The Absolute Sound

  1. Magico Introduces SPOD

    The following is a press release issued by Magico. March 24, 2017 - Magico, LLC the Leader in High Performance Loudspeaker Design and Manufacture, is pleased to announce a newly developed spiked footer solution called the SPOD. The SPOD is based on the scientific design principles of Constrained Layer Damping (CLD) and provides an effective way to couple Q-Series, S-Series (MkI / MkII) and V-Series loudspeakers to the floor while dissipating unwanted mechanical energy away from the enclosure. Demonstrable results include increased dynamics, enhanced focus, greater resolution, and a closer representation of the original musical performance as it was intended...

  2. 2017 Editors' Choice: Power Amplifiers $1,000 - $3,000

    NuForce STA200 $1299 Basic solid-state power amplifiers are not, due to their essential nature (boxes with parts inside), sexy objects that inspire a lot of audiophile lust. The STA200 will never be accused of looking sexy or especially stylish unless you’re into stark minimalism. But if sound quality and solid-state reliability are your primary purchasing criteria, the STA200 should be on your radar. You may not be blown away by the STA200’s looks, but its sound turns it into one sexy beast. Wyred 4 Sound ST-500 mkII/ST-1000 mkII $1499–$1999 These high-efficiency power amplifiers—delivering 250 and 500Wpc respectively—have got to be...

  3. NAD C 338 HybridDigital Integrated Amplifier Now Available

    The following is a press release issued by NAD Electronics. Pickering, Ontario, Canada | March 23, 2017 – NAD Electronics, a leading manufacturer of premium high-performance home audio and video products, today announces the new C 338 HybridDigital™ Integrated Amplifier ($649 MSRP) is now shipping. The first hi-fi amplifier to feature Chromecast built-in for music streaming, the C 338 is a highly versatile Class D amplifier designed in NAD’s Classic Series tradition to deliver class-leading performance, connectivity and flexibility at a remarkably affordable price. Stream Hundreds of Apps with Chromecast With Chromecast built-in the C 338 allows users to seamlessly...

  4. The Band FAQ

    The latest in Backbeat’s FAQ series, The Band FAQ: All That’s Left to Know about the Fathers of Americana, fills 400 pages, making it clear there’s still plenty left to learn about this iconic and influential group. The book is packed with inside stories about members of The Band—but beneath it all lies the personal musical journey of Peter Aaron. Musician/journalist Aaron came late to the party, discovering The Band in the early 80s though a thrift-store find of their game-changing 1968 debut, Music from Big Pink. He was then living in Cincinnati, where I covered music for The Cincinnati...

  5. 2017 Editors’ Choice: DACs $3,000 - $10,000

    Auralic Vega $3499 The elegant Vega is a tour de force in DAC design, supporting DSD64 and DSD128 bitstreams plus PCM data ranging from 44.1/16 on up to 32/384 resolution levels. Moreover, the Vega automatically upsamples PCM data to 32-bit/1.5Mhz levels, incorporates six user-selectable digital audio filters, provides an ultra-low-jitter “FemtoClock,” includes a precision digital volume control that enables the Vega to serve as a digital preamp, and supplies proprietary balanced output analog modules said to mimic the voicing of Neve’s legendary 8078 recording console. It also sounds superb, offering dead quiet backgrounds, remarkable transparency and resolution, highly expressive dynamics,...

  6. Ray Charles: Swiss Radio Days Vol. 41 - Zurich 1961

    By 1961 Ray Charles had already changed the face of pop music by transforming Hoagy Carmichael’s “Georgia on My Mind” into a soul ballad and Percy Mayfield’s “Hit the Road, Jack” into a gospel rave-up. When he arrived overseas for a fall tour, he brought a big band—by then a true anomaly—and renewed purpose to continue breaching artificially constructed musical barriers. The lineup included a number of Quincy Jones cohorts (check out Hank Crawford’s impossibly tender alto sax lead on an instrumental version of Erroll Garner’s “Misty”), and Q himself arranged several tunes in the Orchestra’s repertoire. Issued now in...

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