The Absolute Sound

January 2022

The Absolute Sound is the world’s preeminent source of expert reviews, features, and commentary on high-performance audio and music.

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11 期号



Email the Editor: or: TAS, 2500 McHale Ct., Ste. A, Austin, Texas 78758 No Apologies Necessary As a long-time reader of The Absolute Sound, I find it unfortunate that you have to continue to address readers who perceive the concept of reviewing expensive gear as detrimental to their reading experience. I hope you continue to review these products and showcase their cutting-edge technology. Keep up the good work. Edward Hartwell Not a Buyer’s Guide Fan As a subscriber of over 30 years, I am most concerned by current trends in your editorial choices. Your most recent issue, the second of the last four issues and the third of the last eight to do so, consists of summaries of previous reviews assembled as a “Buyer’s Guide.” I am willing to bet that most of your…

noise, the final frontier

The more experience I gain with high-quality audio systems, the more it becomes apparent that the difference between a great-sounding system and a truly magical one is a reduction in noise, all other factors being equal. I’m not talking so much about the conventional definition of noise—tape hiss or tube rush, for examples—but rather extraneous signals that subtly and not so subtly degrade fidelity. Although achieving a low level of conventional background noise is important, other seemingly unlikely noise-sources wreak havoc with certain aspects of the sound. You don’t hear these sources as noise perse, and can’t identify them as such, but their removal throws into sharp relief their detrimental effect on the musical experience. Although the noise isn’t overtly audible, you certainly hear its absence. Every time I lower my system’s…

future tas

Cambridge Evo Integrated Amplifier and Streaming DAC Evo by Cambridge Audio is a beautifully designed, all-in-one music player that gives you instant access to all the music in the world. Evo comprises two models: the Evo 150, rated at 150Wpc;and the Evo 75 at 75Wpc. The Hypex NCore Class D amplification module, which powers the Evos, was specifically chosen by Cambridge engineers, as it offers class-leading audio performance and produces advantages in clarity, resolution, and musicality. Both Evos use powerful ESS Sabre DACs to ensure all digital music is converted to analog sound with every ounce of detail, precision, and dynamics intact. Whether you use Roon to organize your digital library or stream high-resolution MQA tracks using Tidal Connect, Evo can play it all, and includes a wide array of digital…

the absolute sound’s 2021 product of the year awards 2021

TABLETOP SYSTEM OF THE YEAR T+A elektroakustik Caruso Multi-Source System $3990 What happens when a no-nonsense German manufacturer with 13 engineers on staff and a fondness for discreet brushed-aluminum faceplates with cutting-edge digital circuitry behind them decides to go into the “lifestyle” corner of the audio market? Well, Caruso is what happens. Under a foot in each dimension, this almost-cube-like box sports seven drivers (including a down-facing 6.7” long-throw woofer with an aluminum cone and a substantial magnet) powered by three switch-mode amplifiers. Source-wise, the Caruso is game for pretty much anything. It supports Spotify as well as Apple AirPlay, and it’s set to stream Tidal, Qobuz, and Deezer. The component is Roon-ready and delivers FM and Internet radio; there’s also a disc drive and a USB port that’ll accept a thumb drive…

psb synchrony t600 loudspeaker

One of the loudspeakers that I owned in my audio infancy was the full-range PSB Stratus Goldi. Compared to my Snell E/IV, it offered a grand sound, not to mention a very attractive gleaming piano-black finish. So, when TAS editor Robert Harley mentioned the prospect of reviewing PSB’s new flagship loudspeaker, it brought back nostalgic memories of the heady days of the late 1990s—an era when I was a stereo newbie, and America experienced what, in retrospect, seems like a golden age of peace and prosperity. I was eager to come sonically home again, as it were, to audition PSB’s Synchrony T600. How much progress had PSB made in the intervening decades? PSB has the luxury of being able to employ the Canadian National Research Council’s testing labs for accurate measurements.…

bryston br-20 preamplifier with streaming dac

How to describe being a preamplifier in today’s market? Well, it’s complicated. The humble linestage preamp of yesteryear is, with few exceptions, a thing of the past. With the advent of digital-audio-streaming media players and the resurgence of analog that has brought tape and vinyl back from the dead, there are more options for music listening than ever before, and hence the need for greater integration. To be sure, the classic, pedigreed, linestage preamp hasn’t quite gone the way of the Dodo, but sightings are getting rarer. With the development of Bryston’s BR-20, however, it is clear that this veteran Canadian company has excellent instincts for what the future holds for the newest generation of preamplifiers. Perhaps the best way to describe the BR-20 is to consider that it’s an analog…