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The Absolute Sound

The Absolute Sound      May / June 2022


The Absolute Sound May / June 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.


One In Ten Million
Robert Harley reflects on the extraordinary individuals
who bring us the joy of music in our homes.
Editorial By Robert Harley


Cover Story
Ideon Audio Absolute Epsilon DAC, Absolute Stream Music Server,
and Absolute Time Clock
This three-piece digital stack from Greece's Ideon Audio
takes its place within the upper echelon of today's best
digital-playback systems. Robert Harley brings you a full report.


The Absolute Sound's Super Disc List
Seventeen pages of the world's greatest music and recordings,
updated and expanded for 2022 by Jonathan Valin.


Report From The Florida Audio Expo
Alan Taffel and Andrew Quint report on the hottest new gear from Tampa.


Electronics Focus Equipment Reports
Rotel RA-1592 Integrated Amplifier
Neil Gader reports on this new integrated amp from
the company whose name is synonymous with great sound and high value. 


Audio by Van Alstine DVA M225 Monoblock Power Amplifiers
These diminutive monoblocks from industry legend Frank
Van Alstine produce a sound that belies their size and price.
Anthony H. Cordesman reports on a high-power amplifier bargain.


Vincent SV-737 Integrated Amplifier
This tube/transistor hybrid integrated amp with built-in DAC
delivers high muscle, an extensive feature set, and great sound
in a compact and affordable package.


Boulder Amplifiers 861 Integrated Amplifier and Factory Tour
The company known for its massive — and expensive —
electronics brings its stunning build-quality and superlative sound
to a new, compact, and relatively affordable integrated amplifier.
Steven Stone has a full report, along with a behind-the-scenes
look inside the impressive new Boulder Amplifiers factory.


darTZeel NHB-468 Statement Monoblock Power Amplifiers
And NHB-18NS MKII Preamplifier
Jacob Heilbrunn discovers that these reference-quality electronics
from the esoteric Swiss manufacturer take him closer to the
music than ever before.


The Absolute Sound May / June 2022


Equipment Reports
Wilson Audio Alexx V Loudspeaker
Wilson Audio brings its newly developed technologies, first seen
in the mighty WAMM and Chronosonic XVX, to the Alexx V.
Matt Clott reports on the loudspeaker that stole his heart
— and his checkbook.


TAD E1TX-K Loudspeaker
Back in the 1970s, Japan's Technical Audio Devices (TAD) was
granted patents on its concentric-driver technology, and also
pioneered the development of beryllium diaphragms. Now, the
company combines those technologies in the Coherent Source
Transducer featured in its new E1TX-K loudspeaker.
Andrew Quint offers a full assessment of this new
floorstanding loudspeaker.


Gradient 1.4 Loudspeaker
Robert E. Greene explores the innovative technical design and
wonderful musical performance of an unusual speaker from Finland. 


Monitor Audio Bronze 500 Loudspeaker
Although priced at $2200 per pair, Monitor Audio's new
Bronze 500 is packed with advanced technology. Drew Kalbach
reports on this overachiever.


Naim Audio Atom Uniti HE Streaming Headphone Amplifier
The new headphone-oriented version of Naim's popular Atom
can do much more than power a pair of cans; it can also serve
as the heart of an ambitious high-end speaker-based system.
Alan Taffel brings you the fascinating details behind this
unique product.


Focal Stellia Headphones
Can an audio component be perfect? No, but Focal's new Stellia
headphones come mighty close, says Alan Taffel.

432 Evo Aeon Music Server
This Belgium music-server manufacturer's unusual name comes
from its products' ability to re-tune recordings to A=432Hz.
Andrew Quint brings you the fascinating history of this tuning
and evaluates the musical effect of processing modern recordings
to a different pitch. 


YG Acoustics Sonja 2.2 DC2 Crossover Upgrade
YG offers its existing customers an upgrade path via a newly designed
crossover with state-of-the-art components. Kirk Midtskog has the details. 


And More...


Manufacturer Comments


Future TAS
New products on the horizon.


Spielberg's West Side Story
Paul Seydor gives a strong thumbs up to the movie and music
from a classic 
Broadway musical.


A Minister of Music
Jazz vocalist Catherine Russell is on a roll with memorable new
albums and some exciting side projects. Greg Cahill reports.


Radiohead's Kid A Mnesia
A multi-album set combining two Radiohead albums with bonus
material sparks a deep dive by Alan Taffel.


The Art of Recording
Jonathan Horwich has been involved in the music industry since
the mid-1960s. In this article, he offers valuable insights into
the recording process.


Duck Baker's Wide-Ranging Music
Bill Milkowski fills us in on a guitarist who plays everything from
Scottish and Irish fiddle tunes to blues, gospel, and jazz. 


Rock, Etc.
Elvis Costello, Cat Power, Memphissippi Sounds, John Mellencamp,
Eddie Vedder, Tinsley Ellis, Morphine, and the Meters.


Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, Jackie McLean, Jonathan Blake,
Tomas Fukiwara, Michael Bision, Lennie Tristano, and Bob James.


Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for Violin, string trios by Sibelius,
the guitar music of Ernest Shand, symphonies by Beethoven,
cantatas by Handel, the soundtrack to The Diary of Anne Frank,
and works by female composers of La Belle Époque.


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