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Ayon Audio Crossfire III PA Power Amplifier

By | June 24th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Ayon Audio Crossfire III PA Power Amplifier

“Ker-chunk!” went the 132-pound package as it plummeted out of the FedEx truck and crashed onto the pavement in front of my house. “@#$%^&*!” went yours truly, contemplating the fate of the very expensive tubes within that package. That was my first exposure to the Ayon Audio Crossfire III PA power amplifier. Ayon Audio, an Austrian company, got its start manufacturing tube gear, but its lineup now includes a complete audio system—everything from digital file players to CD players to DACs, amps, preamps, speakers, and even cables.… Read the full article

Muraudio SP1 Hybrid Electrostatic Loudspeaker

By | June 21st, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Muraudio SP1 Hybrid Electrostatic Loudspeaker

Going on a century ago, in the early 1920s, C. W. Rice and E.W. Kellogg began work at General Electric on how to use electricity to generate sound for reproduction of music. They considered seriously two possibilities, the electro-magnetically driven cone and the electrostatically driven membrane. For practical reasons, they chose the cone driver. (A main problem of the electrostatic was that, this being before the days of plastic films, the membrane was made from what was known as goldbeater’s skin or cloth, which was, not to put too fine a point on it, hammered-out pig guts.… Read the full article

Triangle Australe EZ Loudspeaker

By | June 21st, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Triangle Australe EZ Loudspeaker

There are people on this planet that, though they walk with one foot in front of the other just like the rest of us, are in important respects nothing like the rest of us—they are gifts. In early 2018, I was fortunate to finally see my favorite percussionist in concert at the Sanders Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Zakir Hussain is a master, in the same easily recognizable way that Hendrix and Ella are masters. What they all do with their instruments is far beyond the technical.… Read the full article

T.H.E. Show 2019

By | June 20th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

T.H.E. Show 2019

Southern California has an audio show problem. It’s not new, and it’s not clear why. Perhaps it’s the slow-burn of internecine rivalries, sketchy venue selection and promotion (remember LAX?), or just plain bad luck. In any case it shouldn’t have to be this way in a region so densely populated—a virtual playground of art and culture that can boast sunny weather all year long. More likely, however, the issue isn’t just Los Angeles per se. It’s timing. Closely following the two biggest trade shows of the year, AXPONA Chicago and Munich High End, is not a recipe for success.… Read the full article

KEF LSX Wireless Streaming Loudspeaker System

By | June 19th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

KEF LSX Wireless Streaming Loudspeaker System

I’ve always liked variety and difference, and hi-fi has both in spades. In this hobby, there isn’t one right answer, one perfect system for everyone. There’s a huge array of different sizes, shapes, and sounds, and they’re all equally good, at least in that they aren’t the be-alls/end-alls. The KEF LSX ($1099) wireless streaming speaker system may be unconventional, but it’s another path to great sound, one that’s accessible to absolutely everyone, especially people who don’t want to wade through pages of hi-fi forum snark in order to learn about this stuff.… Read the full article

Nordost Purple Flare USB Cable

By | June 18th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Nordost Purple Flare USB Cable

Nordost Corporation has been at the forefront of high-end cable innovation and technology since it was founded in 1991. Precision and scientific methodology are the cornerstones of Nordost’s approach to cable solutions for audiophile systems. They provide everything from audio/video cables to resonance and vibration control devices and power products (as well as new grounding devices). Its products are currently sold in more than 68 countries worldwide, and everything it produces is developed and manufactured in its factory in Holliston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.… Read the full article

Joe Lovano: Trio Tapestry

By | June 17th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Joe Lovano: Trio Tapestry

On his ECM debut as a leader and his first studio album in six years, tenor saxophone titan Joe Lovano lays out a fertile 12-tone improvisational soundscape for him, pianist Marilyn Crispell, and drummer Carmen Castaldi to mystically create colorful sonic tapestries of melody, harmony, and rhythm. Known for his brawny command of the tenor in his three-and-a half-decade recording career that includes two dozen albums for the Blue Note label, Lovano displays an expressive beauty and sensitive lyricism on Trio Tapestry, and the result, as he put it, is “some of the most intimate and personal music I’ve recorded …… Read the full article

Esoteric E-02 Phonostage

By | June 14th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Esoteric E-02 Phonostage

MAGNIFYcation At the most recent RMAF I was using my handheld, foldable 3x-to-8.5x magnifier to align an Ortofon A95 cartridge on a manufacturer’s turntable. The little Carson Triview is inexpensive (I think I got it at Staples), and it works great to get a nice, clear picture of where that tiny stylus is in relation to the “bullseye” on the protractor. I’m easily dazzled by the benefits of these small things, and it got me thinking about the upper limits of magnification.… Read the full article

Accustic Arts Amp II Mk 3 Stereo Power Amplifier

By | June 13th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Accustic Arts Amp II Mk 3 Stereo Power Amplifier

Over a decade ago, as I was traveling through Germany, I picked up an audio magazine at a train station to try and kill some time. Leafing through the periodical, I happened upon a review that announced with not atypical Teutonic certainty that the “loudspeaker is the slave of the amplifier.” Somehow or other it’s a statement that has stuck in mind through the years. I’ve seen some highly touted solid-state amplifiers wilt under the strain of trying to drive inefficient loudspeakers that feature punishing loads.… Read the full article

CCR Revisited

By | June 12th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

CCR Revisited

All the studio albums by Creedence Clearwater Revival have been reissued on The Studio Albums Collection, Craft Recording’s 7-LP box set spanning the group’s run on the Fantasy label from 1968–1972. Cut by Abbey Road Studio’s Miles Showell using high-resolution transfers from the original analog tapes, these half-speed masters capture in stunning sonic clarity every stinging guitar lick and raspy-throated yowl of the group’s firecracker front man, John Fogerty. The deluxe package includes 180-gram vinyl, replicas of the original jackets, and an 80-page hardbound booklet replete with rare archival photos, CCR memorabilia, and comprehensive liner notes by music journalist Roy …… Read the full article