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The Absolute Sound


The Absolute Sound Issue 201 March 2010   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 201, March 2010 contents and editorial.

Read this edition's editorial by clicking here.


Articles & Reviews In This Issue
6 Letters

8 From the Editor
The Last Listening Room
Editorial By Andy Quint

10 Future TAS
New products on the horizon.

12 Industry News
A new technology claims to solve a fundamental problem in audio reproduction.

25 The 2010 Editors' Choice Awards 
This is the big one!
We pick the best gear at every price level in every product category.


Equipment Reports
14 Start Me Up
Teac Reference PD-H600 CD Player and AG-H600NT Stereo Internet Receiver
These diminutive, and bargain-priced, components not only deliver great sound, but also the latest technology for listening to music via the Internet.

18 Absolute Analog
Soundsmith Strain-Gauge Phono Cartridge/Preamplifier
Anthony H. Cordesman auditions a blast-from-the-past -- a strain-gauge cartridge that doesn't use magnets or coils.

114 Volent Paragon VL-2 Loudspeaker
Robert Harley reports on a great stand-mounted, ribbon-based, two-way speaker. Fasten your seatbelts.

118 Verity Audio Finn Loudspeaker
Neil Gader on this mid-priced floorstander from Canada's Verity Audio.

122 Plinius Hiato Integrated Amplifier
Think all integrated amplifiers are compromised in the power-output department? Plinius shatters that myth with the 300Wpc Hiato. Neil Gader reports.

126 The Cutting Edge
BAlabo BC-1 Mk-II Preamplifier and BP-1 Mk-II Power Amplifier
Jonathan Valin listens to some of the most expensive, exotic, and beautiful sounding electronics on the planet.

130 HP's Workshop 
HP's 2010 Editors' Choice Awards

125 Manufacturer Comments


136 Feature
Jeff Wilson surveys bossa nova: the suave, cool, understated, samba-derived music from Brazil that became hugely popular in the 60s and remains influential around the world today.

137 Top Ten
Duck Baker; himself a much-recorded virtuoso on the instrument, selects ten of the best jazz guitar recordings from the earliest pioneers to the mid-century masters.

138 Rock
The latest from Norah Jones, gospel duets with the Blind Boys of Alabama, superlative reissues of Nirvana on 180-gram LPs, and a four-CD retrospective of hits spanning Elvis' storied career.

140 Classical
Stravinsky on SACD, Schumann chamber music, three modern sacred works for chorus, the Silk Road Ensemble goes "off the map," and a stellar rendering of Britten orchestral favorites from Reference Recordings.

142 Jazz
A centennial anniversary tribute to gypsy-jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, Vigay Iyer's piano trio, John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter classics on vinyl, and two CD box-sets from the archives; Sinatra live in New York City on Rhino, and Artie Shaw on Mosaic.


144 Back Page
Cable pioneer George Cardas talks with Neil Gader.


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