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The Absolute Sound

The Absolute Sound      April 2022


The Absolute Sound April 2022


  The Absolute Sound is the world's preeminent source of expert product reviews, features, and commentary on high-performance audio. Since 1973, TAS has set the standard for quality audio and music journalism, helping to shape the industry and guiding audio enthusiasts and music lovers to components and recordings that faithfully reproduce the sounds one might hear in a good concert hall. The Absolute Sound's editors and reviewers, many of whom have been writing about music and high fidelity for better than three decades, bring unparalleled enthusiasm, expertise, and insight to the magazine's readers.


3 From The Editor... Bits Is Bits?
There's still much to be discovered.
Editorial By Robert Harley


Cover Story
29 Seven Great Speakers For Any Budget

30 Bowers & Wilkins 805 D4
Magic Act $7995

38 M&K Sound S150 Monitor With X/10 Subwoofer
Recording Studio Heritage $7897

44 Sonus faber Lumina III
Italian Elegance $2199

48 Piega Ace 30
High-End In Miniature $999

52 Audiovector QR1
Danish Delight $2300

56 Rogers LS 5/9
Classic Look, Classic Sound $7495

62 NSMT 15SE
Home-Grown Bargain $1995


Departments And Music
10 Letters

12 From the Editor
Robert Harley ponders some long-unanswered questions
about digital audio.

14 Future TAS
New products on the horizon.

116 Manufacturer Comments


120 A "Brilliant" Bowie Box
Greg Cahill explores the latest super-deluxe edition devoted
to David Bowie.

Lord Huron's Long Lost
According to Alan Taffel, the newest album by Lord Huron
features "a paradox of nostalgia and cutting edge."

124 Taking a Break From Musical Solitaire
Jeff Wilson finds the new releases by Aimee Mann and
Tori Amos refreshing in a pre-COVID way.

128 Yarlung Records
An interview with Bob Attiyeh, the Executive Director
of Yarlung Records, reveals how a small label can accomplish
big things.

132 Rock, Etc.
Willie Nelson, Joan Osborne, Tears for Fears, Fleet Foxes,
St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Lowell Fulson, Twangtown
Paramours, Ben Levin, and Finneas.

138 Jazz
Christian McBride, Lee Konitz, Enrico Rava,
the Smudges, the OGJB Quartet, Nicholas Payton,
Dave Wilson, Splinters, and Pete Malinverni's tribute to
Leonard Bernstein.

144 Classical
String quartets by Debussy and Rivier, music composed
by Telemann and Gubaidulina, Schubert's Symphony in
E Major, harp performances by Anne-Sophie Bertrand,
clarinet chamber music, and new releases inspired by the
writings of Marcel Proust.


The Absolute Sound April 2022


Absolute Analog
16 Acoustic Signature Tornado Neo
Turntable and TA-2000 Neo Tonearm Andre Jennings reports on the newly
upgraded "Neo" turntable and tonearm from Germany's Acoustic Signature.

24 Ramar Record Brush
Although expensive, the Ramar is the ne plus ultra of record
brushes, says Neil Gader.


Equipment Reports
66 PrimaLuna EVO 300 Hybrid Integrated Amplifier
Tube specialist PrimaLuna mates a tube input stage to a solid-state output. Dick
Olsher on this first-of-a-kind product from Herman van den Dungen.

72 Aurender N20 Music Server
Aurender's latest server combines convenience, ease of use, and great
sound. Stephen Scharf reports.

80 CrystalConnect by Crystal Cable
Art Series Da Vinci Speaker Cables, Interconnects, and Power Cords
What does reducing noise to unprecedentedly low levels buy you in a
cable? Listen to Crystal's new flagship Da Vincis, says JV, and find out for yourself.

88 Topping D90SE DAC
Steven Stone discovers a perfect example of just how good today's inexpensive
DACs have become.

96 Warwick Acoustics Bravura Electrostatic Headphone System
With a new proprietary electrostatic transducer, the Warwick Bravura advances
the state of the art in headphones, says Steven Stone.


The Cutting Edge
104 Wadax Reference Server Music Server
This new music server features cutting- edge technologies never seen in an
audio product — and delivers unprecedented sound quality. Robert Harley
reports on a groundbreaking design.




The Absolute Sound
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