge
Hansen Audio "The Prince" V2 Loudspeaker
Anthony H. Cordesman discovers much to like in this unusual Canadian three-way loudspeaker.

138HP's Workshop
HP bestows his 2008 Editors' Choice Awards.


 Recording Of The Issue
Paul Bley: About Time

150 Rock
A blowout piece on Continuum's 33 1/3 book series - insightful music literature that's as addictive as the records it celebrates. We also review new music from Giant Sand, Calexico, Tindersticks, Randy Newman, Rodney Crowell, Michael Franti & Spearhead, and Sigur Ros. Plus, audiophile vinyl from Metallica and Marc Cohn.

We evaluate a Blu-ray disc and SACD of Divertimenti, Andreas Scholl's Crystal Tears, Gloria Cheng's Piano Music of Salonen, Stucky, and Lutoslawski, and a Stravinsky LP box set from Speakers Corner. And add another installment of Multichannel Marvels.

174 Jazz
The lowdown on new discs from Patricia Barber, David Murray and Max Waldron, Roy Hargrove Quartet, and Kenny Wheeler. And another Music Matters audiophile LP-this time, from Jackie McLean.


TAS Back Page
144 TAS Back Page
Singer/songwriter Shelby Lynne.

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