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The Absolute Sound
The Absolute Sound    February 2018

 

The Absolute Sound Issue 280 February 2018

   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.

 

Articles & Reviews In This Issue
6 The Human Element
Editorial By Robert Harley

 

10 Letters

 

14 From the Editor

 

16 Future TAS
New products on the horizon.

 

18 Obituary
We remember legendary loudspeaker designer and industry icon Arnie Nudell. 

 

23 TAS Legacy
Alan Taffel on the Cello Palette equalizer-preamp.

 

24. The Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 
We bring you the hottest new gear from Denver

 

Equipment Reports
Personal Audio
46 EarSonics S-EM9 In-Ear Monitor
Steven Stone discovers much to like about these in-ear monitors from French pro-audio company EarSonics.

 

Absolute Analog
52 TechDAS Air Force III Turntable
The Air Force III brings TechDAS' vaunted technology to a lower price. Jacob Heilbrunn reports.

 

The Absolute Sound Issue 280 February 2018

 

Affordable Focus
58 Schiit Audio Magni3 Headphone Amplifier
How good can a $99 product sound? Prepare to be astonished, says Steven Stone. 

 

64 MarkAudio-Sota Cesti B Loudspeaker
Neil Gader discovers an affordable speaker from a new company with a very deep history. 

 

68 Tritschler Precision Audio Devices TPAD 1000 Phonostage
This $599 tube phonostage brings a new twist to a classic design. Dick Olsher has the good news.

 

72 Sonore microRendu Streaming Music Player
This tiny $640 device will upgrade the sound of your computer-based server in unexpected ways, says Vade Forrester.

 

Equipment Reports
94 Balanced Audio Technology 
VK-3000SE Integrated Amplifier
Wayne Garcia on a tube-transistor hybrid that hits the sweet spot in musicality, features, and price.

 

98 Wilson Audio Specialties Yvette Loudspeaker
The Yvette packs more performance per dollar (or square inch) than any speaker in Wilson Audio's long history. Jim Hannon gives you the details.

 

106 Absolare Integrated Amplifier
The Absolare Integrated combines the technology and musical aesthetic of the company's superb Passion series of tube separates with a high-powered solid-state output stage. Robert Harley has the details.

 

112 Esoteric Grandioso D1 DAC, P1 Disc Transport, C1 Linestage, and M1 Monoblock Power Amplifier
Grandioso, indeed! This seven-chassis system from Esoteric more than delivers on its promise, says Alan Taffel.

 

120 Synergistic Research Atmosphere/UEF/HFT Room Treatment System
Jonathan Valin reports on this "Twilight Zone" room treatment system from Synergistic Research.

 

Music
126 Anne Bisson's Four Seasons in Jazz
Neil Gader visits a direct-to-disc recording session at Bernie Grundman's studio.

 

128 Why Tom Petty Was Great
What made Tom Petty a rock icon? Alan Taffel explains.

 

130 David Bowie's Anti-Commercial Bet
Derk Richardson examines Rhino's new anthology by "the most chameleonic pop-music figure of the 20th century."

 

132 Milk of the Tree
A female folksinger anthology impresses Stephen Estep.

 

134 Kertész Conducts Dvořák
Art Lintgen has good things to say about a new Decca compilation.

 

138 Download Roundup
Alan Taffel and Andrew Quint review hi-res rock, jazz, and classical downloads.

 

142 Rock Etc. Reviews
Robert Plant, Weezer, Dori Freeman, Joe Henry, Duke Robillard, Tommy Emmanuel & David Grisman, The Smiths, The Replacements, and a Judee Sill 45rpm vinyl LP reissue on Intervention Records.

 

146 Jazz Reviews
Hiromi / Edmar Castaneda, Chick Corea & Steve Gadd, Rudresh Mahanthappa, The Baylor Project, and four new ECM releases on vinyl.

 

150 Classical Reviews
The Dover Quartet's Voices of Defiance, an IsoMike vinyl LP of piano music by Chopin, film scores and orchestral music by George Martin, Elgar's Enigma Variations on solo piano, chamber music by Franck and Chausson, and a Reference Recordings SACD of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 and Barber's Adagio for Strings.

 

152 Classical Reviews
Gary Koh of Genesis Advanced Technologies.

 

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