August 2018
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Q&A with Jorn Janczak of Tidal Audio

By | August 16th, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Q&A with Jorn Janczak of Tidal Audio

What ignited your interest in the high end? Did it come from the music side or the electronics side? Both! Disassembling our old TV, taking out the speaker, and building it into an Adidas shoebox. The first song I listened to was “The Sun Always Shines On T.V.” from A-ha, and it was a real wow experience for me when I was ten. What gear made up your first high-end system? I always had self-made gear, so the first “real system” was actually a Tidal one—15 years after starting the company.… Read the full article

Parasound JC 3 Jr. Phono Preamplifier

By | August 15th, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , |

Parasound JC 3 Jr. Phono Preamplifier

In the interests of transparency readers should know that the $2999 Parasound JC 3+ has been my reference phonostage since I reviewed it in Issue 245. I say this not because I’m partial to Parasound products in general, but because I flat out believe there is no better phonostage on the market within shouting distance of its price. For me, the John Curl designed JC 3+ has consistently drawn forth a wealth of musical and sonic detail from a range of cartridges.… Read the full article

KEF LS50 Wireless Nocturne Active Loudspeaker System

By | August 14th, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

KEF LS50 Wireless Nocturne Active Loudspeaker System

I’ve always been something of a night owl. And perhaps like many of you I enjoy listening to music later in the evenings. Lights low, wine glass in hand, ready to relax into stereo sound. For some reason I’ve also always gotten a kick out of stuff that glows: from amplifier tubes and fireflies to bioluminescent sea creatures, neon signs, and even a pair of glow-in-the-dark earrings. My fondness for such whimsy unexpectedly found its way to a modern hi-fi offering perfect for nighttime: the special Nocturne edition of KEF’s updated LS50 Wireless loudspeaker system that features intricate geometric patterns …… Read the full article

dCS Launches New Bartók Upsampling Network DAC with Headphone Amplifier

By | August 13th, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , , |

dCS Launches New Bartók Upsampling Network DAC with Headphone Amplifier

The following is a press release issued by dCS. August 13, 2018 – dCS proudly announces its Bartók network DAC and headphone amplifier – a singlebox, state-of-the-art digital-to-analogue converter with full network streaming functionality and Class A headphone amplifier. Retailing at £9,999 for the streaming DAC and £11,999 for the streaming DAC with integrated headphone amplifier, the new dCS Bartók DAC brings together dCS’s past, present and future. Replacing Debussy as the most affordable DAC in the illustrious dCS range Bartók shares the same DNA as its bigger Rossini brother, featuring the Rossini Ring DAC™, custom high performance UPnP music …… Read the full article

Sleeping Cats Meets QCA

By | August 10th, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , , |

Sleeping Cats Meets QCA

Spring Grove Avenue is a street in Cincinnati, Ohio, that, due to its wide lanes, light traffic, and limited stoplights, makes for a leisurely drive. It’s also a picturesque thoroughfare flanked with large old factories and warehouses, highlighting what was once a concentration of industry, with new urban redevelopment looking to reconnect with those roots. Located on Spring Grove Avenue, and emblematic of its past and present, Queen City Albums (QCA) is a business that has for almost 70 years manufactured recorded music in formats including LPs, cassettes, and CDs.… Read the full article

Julian Lage: Modern Lore

By | August 8th, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Julian Lage: Modern Lore

After precious, pristine duo outings with pianist Fred Hersch and fellow guitarist Nels Cline, one-time wunderkind Julian Lage settled into a simpatico trio setting with bassist Scott Colley and drummer Kenny Wollesen on 2016’s acclaimed Arclight, which showcased the guitarist’s more assertive direction on a vintage Fender Telecaster. With Modern Lore, Lage takes things up a notch with that same trio, bearing down a little harder on his Tele without sacrificing his signature lyricism. A patient plectrist with a gift for instrumental storytelling, Lage embraces the gentle simplicity of tunes like the loping “Whatever You Say, Henry,” the country-tinged “Atlantic …… Read the full article

System Clarifiers

By | August 7th, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , , |

System Clarifiers

In my mind I’m aware that an audio system is not flesh and blood. Yet in my heart I persist in thinking of my reference rig as a living, breathing thing that requires a certain amount of care and attention. Indeed, my reference system undergoes small adjustments, tweaks, and mods on a fairly consistent basis. But I’ve been remiss in reporting on them in these pages. Herewith are three components that have recently crossed the threshold of my listening room and have inexplicably slipped through the reviewing cracks until now: the Audience Au24 SX power cord, the Wireworld Starlight Ethernet …… Read the full article

Magnepan to Visit Every Magnepan Dealer in North America

By | August 6th, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Magnepan to Visit Every Magnepan Dealer in North America

You don't attend audio shows? Magnepan is bringing the new flagship 30.7 to every Magnepan dealer in North America. Please RSVP your dealer.… Read the full article

Sonus faber Sonetto Loudspeaker Event in Kansas City, Part Two

By | August 3rd, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Sonus faber Sonetto Loudspeaker Event in Kansas City, Part Two

Note: This is Part Two of this Sonus faber listening event coverage. Read Part One here. New Sonetto Loudspeakers Demo'd at the 1900 Building The celebration of the new Sonus faber Sonetto loudspeaker collection is noteworthy news for a few reasons, the first of which is fiscal. The eight Sonetto loudspeakers can be purchased for surprisingly less than princely sums (starting at about a grand), especially in comparison to the company’s other high-end speakers, whose prices extend well into the five-figure range (and beyond).… Read the full article

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Bill Frisell: Music IS

By | August 2nd, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Bill Frisell: Music IS

Since his debut recording 35 years ago, Bill Frisell has been remarkably prolific, resulting in 36 albums as a leader. On Music IS the guitarist re-examines some of his earlier works while showcasing five new compositions, all in an unaccompanied setting. Frisell starts many tunes with an almost naive simplicity but gradually builds sonic cathedrals by using looped layers and gorgeously finessed chordal voicings; “Pretty Stars” and “Thankful” are examples of this approach. Another Frisell signature, the Monkian herky-jerky quirkiness in some of his rhythmic cadences, manifests on his sparse reworking of “Winslow Homer,” which he gradually builds up to …… Read the full article

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