The Absolute Sound

  1. Starke Sound IC-H3 Halo Elite Loudspeaker

    I first encountered Starke Sound loudspeakers at T.H.E. Show Newport a couple of years ago. As I elbowed my way into Starke’s crowded demo room, I was impressed by the buzz of excitement from the mostly younger attendees—good news as I’m always on the lookout for indicators of the high end’s future. Starke’s lineup of loudspeakers not only sounded promising; they also seemed reasonably priced, and teased the eye with splashy candy-color and metallic finishes, sparkling thick aluminum baffles, and copper accents. I thought to myself that this was a team trying to shake things up. I learned that Starke...

  2. Carly Simon on SACD

    Between 1971 and 1974 Carly Simon released her first four solo albums. Drawing on three different producers (Richard Perry handled the last two records) and some top-shelf session musicians, Carly kept the hits coming, as well as deep cuts that are often as good as—or better than—the singles. Serviceable standard CDs of these early works have been around for a while, but they lack atmosphere. Fortunately, Mobile Fidelity has recently reissued these albums—Carly Simon, Anticipation, No Secrets, and Hotcakes—on SACD. The wider soundstage on these discs brings clarity to the background and more vitality to the instruments. The backing players’...

  3. Focal Launches New Range of Portable Headphones

    The following is a press release issued by Focal. Alberta, CANADA | June 21, 2017 — Focal®, a leading French speaker and headphone manufacturer, today unveils the company’s newest line of mobile headphones - Premium closed-back wireless over-ear Listen Wireless®, In-ear Spark and Spark Wireless®, and Hi-fi in-ear Sphear S®. “Last year, Focal took the audio world by surprise with Utopia and Elear high-end headphones, which integrated some very innovative technologies,” said Ben Jensen, president of Focal North America. “With this collection of portable headphones, Focal was focused on developing mainstream mobile products in-line with the brand’s core values, while...

  4. LA Audio Show: Headphones & Personal Audio

    The premier of the LA Audio Show was something of a mixed bag. With veteran show organizer Marine Presson at the helm and Bob Levi and the LA and Orange County Audio Society behind it, I had high hopes the LA Show would be packed. While it seemed to be filled with exhibitors, overall attendance was somewhat lower than I had expected. Perhaps the memory of hallways and rooms full of people was still fresh in my mind from Munich, but there seemed to be plenty of room in the spacious Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles, although some demo rooms managed...

  5. Goldmund Announces Opening of First Store in the USA

    The following is a press release issued by Goldmund. June 19, 2017 - Goldmund is proud to announce the opening of its first retail store in the USA. Located in Wellington, West Palm Beach, Florida (the world-famous place for equestrian and polo events), it has already welcomed its first VIP customers during a three-day private inauguration and is now open to the public. The new Goldmund store presents audio and video products in a home environment, as an echo to the Los Angeles Goldmund House in which each room is equipped with a different Goldmund system. It welcomes customers on...

  6. Wyred 4 Sound SX-1000R Power Amplifier

    During the time that I’ve been a reviewer for The Absolute Sound I’ve played host to many power amps. Some were large, heavy, and sucked juice from my AC outlets like a dehydrated Great Dane, while others were so small that they could even fit into one of those “tiny houses” featured on HGTV. But whether big or small, powerful or flea-watt, all power amplifiers perform the same function: supplying somewhere between 20 and 30dB of gain, turning a volt or two into multiple watts of power. But even after all these years there is still no way to know,...

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