Articles & Reviews In This Issue
6 From the Editor:
Back To The Future
Editorial By Robert Harley
14 Industry News: Thiel Audio, one of the founding members
of the American high-end audio movement, has been sold to a private equity
16 Future TAS: New products on the horizon.
18 Now on theabsolutesound.com: Highlights of the best
content on our new Web site.
20 Start Me Up: Sonus Faber
Venere 1.5 Loudspeaker
Neil Gader explains why this $1198 stand-mount won our Product of the Year
25 The Rocky Mountain Audio Fest: We report on the hottest new components from the Denver show.
54 Next-Gen Digital: Wadia 121 Digital Decoding
The digital audio pioneer brings advanced technologies to this $1299 DAC, says
50 NuForce HAP-100 Preamplifier/Headphone Amplifier
Chris Martens on a versatile product from NuForce that can serve as a
preamplifier or high-quality headphone amplifier.
62 Z-Infinity Audio Z120F Tube Power Amplifier
Dick Olsher lives with an affordable (and very likeable) 60Wpc stereo tube
66 Cambridge Audio Azur 851C CD Player/DAC
Five years after the wonderful Cambridge C840C CD player, the British company
introduces its successor. Robert Harley reports on how it stacks up next to
its celebrated predecessor.
70 Zesto Leto Linestage Preamplifier
Following up on its Andros phonostage, Zesto has another hit with the Leto
linestage. Paul Seydor brings you the good news.
76 Esoteric D-07X DAC
Alan Taffel on this mid-priced DAC from one of high-end digital audio’s most
80 Esoteric K-01 CD/SACD Player and DAC
Esoteric’s flagship player combines terrific CD and SACD playback with an
outstanding USB DAC, says Alan Taffel.
86 Audience Au24 SE Phono Cable
Jacob Heilbrunn on a first-rate phono cable.
88 DSPeaker Anti-Mode 2.0 DualCore Digital Signal Processor
Robert E. Greene extols the latest version of this ingenious digital signal
94 Von Schweikert Audio VR-44 Aktive Loudspeaker
Loudspeakers with integral powered woofers have many technical advantages.
Garrett Hongo explores the concept and the results in this new model from
Albert Von Schweikert.
106 Lamm ML2.2 Single-Ended Triode Amplifier
Does an amplifier with 18W of output power at 3% distortion belong in the
pantheon of the world’s greatest components? Robert Harley thinks so.
The Cutting Edge
110 DaVinciAudio Labs Master's Reference Virtu
Jonathan Valin on a genuine masterpiece of Swiss engineering — one of the most
lifelike tonearms that (a lot of) money can buy.
118 Classé Audio CP-800 Preamplifier
Classé brings fresh capabilities and features to the preamplifier category,
says Jacob Heilbrunn.
128 Imaginary Road Studios: Jeff Wilson talks with William Ackerman, founder of
Windham Hill Records, about his unexpected success in the music industry and
subsequent endeavors at his new recording studio.
132 Rock: New releases from Donald Fagen, Aaron Neville, Beth
Orton, and the Grass Cats; the Beatles reappear on LP; traditional Irish
fiddle tunes; and a stellar tribute to guitar icon Les Paul.
136 Classical: Bach, Debussy, Ravel, Mussorgsky and more on
piano; Prokofiev concertos on SACD; Vivaldi on vinyl; and Gidon Kremer plays
arrangements in honor of Glenn Gould.
140 Jazz: Recent offerings from
Elina Duni, Paradoxical Frog, and
Ron Miles, along with spiffy audiophile vinyl reissues of Sam Rivers, Jon
Hendricks, and Kenny Burrell.
141 Five Faves: Stephen Estep selects five albums he'd rather hear on
124 Manufacturer Comments
144 Back Page: TAS talks to Michael Kelly of Aerial Acoustics.
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