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It Didn’t All Suck

By | April 2nd, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , , |

It Didn’t All Suck

Utter the words “early digital” and most audiophiles, even younger ones, will know exactly what you’re talking about. The term references sound lacking body and warmth, the fatiguing deficiency of dimensionality and tonal complexity that characterized digital encoding for much of its first commercial decade. This was the era when, invariably, someone would show up at the local audio society meeting wearing a DIGITAL SUCKS T-shirt. But those of us who were practicing audiophiles at the time remember one important exception, Telarc Records, a label that kindled a hope that the new technology would someday go beyond its undeniably impressive …… Read the full article

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First Watt SIT-3 Stereo Power Amplifier

By | April 2nd, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

First Watt SIT-3 Stereo Power Amplifier

In hindsight, you would surmise that First Watt was rather lucky. When transistor manufacturer SemiSouth closed its doors in 2012, access to its silicon-carbide-based power JFET transistors (SITs) dried up. Fortunately, Nelson Pass had purchased a custom batch of these SITs in 2010, no doubt because this device’s characteristic curve resembles that of a triode vacuum tube and because it can work directly into a speaker load. The SIT-1 monoblocks and SIT-2 stereo amplifier, based on this output transistor, were introduced in 2012 and became the most successful in First Watt’s history, continuing in production through 2017.… Read the full article

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HiFiMAN Ananda Open-Back Planar-Magnetic Headphone

By | March 29th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

HiFiMAN Ananda Open-Back Planar-Magnetic Headphone

HiFiMan is arguably the most prolific producer of high-quality headphones in the world with several new designs introduced each year. In the Ultimate Headphone Guide (Summer 2018), I had the pleasure of reviewing the manufacturer’s stunning Shangri-La Junior electrostatic headphone system and was very impressed with its overall performance—most notably its outstanding clarity, coherence, and transparency. I wondered how good a much more affordable HiFiMan headphone that uses planar-magnetic technology would be. Like the Shangri-La Junior, HiFiMan’s open-back Ananda uses an extremely thin, lightweight driver membrane.… Read the full article

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AudioQuest Dragon AC Power Cords

By | March 28th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

AudioQuest Dragon AC Power Cords

The Washington Post recently ran an essay about how walking barefoot outside may benefit your health. The reason is simple: grounding. The idea, we are told, is that “humans evolved in direct contact with the Earth’s subtle electric charge, but have lost that sustained connection thanks to inventions such as buildings, furniture, and shoes with insulated soles.” The earth’s surface is perpetually generating electrons that can combat free radicals, thereby functioning as antioxidants. Several universities are apparently researching the practice to try and test its efficacy.… Read the full article

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Q&A with William Watkins of Watkins Stereo and Engineering

By | March 27th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , |

Q&A with William Watkins of Watkins Stereo and Engineering

What ignited your interest in the high end? Did it come from the music side or the electronics side? Both. From my earliest years growing up I can remember there always being music in the house. My father was an accomplished musician who loved music as well as its reproduction. I enjoyed listening to music and was fascinated by the glow and heat of the tube amplifiers and the loudspeakers’ mechanical ability to reproduce such beautiful sound. What gear made up your first high-end system?… Read the full article

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New Release from the PaTRAM Institute Singers

By | March 26th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

New Release from the PaTRAM Institute Singers

The following is a press release issued by Reference Recordings. March 26 ,2019 | SAN FRANCISCO – Reference Recordings is very pleased to present the second release in our series from the PaTRAM Institute, rising stars whose debut album on our label, Chesnokov: Teach Me Thy Statutes (FR­727SACD), has recently garnered a Grammy® nomination for Best Choral Performance. The music performed on this new recording of Russian Orthodox choral music in the English language was written by Dr. Kurt Sander. Conductor Peter Jermihov writes: “The Liturgy of St.… Read the full article

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Audience Au24 SX powerChord

By | March 26th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Audience Au24 SX powerChord

Full disclosure: The Audience Au24 SE has been one of my reference power cords for some time. But recently I got an enticing taste of the firm’s latest—its newly upgraded SX version. However, the SX cord I encountered was specifically designed with a Neutrik connector for use exclusively with Audience’s own Adept Response power conditioners—in this instance a six-outlet aR6-TSSOX, a sample of which I had already been using. Even in this more limited context my impressions were nonetheless that these Audience products delivered outstanding results.… Read the full article

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Audio Solutions Speakers at 3mA Audio Houston, TX

By | March 25th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , |

Audio Solutions Speakers at 3mA Audio Houston, TX

The following is a press release issued by 3mA Audio. March 25, 2019 – We are pleased welcome 3mA Audio as our dealer for Audio Solutions speakers in Houston,TX Johnny Yip, owner of 3mA Audio and Ozan Turan from High End By Oz, USA distributor for Audio Solutions, will demonstrate Audio Solutions Figaro XL speakers on March 30 between 4 pm to 7 pm. The event is open to public but seating is limited. RSVP to [email protected] 3mA Audio is located at 1431 W.… Read the full article

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David Chesky’s La Farranucci

By | March 22nd, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , , |

David Chesky’s La Farranucci

David Chesky’s comic opera, La Farranucci, was performed on March 15th and 16th at the Brooklyn Music School Playhouse and I had the good fortune to be there. Actually, all of us in the auditorium were lucky to be there, as La Farranucci had been designated “offensive” last year and the premiere originally planned for June of 2018 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) had been unceremoniously cancelled. What does it take for an opera to be censored in hipster Brooklyn?… Read the full article

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Elac Navis ARB-51 Active Loudspeaker

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

Elac Navis ARB-51 Active Loudspeaker

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably noticed that Elac has been on quite a tear lately. From its entry-level Debut series to the Uni-Fi series and more recently the Adante, the Elac team has been firing on all “woofers” at embarrassingly affordable prices. So just when you’d expect the team to go on a well-deserved holiday and recharge its voice coils, here comes another loudspeaker. But it’s not just another loudspeaker. It’s a new active series called Navis.… Read the full article

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